The good fight [Editorial]

Unlike anti-drug abuse efforts of the past, based mostly on empty words and ad campaigns, the fight against the deadly effects of the opioid epidemic is real, powerful and wide-ranging.

Unfortunately, all of the passionate attempts to stomp out the addictions, the overdoses, the deaths and the pain of the devastated families left in the epidemic’s wake have not succeeded. That’s more a testament to the insidious power of the substances taking over people’s lives than it is the fight against them.

Opioid addiction is Satan personified. When people makes a deal with that devil, it owns their lives.

As experts on addiction have been advocating, the key approach in the fight is to keep people from using in the first place. That’s so much easier said than done, especially with the role of big pharmaceutical companies profiting from the sale of powerful, addictive drugs and the medical professionals who have been too quick to prescribe those pain killers.

Instead of fighting just the street drug business and keeping young people from ever taking that first taste, those fighting opioid addiction also are faced with addictions among older people who should have known better. Folks of all ages were introduced to opioids and started on the path to addiction as the result of legitimate medical treatment that left them craving more drugs.

Though battling opioid addiction is daunting, there are countless lives and stake and each one is reason enough to fight the good fight. Havre de Grace High School students and staff took A Stand Against Heroin on Friday, Jan. 27, showing their opposition to scourge by wearing white T-shirts. Some among them wore black T-shirts as a reminder of those who have died of overdoses.

It was a good grassroots effort by the Havre de Grace High School community and we not only applaud the program, but also encourage other schools and organizations to adopt similar efforts.

“The students of Havre de Grace High School deserve our sincere appreciation and acknowledgment for their brave, mature Take a Stand Against Heroin Day event,” Don Mathis, a Havre de Grace resident and president of Addiction Connections Resource, wrote in a letter on the opposite page. “The 517 students who wore shirts and focused on the tragedies and dangers of heroin are wise beyond their years.”

Getting so many young people on the right side of the opioid fight is huge. Their voices resonate with others their age in ways that older voices can’t.

Whether it’s Take A Stand Against Heroin programs or County Executive Barry Glassman’s movie trailer messages done by young people or any of the other programs involving young people, they have an important place in the addiction fight.

We congratulate the Havre de Grace High School community for its program and invite everyone join the fray.

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