Advertisement

Addiction at heart of Baltimore's woes

In Baltimore, addiction takes a lot of people's dreams away from them. Not only does an addict hurt himself but he hurts the people around him. We need to raise awareness of this problem and create opportunities for people to rehabilitate. Parents are struggling and communities need to find out who they are and how they might be helped.

This issue matters to me because my mother is struggling with an addiction and she is not receiving the treatment and support she needs. This problem should matter because these things affect other people. If people have better parents, they can achieve more success in life. If we take care of this problem, children will do better in school. They won't have to worry about what will happen when they go home in the afternoon.

Advertisement

There are many reasons for addiction — and many affect kids. One cause is that the government doesn't take drug dealers seriously. I have known people who sold drugs and they weren't dealt with properly. They just ended up serving time in prison. But these drug dealers are often addicts, too. They need to have therapy as much as any addict. Another part of the problem is that addicts and dealers don't have alternatives available to them. They do not usually have a good education which makes finding jobs harder. They often have kids and need to support them and have to find a way to earn enough money for their kids.

We need to become bigger than the problem itself. In order to do this, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the Baltimore City Council need to make this a higher priority. We need services that will go into the neighborhoods and find people who are on drugs and try to help these people. The community can make a difference — it is not just the politicians who need to make a change. The community plays an important role when it comes to the every day challenges of addiction such as children not having enough to eat. They are probably the only ones who can provide such essential support.

But we also need to address the larger problem of addiction. Perhaps the mayor could hold a fundraiser for these people who are struggling in Baltimore. We might dedicate the proceeds to creating more drug rehabilitation clinics. That could make a real difference instead of putting a temporary bandage on the problem. Until we do this, we will all continue to suffer.

A'keirra Smith, Baltimore

The writer is a student at Digital Harbor High School.

Advertisement
Advertisement