Letters to the Editor

Drug prevention: Talk addiction in Oak Harbor

How many times have I said, “if only I could talk to another parent.” It isn’t easy to admit your child uses drugs. It is especially difficult to talk with others about it, however, my belief is that speak we must within our own families, to other families, parent to parent and community to community.

I was fortunate to witness four powerful testimonials of struggles with drugs, the law, family pain and ultimately recovery. I was present at the first Addiction Impact Panel on South Whidbey. Young adults were amazing in their testaments. A mother spoke the same words I had only been able to speak to myself. The stigma and shame were gone, unwelcome. What I heard and felt was compassion and understanding, not judgment or blame.

The time has come to share, or maybe just listen. Parents are powerful in the battle against drug addiction, no matter what age their child. Indeed, we all share our communities, and in those communities we share schools, churches and the workplace. Sadly, we also share in the destruction drug usage generates. But we can come together in the support and recovery of our children.

Parents and friends don’t have to feel helpless. I believe that beginning a dialogue will enable us to learn and empower ourselves and each other. Once the words are spoken, a burden is lifted, and only then does our work begin. It is a journey. There is hope.

Let’s stir it up. Join me and others who share this concern and find your place at the second Addiction Impact Panel Tuesday, Feb. 28, in Hayes Hall at the Skagit Valley Campus in Oak Harbor.

Marilynn Norby

Langley

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