Our View: Meth isn’t the only drug with a hold on the regionThe methamphetamine problem is down but it’s not out. That message was clear as about 50 area officials met in Balsam Lake last week to talk about the drug issue and what more needs to be done to wipe out its impact on local individuals.
The methamphetamine problem is down but it’s not out.
That message was clear as about 50 area officials met in Balsam Lake last week to talk about the drug issue and what more needs to be done to wipe out its impact on local individuals.
But as the afternoon session progressed, it was also made clear that meth isn’t the only thing destroying lives in these parts.
Sure, meth is a nasty drug that can slowly kill users and is difficult to kick.
But those who work closely with addicts in St. Croix, Polk and Pierce counties claimed that more needs to be done to combat other troubles.
While cocaine is making a comeback and heroin is starting to show up more frequently, alcohol remains public enemy number one.
It’s not a message Wisconsinites like to hear. Beer runs freely on many occasions across the region, and it’s part of the state’s rich heritage -- if you believe the Wisconsin Tavern League’s promotional materials.
But greater effort is required to start having an impact on future generations. At some point, a clear message needs to be sent to the younger generation that problem drinking is every bit as dangerous as illicit drug use.
It’s encouraging that some local school districts and law enforcement agencies are considering a shift from the traditional anti-drug education programs that have been prevelant over the past couple decades.
Some are replacing their D.A.R.E. curriculum with something geared more toward alcohol use and the impact it can have on individuals and families.
It seems like such a shift in emphasis is needed to save lives and make a dent in the culture of drinking our state has encouraged for many years.