Pubdate: Wed, 07 Sep 2005
Source: Parry Sound North Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2005, Parry Sound North Star
Author: Mur Belliveau
Bookmark: (Youth)


To the editor:

I am writing this letter to thank you for the stories you are publishing on 
addiction in your paper. As a step-parent of a child who struggles with 
addiction problems, I am so pleased to see the cover being yanked off this 

Addiction in Parry Sound is real and many families are dealing with it in 
one way or another. Neighbourhoods are being over-run with crack houses and 
dealers and no one seems to want to talk about it.

If we pretend it doesn't exist, then maybe it will go away. I commend those 
with the courage to speak out. How many children does it take to have to 
die before we notice and do something about this problem?

Our daughter began to use drugs on a regular basis when she entered high 
school. Here are some of the things I have learned from her over the past 
four years. Children in our town can sit outside the LCBO or across the 
street from it and wait for certain people to come along who will go in and 
buy them liquor.

Remember folks, alcohol is a drug also. Especially when it's being 
purchased for 12 and 13-year-olds. I have sat myself, on Seguin Street and 
watched the deals go down and wondered has no one else eyes in their heads 

There are locations in this town that children are flocking to in order to 
spend a night getting high.

All children are at risk with addiction. It's not just the kids from the 
'other side of the track,' as the saying goes. Addiction knows no barriers, 
regardless of age, race, religion, lack of religion or financial status.

I was surprised to learn that our hospital in town does not have a detox 
room. I and others in town make several trips a month to Barrie, Sudbury 
and North Bay to take addicts to detox.

Why are we not able to provide that services in town?

We need to start speaking up about drug addiction and ask hard questions 
like, why are crack houses not closed down? Who is renting these buildings 
and are they aware that drugs are being sold out of them?

Changes need to take place, because not every child makes it to a place 
where they are getting help as my child did. She needed to leave the 
community in order to get well. We do not provide services to aid young 
people with addiction problems. We need a rehab centre in order to do that. 
A place where people can go and seen in-house treatment. We also need 
follow-up housing for recovering addicts. We don't even have adequate 
housing for those who don't have addiction struggles. People do die from 
addiction and when we are dealing with drugs like crack, meth and Oxy 
Contin, that risk goes up.

Thank you North Star for blowing the door wide open on this epidemic.

I hope my letter encourages others to speak out.

Mur Belliveau

Parry Sound
- ---
MAP posted-by: Elizabeth Wehrman