Latest Headlines

Parents should look in mirror on drug issue

September 15, 2016 4:27 A.M.

YOU MAY have heard the charge by a Lower Mainland mother recently, telling the media Christy Clark has blood on her hands.

The premier getting the blame because this woman lost her son to a fentanyl overdose. Unless you've been in the shoes of a parent who has lost a child, it's  hard to really understand their level of grief.

This mother is incensed because B.C. in her estimation doesn't have enough addiction treatment beds, and accuses the province of not yet fulfilling its commitment to provide another 500, although it has made some progress in that regard.

Yes, those with addictions need a support system, and they should get help when they need it. But let’s get realistic. The government isn't there to solve all of your problems.

It certainly can't raise a child to understand that taking illicit drugs is playing Russian roulette. If government needs to carry some of the blame, what about the parents? Where were they when it was time to tell their children about the evils of experimenting with drugs. Do they not carry the majority of the responsibility?  Of course some kids don't listen, and even families who raise their kids in the best of homes, under the best of circumstances can fall victim as well.

Presumably, if a kid is taking drugs, there's something missing from his or her life. Instead of looking at the government, maybe those parents ought to take a quick look in the mirror,  because if there's blame to be assessed, it should be shared.

Listen to Jim Harrison's editorials weekdays on Radio NL, and to the Jim Harrison Show at 9:08 a.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Contact him at jharrison@radionl.com.

Susan says:
September 17, 2016 07:34am

In our home, we rarely drank, we took our kids to church, we loved them. They had a wonderful childhood. My son had a difficult birth, he had adhd and learning disabilities and low impulse control, I took him to specialists, made sure he had lots of enrichment opportunities. We had family vacations, we went to disney at march break, we played games as a family, my son was in hockey, soccer, basketball and he ran track and was in sailing camp. We talked about drugs; how they ruin lives, the perils of over drinking. We walked the talk. Yet, our son was troubled and turned to drugs and alcohol through peer pressure, low self esteem, and many thanks to the health care system that introduced him to opiates. Addiction can happen to anyone and there are often underlying mental health issues at play. I taught my son to be kind, to be generous, I was proud of him, despite the fact that he had mental health issues and while under the influence he did things that were not wise or good. Addiction took him, and I could not get the help he needed and my husband and I did everything we could think of, including educating ourselves at a concurrent disorders group run by our local hospital and a parents with addicted children's group run through a counselling service. We tapped every resource available. My son had many advocates, and we all ran into a brick wall. Privacy issues barred me from helping him and availability of rehab and detoxes when he needed them were dismal. My son died on January 6, 2016 after repeat overdoses. I spoke to a judge begging to keep him in jail until we could find a rehab for him. He was in jail for breach of probation, ...drinking. No human being suffering from addiction should be put in jail. They should be placed in rehab. I am sad every day of my life and someone who blames parents for this should be ashamed of themselves for speaking this way without understanding the issues. I have seen pretty disengaged parents who raise wonderful children who do not have addiction issues. I have also seen parents who are truly wonderful raise children who fall into the many trappings of addiction. We have a very intolerant world, one that does not reach out to people who are suffering. I think Jim Harrison is doing a lot of damage voicing his opinion. He is ignorant.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Janet says:
September 17, 2016 06:11pm

Kudos to you for sharing your story. JIm Harrison is doing damage and voices like yours need to be heard.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Karen Hamilton says:
September 15, 2016 09:38pm

As a mother of a son with adfiction issues I think if blame is being tossed about the medical profession should shoulder some blame. Since the 80's they have been (over) prescribing opiates and creating a generation of addicts. When they realize the patient might have a problem the patient who has a healthy afddiction is then cut off and goes to the streets. Watch Prescription Thugs.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Liz says:
September 15, 2016 09:28pm

I see Harrison posted this stupid column at 4.27am which may suggest he is free to publish in NewsKamloops directly without the Editor's review and sign off or even basic vetting. He is such an airhead one would think he would be tightly controlled in an effort to protect the enterprise from legal actions and law suits.
Sure wish these electronic news outlets provided a delete button.
Anyway, drug use has little or nothing to do with parenting, it is a very complex issue and the government does have an important roll to play. In BC the government has not been successful in dealing with the current problems, more than four hundred deaths so far this year, sometimes I believe society and government really doesn't care.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Mel Rothenburger says:
September 16, 2016 06:57am

Harrison submits his column by email and it is edited for newspaper style but not for content. His opinions are his own.


Reply

Emails will not be published

Liz says:
September 19, 2016 09:43am

Thank you for clearly this up for your readership. Just wonder if someone's opinion can be released for publication without due consideration of it's content. Sure there are thousands of blogs out there that one can basically post whatever they want, and Harrison should use these outlets for his unbalanced, red neck comments and not be permitted to use your local electronic media outlet when his comments are poorly founded and can hurt people in your local readership market.
Read Susan's comments carefully, she lost her son on Jan 16 this year, remember in BC over 400 human beings have lost their lives to drugs in BC THIS YEAR, and several hundred last year. Closer to home more than 40 people have died. Susan did nothing to deserve to see in print Harrison's public opinion on drugs and parenting in NewsKamloops.
Given this columnist pass record, maybe it is time to vet his content in the future. He can use other outlets for his red neck, careless comments.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Gisela R says:
September 15, 2016 10:50am

OK, I give up. I refuse to read anything else from this self-righteous know-it-all.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Brenda Campbell says:
September 15, 2016 09:45am

Great point! It is a terrible tragedy that so many people are dying but we can hardly expect the government to be responsible for all of our poor choices. Where does parental or family responsibility tie in?

Reply

Emails will not be published

Audrey Greffard says:
September 15, 2016 08:55am

This is very true. Back a few years, parents said "No" to children, they just were talked to about the things that will ruin the kids lives and in no uncertain terms. When my kids were growing up, we had big discussions on what was right or wrong. Most listened. Parents - don't blame everyone else for your mistakes. The kids also have to take the responsibility for their own problems. Nobody held a gun to their heads.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Marie Agioritis says:
September 15, 2016 08:42am

I presume sir you have applied the same attitude to friends and family with lung and throat cancers, heart attacks, hypertension and failing joints as a result of substance abuse.
Love to be at your family thanksgiving table while you berate your beloved father or favorite aunty for her stupid choice and that she needs to quit whining about how long it takes to get into an oncologist. "How's that cigarette tasting now aunt Martha,? now shut your pie hole and pass the potatoes"
Credible journalism leaves little room for hypocricy. Just sayin.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Leslie says:
September 15, 2016 08:34am

Jim Harrison, do your homework. Any intelligent person can see the extensive research on addictions and those who have them. It is NOT a matter of upbringing. It is an extremely complicated issue and blaming parents is ignorant and counterproductive. How is this man actually allowed to get paid for publicly spewing hateful falsehoods?

Reply

Emails will not be published

Stewart Duncan says:
September 15, 2016 07:16am

I don't know about "sharing the blame." It may be no one's fault. But it isn't the government's fault if someone fails in life.

Reply

Emails will not be published

yuri says:
September 15, 2016 06:07am

Ya saw the story. Her son and her other sons girlfriend over dosed. This women should be looking in mirror but also into her living sons activity.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Deadbeat says:
September 15, 2016 05:48am

It's always the same. Black, white. Your fault, their fault. People who live in the present do not have such problems. If a person needs help, they should have it. Who cares what came before or what comes after?

Reply

Emails will not be published

John says:
September 15, 2016 05:32am

I wouldn't always blame the parent(s) but sometimes that is the case.
In the case of my own parents, I do thank them for the guidance they gave. It was likely a factor in decisions I made about life including drug use. I never even tried "weed" and had no desire to do so.
A long time ago, I knew a man named Vic. He was a retired "religious leader" and had worked with people who had addictions. At the time, it was mainly addiction to alcohol but (other) drug use was also part of it.
Vic told me that with addictions, "the first time is the worst time" i.e. every addiction started with the first time. He also said of people who had lost family, home and self respect to (alcohol) addiction, they always regretted ever trying the stuff/taking the first drink.
What has changed now is that the "first time" can be fatal.
Safe injection sites and rehab are part of the picture but I think the only way to address this mushrooming problem is to face the truth of hard facts: don't let there be a first time.
It's a dream, I know, but I think Vic knew something we're overlooking.

Reply

Emails will not be published

Leave a Reply

Emails will not be published