The courage to speak

Although there’s no data to pinpoint when exactly the prescription drug addiction boomed in town, Liz Jorgensen, a Ridgefield drug counselor, sent 30 to 40 people to rehab for prescription drug addiction from September 2009 to September 2010.

One of the greatest challenges Ridgefield has ever faced is overcoming complacency toward prescription drugs and their potential harm.

Many offer opinions on what to do, including increasing communication between parents and children, eliminating the free sources of prescription drugs, and participating in the drug takeback.

But that’s not enough.

What the town needs is citizens who have the courage to speak.

If we see behavior that suggests someone may be misusing drugs, we shouldn’t ignore it. As uncomfortable as it may be, we need to say something to get that person help. It may mean that we have to tell friends that their child may be using drugs, or even tell a wife that her husband is abusing drugs.

The courage to speak will help save lives — both young and old.

Before prescription drugs claim another life, more action must take place at a neighborhood level.

The way to resolve this problem is to understand that drug addiction may affect everyone, even the people who aren’t using. Those who ignore the problem are the ones exacerbating it.

Prescription drug use continues to be an ongoing battle with no promise of respite. Those who practice acceptance of substance abuse — or choose to ignore it — seek to buy peace with their tolerance. But they, or their loved ones, may pay a terrible price.

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