A Wake-Up Call For All Of Us

Wed, 11/27/2019 - 7:00am

At age 66, drug addiction has abruptly affected my family and me.  Like so many people, until last week, I saw drug addiction as someone else’s problem.  But like a bolt of lightning, I learned it now affected me and will affect every one of us, one way or the other unless we unite and do something about this growing threat.

Greg, my nephew, was 38 years-old had a big heart that endeared himself to many.  Last Tuesday, suddenly he was gone - another victim of an epidemic claiming 70,000 American lives each year. 

This is a scourge that is ruining our country.  Drug overdose has been the #1 cause of death in America for the last 3 years for people under age 50.  While overdose deaths grab the headlines, another 20 million Americans struggle with addiction and nearly 50% of all Americans personally know someone with addiction.

What has been the response in our community and our country to the worse public health crisis in American history?  Not much.  Not much at all.

While the human, societal and economic toll of drug addiction is causing a progressive decline in America, our government and we are investing very, very little compared to the amount needed to turn this problem around.

Compare this epidemic to WW II.  420,000 Americans died in that 6-year war.  Every 6 years, that many young people die of drug addiction with no end in sight.  At least the war came to an end.

I founded the Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition in 2016 to start the fight in midcoast Maine.  As of 2019, we finally have established our first “beachhead” with two sober houses for men, women and children affected.   This is our “Normandy”.  It took us 3 years, with many of casualties, to get this first foothold on the mainland of addiction.  The war is still 99.99% ahead of us.

If Americans fail to rise to the challenge of confronting drug addiction, everyone will personally become a direct or indirect victim and the our country will become a hopelessly impoverished.

Please join with The Mid-Coast Recovery Coalition to engage the enemy and to protect ourselves, our families and our communities.   Please visit www.midcoastrecovery.org or contact us at info@midcoastrecovery.org.  Thank you.

Ira Mandel

Camden, Maine