NCADA fights drug abuse

Last Wednesday, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse met at Francis Howell North to discuss the serious problems plaguing the country and, more specifically, Saint Charles County. At first, the meeting began with a very typical reading off of some frightening facts: this year alone there have been 19 deaths in Saint Charles due to drug overdose, and in the past 3 years there has been 58 in total.

This is a serious problem, because it is one-hundred percent preventable. So how does one stop it from happening? Preaching at people obviously doesn’t work. Everyone has graduated from the D.A.R.E. program, everyone has done Red Ribbon Week, and most everyone has been told that drugs are “bad.”

The NCADA meets in order to try and solve these problems. They believe it is important to recognize that anyone can develop an addiction. It’s not just a bunch of lowlife bums doing drugs.

“It’s your neighbors. It’s your friends. It’s your co-workers. It’s anyone, no one is exempt,” said Jared Opsal, leader of NCADA.

It also was acknowledged that addiction is a disease that needs to be treated. However, it was brought to attention that there are issues in finding proper treatment around the area. Treatment is expensive and seriously underfunded by the government. It is proven to be more expensive to find treatment than to have an addiction. Along with that, there are issues in the effectiveness of treatment. Some people get out of a rehabilitation center and never touch a drug or have a drink again, while others are less fortunate and are back on drugs within months.

The NCADA intends to begin fighting drug abuse by raising awareness, and fundraising to make treatment more affordable for those in need of it. Slowly but surely, they will improve conditions here in Saint Charles and hopefully elsewhere too.

They hold meetings often and welcome anyone to come. To find out when the meetings are, or to get more information about NCADA go to www.not-even-once.com or visit their facebook page.