We all need to do something. Life in MI Town isn’t all sunshine and light and singing Kumbaya around the campfire, no matter how much we would hope it to be. Recent news stories about crime, drug and alcohol abuse underscore the seriousness of how things can spin completely out of control and lives can be destroyed in any community.

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that methamphetamine use is one of the most horrible things to plague our towns, our state and our nation. Meth destroys more lives than alcohol and other drugs, motor vehicle crashes, fires and natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods combined. You can become addicted after only one use, and the road back is a difficult one indeed, with families forever scarred and lives that may never be put back together the same way again.

Babies and children are exposed to dangerous chemicals because of their parents’ use. Police officers and child welfare workers walk through houses knee deep in filth, and human and household waste to rescue neglected and abused children in need of physical, as well as emotional nourishment. Cops and social workers alike are doing their best to protect these innocents from even more damage from those who are supposed to love and care for them. These sights and sounds and smells are not the ones conveyed to viewers of television programs or at the movies. Emotional distress and plain old sweat and tears accompany those who have sworn to protect and serve all the citizens of our communities, and they will carry those memories always.

Hope and help is available to people affected by drug and alcohol abuse. Mothers and fathers are taught parenting skills, anger management, how to handle crisis, and positive things they can do to put their families back together. Job assistance and training is available. Ongoing Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous groups offer hope and encouragement to everyone whose lives have been affected by addiction and substance abuse.

What can we do in MI Town? We can encourage friends and family members who are struggling with alcohol or drug problems to seek help for those problems. We can give our local law enforcement and child service organizations encouragement and support for the positive things they do to make our communities a safer place to live. We can be good neighbors and watch over young children and families who might need more help and guidance in their lives, and we can all make positive steps to show that methamphetamine use and child abuse is not welcome and will not be tolerated in MI Town.

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