Connection instead of Addiction

Heroin use is on the rise! We are hearing this all over the media. The governor has a campaign that provides resources to “Combat Heroin,” .   If you are concerned about a young person, check out the “warning signs” tab on the site or if you want to learn more about the addiction listen to the “real stories” section. This site will help parents, educators, young people and concerned community members understand the issues involved in addictions and what steps to take to get the help needed either for themselves or for a person they are connected to.

Connection. Teenagers spend a lot of time connecting to others through social media sites, in school and through sports/clubs that they belong to. Many times these connections are positive and result in teenagers making some amazing contributions to others. At other times, connections are made with people that encourage substance use and provide a culture of acceptance for using. What begins as a recreational focus turns into an addiction that controls their lives.

Our communities are challenged to provide opportunities for children and youth to make meaningful connections to others: adults, peers and mentors. Without the entire community collaborating and creating spaces for connections, children will make their own connections that may be limited to peers who encourage drug use.

What are your thoughts and experiences on making connections? What would you recommend to individuals, families and communities to improve connections? Let’s use the expertise of the masses to improve all of our communities.

williams_Penny_WEB_1307Penny S. Williams
Youth Development Coordinator, OCM BOCES

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