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Substance Abuse Prevention: A better 2015


 What do you see when you look at the picture on the left? The first thing that I see is a young woman with black hair a black fur coat and a white scarf over her head, but most people have seen this picture make it’s rounds and know that there are two images, one is of an old lady and the other is of the young lady. I don’t know if it has to do with right or left brain, rational or artistic tendencies, but the concept fits my topic which is perspectives, and how we look at things.

Perspectives change with time and circumstance. When I was younger the world was a place to be discovered, and I saw things through fresh eyes that to be honest had seen very little. As I got older and took on the responsibility of a family my perspective changed, and they still continue to change. In my time I have seen gas prices as low as .25 cents a gallon, I have seen illnesses such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, Avian Bird Flu… come and go, I have seen the price of food more than double, and I have seen people’s kind side and their ugly side. I have seen family members use alcohol to drown their fears, and self medicate, and I have lost family members to alcohol related accidents.

These experiences have helped to mold my perspectives and deepen my understanding of our elder’s concerns for our earth, country and humanity. While I know that change is necessary for growth, I also see and understand that not everything should change. With time comes a wisdom of it’s own, and our elder’s experiences are valuable lessons to be heeded.

As 2014 comes to a close my thoughts turn to what a tumultuous year that it has been for the world, and it’s not just the big things that concern me it is the attitudes, acceptance and  perceptions that we have adopted; that glamourize drugs and alcohol, that our children see on t.v., hear on the radio, see in their homes and in their communities.

My mission and purpose with our Prevention program has been to bring about positive change for and by our community. I remember a time when you could turn on the television and not have to worry what was on, because the shows were healthy, positive shows that showed us how we should live. I also remember when and why that changed. Somewhere along the way it was decided that shows like the “Brady Brunch,” and “Leave it to Beaver” were unrealistic. Now what we see is violence, dysfunctional families and drugs and alcohol in almost everything you see to include movies made for children. Instead of role modeling healthy, happy families on television, we role model dysfunctional ones, instead of helping people to reach beyond themselves for the bar, we dropped the bar so they don’t have to expend any energy, creativity, perseverance… to reach it. Instead of discouraging the use of alcohol or drugs we glamourize them.

The good news is that we can change things, that despite what our children see, hear or experience it is our responsibility to help them to open their minds and help them to really see and understand what they are seeing, hearing, and feeling.


Anita Wisecup

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