Addiction is probably one of the least understood problems we face in our region. Too many people either deny it by saying “We don’t have that problem in our town”, or they lessen it by saying “They got themselves into that situation, they can get themselves out of it.” Both of these sentiments are wrong.
Here are the things most people agree on.
- Drug and alcohol addiction is a global problem
- Drug and alcohol addiction is a national problem
- Drug and alcohol addiction is a provincial problem
So if we agree on these things, why do we often close our hearts and minds when it comes to admitting it is also a LOCAL problem? Where the heck do we think the provincial, national and global problems exist? They are ALL local to someplace! And folks, these problems are local to us too.
Now what about the other statement. Yes, people got themselves into it, that much is true… BUT there is always a back story. Not one person suffering addiction took the first drink or first drug with the intention of getting hooked beyond control. And, in many cases they turned to these things because they were going through a crisis in their life during teenage. Maybe there was violence and abuse at home… but we don’t want to admit to those problems either, do we? Not in OUR area.
Trouble is, once these young people are hooked on drugs and alcohol, they are on a downward spiral to Hell. The hell of moral decay, the hell of social outcast, the hell of street living, the hell of feeling there is no hope left in the world.
BUT there is hope. Locally it is being championed by Gerry Oake (A.K.A. Gerry The Painter), it’s called OUR HOUSE.
For a decade Gerry has been organizing the OUR HOUSE roll-a-thon. He’s been raising money for the creation of a physical location in this region where people from across the province can be counseled and helped during their recovery. He has also been going into schools and telling kids from the heart that they are not alone, that if they have problems there are ways of finding help.
He is saving lives, the lives of your kids, your grandkids, your nieces, your nephews, your neighbours kids. But it is a long road, a very long road.
Parkland Regional News is going to help shorten that road!
The 2016 Roll-a-thon is eight months away. It will take place on September 10th. Normally they have about 30 people. How many decades will it take to fulfil their dream of a functional centre at this rate? Too many! So let’s change that!
This year let’s see if we can get 300, or 500, or 1000, or 2000 cyclists out to it. Let’s make this such a big event that the provincial media, politicians, sports stars, entertainers etc attend it. Let’s stop brushing the problem under the rug and start being part of the solution for people right across Saskatchewan!
Every month we will feature a COUNTDOWN article and picture. We will learn about the problem, the solution, the hope and the vision. Let’s get serious about offering hope to the hopeless, and bringing solutions to those who believe there is no solution but death.
It is now R-Minus-Eight.
We’re putting out the call to the entire region to mark September 10, 2016 on their calendar right now. What are YOU doing on that day? Get your cycles ready!
If you belong to a church, put together a team from your congregation. If you are part of a sports team, get a team within your team ready. If you are a member of a service organization, be part of this. What about your company? Get a team together wearing your company hat!
Listen folks, we can do this…. Together….
I’m in! How about you?
Kenneth J. Kerr, (Publisher, Parkland Regional News)