Informed Families Catalyst

Taking Responsibility for America's Drug Problem

Posted by Peggy B. Sapp, President & CEO on July 11, 2023 at 4:09 PM

President's Message - July 2023

In today's interconnected world, it is evident that everything goes somewhere and is connected to everything else. 

As a cellular biologist, college professor, and politician Barry Commoner once stated, "There is no free lunch." Nowhere is this truth more apparent than in America's drug problem. The responsibility for addressing this issue lies with everyone.

We find ourselves in a perplexing situation where individuals are manufacturing and distributing drugs laced with deadly substances like Fentanyl in their own garages and then selling them to their friends.

It raises the question: Is this what we now consider friendship? In the face of such a dilemma, who should be held responsible—the maker/seller, the buyer/user, or the entire community?

The answer, I believe, is that all three must take responsibility. Each person must be accountable for their own actions, including contributing to the breakdown of community values and common sense. We need to recognize how our individual choices have a ripple effect and can harm others.

What motivates people today? 

It often boils down to money and the pursuit of immediate gratification, avoiding any discomfort or pain. However, when these motivations are taken to extremes, the consequences can be devastating. Just look at the alarming statistic: 109,000 deaths in one year attributed to Fentanyl. It is high time we relearned how to care about one another, and ourselves, and regain our humanity. Life is not solely about fulfilling personal desires, satisfying fleeting emotions, or accumulating wealth.

Our communities have become fractured, as exemplified by the nightly news reports of senseless violence. All individuals crave a sense of belonging and purpose, which are often derived from our community. Unfortunately, we have dismantled community structures and lost our sense of right and wrong. We have replaced the guidance of religion, family, and friends with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychiatric Disorders. Back in 1973, psychiatrist Dr. Karl Menninger asked, "Whatever became of sin?" Mental health disorders and the concept of "sin" have always coexisted. The church offers confession and forgiveness, providing hope and healing rituals that remind us that everyone needs help and we are all in the same boat.

Solving America's drug problem won't come through quick fixes or easy answers. The first step is acceptance—a collective acknowledgment that there is a problem. The second step is taking responsibility for teaching our children the difference between right and wrong. We must provide them with a solid foundation of structure, family, friends, and a loving community. By repeating these warning messages often, we can hope to guide future generations toward a healthier path.

Ultimately, it is up to each and every one of us to shoulder the responsibility for America's drug problem. We must remember that our actions have consequences and that true progress lies in rebuilding our communities, nurturing compassion, and reaffirming our commitment to each other. Only then can we hope to find lasting solutions to this complex issue.

-Peggy Sapp, President & CEO

Topics: President's Message, marijuana, alcohol, Informed Families, alcohol use, alcohol abuse

About Us

We teach people how to say no to drugs and how to make healthy choices. To reduce the demand for drugs, Informed Families has focused its efforts on educating and mobilizing the community, parents and young people in order to change attitudes. In this way we counteract the pressures in society that condone and promote drug and alcohol use and abuse. The organization educates thousands of families annually about how to stay drug and alcohol free through networking and a variety of programs and services .

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