Drug Awareness Week kicks off

Police, fire, and paramedic staff came together yesterday to discuss the devastation substance abuse causes as the Rainy River Substance Abuse Prevention Team kicked off its Drug Awareness Week activities.
“I hate meetings. I hate power. I hate anyone who has a program. To all who comes in contact with me, I wish you death and suffering,” SAP co-ordinator Brad Herbert read to the dozen people gathered at the Civic Centre yesterday at noon for the official opening ceremonies.
“Allow me to introduce myself. I am the disease of addiction,” he added.
“People didn’t take me seriously. They take strokes seriously, heart attacks, even diabetes. They take these things seriously. Fools that they are, they don’t know that without help, these things would not be possible,” Herbert read.
Herbert noted he has been working with individuals with addictions for 11 years and has seen what it has done to the individual, their family, their jobs, and their lifestyle.
“Alcohol and drugs cause so many problems for people—family problems, relationship problems, depression, crime, violence, anger, gambling, suicide, and death,” he warned.
Mayor Glenn Witherspoon applauded Herbert’s efforts to host the week-long activities.
“We are all being proactive today. Ambulance, police, CN police, paramedics, fire,” the mayor said yesterday. “We all know there is a problem with drugs and alcohol.
“If there is one person who has drugs control their life or alcohol start to control their life, than it is one too many,” he added.
Fort Frances OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis also took the opportunity to congratulate the Substance Abuse Prevention team for all its efforts in bringing substance abuse to forefront.
“Alcohol and drugs are a contributing factor to most violent crimes and a leading cause to most traffic accidents,” he said.
S/Sgt. Dennis said Rainy River District was designated as a “safe community” by the World Health Organization back in May—and part of that was a result of the efforts of several groups working together to tackle the issue of substance abuse in this area.
He added the OPP was proud of its role in combating substance abuse.
“There are 51 other weeks in the year that substance awareness should happen,” Mayor Witherspoon noted.
“This is an ounce of prevention this week. We plant that seed and are hoping that it grows into a crop that we can be very proud of,” he added.
Herbert wanted to thank all of those involved in making Drug Awareness Week possible in Fort Frances.