In Response To Bob Williams Opinion In The March 22nd Herald.

Personal responsibility

Over the past year, the illegal use of prescription drugs in the Annapolis Valley has been well-documented in this paper. Beginning with the death of a young man, the dialogue has suggested that doctors could be at fault, also the police and health care system.

After all angles have been considered, should doctors be blamed because their patients illegally sold their prescriptions? Police certainly have been accused of inaction, asking for assistance before this problem officially came to light, notwithstanding. Further, the health care system has taken a large hit, accused of not providing adequate clinics for those incapacitated.

Those not driven to be politically correct may point out that during this whole discussion, not once has there been any mention of any individual freely taking responsibility for his or her actions. Those of age can obtain liquor legally and if a higher high is wanted, can obtain illegal drugs — no gun to the head in either instance.

It could be said that if the efforts of criticism unleashed during the past year were channelled toward prevention, possibly a little solid ground may have been gained.

Possible initiatives: a school curriculum at all levels, that would point out in sordid detail the ill-effects of drug use; parents encouraged to become involved in all aspects of prevention, which could start by convincing their children at a young age that refusing drugs is a sign of strength; harsher penalties for drug dealers and some form of humiliating social payback for those caught using illegal drugs; and a harsh and realistic effort directed toward teenagers and young adults pointing out they have to account for their actions and take responsibility, the bottom line being they could say no to drug use and lead by example, becoming role models.

Pie in the sky this may be, however the status quo pat statement, “the devil made me do it” is just not good enough.

Bob Williams, Port Williams

First I would like to say I have never blamed any doctors for directly causing the death of my brother Joshua Adam Graves in March 2011. My brother did however consume a prescription drug that was diverted from a legal prescription . These are not kids stealing pills from their parents . These are drug dealers who make a living at buying other people’s legitimate prescriptions and selling them on the street on a daily basis. I don’t know if you realize but many of these diverted prescriptions are being paid for by Nova Scotia Pharma Care which is funded by our tax dollars. This is very enticing to drug dealers and users because they get all of their drugs paid for by the government where everything they sell is pure profit and it costs them pennies a day to get high.

I have never said my brother did not make a poor choice . He did make a horrible choice and he paid the ultimate price , with his life ! The person who was selling prescription pills at the party my brother attended committed the illegal act of trafficking narcotics. His trafficking narcotics resulted in a death . My brother only took 1 third of a dilaudid pill and drank less than a pint of alcohol that night . There was nothing else in his system at all ! If you got into a car with a drunk driver and you got into a car accident and you died , the driver would be charged. It was your choice to get into that vehicle but the driver was still breaking the law.

I have questioned the healthcare system because is not able to support all the people who need help . We are doing so much better now but we still lack in many areas . Our 21 day program only has a 9% success rate .New Brunswick is far more advanced in mental health and addictions services so you cannot blame it on being a small province. It costs us more money to have these people in active addiction , not working , committing crimes , and living miserable lives. I have never condoned any of that behavior or think all addicts do those things. We cannot deny that it is a fact whether we like it or not drug use is directly related to these social issues.  Drug crime , specifically RX drug related crime has increased dramatically in Kings County over the past few years.

We cannot deny the addicts that have already been created.There have been 5 pharmacy robberies in Berwick since Jan 2012. We cannot let drug dealers traffic and get rich because addicts make poor choices. Everyone needs to be accountable for their actions even Doctors and Police Officers.  The reason I have been pushing this topic regularly is to educate and make the public aware. Everyone needs to talk about it even if it isn’t a pretty picture . To say its all comes down to personal choice is the easy solution that is highly ineffective . If we used that principle with everything in life where would we be today? Laws are in place for a reason . It’s so easy to blame the dead kid , addict , or criminal . Is it that hard to believe that doctors and police officers are humans too and make mistakes?

Amy Graves

Get Prescription Drugs Off The Streets

4 thoughts on “In Response To Bob Williams Opinion In The March 22nd Herald.

  1. WOW Bob….. I feel I was a great Mother to Josh… Always thought I taught him well… Had him in many sports, camping, and much family time with alot of love…. I hate hearing he didn’t have a gun to his head… He made a stupid choice… Someone has to prove to me what happened that night.. Did someone slip something in his drink ???? Or did he make an un-educated choice, not a stupid choice…. Bob, try walking in our shoes !!!! We should all work together to get these drugs off the street…… Love you Joshie… Karen Graves

  2. Well said Amy! Obviously, Mr. Williams is ignorant to the facst and statistics about prescription pill abuse. Prescription pill abuse has become an empidemic not only in the Valley, or NS, but in North America. Prescription pill abuse and addiction affects all demographics and levels of socio-economic status, not only teenagers or young adults; doctors, house wives, chronic pain sufferers. The list goes on and on, and no one is immune to addiction. It is white collar crime, and no one is holding the large, multi-national phamaceutical companies and politicans accountable for the epidemic that they have created. You are making a difference Amy, keep up the good work and please don’t give up.

  3. Perhaps the medical profession in the Annapolis Valley is acting without due consideration when prescribing these potentially ‘recreational’ drugs in what seems a cavalier way. If pain killers were really needed, the prescriptee would not be casually selling them. The College of Physicians and Surgeons should be actively involved where ever there seems to be something amiss. There are adddicts, pushers and doctors prescribing. This is nothing to do with a small population size. Calgary has the same problem, young people dying from taking drugs that weren’t prescribed for them. . The College of Physicians and Surgeons in |Nova Scotia is remiss by not having an enquiry into their own. 5 Breakins to one pharmacy!!!???? -This is beginning to sound like organized crime.

  4. You can’t deny that the doctors writing the presripstions are at the top of the food chain?
    How can we not ask them to tighten up thier pen and pad? It only make sense to me that its an excellent place to start.
    If you have walked in the shoes of a person who has battled this with a loved one, that you would appreciate there being less prescriptions on the streets for the kids to get caught up in.
    Furthermore, what about the children falling through the cracks, should we forget them? Come on, less pills on the streets= less deaths.
    Why do people have such a problem with doctors getting on board? don’t you relize that you have to make noise to be heard? Its not all about the doctors….but they are a very good start.
    People who dont agree have not watched these people sell thier prescriptions to kids, in parking lots of the drug store. GET them off the street!! If these powerful pain meds were being issued properly, there would not be so many avaiable on the streets, because the paitents would need them, not to sell, but to treat thier issues. But they are being diverted all over the place, alot of the kids getting into this, do not even know what they are getting into…give them a chance by making the streets a bit safer? These kids should not have to die? and what kind of society , just says OH WELL, TOO BAD?

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