Brian told his story. He was raised in Moore County, good athlete, solid student. His three older brothers were adequate role models, each for different reasons; one was fun, another was creative, the oldest had ambition. His parents were together in their home and in their faith. In community college, he branched out a bit and began to party with friends, taking his first drink at a beach party; Mike’s Hard Lemonade.
He did not abuse alcohol, but he did use it to be cool, fit in and attract girls. One night at a party, he downed an “OC,” OxyContin. That was it. He never took another drink. He discovered he could be the cool, fun guy all day and all night and still function. His downward spiral began. His girlfriend left, his money ran out, and he hit the street. One of a million young men with the same sad story.
Fentanyl is the newest weapon of mass destruction. It is poisoning our most precious resource, our children. In 2021, 27% of high school students used illicit drugs. Overdose deaths increased by 29.6%. From March 2020 – March 2021, 96,779 deaths by overdose were reported.
One in six Americans take some form of pain prescriptions and depression medication. The demand for chemicals is so great that people are willing to buy them on the black market, risking opioids contaminated with fentanyl. Young women are using and abusing, but statistically, men are four times more likely to overdose, and the drug of choice is opioids. Why?
Today we have a generation of men without a country. Their role in our culture has been undermined by a strengthening maternal society that values the soft skills of nurturing, empathizing, and compromising. These are important qualities but must be balanced with authority, fortitude and leadership. Our young men are failing in school, dropping out of college, “quietly quitting’ the workforce, and choosing to remain on the sidelines. Military recruitment is down nearly 25%. Loss of self-esteem and respect has led them to defeat and alienation. Masculinity is so yesterday.
The fight has been brought to our turf, and it is time to engage. The increase in drug use and the incredible destruction that is poisoning our young men and women cannot be accidental. It is simply too big to be an unintended consequence of immigration or medical research, or relaxed prosecution.
The statistics do not lie. We know where fentanyl is manufactured and processed. We know who is responsible, and we know who is profiting. Do you know of any other business that intentionally kills off its clientele? One kilo of fentanyl contains 250,000 lethal doses. Last June in Colorado, State Patrol seized 48 kilos in one vehicle. Since March 2021, Texas law enforcement officers have seized over 342 million lethal doses, enough to kill every man, woman, and child in America. Why do we allow this to continue?
Where are the weapons needed to win this war? The answer may lie in where the weapons are stashed. In March, Congress passed the massive Inflation Reduction Act to fund climate change, energy, and Income tax enforcement. Ukraine has garnered $54 Billion in cash and military assistance, but the horrible war we fight for the lives of a generation goes on in our backyards with almost no attention. Only the thousands of families who have lost loved ones feel the pain of defeat.
There can be no greater cause than saving our generation and, by extension, our country from the threat of extinction by inaction. In 1971, President Richard Nixon declared a War On Drugs. At that time, about 4% of the population was abusing marijuana. In 2020, the National Survey on Drug Users and Health reported that 21.4% of Americans over the age of twelve have a substance use disorder. We must declare a Second War on Drugs and end this devastation to our culture and our country. Enlist in this war with whatever means you have to fight for the soul of America.
Fortunately, Brian lived to tell the rest of his story, which will come next week.
Connie Lovell lives in Pinehurst.