Though preoccupied with geo-politics (particularly,involving Israel), as events swirl faster than the speed of lightning throughout the Middle East, I am equally concerned about the fate of the United States, the greatest experiment in individual liberty known to man. Though no nation can claim a perfect record, the foundations of the US are set upon stellar Judeo-Christian pillars, moorings which are in danger of collapsing, each and every day.
As such, this blog expends much angst over the fate of both beloved nations (my birth home, and the home of my Jewish heart); one a beacon of light in a hopelessly barbaric Middle East; the other, a nation which led the world for countless decades, now on the verge of receding into the background. Not a pretty picture. Heaven help us if their edifices shatter.
Nevertheless, there are other societal issues which cry out for our attention, especially in light of the immediate and direct wreckage they cause. Specifically, I am referring to the problem of alcohol and drug abuse; addictions/afflictions which cross all spheres of society. One may be rich, poor, young, old, smart, not so smart and from any religious/ethnic makeup (yes, the Iranian Hitler claims there aren’t any substance abusers in Iran!), in essence, it is an equal opportunity destroyer.
Due to the above,this site has dedicated countless of hours of research into this devastating scourge. Immigrating to Israel in 2008, I became duly aware of the effects of substance abuse upon Israeli society. A real eyeopener. Thus, it became incumbent to share said information with others, chiefly through op-eds on the subject.
‘Alcoholism:The Wreckage In Its Wake’ was a first attempt to reach out to the Jewish community (and others), hoping to wake up the addicts and the enablers in their midst- http://www.jewishpress.com/in-print/alcoholism-the-wreckage-in-its-wake/2011/12/18/ .Truth be told, a mission of herculean proportions.
A second attempt focused upon some enormously troubling events, events which transpired in Israel over the past few months. Waking up to the news of an increase in teenage murders – by other teenagers – jolted me into further research. As such, I contacted several highly connected medical professionals from NYC, people who knew how to put me in touch with the “highest authorities”, in the arena of substance abuse, in the NYC metro area. To put it more bluntly, I decided to call in some favors.
Upon relating certain concerns to several renowned substance abuse professionals, a most definite starting point to explore this troubling phenomena emerged. Specifically, the question became: what shaped seemingly normal teenagers to turn into stone cold killers? To begin with, I was advised – by each professional – to dig deeper into the synthesis between teenager murders and the causal relationship to being raised in homes where substance abuse is the “norm”. Good grief.
These contacts – G-d bless them for their assistance and patience – sent pdf files rife with supportive medical information. Therefore, I was able to put together a brief, but succinct op-ed built upon a definitive, emerging pattern. ‘Teenage Murders Shock Israelis, Many Seek Answers’ – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/11631 lays bear some very painful points, at least for those who are more inclined to sweep (shameful) family matters under the rug. See no evil, hear no evil.
It was under the above mindset that something so shocking, even after having explored the underbelly of the insidious disease of substance abuse, came to light. Compiling data for some additional research, I started exploring the mother of all addiction stories – literally. Many readers may recall the horrific drunk driving accident caused by Diane Schuler, a mother ! from Westchester, New York, in the summer of 2009. In brief, she killed 8 people, including herself, her baby daughter, 3 nieces, and 3 men in an oncoming car, while driving the wrong way on the Taconic Parkway (btw, a stretch of road this blogger traveled many times….). Her wreckage is laid bare for all to see in the link provided –http://www.thefix.com/content/%E2%80%9Cdrinking-mom%E2%80%9D-syndrome.
So, if the above horror is not unsettling enough, consider this new fad -mothers who join blogs (there are several) to find like-minded peers who relish their vodka to “deal” with their daily pressures of life! Kid you not. Take a peek at this blog, unabashedly called Vodka Mom–http://www.vodkamom.com/#.T_Qc1ZnL8Cw.facebook.
Being immersed in this subject, and fully understanding the many complex and intertwining layers (mental and physical) of addiction, this much is overwhelmingly clear – the multi-faceted, life long prices paid by spouses, children, siblings, relatives, friends, employers, and society at large, is too high to pay for another’s addictive behavior. NO one has the right to inflict such misery upon others, however unintentional. Simply put, excuses for their addiction just won’t cut it. Just ask those (if they are alive to tell the tale) who suffer due to their reckless behavior; whether living with them; interacting with them as relatives (slowly watching them kill themselves, a nightmare like few others); occasionally interfacing; or not even knowing the addict from a hole in the wall, as the addict’s car plows into anyone unlucky enough to be in their careening path, never knowing what hit them!
Suffice it to say, if it were up to this American-Israeli, each and every person – regardless of their station in life – who is caught driving drunk would never have the opportunity to get behind the wheel again. Ever.Tragically, too many maim and kill, before they are hauled into jail and into mandated rehab. Let them rot in jail. As to the rest – who have yet to kill or maim – they must also pay for the crime of drunk driving and take public transport, that is, only if they have not harmed anyone during their drunk driving sprees. At its most base, drunk driving is a criminal offense, and those accused – if parents -are not fit to raise cats or dogs, let alone their own children.
A societal tragedy….deeply ignored…hidden behind closed doors. Time to open our (collective) eyes. Therefore, but for the grace of G-d, go all the (potential) victims of the likes of Diane Schuler!