A changing climate is needed when dealing with the drug problem

Charles Owens

So what is the greatest threat facing America in the year 2019? The answer to that question will vary depending upon who you ask.

Ask a young person, those within the so-called millennial age group, and you will often get climate change as a response. In fact, many will quickly say climate change without much thought or hesitation. It is almost as if this is a pre-programmed response in some of our young people.

But where does this strong belief in the science formerly known as global warming come from? Are they getting this from their parents, from television, from the news media, from college professors or from popular social media platforms like Facebook?

Ask someone who is older, and they will often identify the prospect of nuclear war, or an EMP attack, as the greatest threat facing our nation and civilization as we know it today. And it is hard to argue with those individuals.

Just look at recent headlines. Up until just a year ago or so, North Korean Dictator Kim Jong Un was threatening America with nuclear war on a regular basis. And it was hard to ignore his many proclamations since they were often followed by long-range missile tests.

Who knows what to expect next from this unpredictable, and nuclear-armed regime. You also now have Iran surpassing the uranium enrichment threshold set by the ill-fated and ultimately flawed Obama-era nuclear deal.

Also, don’t forget that just a couple of years ago, then Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed that climate change was a greater threat to the United States than nuclear war, a baffling comment from a man who is now the front-runner in the race for the Democratic nomination for president. 

So what do I consider to be the greatest threat facing society today. Nuclear war? Maybe. It is certainly something to worry about. Facebook? Well that is a possibility too since much of the nation seems to be hopelessly enslaved — dare I say addicted — to the social media giant. But my honest answer would be drugs.

I’m talking about those individuals who are selling and experimenting with illegal narcotics and doing great harm to our communities, neighborhoods, cities and our states in the process. And when I say states I’m referring to both West Virginia and Virginia.

No one wants to or should have to live in a community, neighborhood or street where there is suspected drug activity occuring.

That’s why it is important to have neighborhood watches, increased police patrols and other such preventive measures in place to deter this unwanted activity.

It should be noted that First Lady Melania Trump was in West Virginia Monday to address this same issue. She participated in a roundtable discussion on the opioid crisis in Huntington.

The drug epidemic has impacted all ages and demographics. But I find it particularly troubling when young people get involved in drugs. If there is a suspicion of a young person, even those of the millennial age group, being involved in narcotics, an intervention should be in order. And that intervention should start with their family. Those parents who choose to ignore such warning signs are only contributing to the problem.

Then you have those who advocate giving clean needles to drug addicts. OK. I will admit that the needle exchange concept can help — to a certain extent — in slowing the spread of disease among those who share needles. If there were to be an outbreak or a disease cluster within a certain community, then this would be a possible option that could be considered.

Still, I have trouble with the basic idea of giving someone who is addicted to drugs a clean needle so that he or she can continue their destructive practice. We should never encourage anyone to use drugs.

So until the proliferation of unwanted drugs, and drug dealers in our communities is eliminated, I consider this scourge to be the greatest threat facing society today.

Charles Owens is the Daily Telegraph’s assistant managing editor. Contact him at cowens@bdtonline. Follow him @BDTOwens.