Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Opinion

April 17, 2014

Social worker a critical necessity

Editor, Townsman:

Our town selectmen, Finance Committee and town manager must like the color rose, as the glasses they wear do not see our teen drug abuse problem as a major issue in our town. Well guess what? It sure does exists and don’t let anyone try to tell you differently. By not approving a $60,000 salary for a social worker shows you just how “out of touch” they are to our youths. Look how long it took our youth center to be built. This town is a little slow getting out of the gate.

Now we have drug issues in our town and you want to take a perfect resource away and not stay ahead of the problem? What a perfect response. A social worker who could help assist our youths and families who are dealing with drug addiction. The national epidemic of heroin is here in Andover and it is not going anywhere. It has found a comfortable addiction to live in and that is within our youths, plain and simple. Or how about the need for our youths whose parents, sisters or brothers are addicted to drugs. Does our town leadership not feel the need to provide a social worker to help our Andover families dealing with such problems?

Our Andover Youth Services is the best thing this town has seen in a long time. It has helped are youths grow up to be mature adults and the examples are to infinity of how these programs have reared our kids. If AYS says they need it, you had better listen.

It is not just heroin that our Andover kids are dealing with. It is marijuana, alcohol abuse, depression. As a mother of three teenagers, I am not my parents’ generation who put their heads in the sand and pretended “all will be fine” We are a better generation than that, and I tend to think we are more proactive because of awareness today. It is not “fine” in our town that we have kids overdosing. We also have kids graduating school early who are in rehab and we have the worst ever outcome — death due to addiction.

I suggest Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski write the check — no questions asked — and start living in a world without the color rose. Who agrees with me?

Kelle Sutliff

1 Carter Lane

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