Being a resource of information

Vanessa Denha Garmo

Vanessa Denha Garmo

It has to be one of a parent’s worst nightmare — your child is addicted to drugs.  As a parent, guiding your children is a top priority — or at least it should be — but we are all bound to make mistakes and we certainly don’t have all the answers.

When I hear about a kid straying, I have often asked the question: Where were the parents?  I guess it is a natural instinct. However, when you do some research, you will often find out that the parents were right there every step trying to get their child the help they needed.

The reality is that the world we live in can be a very scary place.  When I was growing up, it was much easier for my parents to protect us from the outside world but today, the outside world is just a keyboard or a Smartphone away. The outside world is in the hands of our children.

Years ago, while working full-time at WJR, I did a week-long series on heroin addiction as it was becoming an epidemic in the region.  Here we are again — about 20 years later — and drugs are still at the forefront.

One statistic I learned while producing that series really alarmed me — less than one percent of people who try to kick the heroin addiction are successful — the rest will most likely die from it.

That reality has become a very serious one for the Chaldean community. We have had reported overdoses recently and we are still not certain how many of our own people are addicted to some kind of drug.   

We are reporting on this issue once again. It has been almost two years since we featured a story on heroin and we are brining you not just a cover story on the drug problem but an issue heavily focused on it. 

We have several pieces including a two-part cover story written by Weam Namou on the drug update and how it is affecting the Chaldean community.  We believe it is imperative that we share this information with you — our readers — and the community at large.  We have to unite as a community to combat this very serious problem.  We are losing lives — our children — to this dark world of drugs. 

We encourage parents and family members to put stigmas and pride aside and do what you can to get the addicts help. We also ask that others who love to gossip to find ways to be an advocate and not adversary. You know the old saying, ‘those who live in glass house…?’ Heed that and stop throwing stones.  We cannot judge families when they are facing traumatic and often life-threatening challenges. We are called as Christians, which we are, to help our suffering brothers and sisters. 

Drugs don’t discriminate by financial status, age, gender or education.  No one is immune to the societal pressures.  All of our children are vulnerable.  We hope you use these stories in this issue as a resource to educate and to help. 

It’s also a time to give thanks.  I am grateful for those families who were willing to share their stories with us and our writers who sought out the answers they needed to craft these articles.  We will continue to follow this story and the resources available to help families and we will report on it not only on these pages but on our website and our social media platforms.  

We will continue emailing our weekly newsletter as well.  We are here to keep you abreast of all the news in the community and bring you tools you need to solve problems.  The Chaldean News is not just a news source but a resource of information that we can share on a daily basis.  Stay connected with us and we will keep you connected to all the news and information you need

Alaha Imid Koullen
(God Be With Us All)
Vanessa Denha Garmo
Follow her on Twitter @vanessadenha
Follow Chaldean News on Twitter @chaldeannews