There’s been a lot in the local news lately about the drug problem in Massapequa as well as the efforts being made to combat it. I applaud those working towards a solution, though I don’t know that Massapequa or any other town will ever be drug free.
I moved to Massapequa after my divorce many years ago after it was suggested by friends and family that the town I lived in was not as nice and that my children would eventually be exposed to drugs. I was caught up in the newness of being a single mom and didn’t give much thought to the fact that drugs were around in Massapequa when I was a kid and that it was possible to buy drugs in middle school. That thought creeped in when my son was offered a joint a month after we moved to Massapequa.
So, no, I wasn’t able to outrun the drugs by moving to a so-called better neighborhood because drugs are everywhere, even here in Massapequa, especially, it seems, here in Massapequa.
Since my move here, I’ve taken in many kids. One was riding his bike several towns away to get money to eat from a relative. Why the relative never questioned his 13 year old nephew riding a bike all that way or needing money to eat is beyond me.
Actually, its not, but for now I’ll pretend that uncle didn’t know what was going on in his nephew’s home. I’ll also pretend that his grandmother living in a beautiful house on the bay also didn’t know. She was too busy flying back and forth to her home in Boca to do anything about her son bringing home a stripper and shooting up in front of her grandchildren. Maybe she couldn’t do anything about her son, but she could have gotten those kids out of the house instead of ignoring what was happening. Denial is a beautiful thing for people like her.
Another kid came by accident. Embarrassed by what his life was like, he never brought friends to his house. I knocked on his door one day to ask his mom a question. She invited me in and sat down on a couch filled with her urine and feces.Yes, right here in Massapequa.
Her coffee table was filled with various prescription bottles and she was waiting for the liquor store to deliver her bottles of vodka. By the way, she had a case worker involved who was aware that she had a teenage son. Child Protective Services was only called after I removed the kid from her house. The mom's caseworker would not enter the house without a hazmat unit and told the kid that he should do his mom a favor and go clean the house.
This kid went on to live with a beautiful family who took him in and gave him a home. They went to court for guardianship and had to go back several times. Despite a long history of illegal activity and despite mom coming into court in shackles because she had violated her probation for the umpteenth time, the judge did not want to violate her parental rights and gave her every opportunity to get her kid back. It really was heartwarming.
The reason I share these stories, and I have many more, is because I have seen another side to the drug problem in Massapequa. I’ve seen things in homes that would break your heart, the same homes you would drive by and think, “what beautiful landscaping.”
Some of these kids face horrific problems at home. Some just feel a little neglected. I don’t know why some experiment and others become addicts. But I do believe that no matter what law is passed, someone who wants to use will find a way just as I believe that a dealer will also always find a way.
I’d love to see the drug problem addressed in other ways that don’t include creating more laws. Don’t we have enough laws now? Have they reduced the drug problem? Is the relapse rate still between 50 and 90 percent despite the laws?
My kids know too many kids who are in rehab multiple times. Maybe its time we start funding places like and other places where we can give the kids the tools to turn down temptation and where we can also let them have access to the resources when they don’t know how to say no to drugs.
Give these kids a place to go, someone to talk to. What we’re doing is not working. More laws will only create more arrests, not a cure for addiction nor will those laws stop any teenager facing horrific circumstances from turning to drugs to escape problems.
I don't want to come across as being superior and that this couldn't happen in my own house. I'm writing this because I have teenagers of my own and it's an issue that I do have to deal with as a parent. I'm trying to figure out the answers just like everyone else.