When I was young, we had many of the same problems we have today: kids turning to drugs to occupy their time. We didn’t have video games; we had bowling alleys, arcades and movie theaters, where we spent most our time.

Parents often worried about the same problems as well: hoping their kid is not doing drugs, hanging out in gangs and getting into trouble.

We had black-and-white TV and had to go to movie theaters to see the latest hits. Many concerts and music festivals were miles away. So someone needed a license and a car, luxuries our parents didn’t provide for us.

All I keep hearing is the same old public service announcement on the TV. I will never forget “Hey kiddies, gather ’round, the man with the goodies is here! … Just inhale and sniff, it is aeroplane glue. …”

It’s burned into my head like a laser beam! A commercial on TV about how bad drugs are for you.

Now, I was no angel and neither were many of my friends, but I will guarantee you this: We did not use hard drugs like heroin. That ad had the most to do with it (at least in my case).

Why, you ask? Are you kidding me? It scared the hell out of me! Who wants to die doing drugs? Not me! Not a lot of my friends either. The ones who did, well, they’re … dead.

We had some scary ads back then, too! They always made me think twice before I laid down “an extra fin for some sin.”

We didn’t have the luxury of Narcan. When we overdosed, that was it – death. What is a stronger message to our kids? “If you do drugs, you die”? Or “If you do drugs, you’ll be OK, we got your ‘six!’ (your back)”?

Scott Grant

New Gloucester