Zaffie Hadiaris

Zaffie Hadiaris

How do we build a more prosperous, younger, stronger state of Maine? America’s culture is supposed to fight poverty, promote opportunity and look for fresh, actionable ideas. Every American wants to build a better life and unite our country. A bold new vision for happiness, unity and social justice is being felt.

The Maine we see today is not the Maine of the past. We have to address these problems plaguing our society: immigration, climate change, abortion, wars, terrorists, health care, same-sex marriage, taxation, globalization, free trade, property rights and entrepreneurship. Homeland security is most important. Our president and elected policy makers have to have leadership skills, understand the problems in order to know what they are doing, and with real solutions hope to fix and raise this country. Government needs to work efficiently and effectively.

The political process belong to all of us. I do not mean to be judgmental, it is just that there are so many issues to think about.

Our state is sounding the alarm about the increasing problem of drug addiction. Human behavior is complex. People of all ages suffer the harmful consequences of drug abuse and addiction.

Substance abuse is a disease that affects both brain and behavior.

According to figures provided by the Maine Department of Human Services, the number of drugaffected babies born in Maine increased from 178 in 2006 to 995 in 2015. Babies exposed to drugs in the womb may be born premature and underweight; the exposure can slow the child’s intellectual development and affect behavior later in life.

Scientific research on drug addiction in adolescents found that adolescents who abuse drugs often act out, do poorly academically and drop out of school. They are at risk for unplanned pregnancies, violence and infectious diseases.

Parents’ drug abuse often means chaotic, stress-filled homes as well as child abuse and neglect. Such conditions harm the well-being and development of children in the home and may set the stage for drug abuse in the next generation.

Scientists study the effects that drugs have on the brain and on people’s behavior. They use this information to develop programs for preventing drug abuse and for helping people recover from addiction. Further research helps transfer these ideas into practice in our communities.

The consequences of drug abuse are vast and affect people of all ages. The LePage administration announced that it is planning a Sept. 30 summit in Portland to discuss the issue. Gov. LePage said we have to get control of the drug epidemic devouring our young people in Maine. It is doing damage to our babies and children.

For information on the conference contact Nikki Busmanis at [email protected] maine.gov or 287-2816.

I read that we are all interconnected and bonded by this thing called life. Every idea, every intention, every action contributes to the whole – to the energy that life is.

— Zaffie Hadiaris of Saco is the host of “Zaffie,” a weekly television talk show on Channel 3 Biddeford public access. It can also be seen at biddefordmaine.org. Contact Hadiaris at [email protected]