Together we can


To the Editor:

“Together we can” — anyone who was living on the Island back in the middle of the 1990s has more than likely heard that phrase. Drugs, alcohol, smoking, and inhalants were finding their way into every crevice of the Island’s youth, and in some cases adult, population. The phrase then was “Just say no,” and it worked for a while and to a certain extent, but more was needed than just going to meetings and talking about it.

From these meetings, which I was involved in, came many great programs and ideas. The few of us left after the big “together we can” forum kept the ideas coming — many amazing, positive, empowering teaching-by-doing and youth-involvement programs emerged from this small group, and “M.V. prevention” (against substance abuse) took off.

After my son’s best friend died of an overdose on my birthday a month ago, I found, like many others, the strong need to get back into making something happen that might actually work. As his mom said, this is an Island; why can’t we keep the drugs [heroin] out?

She’s right, and our small group of people who get things done has an idea that just might work, and at the same time save many lives for different reasons. This would include asking injured vets, some with post-traumatic stress, to train dogs to sniff out drugs. The dogs could be used by State Police on ferries and at the airport to stop people from bringing heroin (the drug of choice at this time, cheap and easy to get) to our Island.

We are going to work on this project and see if we can get it done. We are in the early stages, and will need help from everyone involved with decision-making at the highest levels of the State Police and the Steamship Authority. We are done going to meetings and talking about these problems. I am personally devoted (in honor of my son’s best friend and in honor of too many others) to doing everything in my power to at least try it.

A kickoff fundraiser for a veterans’ dog-training program will be a tented event on a beautiful property on the water, made for this program. Anyone wanting to be involved with this September event can keep their eyes open for further information coming in August.

Leslie Look