I grieve

First, I grieve for the increasing numbers of Kentuckian’s who’ve suffered  drug overdoses and death over this past year. I grieve for their families and  friends.

I grieve for a criminal justice system that has completely failed to recognize that punishment is not the answer to mental illness, substance abuse and  dope sickness. The media bombards us almost daily with examples of this failure.

Shameful use of money bail, excessive testing/costs, fees and withholding of mental health services are evidentiary to this injustice.

I grieve for the medical community and big pharma’s failure to accept their responsibility for this continuing crisis. ls all that money really worth the lives lost and the families ruined?

I grieve for school systems having to substitute as parents. They pick up the pieces of young lives as their parents are imprisoned and often times ripped from homes that struggle with addictions.

I grieve for business and corporate Kentucky. They strive to find qualified workers and build stability into communities when flagrant discrimination is used to “weed out” qualified applicants as opposed to giving opportunity for those who’ve paid the price for prior substance abuses.

l grieve for democracy. How has it come to pass that persons who committed even low level felonies and paid the price for same are not permitted to be participants in our great American dream and vote for whom they want as leaders?

I grieve for our communities as we must realize by now that when one of us suffers….we all do. When one of us needs help, it is our responsibility to offer same.

But mostly, I grieve for my son. My failures toward him I grieve.

Roger Hartner

Danville