Combating Drugs: What One Parent Is Doing to Help - WICU12 HD WSEE Erie, PA News, Sports, Weather, Events

Combating Drugs: What One Parent Is Doing to Help

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Mary Kay Eisert-Wlodarczyk lost her son, Collin, almost two years ago because of drugs.

"It's hard every single day for us, and there's a lot of people here tonight that have lost sons and daughters and loved ones, and they're here because it matters."

So she organized a discussion on Thursday night called 'What You Don't Know Can Hurt You,' so parents and care givers, are aware of drug use in our community.

"In general, there's not bad kids," said Eisert-Wlodarczyk. "They're all good kids, but good kids make bad decisions." 

Eisert-Wlodarczyk said nowadays, parent's don't realize just how different the world is from when they grew up.

And police agree. They say they're seeing changes in how drugs are being brought in and dealt in our area. And they're now using tools like social media to track the drugs.

"Over the last several years we've seen an increase in drug use among younger people, we've also  seen an increase in overdoses," said Mike Nolan, of the Erie Police Department.

But there are some parents, like Barbara Gainer, who haven't lost their children to overdose.

"I have an addict for a son. My son is incarcerated and has been for a while. To feed is drug habit he stole."

Gainer said that drug addiction is a disease, and that it can happen to anyone, at any time.

"Unfortunately it can be your son or your daughter. If we don't start talking about it, or making people aware or it, we can't stop it or help."    

From the turnout at Thursday's meeting, both Eisert-Wlodarczyk and Gainer believe that people are finally starting to realize, that there is a problem, and we need to fix it.

"Erie is important to all of us, and we want it to be the best community and we want to get these drugs out and keep our kids safe," said Eisert-Wlodarczyk.

"If we could just save one child tonight, we would have done our job," said Gainer.

While we've been reporting on the increase in heroin, Eisert-Wlodarczyk said most drug problems don't start with it, and it's important to stop the addiction before it gets to that point.
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