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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Long Island: Prescription Drugs from Mom and Dad Leading to Heroin Use by Teens

Got up at 4 am this morning at a Hyatt on Long Island for an early flight out of JFK to Houston –just in time to make the memorial for a friend who died of cancer recently. Millions in high tech treatment was not enough to save him. But my plane was held up two hours at JFK due to “maintenance issues.” When they say “maintenance”

When they say “Maintenance” I say “take all the time you need.” As a pilot I know the last thing I want is a airplane not working right when you are flying, especially with passengers in your care.

The flight delay put me in a crunch to make the memorial in Sugar Land. Bob was an avid sailor from Long Island to the Atlantic who settled here on the Gulf Coast. Not only did he enjoy our weather he also was a gifted literary teacher and insightful advisor to many.

The most amazing story was told by one of his children. They were in a sailboat race years ago in Long Island Sound when it became evident that a large tug, pulling a barge with a cable, was between them and winning the race.

Bob said to his son: “If we have to go behind the barge, we lose the race.”

Then an amazing thing happened. The tugboat Captain, seeing the situation, cut his engine just enough to let the cable pulling the barge slip below the waves -- just long enough for Bob and his boat to sail over -- and win the race! Then the tug powered up, the cable tightened, and the tug continued on its journey with its cargo.

Another son recalled a time when a large cruise ship hit their boat and they had to jump into the water.

And about another not-so-kind tug operator who powered up his boat to deliberately create the largest wake possible --knowing the wake force could capsize Bob’s tiny boat with him and his young son in it. Somehow Bob was “in tune” with the universe and it all worked out well.

FYI. I didn’t know this. NY C TV carried a fascinating, disturbing, story last night. Apparently there is an epidemic on Long Island of teens starting on mom’s and dad’s prescription drugs –and going on to heroin after getting addicted to things like Vicodin. One mom had only five pills, yet it was enough to get her son hooked, and seeking bigger highs from heroin, which is easily obtained there.

To stop it, one teen who was on the wrong side of addiction said it simply: “You lock up your guns. You should also lock up your prescription drugs.”

Or else they are readily available to be abused and possibly kill your kids, like it is doing in Long Island today, a suburb of white, middle class, economically safe people –not homeless people like some might like to think.

The NYC news also run some funny stories on the political races going on there. It was fun to watch that part. I like Long Island and its quaint little houses that reminded me of Iowa and suburbia combined.

On the national front, all remains the same.

Security and safety in the 21st Century -- means that we need to pay attention to what is going on globally or get blindsided yet again.

Not paying attention to the technology development in Asia and Europe also puts the U.S. at a disadvantage to the other competing economic powerhouses of the world, from China to India to even Russia.

We need to be global tech leaders and, if necessary, interplanetary entrepreneurs to stay ahead – or risk being just another economy in a vast super global economic engine – that ends up driving the rest of this century – and the next.

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