By Connie Bastek-Karasow
Executive Director, Libertae
In Bucks County, as in many communities, use of opiates has exploded among our youth, in our schools, as well as among the parents of our children. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin considered the situation in his state critical enough to dedicate his entire State-of-the-State address to opiate and heroin addiction.
For 40 years Libertae has served hundreds of women, single, pregnant and parenting afflicted with the disease of addiction. We have supported parents and other loved ones desperate for a solution. And yet, our own…our only…Bucks County Family House for women and children, often has beds available that go wanting because of our county’s lack of funding.
Libertae staff bring recovering youth to local schools and meet with children who have their own addiction and/or desire a stable home with healthy/sober parents. When children languish and suffer in addicted households, the social and economic and human service problems grow exponentially. Our children deserve safety, love and consistency in order to grow into educated whole people; without that, we have broken youth who may require a lifetime of social services.
Libertae is a Partner in the Bucks County Women’s Advocacy Coalition that supports increased access to health care including behavioral health to further economic self-sufficiency for women and girls. Additionally, we need the kind of leadership that Gov. Shumlin offers as a bold strategy to turn a problem of this magnitude around. Contact Libertae at www.libertae.org.