Tele-Talk Responses: Is Carroll County doing all it can to prevent substance abuse at a young age?

There were 12 responses to last week’s Tele-Talk question: “Do you believe Carroll County is doing all it can to prevent substance abuse at a young age?” A few responses were yes, the county is doing all they can. Four people were certain that there is more work to be done, but not necessarily by the county. The remaining responses brought up other contributing factors to consider or question, including who is really at fault, processed foods and the changing times.

We can never do enough to prevent substance abuse in young adolescents. Yes, it takes a village, and until this whole village is OPEN to and engaged in the substance use discussion and actions for prevention, treatment and recovery, children will continue to emulate what they see around them. They will seek alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Two years ago and then again this past week, our community gathered for a public health forum — “Pathways from Silence to Solutions.” There are so many dedicated organizations working on prevention in the schools, medical and social services, churches and town recreation programs. To suggest our community is not doing enough to combat early use in our young people is a blame game we should not be playing. The best way to prevent young teens from starting down the road to substance use disorder is to teach coping skills, involve positive peer support, and community and family support that messages correctly. Janice Spinney

I personally resent my taxpayer dollars going out there to help these drug addicts, whether they be young, old, middle aged or whatever. Why should I be supporting them? Just so they can go out and feel good and commit crimes, cause automobile accidents and endanger the lives of others? I’m thinking every overdose that happens out there, and they’re no longer on this earth, is actually a good thing because we don’t have to support these drugs in society when they get older. Thank you.

Sure, the earlier they teach the little children about drugs, the earlier the children use it. What a great plan.

I’d like to know, why is it that no matter what takes place today in people’s private lives do they expect some form of government to cure their ills? Why can’t they look to themselves first for the cure? Little Johnny’s or Jane’s drug habit has to have had tell-tale signs. It seems to me that people should step up to the plate and be parents that notice these things and know what their children are doing and where they are. And have your children know where you are. That’s important in order to have safe children at all times.

Many years ago, when Nancy Reagan was telling kiddies to “just say no” to drugs, we were all laughing at her. Now we realize the witch was right on.

No county should be called upon to “prevent” that which is the sole charge and responsibility of parents. No one is discussing the elephant in the room which is that parents are abusing drugs and alcohol, and many are participating in it with their children. Ask law enforcement. Many times parents in the company of their children are apprehended drugging and drunk. If parents do not want their children falling prey to drink and drugs, then THEY and not taxpayers should be setting examples and living morally and clean. Parents come up with multitudes of excuses for their children’s addictions or deaths, but ultimately, it is the fault of the parents due to either poor parental examples or misguidance. I should know. I am a child of the hippie-1960s, but due to stringent repeated warnings by my elders I never “experimented” and fell prey to drugs or drink. We are all potential addicts, and children require strict guidance and warnings by their immediate adult supervisors without sugarcoating.

Oh, we’re definitely doing enough. In fact, I feel we’re doing too much. Instead of feeding these drug addicts all the time, let a few of them die, and maybe they’ll stop taking it. We have places in the valley here where some of these people getting done three or four times. That’s a problem. Don’t even do it once, just let them die, get rid of them. Everything is warm and fuzzy. Let’s just keep taking care of everybody.

I grew up in the 1960s when the issue of drug use then was as tragic as it is now. Ah, the feeling of warmth and relief when I slowly booted heroin into my veins. What’s changed over half a century later? It’s gotten worse and younger. People trying to correct the problem are well-intended, but similarly to the endless discourse on health care as if insurance costs determine optimal health. No. Eliminating cause is the cure. As Charlotte Gerson, daughter of Dr. Max Gerson, founder of Gerson Therapy and Gerson Institute, discusses in her many health presentations on how nutrient deficiency and toxicity impact human health, LOOK at determining factors and stop feeding unborn babies and children a steady diet of fake food-like products, acidic proteins (plant proteins heal, animal proteins sicken), sugar and other substances that alter optimal levels of dopamine and serotonin, which may lead to seeking substances that give instant and short term pleasure to the brain. Nutrient deficiency and excess toxicity. This is the cause of diseases of the mind and body that are married, not separate. P.S. Have you had your caffeine fix today? Laura Slitt

No, this is the use of words as weapons of terror that I previously spoke of in Tele-Talk. This time the terrorists are the American politicians and members of the prosecutorial industrial complex using hypodermic needles as knives to stab our country in the back and rob us blind. This is the evil side of human nature that utilizes any and every weapon to satiate its desire for money and power. You make punks in this valley into celebrities and subsidize the good and evil equally as a source of revenue. It’s pathetic, disgusting, and I no longer have respect or admiration for anyone rich or poor, good or bad. You don’t deserve to live in such a valley. You’re a bunch of punks. Thank you.

Yes, I think Carroll County is doing all it can to prevent the substance abuse. Growing up in an older generation, our parents had more of a role in what the children did. I think it’s time for the parents to take charge and know what the children are doing in their free time. We went fishing, hiking and picnicking as a family. We weren’t given all we wanted. When we were old enough, we went to work and earned money for the things that we wanted, clothes, car, etc. We weren’t given a cell phone for our first birthday. Give them some responsibility and follow it through. These children growing up are what I call day-care material. Forty years ago, the parents didn’t want for everything; one stayed home and one cared for the children.

The following responses were posted on Facebook:

No, we can’t be doing enough if the age of use is getting younger and we are seeing an increase in drinking and drug use. A big positive is Kennett High School and the SAU 9 are working hard on this issue. I feel Kennett High School is a leader in our county as they have been writing grants and working with prevention programs to support our kids and families. But it isn’t easy when families and children face so many obstacles. We should do more to make sure that money coming to our county from the state is being used to provide the leadership and capacity building that it is designed to do. The state Department of Health and Human Services Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services is letting Carroll County down by not monitoring and providing the technical assistance needed to ensure we have prevention initiatives and are growing the effort.  After nearly a year of reaching out to the state, legislators and stakeholders, the Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services recognizes it needs to look at its practices. It is concerned about what is happening in Carroll County as well, and will be coming to Carroll County to get input and ideas for how to improve prevention in June. We must also include in the discussion a conversation about accountability, what has gone wrong and how to ensure that the state is committed to providing monitoring and evaluation of programs. And when work isn’t getting done or issues arise, bring in expertise and technical assistance to contractors to support improvement. We are throwing a lot of money at this: Bureau of Drug and Alcohol Services staff are focused on prevention and doing trainings, they pay for another agency to provide training also and review county strategic plans and work plans to ensure they meet federal and state guidelines (which doesn’t appear to be happening); a software program that is designed to provide monthly oversight but is not being used for that; the Commission on Drug and Alcohol (that refuses to form the task force on monitoring and evaluation required by the legislature when they were formed); and the list goes on. We need to stop throwing money at this and get the work done. There are so many meetings and photo ops, but we are missing the actual work intended by the federal funding.

No. Honestly I don’t! I think kids are learning It’s OK to do drugs because so many (people) they know do them. Many are just learning by example and it’s truly heartbreaking! I pray for our kids. It’s scary out there if you don’t have the self-respect to say no! Just whatever you do, know there is help out there! It’s not a life sentence if you don’t want it to be!

Tele-Talk Responses: Do you think it will serve Conway well to drastically increase parking fines in town?

Town officials realized that the $10 parking fines that have been on the books were too low to discourage illegal parking, so they have decided to increase the fee schedule in general. Parking fines have not been updated since 1987. There were 16 responses that answered the question, "Do you think it will serve Conway well to drastically increase parking fines in town?" Eight said they were for increasing the fine, six were against and two said it wouldn't matter either way since ticketing parking violations is not heavily enforced.

Hey, I'm calling on the Tele-Talk for the increased parking fine that hasn't been done since I guess 1987. I believe that they should double and maybe even triple the $10 to $20-$30 parking fines, and I also would like to suggest that they let the restaurant owners be aware of that because it's mostly the people that come into town. They go to the restaurants, and they leave their cars, just don't care. They should be penalized as well. Or at least have a sign inside stating you have an hour, two hours, to move your car or put money in the meter or move you car into a facility for town parking instead of ignoring it. That's my opinion. Ron Filip, Conway

This is John in Center Conway. And I don't believe it'll do any good to increase the parking fines because the police don't enforce them anyway. Thank you.

My answer is no. It will not serve Conway well at all. I agree with disabled parking fines. Other than that you're going to see traffic problems. What happens to parking for various events? People have a hard enough time making ends meet, and to pay the forever increase in taxes to have any more dumped on them. A Conway taxpayer, Roberta.

Absolutely not. We are a tourist economy and to "sock it to them" with excessive fines, like some of these proposed fines are, could have a long-term negative effect. To fine and tow cars at Diana's Bath is poor judgment. Conway is going to P.O. a lot of people. Granted, parking on both sides of the street is a safety hazard, but the solution is building an additional parking lot. Second, someone could charge to park cars on their land or allow parking on only one side of the street, off the pavement. Expand the sidewalk if necessary. You leave tourists with a bad taste, they won't be back.

Honestly, the parking in Conway and North Conway is a joke. It doesn't get enforced, so what good's it going to do to increase the tickets and the fines? You know, it isn't going to help at all.

No. Diana's Bath was a nice, quiet pretty little spot 30 or 40 years ago. Back then, five or six cars on a weekend was a busy day. Then something happened. The chamber of commerce exploited the heck out of Diana's when it was still private property. The forest service then saw an opportunity and bought the baths. They quickly made their illegal pay-to-use parking lot and exploited the heck out of Diana's also. How does greed and poor management suddenly become the tourists' fault? Their only fault was to be enticed and follow all the swell advertising of Diana's Bath. The fault lies with the town leaders. They are acting childishly, excited about how much more money they can now bleed off the tourists under the guise of keeping everyone safe. This just rolls my stomach. It looks to me like yet another revenue source exploiting something beautiful. Dean Frank, Silver Lake.

Hi, this is Dave from Conway. Increased parking fines, yeah, it's a long time coming. They could have done that a long time ago. Talk to the outsiders, the out-of-state ones, they are the ones that double park, so talk to them. By the way, where does the money go? You never see or hear where the money goes after they pay a fine. But definitely, you should increase the fines.

It really doesn't matter whether they raise the funds or not. The local police never write parking tickets.

Yes, and you must enforce them!

Yes, it would help, increasing the fines. But also, why don't you increase the fine for people that park in handicapped spaces? If you go in this valley, there are hardly any handicap available spaces anywhere in this town, and it is sickening when you think of how many people are handicapped. It is not fair to us that we have one or two spots and that's it in this valley. It is ridiculous. Thank you.

No. As with everything else in town the locals are playing eternal victim, and they have it backwards. Ask not what the tourists can do for you, but what you can do for the tourists. Dress up the entrance a bit and increase the availability for parking. And be glad we have the beauty and nature to look at because there's not much else in town to bring the tourists' money in. Thank you.

The fines should definitely be increased for parking violations as well as for moving violations and drunk driving. Now that possession of reefer is about to be downgraded from a misdemeanor to a violation, the politicians need to make up for the lack of revenue from lower fines. If you drive normally, and not like I drive rental cars, you have nothing to worry about. Think about it.

The character of the town is changing before our very eyes and will quickly become even more of a go-to locale for any number of reasons. Whether upping the parking fines "drastically" fits into that equation seems to me to be counterproductive. Moreover, while any such increases might make sense for the Diana's Baths area on West Side Road, that does not mean they should necessarily apply elsewhere. Ted Sares, North Conway.

They should increase the fines, enforce the no parking rules and use the funds to put light-up crosswalk signs in the village. It's really dangerous for pedestrians to cross Route 16, especially in the evening when you can't even see people standing on the side of the road. You have to step into the road to try to stop traffic, which is really sketchy. Most communities that care about pedestrian safety use light-up crosswalk signs. We just have bricks on the road. Ridiculous.

Raising the fines for illegal parking in Conway by a reasonable amount (perhaps to $20?) is appropriate only if it is clear to all visitors exactly where it is illegal to park. I received a parking ticket in Queens, N.Y., because the signage was not clear; many others on that side of the street also received tickets and we were furious and felt cheated. And recently I received a ticket in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because the timer on the meter used up four hours worth of quarters in less than two hours. I certainly am not anxious to go there and park again. The Conway parking ticket should state clearly that writing a letter to complain about a fine that seems unfair is possible and those letters should be read carefully and the complaint investigated. While eliminating illegal parking is a reasonable goal, it should not happen at the expense of Conway's reputation as a pleasant place to visit, work, eat and shop. Before giving a ticket, an officer should always check to be sure that the prohibited area is clearly marked. David Wilkins, Silver Lake.

This is well overdue. Ten dollars is no deterrent and probably doesn't even cover the cost of enforcement. Jim Somerville

Tele-Talk: Is Carroll County doing all it can to prevent substance abuse at a young age?

At the Carroll County substance abuse forum held in Sandwich earlier this week, several panelists gave anecdotal evidence that the average age of starting substance abuse (including marijuana and alcohol) in this county is 12 years old — compared with 15 years old in the rest of the state.

This week's Tele-Talk question: Do you believe Carroll County is doing all it can to prevent substance abuse at a young age?

Call 733-5822 Saturday and Sunday and leave your comments on our machine. You may fax your responses to 356-8360 or email them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Comments can also be posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page. Results will be published Tuesday.

Tele-Talk: Do you think it will serve Conway well to drastically increase parking fines in town?


Town officials realized that the $10 parking fines that have been on the books were too low to discourage illegal parking, so they have decided to increase the fee schedule in general. Parking fines have not been updated since 1987.

This week's Tele-Talk: Do you think it will serve Conway well to drastically increase parking fines in town?

Call 733-5822 Saturday and Sunday and leave your comments on our machine. You may fax your responses to 356-8360 or e-mail them This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. can also be posted on The Conway Daily Sun's Facebook page. Results will be published Tuesday.