A column about history, culture, policy, and things in between.
If one pays attention to such things we see the matter of opiate-based prescription drug use by teenagers becoming more and more prevalent, the most recent evidence being a front-page story in the October 8 edition of The MJS. Heroin is known as "smack" and its use, once almost the exclusive province of rock stars and the glitterati, has been steadily on the rise amongst young people across our State in areas rural, urban, and suburban.
Last spring I wrote of the tragic overdose of Madison Kiefer - a fifteen year old Whitefish Bay girl. In a development that can only be described as sickening, we learned that the last adult who had contact with Madison, the last one who might have grasped her hand and pulled her up before she slipped into the murky fog of that final, opiated embrace, was her father. Her FATHER for heaven's sake. The man who should have been her greatest source of protection in fact facilitated her behavior. Such was the world Madison Kiefer all too briefly inhabited.
This is serious stuff, folks. We are talking about the safety and well-being of the young boys and girls we see every day on Wisconsin Avenue and Pilgrim Parkway; or driving up Lily and Gebhardt roads. THESE are the young people we are talking about. Maybe some of those kids are YOUR son or YOUR daughter or YOUR grandchild. Two of them are mine.
Above is the link to Part One of this article. Since the time of its publication, we learned the story of Patricia Strosina of Burlington who, like Madison Kiefer's father in Whitefish Bay, was the primary agent in the death of her own child. So dulled and stunted have our sensibilities become that this story, which only fifteen years ago would have seared itself like a brand upon our collective consciousness, passed quickly through its fifteen seconds of fame, leaving us numb and muted in its wake.