Just say no

| August 6, 2006

Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” anti-drug campaign was mocked when it was started some 20 years ago, yet I think that ultimately it is the only effective approach. I’ve had a few extended family members who have stumbled into drug abuse; one is currently clean and doing very well, one is struggling with a life that just doesn’t function and really hasn’t since high school, and one is serving 1-15 years in prison for (non-drug) crimes committed to support a drug habit.

The key is to “just say no” to that very first time. An article by Chris Barge in this morning’s Rocky Mountain News is as clear an example of that as you could ask:

Ryan Brassell had it all. A six-figure income. A lovely wife. A two-story dream home in Arvada. Then he tried methamphetamine. And so began another “riches to rags” story in Denver’s suburbs about meth’s stranglehold….

Brassell went to law school at the University of Colorado at Boulder. And after he passed the bar in 2003, his father paid him $84,000 a year to be the company’s “legal consultant.”

But the real money came with owning a piece of the business. In recent years, NucFil’s profits became large enough to provide Brassell and his three siblings $379,000 each in distributions, according to one tax return.

“I used to be the luckiest man alive,” he said.

That was before he met a guy at an Arvada gym and they bonded over a common love of motorcycles. His new friend also loved meth and wanted to bring Brassell along for the ride. On Oct. 10, 2003, with his wife in Florida, helping her mother deal with the business affairs of her recently deceased stepfather, Brassell rolled up his sleeve.

He filled an insulin syringe with the murky elixir and stuck the needle into his left arm.

One week later, he tried it again.

By that January, he had become a daily user….

Read the whole article. Those of us with friends and loved ones who use drugs know how hard, long, uncertain and expensive it is to try to put all the pieces back together again.

As corny as it sounds — just say no. ..bruce..

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Category: Commentary, Legal, Main

About the Author ()

Webster is Principal and Founder at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor of Computer Science at Brigham Young University. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at bwebster@bfwa.com, or you can follow him on Twitter as @bfwebster.

Comments (1)

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  1. QuetlyMe says:

    Thank you for you comments and understanding the tragedy of drugs. I wish Ryan much peace, Succes and all good things of life. He was beautiful before Meth, I pray he will be again. Update to this article… http://www.rockymountainnews.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_5314698,00.html

    To those who have been in my shoes- Prayers work!