Shelby TownshipMarch 25, 2013
Father establishes support community for synthetic, illegal drug abuse
By Brad D. Bates
C & G Staff Writer
Scott Masi, of the Brighton Center for Recovery, speaks at the People Against Illicit Drugs awareness meeting March 4 at King of Kings Lutheran Church in Shelby Township.
SHELBY TOWNSHIP — After helping his son through struggles with an addiction to synthetic narcotics, such as K2 and Spice, Bill Miskokomon isn’t going to sit back and wait for help any longer.
Miskokomon, of Shelby Township, started a community group to support those addicted to synthetic narcotics or any other illicit drug, called People Against Illicit Drugs, or PAID.
“Bill Miskokomon is and has been the catalyst in moving along the statewide initiative of banning K2 and other synthetic drugs that have been so harmful to our community,” Shelby Township Supervisor Richard Stathakis said. “As a parent, I am thankful that we have someone like him to continue at the forefront to help find solutions, but he can’t do it alone.
“We will continue working with Bill and other parents and members of the community as they help us with our aggressive efforts in keeping K2 and other illegal drugs out of Shelby Township.”
Miskokomon said his group has a twofold function in helping those addicted to narcotics and helping law enforcement and government combat drug abuse.
“The current legislation is outdated. We want to try and model the legislation they have in Illinois and Ohio that’s more blanket,” Miskokomon said of his group’s work to further the state laws against synthetic narcotics that were adopted July 1, 2012.
“A lot of people have the misconception that legislation is in place, and there’s no problem,” Miskokomon added, noting that synthetic narcotics have evolved ahead of laws against them.
Miskokomon said along with keeping pressure on lawmakers to understand the continued threat of drug abuse within the community, he’s hoping to curtail abuse by connecting those who have suffered with addiction with those who are just starting down that road.
“We’re planning an outreach program within the community, and we have some younger kids that were users set up to connect with kids and reach out,” Miskokomon said. “We’re looking forward to getting out and connecting with kids about these dangers.”
“It is a gateway drug,” Miskokomon added. “It’s the accessibility and the curiosity side.
“Kids still have that misconception that it is legal, so it’s safe, but once they start smoking, they don’t realize the addiction part of it.”
To help with that cause, Miskokomon and his group, which officially started six months ago but was birthed out of events like last year’s anti-drug rally outside the Woodstock Tobacco and More shop, is looking for financial and physical support from the community.
“We’re looking for community involvement, and we’re hoping to get donations to help with education for these kids and the families that have been impacted by these drugs and other drugs,” Miskokomon said.
For more information on PAID, visit paid-usa.org.