Dr. Fialkoff: It’s Dr. Bob Trager.
Dr. Trager: Hello.
Dr. Fialkoff: He actually, and I’ll go say it to you, but just so you know. He was president of Queens County Dental Society. He’s been president of Nassau County Dental Society. And he’s been involved on a national level, so there you go.
Dr. Trager: Thank you for having me here today. I have been practicing dentistry for about 50 years, and I’ve seen it all. What has been happening lately unfortunately, not only here in the areas where you consider drug dens, it’s happening all over the country. Being from New England, Upstate, in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine, where the kids have nothing better to do. Drug dealers are coming up there and polluting the whole environment. Kids who have never been on drugs, know nothing about them, are getting addicted. And it’s really killing the society, the family life, and so forth.
So it’s just not only in the big cities, or the ghetto areas as they call them, drugs are ubiquitous. They’re all over the place now because the money is so good. And I see it all the time. And the reason I say that is my offices are in both Kennedy and LaGuardia airports. I’m known as the airport dentist. I work with ICE, law enforcement, the police, whenever there’s street dealers that come in.
Just last week, this young lady came in from Jamaica with about 30, 40 pounds of heroin in meat patties, in the tasty meat patties. I see all these things. They bring them to me to find out their age because, as you know, incarceration, if you’re 18 or over, you’re considered an adult. Under 18, you’re a minor. So they bring them to me, and I do a forensic exam on the wrist bones to see basically are they over or under 18. So I’ve seen it all, dealers coming in from all over.
But the problem, you know, today is unfortunately, you as police officers, officers of the law aren’t respected and looked up to the way you’re supposed to be. This is what’s been happening all over. You have a tough job to do and it gets tougher every year. The thing is we have to have a type of program that can relate to everybody. And if you noticed in the ads recently on TV for smoking, they show graphic depictions of infected lungs, a lady in bed who couldn’t even breathe, these are the things that sometimes hit home with the youth today.
If we were to have some type of graphic drawings or flyers that you can hand out showing somebody, and the youth even to sports, but you can’t have it all the time. There’s too much free time. But you had some graphic designs of a youth trying to run to first base, and all of a sudden they don’t make it because they ODed, trying to slide home with a graphic picture. You’re out.
Or somebody at a football game. You’re in the huddle, all of a sudden the huddle breaks, and there you are, ODed on the ground. Or somebody playing basketball. You try to slam dunk, all of a sudden, the ball isn’t in your hand because you ODed. Whether male or female, kids will relate to sports. So if there was some type of graphic artist or the ads, or anything…
Dr. Fialkoff: To show them…
Dr. Trager: To show these things, it would hit home. But you all have a tough job. It’s not getting any better. And we all want to protect the environment, our children, our future, and so forth. And we as dentists see these things because we have patients that come to our office who have these type of problems. Or the parents come in and tell us. So it’s only right that we go ahead and try to do what we can to enlighten and to educate everybody. Thank you.