As flower children in the '60s, we fought for freedom. As adults in the '80s, we're losing our children to drugs. Everywhere I go around El Paso and the region people are talking about the war on drugs. The issue is heavy in the presidential race. It's a big story here as KIDS of El Paso County fights to remain open. My confusion remains vast, but after following the KIDS story for a year and listening to parents whose children have fallen to drugs, here is what I know: No parent is immune *** and *** of El Paso are good parents. They communicate often and lovingly with their children. They instill high values. They plan quality time. Reading and writing are important in their home. For these and other reasons, both our son and daughter used to spend many day-care hours with ***. We saw *** often and enjoyed his friendship. Thus my shock to learn that two of their three sons are enrolled at KIDS. *** said both boys are doing well at KIDS; I felt better. She said drugs can terrorize any family; I felt worse. She said every victimized family potentially can recover; I felt better. No parent should shirk. Many parents shirk the blame when their children are idle, but wise parents help their children choose friends and plan activities. If we refuse, peers and pushers gladly will perform this parental duty for us. "There is great pressure on children today," *** said. "Drugs are much more available than when we grew up. Parents are busier. The greatest danger is to families that believe they are safe from the threat. Some parents complain that too few activities are available for children. Strange, but I never hear this from the parents usually mothers - who shuttle crowded cars around town. Fatigued as they are these adults and children are too busy enjoying life together, to turn to drugs. Sports and music are not guaranteed sanctuaries from drugs, but they offer wonderful lifetime benefits for children, in addition to keeping them occupied. The resources are there. Schools, churches, and recreational centers compete with peers and pushers for our children's attention. No parent should give up. Children have rights. Denial of these rights is seen in the black eye of an abused child. But neglect of parental duty is seen in the eyes of a child who - -suffers toxic shock after sniffing a substance no more forbidden than Liquid Paper. When do children's rights interfere with parental duties? When a parent fights to save a child's life. Ordinarily, no child should be restrained or denied the right to use a telephone or a television. But when parents arrive desperately at the last resort, they move from defense to offense. They know lawyers will fight for their children's civil rights, so the parents must fight for their children's lives. The *** are buoyed by their sons' progress in the KIDS program. "If KIDS is closed down in El Paso," *** said "we'll move our sons to another KIDS program. I'll move with them. It's that important." KIDS should remain open in El Paso even with eased discipline policies. Too many parents need this last resort weapon on this war on drugs.