Archive for the ‘Drug Statistics’ Category

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It seems to be a regular announcement. I’m hearing it more and more. A friend. A friend of a friend. Someone’s family member. A loved one. A loved one over-dosing on heroin or some other familiar drug.

It’s sad. You will read in the obituary, “Died suddenly” or “An unexpected death”. A young girl. A young man. No one wants to admit that their child or family member has lost their lives to addiction or to a foreign chemical. Well, it’s not so foreign any more. It’s becoming an epidemic. I will soon update my past blog on ‘Drug Statistics’ very soon.

Not because I want to. Because I have to. We need to become more aware of what we are doing to ourselves and we need to start taking it a little more serious.

Many of us in my community lost a friend to drug abuse, she left behind two children.  It kills me. I hate hearing it.  It breaks my heart in so many ways.  Children going on without their mom.  Without guidance.  We can not be replaced.  We were put here for a reason, for a purpose.

Losing our lives to a chemical due to our own lack of self control was not what God intended.  We need to become more aware of why we resort to chemicals; destructive chemicals.  Why this generation feels the need to self medicate.  Why we ‘think’ we need medication for our anxiety and for our other thought processing issues. Seriously, we are living in a pill popping society and a self medicating world.  There are more mental symptoms than there has ever been.  But that is a whole other blog.

A few weeks ago, between my friends and people I know, I heard of 5 people in one week found dead or that were unable to be resuscitated.  They are dropping like flies.  I mean, it’s unbelievable.  Especially when it’s someone you know and someone you had thought highly of and that had so much potential.

Now they have shots such as NARCAN (naloxone), which are used to revive people, well, it reverses the effects of opiate and opioid depression.  Another words, when someone is overdosing, it will remove the high and wake them back up; in most cases.  And they, the pharmacies, are making more and more versions of these ‘Overdose Remedies’.  You would think this would be great right?  They’re saving lives!!!  Not so much.  They are just putting out a fire that is destined to restart.

Now addicts almost have a reason to overdose.  They think that they will be fine.  Often, if an addict is living at home, a  family member will have a ‘shot’ at hand, kind of like an EpiPen, ready for that quick wake up.

So where is the lesson being learned here?  “Oh, Johnny has a problem and we’ll be ready when it happens.  There’s nothing we can do, he’ll never change.”  That is called enabling.  That is exactly what we should not be doing.  Addicts need help.  Plain and simple.  Every chance we get to hold an addict accountable is life saving.

We have a voice.  We have the ability to hold people accountable.  We have the power to say no, the power to not enable people and to just sit there and watch them get devoured by their lack of self control, destroying themselves with chemicals.  They don’t have self control?  Be their self control.  Don’t just watch them decay.  Help them.  Find out how to get them help.  There are so many detoxes and rehabilitation centers all around us.  They don’t want to go?  They don’t want help?   Research treatment centers.  Talk to someone who has been through the destruction and has made it through.  Have someone who has been through the ringer talk with them.  Do what ever it takes. Pray without ceasing! You pray for them every day.  Pray for a way out.  Ask God to intervene in their lives.

This needs to stop.  Lets lead by example and step up to this wave of self extermination.

Become Free… Become the Difference.

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Trust is like a skyscraper, it takes years to build and only seconds to destroy.

We trust our mail man to deliver our mail to the right house. We trust our accountant to get our numbers right. We trust our bank teller to deposit our money into the right account. We trust that car pool or bus driver in the morning to get us to work in one piece. We trust that website we just gave our credit card to. We also trust that same credit card company not to jack up our interest rate to 29.99% for no reason at all.

We trust our tires to stay inflated while we are going 75 mph around a turn on the highway. We trust our washer machine to wash our clothes and not leak 30 gallons of water everywhere. We trust our roof on our house to hold up the weight of snow that builds up over the winter. And during that same winter, we trust our pipes not to freeze. We trust our insurance to come through after an accident, we trust our healthcare provider to support us when we need it and we trust our schools to contact us when something happens to our children.

We put trust into so many things, it’s crazy. Like the chair i’m sitting on, the computer i’m using and the glass of water i’m drinking. Trust is built all around us and we make it and break it on a daily basis. We trust our parents. We trust our children. We trust our family. We trust them to be there when something happens. We trust them to love us and show affection in a certain way, every time.

So what happens when this trust is broken? It becomes easy to trust someone when they have built up trust and can be trusted, but what happens when someone breaks that trust, that for so long, has always been a foundation on which they stood?

What happens when a father, or a mother, a brother or a sister, a cousin, a nephew, a niece, or a loved one, a best friend, a girlfriend or a boyfriend decides to relapse? And through that relapse, overdoses and dies.

It’s a selfish act. And we get angry. “You were responsible to me, to our kids, to our family and you threw it all away. You made a suicidal decision and thought of no one but yourself. You put yourself first and everyone who loves you second. You not only killed yourself, you killed us, as a family. Things will never be the same.”

Who was there to help? Was this person working their recovery on a daily basis? Did tragedy strike and all went out the window? Did some past trauma from childhood come back to haunt them? Whatever reason it may have been, we all are responsible for each other. And the first person to say they are not is a true definition of a egotistical, self centered, narcissist. I know we can’t control everything, but we can make a difference. Are you constantly looking out for number one? Yourself? Or are you planting seeds in someone’s life?

We are CALLED to love each other and to look out for each other! You think something is going on with someone, inquire. Intervene, ask questions, offer advice, offer help, do not judge, show compassion, show an unfailing love and concern, offer assistance. Offer what ever you can offer to help try to save a lost soul, a drug addict, a family member, an alcoholic. As much as you think that person doesn’t deserve it, you are judging them while they are down; they need help getting back up.

I have lost a handful of friends in the past two years and if you are an addict, you most likely have too. I have also lost family members to drug addiction. There were many times I didn’t step forward and offer help. Today I can. Today, I believe God uses me and many others to help save some people from personal destruction. Losing is the worst feeling, but to gain, to watch addicts turn their life around, to watch people accept Jesus Christ into their lives and watch them grow, is the best feeling in the world!

We lost an actor, a great actor to drug addiction. I didn’t know him personally but I sure know what everyone around him is going through. Please keep his family, the one’s who are living the pain, in your prayers. Please keep anyone you may know who is struggling with substance abuse in your prayers and if you can, reach out to them, love them and offer yourselves to them in any way possible.

Become Free, Become the Difference!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-35

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” John 15:13

The statistics are staggering. Prescription and nonprescription drug abuse is on the rise. Millions of Americans are resorting to painkillers and mind altering substances each day to take their problems away. To bring them to a whole new and different level. To take them on a synthetic mind altering vacation.

“Substance abuse treatment admissions for non-medical use of prescription pain relievers have increased more than 400 percent over 10 years, according to a new government study.”
(http://www.drugs.com/news/more-americans-abusing-painkillers-25570.html)

Yes, we can blame the government all we want. We can blame our friends, the doctors or the drug dealers. However, the underlining decision is made in our heads. That mass in between our ears called a brain. We choose our path daily. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

“Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC’s) analysis shows that 38,329 people died from a drug overdose in the United States in 2010, up from 37,004 deaths in 2009. This continues the steady rise in overdose deaths seen over the past 11 years, starting with 16,849 deaths in 1999. Overdose deaths involving opioid analgesics have shown a similar increase. Starting with 4,030 deaths in 1999, the number of deaths increased to 15,597 in 2009 and 16,651 in 2010.
In 2010, nearly 60 percent of the drug overdose deaths (22,134) involved pharmaceutical drugs. Opioid analgesics, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone, were involved in about 3 of every 4 pharmaceutical overdose deaths (16,651), confirming the predominant role opioid analgesics play in drug overdose deaths.
The researchers also found that drugs often prescribed for mental health conditions were involved in a significant number of pharmaceutical overdose deaths. Benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety drugs) were involved in nearly 30 percent (6,497) of these deaths; antidepressants in 18 percent (3,889), and antipsychotic drugs in 6 percent (1,351).”
(http://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2013/p0220_drug_overdose_deaths.html)

Unfortunately, there are more and more synthetic drugs turning up on our streets. And unfortunately drugs like Molly, are making statistics on their own. No matter what the name, no matter what color it is and no matter how it infects our demographic, drugs destroy.

There is some good news. Recovery seems to be on the rise as well. About 10% of Americans are recovering from drug addiction. There seems to be enough strength left to overcome these statistics if we work together, help one another and fight this war on drugs.

“The Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) study is an important contribution to the public’s understanding of recovery, as it represents the actual voices of millions of Americans whose lives have improved because they are living free of alcohol and other drug problems,” said Steve Pasierb, President and CEO of The Partnership at Drugfree.org. “This new learning provides a big reason – more than 23 million reasons – for all those who are struggling with their own, or a loved one’s substance use disorder, to have hope and know that they are not alone. These findings serve as a reminder that addiction is a treatable disease and recovery can be a reality.
(http://www.drugfree.org/newsroom/survey-ten-percent-of-american-adults-report-being-in-recovery-from-substance-abuse-or-addiction)

With over 23 million people getting stronger and learning from their mistakes. With over 23 million people knowing what it is like to suffer from drug addiction. I think if we continue to let others know what happens and what could happen when using and abusing drugs, we, together, can make a difference in these statistics. If we become the difference. If we are willing to share our time with people, willing to offer help and a way out, we WILL be the difference!