Posts Tagged ‘Epidemic’

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I was having breakfast this morning at a local diner. I sat down on my stool and ordered my food and a few moments later a couple of EMS employees sat down next to me.

No big deal. I kept eating my breakfast. But as I looked outside at their ambulance I started thinking… “I wonder how often they come across overdose victims and if they think it’s (the drug epidemic) getting better or worse?”
So I asked them that very question. They both looked at me with eyes wide open. “It’s getting worse.” the girl said, “As a matter of fact, we now have to triple our doses of Narcan from 2 mg to 6 mg to bring people back.”

She went on saying that the majority of calls were to help people who have overdosed on Heroin. I asked them what happens after they bring them back to life. They said that they leave the hospital like nothing happened. If there is no crime involved, then they are free to go. But what about the harm they caused themselves? What about giving them treatment? They said it’s their choice to get treatment or not. I’m like, they are not able to choose!!! They’re addicts!!!

So it’s ok for them to overdose and die, for an ambulance to show up where they are, bring them to the hospital while reviving them with Narcan during the ride, treat them temporarily to ensure that they won’t die in their care, then off they go? And no post treatment? Is it just me or does it sound like something’s missing?

Overdosing isn’t a crime. Being high isn’t a crime. OK. But almost killing yourself should be or at least should be a sign of self endangerment. Which in turn there should be a forcible treatable solution. How can we expect a change in our country if all we are doing is temporarily fixing the problem? We are bringing people back but with no long term solution. It’s not like it was a mistake that an addict slipped a needle in their veins. They didn’t trip and land on a syringe. Nobody was running with a full needle of heroin and bumped into an addict.

An addict is an addict because he or she is addicted. I was an addict because I was addicted. Bad too. I wish I was forced into treatment a lot earlier than it took me to find out what the bottom of a rock looks like. Before I lost absolutely everything, including almost losing my life and my soul. I lost faith, I lost hope and I lost complete sight on life.

Drug addiction is extremely dangerous. It’s life threatening. Drug addiction is devastating to the addict and to every single loved one of that addict. Am I wrong?! Then why aren’t we (our government) reinstating drug overdose victims to a program which will forcibly help and vigorously open the eyes of drug addicts? Health care took care of the Narcan and the hospital treatment, why can’t health care pay for the detrimental post treatment which is needed to keep an addict alive? They helped bring them back but they won’t keep them back.

In order for the next generation to be strong and fundamentally stable, especially with the knowledge of what substance abuse can do to a loved one, we need to induce treatment. We need to stop this self exterminating generation and take action.

Obviously our government is a little lacking in the substance abuse epidemic area. There are changes being made at local police stations for 30 day treatment rather jail time, police officers and EMS drivers are now carrying Narcan to help bring people back, politicians are finally talking about the incredible damage that drug addiction is doing to our loved ones. But we need more than that.

We need us, you and me, to step up and offer help to a loved one struggling with substance abuse. Give your time, learn, explore, do your research if you are unaware of the consequences. I’m sure you have a loved one struggling, an addict dying, a family member or a friend decaying and wasting away. Step up to the plate and plant a seed in their life.

Tell them that God did not create them for this purpose. Tell them that God has far better plans for them if they seek Him and turn from their ways. Get them into a good spirit filled church. Bring them to a meeting. Offer them a real one on one nonjudgmental talk.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse and are seeking immediate treatment, please call 888 831 2327 for a treatment center near you anywhere in the United States. They will help locate a center for you.

Become Free. Become the Difference!

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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.

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!

Drug use isn’t becoming an epidemic, it IS an epidemic.

It seems like people are trying to solve every one of their problems with a pill.  Every other commercial on TV seems to offer a pill for every problem we can possibly come up with.  Anyone can simply go to the doctor and complain about anxiety and get a prescription.  I guess now a days, one can actually claim a social anxiety issue and become disabled and start collecting from the government!

What happened to learning and growing?  What happened to persevering through tough times and becoming stronger from them?  Why are we giving up so easily?  Are we setting a good example for the next generation?  Hey!  Feel like crap?  Take a pill?!!!  As a matter of fact, take these for the rest of your life!   Become a zombie!

Our bodies were not designed for this.  We need to be strong, learn from our troubles and move forward.  We need to grow together.  Hold each other accountable.  You got questions, ASK!  This generation is learning to give up too easy and resort to chemicals that stimulate our minds, our souls and our lives.  Drugs destroy, take hold of your life today!