America, take a knee for those who are being treated as less-than in the eyes of our present system, including:
- People of color
- Those experiencing homelessness
- People who are denied healthcare
- Those battling substance use disorder
- People in need of mental health services
- Citizens in Puerto Rico
- Residents of Flint
- The LGBTQ Community
America, we are being driven to our knees by the special interests and lobbies of those who will make millions:
- Keeping our prisons full
- Keeping our insurance rates sky-high while denying basic coverage
- Keeping addictive American-manufactured poison flowing to our streets
- Keeping us at war
- Keeping us divided
America, we should bow our heads and ask ourselves:
- Why groups of white men can march through the streets of Charlottesville armed to the teeth and spewing hate, but a single man of color who tells a police officer he is legally armed is shot dead in front of his family during a traffic stop.
- Why anyone has a right to judge who we love or who we marry.
- Why this land where people came so they could be free to practice their religion has become so intolerant.
- Why so many in this country once referred to as a great melting pot no longer embrace that ideal.
- Why the Bible is being used to take away rights from citizens.
America, take a knee and remember:
- Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King Jr
- When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. Maya Angelou
- History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. Also Maya Angelou
- No more hurting people. PEACE. Martin Richard
- Never, never and never again shall it be that this beautiful land will again experience the oppression of one by another. Nelson Mandela
- Dear sisters and brothers, we realize the importance of light when we see darkness. We realize the importance of our voice when we are silenced. Malala Yousafzai
- Study the past if you would define the future. Confucious
- It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. Theodore Roosevelt
- Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future. JFK
- We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The Declaration of Independence
America, take a knee, bow your head, and think about what has happened to us. If we are still the ideals we have for so long represented, if we still believe in the dream instilled in our hearts that so many have died defending, then we must:
- Get up, stand up, stand up for your rights. Get up, stand up, don’t give up the fight. Bob Marley
We have all heard parts of this story. We have read of pharmacies in small towns in Kentucky, W Virginia and other states ordering millions of opioids. 60 Minutes puts the pieces together….. (link below)
Ex-DEA agent: Opioid crisis fueled by drug industry and Congress 85 BILL WHITAKER CBS NEWS
Anyone who is stupid enough to put a needle in their vein deserves what they get is a sentiment we are reading/hearing all too often lately. Many people think addiction is not their problem if it hasn’t touched their families or loved ones. Whether you realize it or not, we are all caught in the ripple of this epidemic – so it is your problem.
A few examples:
- Obviously it is touching the lives of anyone who has a loved one with Substance Use Disorder. This equates to time lost at work, or certainly distracted employees. If the person is in active addiction and is employed, you can bet they are not working to capacity.
- Our court system is jammed with people suffering SUD. The dollars cost on policing, jailing, probation oversight, court costs…………the list could go on…. is enourmous.
- Child Protective Services cannot keep up with the amount of children in the system due to this epidemic. These children are growing up in chaos.
- Police, firefighters, paramedics, and hospitals are all overwhelmed with overdoses and other health issues related to constant drug use.
- Unscrupulous treatment facilities are falsifying claims and overcharging insurance companies ($1500 for a urine test?!?!?) which are paying out for the wrong kind of treatment while those in accredited hospital facilities where the billing is true and accurate cannot get coverage. All of our insurance rates increase.
Our tax dollars are spent putting out the fires caused by this epidemic. We need to put our dollars to use with a multi-pronged and organized response. The ground work has been laid by many who fought for CARA to be passed. Continue reading “If you think the Opioid/Opiate Epidemic hasn’t affected you, think again.”
I just came across this young author’s site. He is Shouting at the top of his lungs and advocating for change.
I don’t often share other blogs, as I feel my blog will then just become another Facebook feed – and I already have one of those.
This young man’s writing is so fresh and so real that I feel it is important to add to my blog because:
- You will learn about him and read his posts today
- If you have found this site at a later date and are trying to find some understanding of both addiction and recovery you have the opportunity to read this young man’s powerful words.
Please click the link Choose Freedom link to read his blog and share his writing. He is a powerful voice in this fight to Stop the Silence. Tell him to Keep Shouting.
I have chosen to share his most recent piece but please check out his other posts as well.
You will thank me.
My name is William Marotta. I write the blog called Choose Freedom. I hope that some of you are reading this for the first time. I hope that there are some of you that have read every single post of mine in hopes to find some freedom of your own. I have never posted entries this close together. I have never once sat down in the emotional state that I am currently in and wrote something for the general public to read. I am exhausted, angry, irrational & most importantly, #Lost. I took a few hours today to go back and read everything I have written on this blog & i think what has created so much thought in my mind is the titles of each post. I have been unchained from addiction. I believe as a generation we are at war & completely undefined. I have shown the world Ryan, Amanda & Brandon. I speak up. Our system is broken. I continue to scream & definitely fed up. So I ask just this once, is this thing on? Can people hear me?
Last month my husband, daughter and I loaded our three dogs and a few months’ necessities into two cars. We left Colorado behind with a ‘for sale’ sign on our lawn and headed to St. Petersburg, Florida with no clue where we would be living. We had rented an Airbnb little cottage in Gulfport for the rest of the summer and hoped that would be enough time to figure out where we wanted to live.
Leaving Colorado behind was hard. We had made friends there. We fell in love with the Rocky Mountains, the park, Vail, Pagosa Hot Springs, Hanging Lake…. All of it……..
More difficult was leaving our son Kurt behind. He had gotten a job as an electrical apprentice and it was going well. For the past six months he was handing most of his paycheck over to his landlady to pay off back rent from when he had been out of work. He was SO close to caught up when he lost his job. His story involves another, it is not mine to tell so I’ll simply say that he told me he learned you cannot save people – they have to save themselves – and you cannot forgo a paycheck even if you want to be there for others, sometimes you have to think of yourself first and go to work no matter what is happening. Addicts in recovery can be co-dependents too…… Continue reading “Forward March: Recovery, Change and Faith”
I have been struggling lately. Every time I read a news report of an overdose death the comments are filled with ‘die junkies die, you got what you deserved’ kind of statements. When Prince died, arguments ensued on social media – ‘how dare you say he was a dirty drug addict?’ Then there are those who speak so confidently, ‘Know where your kid is, who their friends are, what they are doing’, in other words – bad parenting creates drug addicts….. There are those who don’t want to ‘waste tax dollars’ to add treatment beds or any kind of program to help ‘those people’. Continue reading “Hate, Stigma, Orlando and Social Media: “No More Hurting Each Other.””