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.””
May 11,1989 – June 2,2015
One year ago today a friend I had not seen in years lost her son to heroin. His death was the catalyst for launching this blog with the article Heroin.Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation.
In the year since Marc’s death we have watched as the Opioid/Opiate Epidemic has made headlines and CARA has (finally) been passed in DC. Unfortunately, the death toll is still rising and I fear that 2016 may be the deadliest yet. As Washington debates what needs to be done and how much money should be spent to curb this epidemic 129 people are dying each day.
ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY NINE A DAY!
Every one of the 129 souls lost each day leave behind a shattered family who must move forward with a hole in their Universe. Today, I am sending my love to one of those families. Pauline, Elisa and Mike Alberts my thoughts and prayers are with you on this day and every day. ❤
Below is a letter written by Marc’s sister Elisa. She never had the chance to give it to him. Elisa chose to share her letter to the CAASA: Canton Alliance Against Substance Abuse Facebook page just six weeks after she lost her brother in the hope that her words would help others:
“Here’s a letter I wrote to my brother before his passing. Unfortunately this was one of the several letters I wrote hoping to change his life. I was not able to give it to him because of everything that had occurred. Maybe this will help someone from realizing what their addiction means to their family members.
You probably don’t want to read this letter, or talk to me because of my actions toward you lately. I understand your hatred and frustration of living at home with two women who constantly remind you of your mistakes. Even though I have not lived in the shoes of your own, I still try my best to find out where you’re coming from. It’s very difficult to agree and stand by you after this long journey but that doesn’t mean that I’ll ever lose my love for you. Forever we will be family members and I will always remain to be your little sister. Continue reading “For the Alberts Family One Year After Heroin Stole Your Marc”
It certainly wasn’t what anyone whose life has been shattered by addiction anticipated seeing when they turned on SNL expecting to have a few laughs. Addiction isn’t even a little funny. People are dying and lives are being destroyed every single day – and there is no humor to be found in any part of this epidemic.
They say ‘you know you’ve made it’ when SNL writes about it, so I guess in one way we should be glad that we have been loud enough about the epidemic to get their attention. This parody was one of their most tasteless to date, but what has made people react so viscerally to it goes to the heart of the matter. Our kids are dying. Heroin use, as SNL pointed out, is on the rise. And yes, mothers, school bus drivers and soccer coaches are not immune to addiction. Continue reading “Saturday Night Live tried to joke about heroin, but there is nothing funny about this epidemic.”
I often receive messages from people with links to content they feel I may be interested in sharing on our Facebook page. Recently a number of these links are bringing me to content stolen from this blog to junk sites riddled with ads.
Those of us touched by addiction are preyed upon from the moment we go onto the web looking for resources or treatment options. It is for this reason I have no advertising on my blog. I have been approached by a number of companies looking to advertise everything from books, videos, for profit treatment facilities, and counseling services. Just today I received an offer for a pay per call link, where I would be paid for every call generated from my website to a treatment helpline. As we will be filing for a nonprofit soon, we could certainly use the money – but this is not the way.
Addiction is a hot topic online right now – my blog has had close to 3 million views, and our Facebook has just shy of 9K followers. I don’t appreciate people finding another way to line their pockets with our pain. I have always allowed any and all nonprofit and not for profit organizations and websites to share my words. Even as the ‘stolen content’ articles are being shared the message still gets out – and that is truly a good thing.
The sites I am writing about are created simply to generate revenue without doing any work. We can, as consumers, become more aware of what we are sharing.
Please keep an eye out for these junk sites and don’t help them profit by taking advantage of us while poaching people’s work. They are easy to spot. Many of them have medical and health in their name. Much of the time the articles will be posted by ‘admin’, the post will be loaded with ads, and the article may cut off abruptly. If it is a site loaded with articles and none of them have a link back to the original post that is also a clue. Continue reading “Warning: please watch for junk sites with poached content!”