Despite all the news media on the opiate epidemic, we still have to deal with the mindset you see illustrated in the comment above. Unless someone he loves drops dead in his lap, Mr. Harris will never understand.
We are so quick to pass judgement on others and we do nothing about anything until it directly affects us which has made us more reactive than proactive. Not only does this result in loss of life, but it costs us so much more from an economic standpoint.
Crisis intervention is 5 times more costly than prevention and early intervention with far higher risk of death and disability. And so many still think we can “arrest our way” out of this epidemic despite proof that it has failed miserably.
If all of us made changes now, we’d prevent new addictions and save lives. But we are so sure it’s not going to be our child, our husband or wife. Until we find out otherwise.
Drugs are everywhere, literally, and we are a culture that is looking for an easy fix. So why wouldn’t the most vulnerable and impressionable of our population succumb to those temptations?
I know of one boss that gave leftover Adderall to two of his employees so they could stay up and meet a deadline for a project. When I mentioned to this employee, a young man, that his boss was doing something illegal and unethical, he scoffed at me.
He accused me of over reacting. There was no convincing him that this was a bad thing because he thought his boss knew “he didn’t have an addictive personality.” The truth is we don’t always know and the least likely can succumb to an addiction in an effort to achieve their dreams.
The young man I speak of got that same Adderall advice from a 50 year old friend of mine. I was livid and took that opportunity to educate this friend. He was angry with me but I did not back down and finally he contacted me back and admitted he was in the wrong.
I can’t tell you how common this is. Ask your kids.
I’m often accused of being “hyper sensitive” due to having lost my son to suicide as a result of addiction and depression. You’d not believe how often I am patronized and dismissed because the person I’m having a conversation with refuses to believe what’s right in front of their face.
We are still so cavalier about prescription drug use.
We still think because “it’s a prescription medication” that it’s OK.
And we’re still so naive we think that if it happened to us, we’d simply take car keys away and the problem would vanish.
What will it take?
6 thoughts on “Until it happens to you”
Great article! I responded to the man who posted that no response. The most insensitive comment and so brazen, and yet he was to cowardly to respond. Not a surprise. Denial kills. Thank you for posting this. Tomorrow is the 4 year anniversary of my brother’s death from suicide, fueled by his despondency over his addiction. He was an outstanding young man with great parents. This can happen to anyone.
I love that you didn’t back down from educating your friend. In some ways it’s much easier to educate the masses via blogs, speeches, etc. One to one with someone you know well–that’s tough. And I love that he called and acknowledged that he had been wrong and did need to learn from you. Well done, my friend.
Thank you Amy
This has me feeling sick. I would love to sit with Mr Harris. Have him hear our story. His ignorance and lack of understanding and compassion is exactly why so many families remain silent.
And if we gather together like we have been, we can drown him out and make that stance look very unpopular. I know we can do it Jenny.
You are so right Jenny. Spending an evening with parents who have lost their children to this disease might make him a little more compassionate–however; I don’t think Mr. Harris will EVER change his views unless he opens his mind to getting educated! Sad