The Intersection of Addiction, Suicide, and Stigma

“My demons up against me
I’m facing them now
I wear the face of a clown
I feel so unloved
Because of the monster
Created from drugs.”

Charles Aubrey Rogers, Rap Song, “Just to Hurt”

As most of you know I lost my son to suicide who suffered from an addiction to heroin. Many think he died from an intentional overdose. Not so. His death was far more desperate and visceral. My son would not have been counted in the stats of overdose deaths. We know 100k died of overdose. But what about all the other drug-related deaths? The accidents? … Read more...

Addiction and substance misuse pose a safety risk at work. A personal story.

by Leslie Hanson

“Your mom isn’t answering the phone.  I’m worried about her.  Can you check on her?”  Immediately following this text, my cell phone rang with a familiar phone number. It was my mother’s cousin, Laurie. I knew why she was calling.  Cousin Laurie spoke with my mother daily and routinely called me when she could not be reached.  

Over the years, I came to address these calls with diminished urgency as experience taught me my mother was either ignoring the calls or incapacitated by her addiction to opioids. Cousin Laurie had designated herself as my mother’s keeper … Read more...

Podcast. L.E.A.P: Listen, Engage, Allow and Process on Your Healing Journey 

See the website here. Susan E. Casey is a grief expert and therapist who wants to help people find the light in grief. In this episode, you can join the conversation with a mother, Rebecca, whose son died from an accidental overdose, and how she is finding a path forward a year after her son’s recovery and shocking overdose.

Susan and I met a few years ago when I was writing Diary of a Broken Mind and she was writing Mining for Joy in the Deep River of Grief which is about sibling grief. She was my “beta reader” and … Read more...

THC warning labels where marijuana is legalized can help curb a homeless crisis

by Heidi Anderson-Swan

California’s SB 1097, warns about the mental health risks of high potency THC

Denver on the unofficial stoner holiday April 20, 2021

California’s SB 1097 seeks to mandate warning labels on all marijuana products, with special warnings on high THC content.

The warnings would include the increased risk for mental illness. Recently, Colorado led the nation to become the first state to mandate stronger warnings on the high potency marijuana concentrates to its consumers.

It is a matter of public health, and human decency, that California consumers as well as other citizens of states where marijuana has … Read more...

Reflections of losing my twin brother to overdose

By Jill Cichowicz

When my mom asked me to read the reflection at Scott’s funeral, I thought to myself, “How can I sum up a relationship and a bond that I shared with him for 38 years in 3-5 minutes?”

Reflections from Scott’s Memorial Service

Luckily, you all had the pleasure of knowing Scott as well, he was obnoxiously obsessed with the Chicago Bears, could sell anything to anyone, argue about anything to anyone that would debate him, and had a charming way about him as well as dashing good looks.

They say you get in the biggest fights with … Read more...

THC, young minds, and suicide

by Bart Bright

Bart, his wife, his now-deceased son, Kevin

My son, Kevin, died by suicide on August 14, 2018. He was 29.

The last articulate words I heard him speak were, “Cannabis has ruined my life.” He suffered many episodes of Cannabis Induced Psychosis, a diagnosis in the DSM-5. Over the last two years, I have communicated with hundreds of parents whose children have suffered from Cannabis Induced Psychosis.

In Colorado in 2017, marijuana was present in the blood of 32% of suicides, ages 15 to 19 according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. My friend … Read more...

Living Undeterred Podcast with Jeff Johnston and Anne Moss Rogers

podcast for suicide prevention and addiction

Listen on Jeff’s LivingUndeterred.com website and see the show notes.

Living Undeterred is a podcast created by author Jeff Johnston and founder of the Choices Network, Ltd. Jeff lost his oldest son, Seth to heroin in 2016. His personal struggles gave him the inspiration to become vulnerable and to share how he has remained…undeterred. Jeff is in recovery from addiction, and for 11 years had his own wealth management and financial show.This show focuses a lot on the intersection of mental health, addiction, and suicide. 

Listen to this podcast on:

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Pain medication leads to an endless cycle of family pain

by Cathy Jo Harper

Jason Brooks Harper

When Jason was 16 years old, he had a car wreck. Six weeks of physical therapy was followed with a new wonder drug for pain, Vicodin…..and a lifetime addiction to opioids.

Through relapses, college, rehab, counseling, the Marines, my life was filled with anxiety over how to help, anger at the situation, and fear; I was losing my son, my firstborn. How would I survive? How would his siblings survive without their big brother, their confidante, and at times their enemy?

Addiction and/or mental illness soon becomes a game the whole family gets … Read more...

You Learn, You Turn Podcast

Real talk about suicide prevention in young adults

You Turn is the world’s largest library of therapist-led, evidence-backed mental health and substance misuse educational and training content available, designed to meet people where they are, delivered in simple, short videos in an easy-to-use, quick-to-consume format.

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2021 Overdose Awareness Day

demons up against me drugs
This quote is by Charles Rogers who died by suicide while going through withdrawal from heroin addiction

This post for Overdose Awareness Day is in memory of loved ones who died from intentional or accidental substance overdose. Over the years, many have told their stories here. Others have talked about their near misses–overdoses that didn’t result in their death.

So I’m highlighting the stories here today in honor of those we’ve lost to substance use disorder. And those who have survived. Here is the official Overdose Awareness Day and Week website.

From the White House

Grief Support

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