Stories over Stigma. Share Yours

The Central Virginia Overdose Working Group is a collaboration of stakeholders joining forces to coordinate efforts to identify gaps and develop real solutions to the overdose epidemic. These stakeholders continue to work with families and advocates to change the false narrative that substance misuse is a choice. The outdated word, drug addict, and that concept should be erased.

Substance use disorder (SUD) is a medical condition–a disease linked to biological predispositions, mental health, isolation, community negligence, recidivism, and suicide. It’s time to erase the stigma and be Silent No More when it comes to tackling substance misuse and encourage life-saving … Read more...

Overdose is not the only way those with addiction die

While overdose dominates headlines, those who struggle with the disease of addiction die from many different drug-related causes. These are just the few I know about.

Suicide

We don’t really know how many overdoses are intentional but scientists believe it could be as many as 25%. For it to be ruled a suicide, there has to be some evidence of intention such as a letter indicating it was self-inflicted. Otherwise, we don’t know. We do know that addiction itself and all the relationship, legal, health, and financial problems it creates, along with withdrawal, relapse, and even recovery can drive a … Read more...

Audio version of Diary of a Broken Mind

Voice by Lisa Williams. It took a while but the audio version of the book is out. And of course, paperback and kindle as well. Audible audiobook is on Amazon.

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It’s the helplessness

After Charles died, helplessness and I had a come-to-Jesus moment. I couldn’t make it budge, reverse engineer it, or even make it change its mind.

It stood stubbornly in its place reminding me that I couldn’t change the outcome. That I was a victim to the emotion to which I was now facing. I didn’t want to do grief. I wanted to back out of it. But it swept me away anyway. I had no choice.

Helplessness and I first met when a loved one started using drugs and alcohol as a teen. I couldn’t stop it, change the course, … Read more...

In April 2020, my life almost came to a halt

by Jessica Donovan Amend

Sitting in my bathroom, with my then fiancé asleep in our bedroom just a few feet away, I sat with tears streaming down my face. I literally fell to my knees praying that God would help me figure this out, help me through this agony that I felt so deeply in my soul.

Now I’m not going to say that YOU need to believe in God and I’m also not going to say that I know anything for certain, but what I do know is that this night, God showed up for me. That night I … Read more...

You’ve helped me give away 63 books

It all started with Ryan. He is a young man, a student, studying in the funeral director’s track and had lost his dad. While I have donated books, it’s usually in person at events and I can’t afford to lose money on it. Buying my own books and then shipping them gets costly. But it got me to thinking.

How many who were not able to afford it right now, want it? I figured no one would be interested in gifting someone else a book or getting one. I don’t know why. And I feel awful for underestimating your generosity … Read more...

How do you help someone who doesn’t want help?

We want our loved ones to go to therapy, rehab, take their medication or do their follow-up. But many times with those who struggle with behavioral health, whether mental illness, addiction, or both, don’t always want to comply with treatment. What’s more, teens doing drugs want even less to do with healthcare because they have “all-natural” solutions to the pain they are enduring. Never mind that they move to unnatural remedies.

The point is, they don’t want to listen to you. And you may not have the relationship now to get them to accept treatment or take medication. Not because … Read more...

Why do people cut?

People cut to:

  • Help them feel something when they are numb inside
  • Be able to physically see the pain they feel inside
  • To punish themselves
  • Push their pain away
  • Feel a sense of control, joy, or excitement
  • Communicate their emotional pain to others
  • Distract themselves from emotionally painful issues

To those who can’t fathom it, cutting is a mysterious practice. Why would anyone do that to themselves?

People cut to cope with any number of situations–grief, rape, thoughts of suicide, an eating disorder, depression, sexual abuse, relationship disruption, and more. Cutting is a way to turn intangible pain into tangible … Read more...

My son relapsed after ten years

by Cathy

When we think of drug addiction we often think of people who have thrown their lives away; they may be homeless, hopeless, made poor decisions have no support system, or they may be like my son. He was an altar boy, a boy scout, played sports, won academic awards, and has an extended family who loves him and continues to want the best for him.

It could be, and is for many, a dual diagnosis; mental illness and addiction or a legitimate introduction to opioids after a diagnosis of a chronic illness or an accident. Many times the … Read more...

How do I help my loved one with an addiction?

how to help your loved one with addiction
Thank you to my friend Connie for posting this visual on Facebook and inspiring this article.

So many parents reach out to me and want to know what to do about their child with addiction. I also hear from others about their parent, spouse, sibling, friend, or significant other. For the most part, I hear from distraught parents so I’ll use those pronouns but know this is applicable to anyone dealing with a loved one who is addicted.

People are always disappointed when I tell them the answer is to get help for themselves. That can’t be the answer right? … Read more...