A feeling of inadequacy meets an environment of availability

That’s how the drug culture was able to flourish and become an epidemic.

With the digital age, that which we thought would connect us more, connected us less. We became busier, families no longer were growing up in towns together, kids were getting less freestyle playground time, and 45% less face-to-face time with friends and family than the generation before.

All of that fostered a culture where a lot of people felt down, anxious, lonely and isolated. The lack of face time and freestyle play meant kids didn’t develop the coping skills and the resilience … Read more...

The definition of addiction recovery

When Charles was about to be released from rehab, he called and begged us to do Suboxone to help him transition. We wondered, “What is the right thing to do?”

At the time, many people were saying that it was trading one drug for another. And there are still people who I respect that think that way.

It was a consideration but we were in the midst of putting our house on the market and about to move so we had to find Charles a room in a recovery house. At the time, the recovery houses were not taking people … Read more...

My child’s drug use is because he got in with the wrong crowd

It’s so tempting to blame our child’s initial drug-seeking behavior on “hanging out with the wrong crowd.” It’s the number one go-to reason parents tell me is the reason for their child’s drug use.

Kids start using to:

  • Ease their pain and feel better
  • Feel good
  • Relax
  • Relieve boredom
  • Belong

In my opinion, “to belong” is rarely the reason these days. We think our child chooses some friend group that just happens to all start using about the same time and our kid gets innocently sucked into the vortex of substance misuse.

The truth is, those who are struggling tend … Read more...

Video: Preventure study coming to Richmond, VA Schools

We Got the Grant- An Overview of a Substance Abuse Prevention Program Study Coming to CCPS

Presenter: Anne Moss Rogers, Board member, Beacon Tree Foundation; Owner, Emotionally Naked LLC

There are four traits that Put Kids at Risk of Substance Misuse and in January 2019, VCU Institute of Drug & Alcohol Studies with Beacon Tree Foundation, won the VCU CCTR Endowment Fund to implement Preventure, a personality-targeted life skills training program that has been shown to reduce drug and alcohol use in schools by up to 80%.

The pilot study, the first in the US, will include four Virginia … Read more...

Words Matter: Addiction

You got 1 minute 15 seconds?

Name calling has been around longer than pancakes and pine straw. But that doesn’t mean we have to participate. In some cases, it’s simply lack of education. In others, it’s a cop out and a way to bolster one’s own self esteem by putting down another.

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words matter with addiction

As much as I want you to get well, I love you even if you don’t

killed himself

This is what I wish I had said to Charles.

I was so stunned when I found out he was addicted to heroin. And while I know I felt that way, I didn’t express it just like that. I needed to. Our loved ones who suffer addiction need to hear it.

What kept Charles from ending his life before were thoughts of his family.

He pinned up pictures of us wherever he went including that awful trap house place where he was staying in the end to remind him that he had a family who cared. They were reminders during … Read more...

It’s not shame you see in the eyes of your loved ones

To those with substance use disorder-

You see the faces of your loved ones when you use or relapse and you translate that look on their face as shame. Because you feel shame.

But it’s not that. It’s fear. We are gripped with mortal fear that you will die from substance use disorder.

We want to understand it as a disease. But it’s hard because it is so different from our usual definition of disease. We are not tempted to throw cancer patients out the door because we’ve had enough.

When you steal from us, we struggle not to be … Read more...

Challenge doctors that hand over opiate prescriptions without questions

Speak up.

If someone prescribes an opiate when you have explicitly asked for it not to be prescribed, or a medical professional just hands you the scrip without asking if you are in recovery or suffer from addiction, don’t ignore it. Say something.

Ask the nurse, PA, or doctor, “You know those are highly addictive and we are in a crisis in this country. Don’t you think it’s a good idea to ask people if they are in recovery or suffer from addiction?”

You can ask it politely. But don’t let it go.

If more of us asked, more doctors …

Paying it forward gives another hope

letter by Christopher Doyle

Scott Zebrowski died from overdose and a scholarship fund established by his twin sister, Jill, has given Christopher a chance at recovery

“About four months ago, I was in such a dark place that I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it out alive. To be hones, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to. Thirteen years of heroin addiction and failed attempts at getting clean had brought me to a place of such hopelessness and despair that giving up seemed like a viable option.

Scott Zebrowski didn’t die in vain. If his family can … Read more...

Why do they lace heroin with fentanyl?

I am using the fentanyl and heroin as an example.

Dealers are mixing deadly substances in all street drugs including cocaine, pot and meth. But I think it’s odd to lace things with substances that kill. I can’t figure out what they get out of it.

From a purely practical point of view, these dealers are killing their customers. So why would they do that? Do they feel they have so many that it doesn’t matter? Does adding the substances add so much allure that those who suffer addiction think it’s worth the risk if they can feel that euphoric … Read more...