A morbid list

the listWhen I found out Charles was addicted to heroin and he was out of the house due to having walked out of detox, the fear that he would die overtook my life. I could barely function. I was immobilized by fear. There were times I had trouble breathing. No amount of yoga and running was doing it for me and I had to find some relief to the relentless premonitions, fear and despair.

So I made a list. What if he did die? What would I do first? So it had three things on it which I struggle to remember … Read more...

Short Story on teens at a recovery school

Our kids in high school are now becoming addicted to hard drugs sooner as a result of the availability of prescription medications.

Some states have recovery high schools. Fortunately, Richmond Virginia has one, too. This story sent to me by a mom who wanted to share a story of the young men who are holding onto each other, literally, for dear life. All of them suffer from addiction as well as another mental illness such as depression. 

Yesterday, I was driving David and two other boys home from Recovery High School to my house. We passed a dead dog … Read more...



You guys shared the article ‘Can addiction be prevented?‘ so much, Richmond Family Magazine reported back that their visitation had increased by FIVE HUNDRED PERCENT that month. You rock! Your hyper-sharing was certainly appreciated.

Because you shared so much, it got ranked on Google and we received messages from all over about Preventure, the new solution to adolescent drug and alcohol prevention for which we had been soliciting letters of support. I heard from Ohio, Arizona, Maryland and the Caribbean and I had a call with another mental health advocate and the attorney general’s office in Ohio. … Read more...

Cosby High School is the first to pilot the #umatterchallenge!


Check out the video the teens did! Thanks to Alex Chaffee, teen leader and member of the Swift Creek YMCA Leader’s Club for her help in leading the charge on this social media mental illness acceptance and suicide prevention program! And to all the students who stood up against the stigma of mental illness.

I doubt I could have gotten a team of adults to do this video. So who’s gonna erase stigma? High school students like these guys!

If you want to bring this simple, 2-week program to your school, contact me. This program is through Beacon Read more...

Dear China, Brazil, Spain + more, don’t do the opiates!

You are being deceived by greedy American billionaires. Purdue Pharmaceutical, or Mundipharma as it’s known in many countries outside the United States, does not have your best interest at heart.

Drug companies and advocates for drugs such as OxyContin, Fentanyl and Vicodin, all opiates, spent more than $880 million on lobbying and political contributions in the United States over the past decade. That’s compared to $4 million by groups advocating opioid limits.

They could give a rat’s ass about your pain. All they care about is selling expensive drugs for a profit. Because this drug has created such an epidemic … Read more...

Stigma writes me a letter

Hi Anne Moss,

I hear you are fighting me. So how’s that going? Sort of like taking salt out of the ocean by the teaspoon, isn’t it?

I admire that you have the audacity to take me on. People are so set in their ways, so invested in their fundamental black and white belief system, I won’t fall easily.

Denial is part of my charm, judgment so crucial to my success and shame is where I thrive. I flourish in an environment where people react only to the latest crisis and then forget it two weeks later. This culture is … Read more...

Is there more stigma with depression or addiction?

Changes in stigma ahead

I thought stigma was bad with depression until Charles developed a drug habit. Don’t get me wrong, it’s bad with both. Due to lack of understanding and education, both depression and addiction are seen as “weaknesses.”

With addiction, things take on a new level of shame.

Until it happens to someone’s family they don’t see the disease because the nature of addiction is such a different illness. Hallmarks of addiction include behavior that is often considered “immoral” behavior therefore people think the sufferer should be able to control it. In short, it’s seen as a moral failing.

Addicts steal to …

Not my child

prescription medications in a medicine cabinet

While your child might not be predisposed to addiction or abusing drugs, he or she probably has friends that are.

These days, the typical young adult has endured the death of at least one friend or relative due to drug overdose or other drug related cause including accidents and suicide. Many of them more than that.

Drugs are all around the teen and young adult population and we are in the middle of a serious addiction epidemic. For that reason, it’s important to be educated and understand the environment your kids are in by participating in prevention efforts. Because while … Read more...

Miss you Blake. Miss your sweet messages.

Blake would send me the these notes about Charles and would often comment on my posts. When you read these you’ll understand what a truly thoughtful and supportive friend he was. He was as genuine as they come. I am so sorry this opiate epidemic has taken another sweet soul.

Steven and Rowan, friends of Charles’ and Blake’s, came through Richmond on their way to the funeral.  I have so many messages from Blake. Some I don’t feel I can share because they were so personal about him. What a sweet young man. I’m broken hearted he is gone. He … Read more...

Goals for 2017

1. Get Preventure mental health and drug prevention initiative integrated in Virginia schools. 

I need parents to say they want this in our area! Tell teachers, call principals. Deadline is Feb 3 for getting letters from 30 principals. If we can get the letters to get the grant from NIDA, this is the program around which we will treat all mental illness and addiction in the future. Emotional learning and life skills training works. This program will have historical significance.

2. ASQ Suicide Screening

Through Beacon Tree Foundation and with the help of the Chesterfield County Suicide Coalition, it’s Read more...