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...

The insanity and emotional drain of a loved one’s addiction

This from a friend who is suffering the addiction of her son.  These are the stories I heard for years at Families Anonymous. 

Jason has been homeless since the end of November 2016. The insanity peaked last week. He sent over 20 emails to me at work last Wednesday.

Somehow he managed to get himself accepted in to a rehab out in LA and they sent him a ticket. He was in their detox program last Friday and on Sunday he called and said he was going AA.

He has a warrant for violating his probation which is nothing more … Read more...

Educators, we need your help supporting Preventure drug program

This grant has been submitted in Virginia. We got the letters we needed. Thank you so much. We will keep you up to date. If you want updates, here is the link to our email list for Preventure Updates.

In order to see that the evidence-based Preventure Adolescent Drug Prevention Program is implemented here in Virginia, we need letters of support from educators. Directions below. 

To clarify, the letter is not committing schools

A letter shows interest on the part of the school to participate in such trial. The main purpose of these letters is to show to NIH … Read more...

Implementing Preventure

I sold my partnership in my business to focus on mental illness and addiction advocacy full time. Left a successful career to work at a free job. Why?

Virginia ranks 39th for mental health care. Even worse, 49th for treatment of major depression for those 18 and under. That is utterly pathetic. If I want it to change, I have to do something about it. So I am. My son Charles is not just a statistic. He was my son and he died by suicide as a result of addiction and depression.

With a grant, the soonest we’d be able … Read more...

You relapsed

You feel shame and you’re hiding it from your family because you know they will be hurt. They are tired of it. You are tired of it.

In all honesty, you can’t figure out how you got back to this place. All you know is that you have to feed that monster called addiction. Now. It just pulls you back into that same ugly pattern. Lying to you over and over and over again, making you do things the real you would never do.

So familiar. So miserable.

You don’t want to be in this place at all. You think Read more...

Virginia Recovery Foundation offers help for the addicted

In April 2016, SAFE (Substance Abuse Free Environment) of Chesterfield County Virginia along with the heroin task force for which I am a member, plus several area sponsors, hosted an event to present the Angel program.

Chief Campanello from Gloucester, Mass came and presented his innovative and nationally-recognized “Angel Initiative” which has helped 425 people get into treatment since its inception in January 2015. The goal of the training was to equip attendees to create volunteer projects similar to the “Angel Initiative” in their communities that will get opioid, heroin and other drug addicts into treatment and … Read more...

The day I went public

newspaperMany of you know me as someone that went public after my son’s suicide. It was actually prior to that in 2014. 

I know why most of us don’t speak our child’s mental illness because our kids, teens especially, want their struggles kept private. We also worried they’ll get labeled and mistreated as a result. Which is a valid concern. 

In 2014, I had had enough silence.

I can’t remember the circumstances, but I was asked to write an article for Richmond Times Dispatch about our family’s struggle with our child’s mental illness. I said yes. I can’t say I Read more...

Shame

shame-003

When Charles first started abusing drugs, we didn’t talk about it. My frustration and fear and fear were the dominant emotions.

Was it drugs or was it mental illness? We did find out eventually that it was mental illness first and the initial drug use was a result of his wanting to feel better, or more normal. Getting to the root of the problem was an enormously difficult process.

I did talk to people I trusted.

I didn’t talk about it to everyone, though. And one time I talked to the wrong person and it somehow wound its way back … Read more...