New York Times, June 5, 2017: Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of death among Americans under 50. (Josh Katz, Drug Deaths in America Are Rising Faster Than Ever)
My reflection: Heroin is the cause of many overdoses, but numbers of deaths are increasing due to heroin laced with the illicitly manufactured fentanyl. Worse yet, there is now a substance called carfentanil that is used to tranquilize large animals like elephants and is 1,000 times more potent than fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
Today’s Promise to consider: The opioid epidemic is claiming young lives and it seems unstoppable. We must all join hands to educate our loved ones. Children need open and honest forums to talk about their experiences and to learn about the massive dangers of drugs. We must stay close, help our loved ones in need to find good recovery centers, work with legislators on stronger health care, and pray.
I honestly don’t believe there is anything I could have said or done to stop my son’s addiction. It was simply in his genes. I was an alcoholic (18 yrs. clean and sober!), both his grandfathers were alcoholics and his grandmother was addicted to pain medications. The point I would like to make is this; if we are talking about addiction as a primary disease, a mental illness then we, as parents, have no blame or shame. Even if we could go back in time as “perfect” parents and “fix” all of our perceived mistakes the disease would simply find an alternate path accomplishing the same destruction. It is simply the nature of the disease. Forgiveness is key to our peace and serenity.
So true. And yet there is much that can be done by alerting families to the dangers of ” innocent ” prescriptions” for simple things like getting wisdom teeth pulled, being aware of other options for pain. Just asking questions about what your children are being prescribed. How much, how long. There are things we can do to be a part of the solution. Too late for my son, but hopefully we can make a difference for other families.
A casualty of this awful epidemic. He was treasured. Loved. It can happen in any family. THANKYOU for having this discussion. Whatever we can do to raise awareness.