You Can’t See it If you Aren’t a Part of It.

I’ve shared a lot of opinions recently, and in fact that’s what most things are. However, being forced into a space I never asked for or wanted to be in is, at the very least, and eye opener. I guess that everyone is passionate about something and I’ve developed an intense passion for all things relative to the drug epidemic. I’ve worked with young people with addictions for nearly 20 years and what I have noticed is that it isn’t getting better. There are many commonalities in these people, but individualism as well.

Where there was once hope for the future, there is now dread over the past. This is my son, clean and sober and being a great Dad on the slopes with his daughter. One small relapse and two years later, all of this is gone. No help, no mental health services. Nothing. I miss him so much and he won’t be home for several more years.

Life is hard when you suffer from not only addiction, but mental health issues as well. Here in Aroostook County and across the entirety of our state and country in fact, mental health services have long waiting lists. Detox facilities are closing due to lack of staff. Crisis teams and units are taxed to the limit. If you go to any emergency room for anything, you can hear people in the pain of detox, alone is a hospital room fighting the sickness, the tremors the incredible defeat of addiction.

There are people dedicated to this problem but there aren’t enough. In this country we have so mismanaged this health crisis that is takes more and more people daily. Our answer to the crisis is to lock people like this handsome guy up for years. Yet, we have yet to address the issue of pharmaceutical companies that have perpetuated the crisis. Sold opioids knowing full well how addictive they were. People like this guy aren’t responsible for this, they are victims of it. You won’t find any of those who are making billions using their own product. They prey on those with pain or mental health issues to fund their businesses.

How we can sit by and watch politicians funded by these companies, being paid off by these companies and becoming rich off pain and suffering is really unamerican. Every single day 136 people die of addiction related issues, whether that be overdose or other health issues. We all see those famous people who die or are impacted by overdose. Yet they are glamorized by a society because “all celebrities use drugs.”

Until we stand up and say, “Not in my community, not in my state, and not in my country.” we will continue to lose people at the rate of 136 per day, 49,500 per year until we have lost not just this generation, but the next one and the one after that. To me it’s time to stand up and say, “NO MORE!” I will not give up my son, any of my children or grandchildren for the sake of big dollars to corporations, cartels or politicians.

“If you aren’t outraged, you aren’t paying attention.”

My beautiful son and his sweet daughter – Clean and Sober.

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