We are a small bunch; fewer than a baker’s dozen. And yet even within the ranks of our little ladies church group we hear stories about family, friends and acquaintances falling victim to opioid addiction.
Most of these kids (though all are now adults) come from stable families and “good” homes. Many are educated, had supportive relationships and bright futures.
Next thing you know they lost their jobs, their homes, their spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, kids, their own parents, their skin, their teeth, their youth, their pride.
These “normal people” morphed into pock-marked zombies, shooting up, begging, sleeping in cardboard boxes or sitting inside a jail cell. One woman in our group described how her best friend and her husband are in the process of evicting their 30 year old daughter from the apartment they rented for her because she started ripping out the appliances, the faucets, the lights, the ceiling fans- anything she could physically remove and sell for heroin. This woman has already lost her husband and custody of their three small children.
She will most likely end up prostituting herself on the streets of Charlotte. Her parents have resigned themselves to this horrifying reality and there is absolutely nothing more they can do. This mother had a chilling warning for her friend ” Be careful, this disease can grab anyone.”
The US had a total of 11 Ebola cases over 21 months starting in 2014.
There were two deaths.
Do you remember the nation-wide panic?
Where’s the panic now?
The villains in this alarming tragedy are always the same: it’s the doctors who prescribe and the pharmaceutical companies that provide. But just like with any other societal ill, if we don’t accept any accountability at all, if we portray ourselves as nothing more than helpless victims, we will never, EVER see change.
We must own up to our “zero pain” expectations and demands. Whether it’s post surgery, post 10K race or post break-up with a lover..our western culture demands stress free, anxiety free, sadness free and pain free living. If we feel any pain in life- well then something is wrong, someone’s to blame and something must be done. There’s a pill for any and all of life’s maladies, and as long as we keep demanding relief- we will continue to fill prescriptions.
Take a moment and go through your medicine cabinet and be honest about what you find there.
Make no mistake, it is time for physicians to keep their pens in their jackets and stop handing out drugs like candy. It’s also time to stop penalizing responsible, non-prescribing doctors when patients complain. Pharmaceutical companies need to re-examine their product lines and stop producing medications that lead to crippling addictions. And think about it, why on earth are prescription medications advertised on TV and in magazines?
My sister is why..she’d go straight into her doctor’s office and ask for what she wanted by its brand name. Ten years ago this May, she dropped dead in her bathroom of a suspected prescription drug overdose. She was a frequent user of all manner of medications both for physical and psychological issues. I have no doubt she was a demanding pain in her doctors’ asses, and when she didn’t get what she wanted, she’d show up at the ER and get it there instead. She was smart, she was pretty, she was manipulative and she thought she was in complete control…which she was until she wasn’t.
Over 64,000 Americans under the age of 50 overdosed and died in 2016. That’s more dead Americans from one cause, in one year, than died during the entire Vietnam war. (1955-1975)
5,334 Americans dropping dead every month.
1,231 Americans dropping dead every week.
176 Americans dropping dead every day.
17 Americans died in the recent, horrific, Florida high school shooting. Spurred by this terrible tragedy, thousands plan to take to the streets and march against guns later this month.
What’s it going to take to spur us to take action against this apocalyptic opioid threat ?