Why I do what I do

I have been blogging since 2011! WOW!

Why do I blog?

Technology Geek

Well, I am a technical professional. I work in technology and enjoy technology. I am amazed by the advancements that we are seeing on a rapid pace. I remember in the early nighties setting up internet “newsgroup” for a corporate BBS, before the web was what it is today. Now,people have access to so much information in the palms of their hands.

Writing Wantabe

I enjoy writing, always have, even when I was a child I would write stories. I am not the best writer and also not the best with English grammar… But, I write because I enjoy it. I enjoy sitting and putting my thoughts on paper or now a screen. I write in a journal regularly. Writing a blog is different that journaling though. A blog is public compared to my private journal. Big difference.

Blogging

I maintain a blog for many reasons. I started because I am a technologist and like to learn more about technology. I use my time with a blog to learn more about technology, keep up to date and record my notes. I also write on a blog to share my thoughts and notes on technology and hopefully start a conversation.

I share my perspective about topics that I am concerned with. As a global community we have the capability to share news and perspectives very easily now. Setting a blog is easy and allows you to share your thoughts.

Responsibility

I think that you should think before you share anything though. We have seen that on social media, people sharing everything and also not thinking about what the effects of what you are sharing will have. I try to think before I share, try. We are all human and make mistakes.

Why I Do It?

So, why do I do what I do? This question came up at the school district I belong to and I just love the question and reflecting on this. I think this question is a good regular prompt and have a scheduled reminder on Day One, which I use for journaling. I share what touches me and also things that I enjoy. I also share adventures that I am on. I have “met”, some interesting people that share my same thoughts this way. I have learned from many people that I might not have known otherwise.

Addiction & Overdose

I share a lot of information about overdose and addiction on this blog and everywhere I can. This epidemic affects me personally and we as a society need to do something to address it. We are living in a time when we are loosing a generation of people from addiction. People are being prescribed addictive medicines that can have tragic consequences. People do not have empathy or compassion for people who are suffering or the families that are having their hearts ripped apart. I hope to help raise awareness to this health crisis and help make changes. I firmly believe that we can ALL make a difference. If each of us would do something, the collection of small actions can make a big difference. Little by little, individuals join together and changes can occur.

Ramblings of a Pittsburgh Dad

The purpose of this blog is just like the subtitle says Ramblings of a Pittsburgh Dad. I am a proud father and husband from Pittsburgh. I am a technologist by trade, an activist (never thought of myself that way) and an elected school board member. I enjoy learning about other points of view and reflecting on what I hear. I believe that we have to be open minded and consider the thoughts and feelings of others. We don’t have to agree and I don’t agree with all of my friends. But, I try to listen to what people have to say and discuss politely. I think that is what makes this country great, we can speak out and express our different points of view.

If we as a society would listen more with an open mind we can do anything.

What do you do what you do?

{Image credit BrainyQuote App}

WTAE Editorial on Opiate & Heroin Awareness

This morning I was watching WTAE Pittsburgh and they aired an editorial on the Opiate and Heroin Epidemic that is killing so many people in the United States.

I am so happy to see the Editorial. I agree that every week should be Opiate and Heroin Awareness Week until this crisis is controlled.

Watch the editorial here

Addiction is a disease that destroys the person suffering and family and friends of the person. Addiction can affect anyone! You are NOT immune from addiction and the horrible effects it takes on people. You may not be aware that you know someone suffering with addiction, it is hidden because of the nasty stigma attached to addiction.

The feature image on this post I found on Facebook, this shows the quantity of heroin compared to fentanyl. Fentanyl is mixed with heroin and other substances which is extremely potent and has been taking lives. Now the DEA is also alert about carfentanil which is even more potent that fentanyl.

Please help fight this health crisis. Below are my three simple goals, I have written about them this past week. I have written about them for over a year now.

Please help. Stand up and take part in fighting this crisis.

  • End the stigma with addiction and overdose
  • Educate people on the epidemic and this health crisis
  • Celebrate recovery

Celebrate Recovery

Today I want to take time to write about my third goal, my goals are simple and can be accomplished by anyone. Addiction is a horrible disease that affects so many people in the United States and around the world. I have personally been affected by people who lost their battle to addiction and people who are in long term recovery. Today, I would like to share with you about recovery.

I found this video on DrugAbuse.gov and thought it would be a good video today share today.

Recovery is possible!

Last month during International Overdose Awareness Day I had the honor of having two family members speak about their recovery. Seeing the changes they made and how they try to help others suffering addiction is so inspiring.

So, today I ask you, how could you help to celebrate recovery?

Educate about Overdose and Addiction like BWSD

I am so happy to write this post about what one local school district is doing. I am a member of this district and proud to see how the [BWSD](http:BW schools.net) is addressing the overdose epidemic.

Educate people on the epidemic and this health crisis

The Baldwin-Whitehall School District takes the president’s call to action seriously as this Opioid and Heroin Epidemic has affected families in our school community. The misuse of prescription drugs is often overlooked and goes unnoticed for too long. Research tells us that the cause and effect of pain killers can be very different for individuals and lead to a lifetime of treatment and suffering. In an effort to educate our students, staff, and community members the district will be providing the following programs about the Opioid and Heroin Epidemic to our students. Read more

Baldwin-Whitehall School District has announced a program that will be help educate not only students (high school) but also the community. On October 12th high school students will see “Off Script” from Saltworks Theatre Company. This program is recommended by the DEA as part of the DEA 360 program. If you have a high school student in Baldwin-Whitehall, I would love to hear their feedback on this program. You can read more about Off Script and Saltworks here

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgyLPhncgIc)

Also, Baldwin-Whitehall School District will be hosting a screening of Chasing the Dragon on October 26 from 6:30 – 8:00 for the community. This program will show the never-ending pursuit of a person who is addicted to Opiates. Please mark you calenda and provide feedback, I would love to have a detailed retrospective about both of these programs. You can read more about Chasing the Dragon on the FBI site here.

Thank you Baldwin-Whitehall for taking a great move during this health crisis that is affected so many families in our community and around the world.

End the Stigma of Addiction & Overdose

There is a stigma with addiction and overdose. We all know it, we treat people who suffer from addiction as if they have a moral failing. We don’t consider looking at their circumstances. People become addicted for many difference reasons. Some people become addicted during recovery from an injury after have legally prescribed medicines. The medicines hook them and then they are cut off after they develop a dependency to it. Some people suffer tragic events in their lives that they draws the to substance abuse to help mask the tragedies in their lives. There many reasons people become addicted, show empathy first before looking down on them.

I have talked about my three simple goals that I feel can help this epidemic. Simple if each person would look to these goals and try to achieve them personally.

  • End the stigma with addiction and overdose
  • Educate people on the epidemic and this health crisis
  • Celebrate recovery

Today, I am writing about the stigma associated with addiction and overdose. I know people who after their loved one passing from an overdose are looked down instead of comforted for their loss. They think the family is at fault. The family is NOT at fault, addiction affects every walk of life, social status, gender and race. It does NOT discriminate.

We have had to look too many mothers in the eye and tell them their child is gone, Altomare wrote. …It takes a lot of courage to seek help. … Drug treatment can work. People recover from addiction every day. WE BELIEVE YOU CAN DO IT BUT WE CANT DO IT FOR YOU. Read more

The article above is what I believe we should be doing. I know that I believe in you if you want to fight this battle against addiction. I know that you can do this. There are many other people who are willing to help you also. Many of the people willing to help you and fight with you are people who have been affected by addiction.

We can’t arrest our way out of Pa.’s heroin epidemic: Josh Shapiro Read more

We can’t arrest our way out of this epidemic, it just won’t work. The War on Drugs failed. I am not saying that if you break that law you shouldn’t be punished, I am saying that this is not the way to help a person to the road of recovery. But, sometimes a jail sentence is the rock bottom a person needed. Also, it is the break the family needs to know their loved one is not on the street.It is a night that loved ones can sleep without waiting for a call in the middle of the night.

FDA launches competition to spur innovative technologies to help reduce opioid overdose deaths Read more

I was happy to read this notice from the FDA. This just shows that you can help, anyone can help. If you are a coder and work in mobile application development you can compete to build a mobile help to help people find Narcan. You can help save lives and help make a difference. There are many other ways you can help, you can look at my goals. You can stop the stigma when you hear it. You can learn more about addiction. You can keep you eyes open and report illegal activity.

How can you end the stigma?