Screening Of ‘Generation Found’ – Help Requested

A friend of mine told me about this film. I watched the trailer and looked over the site. This film is from the same creators of THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE, which I really found good and thought provoking.

From the creators of the groundbreaking film, THE ANONYMOUS PEOPLE, comes GENERATION FOUND, a powerful story about one community coming together to ignite a youth addiction recovery revolution in their hometown. Devastated by an epidemic of addiction, Houston faced the reality of burying and locking up its young people at an alarming rate. And so in one of the largest cities in America, visionary counselors, law school dropouts, aspiring rock musicians, retired football players, oil industry executives, and church leaders came together to build the world’s largest peer-driven youth and family recovery community.
Read more

I would like to know who would be interested in attending this screening, there would be a charge for the screening and it would be at a theater. I would like to have a few speakers at the screening also.

My thought is to have a few speakers with recovery time introduce the film. The screening would be at a local theater. Please let me know below if you would be interested so I can work out the details with the distributor GATHR Films.

Be An Advocate For What You Care About

Advocate for what you care about.

I had the honor to sit and talk with some wonderful people this week and I am excited to continue the conversation. People with such passion and love in their hearts, they have the courage to stand up for what they believe is needed. We all know there is a horrible health crisis in our country and in our local communities. Addiction does NOT discriminate, addiction is so powerful and will change a person and tear apart families and communities.

The growing rate of deaths from this crisis is growing so fast, treatment is so difficult. We have to continue to stand together and fight this crisis. We have find ways to slow and hopefully stop the deaths. To many lives are being tormented and then when trying to get help they have to battle the stigma associated with addiction. Their families have to hide as they try to get help.

Be an advocate for what you care about. Do it in a positive way, show people that you care and why you care. I believe that our hearts are large and opening them is powerful. I also believe that everyone can make a difference, every single person can make a difference. You may think it is a small thing you are doing, but you can be have a huge impact one another person.

Advocate for something you care about, something that is close to your heart. Show your heart and speak the truth.

Sitting with them and hearing the passion and love they have for others and their desire to want to help is just so inspiring.

More to come about this and how we can advocate for others and your causes.

Baldwin-Whitehall Addresses Overdose Crisis

Baldwin-Whitehall took a leadership role in the epidemic currently facing our country. I am so proud to see what they have started and excited to see where it goes.

OffScript by Saltworks

A few weeks ago Baldwin High School students attended an assembly presentation of OffScript by Saltworks. OffScript is a live performance about three high school students that are very different but have one thing in common, addiction to prescription drugs. I was not able to see OffScript but my mother, step-father, sister and daughters did and found it very moving. Several parents provided me wonderful feedback on the assembly and also where told the same thing from their students.

My mother shared Amber’s story during the assembly to the students. She talked about Amber’s struggle with depression, addiction and losing her battle to addiction. Sharing Amber’s story was very difficult for my mother but she wanted to help others and from what I was told touched many students. We have the audio from my mother’s talk and will be sharing it shortly.

Chasing The Dragon by the FBI and DEA

Baldwin Whitehall also hosted a screening of Chasing The Dragon this week. Chasing The Dragon is a documentary about the lives of people addicted to opiates and how it takes hold of their lives. The documentary was a joint effort of the FBI and DEA.

A DEA agent was present during this program and spoke prior to the screening. He also stayed after to answer questions and talk with people. The Whitehall chief of police spoke about how close this epidemic is and shared about the administering of Narcan and overdose deaths right here in Whitehall Borough.

Tables where set up outside of the auditorium by the DEA, Gateway Rehab, Mercy Behavioral, Holy Family Institutes SHORES Program, Al-Anon and Alateen. These organizations are working to help in recovery and coping with grief. Having them present was a wonderful opportunity to learn more about how to address this crisis and reach out for help. Baldwin Whitehall also has social workers in the schools that can help anyone

I spoke after the Chasing The Dragon and shared Amber’s story. I was nervous as I usually am when I speak especially when talking about losing Amber. It is a strange and comforting feeling telling Amber’s story, I pray before I speak and have a feeling of being spoken through.

The number of lives that we are losing to this epidemic is mind boggling, addiction is gripping people like never before. Families are being destroyed, lives are being shattered apart.

I hope that this is the beginning of a more comprehensive and regular program by not only Baldwin-Whitehall but other districts and communities. We can’t arrest our way out of this problem, we have to help people suffering.

I will be posting the audio from both talks soon and hope to see a program like this brought to middle school students. We as parents have to keep this conversation going and teach our children what to do when confronted with situations involving substance abuse. They will be in a situation, we need to give them the tools to know how to handle it.

I would like to thank the Baldwin-Whitehall Administration and Social Workers who organized these events and worked to put this together. They took a great step in helping our community learn more about this crisis and hopefully save some lives.

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

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?

Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim September 18 through September 24, 2016, as Prescription Opioid and Heroin Epidemic Awareness Week. I call upon all Americans to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities that raise awareness about the prescription opioid and heroin epidemic. Read more

The United States suffering from a tragic epidemic that is taking more lives that car accidents now. Addiction is a disease that takes a strong hold on a person and their families’ lives As a community we must address this epidemic and health crisis. Suffering from addiction is NOT a morale failing, it is a disease that affects a person’s ability to stop using. Some people start using from legitimate prescriptions and then move to illegal substances after the prescription is stopped.

As a community we need to stand together and learn about this health crisis that is taking so many lives. We need to understand and show empathy without enabling people who are suffering with addiction. We need to show love to the loved ones of addicts. We need to educate our youth and give them the tools they need to prevent or recover from addiction.

As part of Opioid Epidemic Awareness Week, the White House will host parents who have lost children to addiction, and U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the country will participate in more than 160 different events, according to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Read more

What can you do to raise awareness, help people suffering from addiction, celebrate recovery and educate?

My three simple goals are listed below, I will write one post for each goal this week about these goals. I would love to hear you thoughts and how you can help end this epidemic.

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

Shaming Addicts

There has been a story on the news and social media about a couple who overdosed in a car with a child in the back seat. A police officer decided to take a picture of the couple and share it. And sadly this story then has promoted many people to shame the couple and addicts in general. Do I agree with the couple and what they did? Absolutely NOT! What they did was wrongs, plain and simple. Many things that addicts do is wrong, they have a physical addiction that most people can not understand or relate to. The need for drugs is so strong it changes the person’s heart and soul and leaves the person as a shell of who they once where.

Addiction can and does take a very caring and loving person and changes them to a person who only cares about getting their next drug. The get physically sick during withdrawal and suffer from this withdrawal more than many people will understand. I don’t understand but I have seen the withdrawal first hand and now how horribly it affects a person. The only thing that helps them is using again, unless they seek or are forced to get medical attention and treatment.

I am very discouraged and upset with the response to this story and many other stories. My personal goal and the goal of many people that I know and work with to fight this health crisis is to help people. Shaming people DOES NOT help anyone. It hurts the child in that car, who one day may see that picture and the comments. It lowers the chance of the person getting the help they need to get clean from drugs.

I encourage everyone to learn more about addiction. Addiction affects so many people, it may not affect you personally but the chance of you knowing someone who is suffering from addiction is high. There are so many people suffering and hiding it that you don’t know who is suffering, it could be one of your loved ones. It could be your neighbor or someone you go to church with.

Please take time to learn about addiction and open your heart to show empathy. I am not saying to enable them in their addiction, but to show empathy. Try to understand and relate to the person and their loved ones who have so many sleepless nights waiting for a call that their loved one lost their battle.

I feel we need to have laws in place like other states that will force a person into treatment and recovery. I know several people who where jailed and that helped them to get clean. They where forced into it and treatment and help was available to them to work through the withdrawal. They where provided with the tools needed to help get clean. Many have to leave and start their lives all over to get clean.

Seeing someone suffering from addiction is horrible and heart wrenching. Waiting for that call and receiving that call is something that is so hard to explain. A young life that was ripped apart, their heart changes as they are conquered by this demon.

Though a mountain of research proves addiction to be a disease of the brain, not a character flaw, the stigma surrounding it is still highly prevalent in society.

…vicious cycle: People abuse substances to cope with shame, and substance abuse is perpetuated by feelings of shame surrounding their addiction. What’s the solution?

Read more…

A few organizations that I personally know and support are listed below. There are many others like these.