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.

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.

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

Prevent Overdose … Help Others…

The heroin epidemic affects EVERYONE. You may not be personally affected right now but you probably know someone who is or has been indirectly.

Look at the graph below, the number of fatal overdoses has risen by huge amounts over the past few years.

Image from http://www.overdosefreepa.pitt.edu/
Image from http://www.overdosefreepa.pitt.edu/

I am personally affected by this epidemic and it is devastating every single day. Losing someone you love to an overdose leaves you with so much heartbreak.

What else could I have done to prevent it?

I have to live with this question for the rest of my life, among others. Seeing a life taken way too soon, questioning if you did enough. How could you have saved a life?

I was happy to see that one county in Pennsylvania is now going to classify heroin overdose as homicide and dealers as murders.

“If you chose to sell heroin, you’re killing people and you’re murdering people. You’re just as dead from a shot of heroin as if someone puts a bullet in you,” Kiessling told The Daily Item of Sunbury.

“Calling these accidents is sweeping it under the rug,” he said.

Read more: http://www.wpxi.com/news/pa-coroner-starts-ruling-heroin-overdose-deaths-as-homicides/180266150

School are now stocking Naloxone in schools to help save lives. We still need to do more. People suffering from addiction need to be treated as someone with a disease.  They need help. Their families need help.

This is a HEALTH CRISIS!

There is an Overdose Epidemic

  • One person dies every 19 minutes from unintentional drug overdose (Paulozzi, 2012).
  • Pennsylvania is among the ten states with the highest opioid use and overdose rates (Paulozzi, 2012).
  • For the years 1999—2007, drug-induced deaths were second only to motor vehicle fatalities (CDC, 2010).
  • Opioid overdose is preventable and treatable (reversible) through the use of naloxone (UNODC, 2013).

So, what do I think we should do?

Well, I feel that stocking Naloxone or Narcan in schools is a great idea. We need to save lives. We also need to increase education, prevention and recovery. We need to be aware and not just act like it won’t happen. There are ways to save a life and we need to have these resources available to help.

Children are using at younger ages than ever before. We need to make sure they understand the dangers of trying drugs just once. We need to also give them the tools to deal with drugs WHEN they are confronted with them. Let’s face it, be real, they WILL be confronted, thinking they won’t is just being naive.  How will your child handle that situation?

Their first experience with drugs may be from a legal prescription of a strong narcotic. YES. That is true. Children are being prescribed very strong narcotics at very young ages. Pain management can lead to addiction and has in many people of all ages. Depression and anxiety can lead to addiction. Children are prescribed drugs to deal with these very real medical issues but this can also lead to addiction and overdose.

Addiction does NOT discriminate. It doesn’t what matter your race, age, gender or financial status is in society. Addiction and fatal overdose affects EVERYONE!

So, I am not tell you anything new. This information is available everywhere.

But, I am asking you to do something.

Talk to your children and family about addiction, don’t just telling them to not use drugs. Tell them how to handle situations WHEN they are confronted, yes WHEN. Explain to them how to handle legally prescribed drugs and monitor their usage. Question if you or anyone you care for actually needs strong drugs.  Ask the doctors if there are other ways to deal with medical situations. LOCK UP your narcotics!  If you have narcotics in your house, secure them. Many people have legal narcotics in their house that are prescribed and used correctly. LOCK THEM UP. Children are taking them from parents and using or selling them.

Show LOVE. People that are fighting addiction need help. Don’t enable them, but love them. They are fighting a very real battle every day to not use. CELEBRATE people who are recovering. Long term recovery is possible, I know many people with long term recovering. Long term recovery is possible. I know many people in long term recovery and they fight every day to not use again. They are very strong people who want to be clean and want to contribute to society and they want to show love and help others.

I hope that you will never have to deal with the pain I have to deal with everyday. I know many people who have to deal with this same pain every day. Some have not lost their loved ones, some have. Some have to deal with the NIGHTMARE of addiction every day. They are frightened every time the phone rings, waiting for that call.

There are many organizations that can help you. Here are a few:

www.aa.org
www.aa.org
www.na.org
www.na.org
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/
www.sagesarmy.com
www.sagesarmy.com
www.notonemorepgh.net
www.notonemorepgh.net
http://www.candleinc.org/
http://www.candleinc.org/

 

 

 

 

 

DEA 360 Strategy

The fact that the DEA has selected Pittsburgh for the pilot of the 360 Strategy speaks volumes to the epidemic that we are in. This health crisis is throughout our country and right in our own backyard. The war on drugs is not working and did not work. We need to have a new strategy and I am anxious to see how the DEA implements the new 360 model.

I have spoken before about my goals as it relates to this horrible crisis and shared my story of loss. Losing Amber is something I have to live with every day, I think of her constantly and miss our conversations and laughter.

My goals are:

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

“The 360 strategy brings together for the first time, the agencies that have dealt with this problem separately, into a comprehensive and sustained effort to not only fight drug traffickers but also to make communities resilient to their return.”

Read more at http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq111015.shtml

I have partnered with newly found friends from Sage’s Army and Not One More Pittsburgh Chapter to progress my goals forward. I am in regular contact with them as well as friends at Candle, Inc for their Reality Tour program. Each of these non-profits offer creative resources to the public and I recommend you visit the sites to learn more and attend their events.

We must remove the blinders and open our eyes to see the crisis that we are confronted with. We are losing lives every day from overdoses as well as related violent crimes. Not to mention the staggering amount of people who are suffering from addiction as addicts or loved ones.

I think a very important part of the 360 Strategy is the formation of a “Community Alliance“. There are many groups in our area as well as the nation that are dealing with different aspects of this crisis. Let’s work together to raise awareness and end this epidemic.

“DEA’s 360 Strategy recognizes that we need to utilize every community resource possible to reach young people and attack the heroin and prescription drug epidemic at multiple levels,” said Tuggle. “This three-sided strategy brings together everyone who has a stake in the successful outcome of this pilot program. This could be a model for many other communities.”

Read more at http://www.dea.gov/divisions/hq/2015/hq111015.shtml

Read the complete DEA 360 Strategy Fact Sheet below.

hq111015-DEA 360 Strategy Fact Sheet