Saturday, July 30, 2011

Is It A Matter of Public Relations or Education?

This entry is about our children that die from addiction. Too many parents lose children from addiction and it is tragic, the pain affects us all but nothing like the parent that suddenly finds a hole in their life that will never be filled.

In our area we have had a number of teens die from automobile accidents, it is tragic. They make an error in judgement or do something stupid and the consequences are fatal. We see it here all the time, speeding, bumper tag, inattentive driving and yes, driving while intoxicated. Another parent loses a child. There are memorials, candlelight ceremonies, an outpouring of grief from the community. All in an effort to ease the grief and comfort all who are hurting.

We have also had young people in our community die from addiction. All is quiet. The family and friends suffer in silence.

We have all heard the comments whispered, just another addict. If they hadn't been doing drugs it wouldn't have happened. That's what you get doing drugs. But, no matter this was a child loved by parents and family. This was a child that did the same thing as the child that dies accidentally in a crash or accident. They made a mistake in which they could not recover.

I have come to believe until addiction comes out from the darkness and we recognize it for what it is our children that have made the mistake of using and becoming addicted there will always be a devaluation of a person suffering from addiction.

There is too much pain in this disease, why do we make it worse?


Barbara said...

I agree 100% and am going to share this message with as many people as I can. Maybe it will finally sink in to people who don't get it. This was the perfect way to compare the loss of a child with the loss of a child...oh yeah, the loss of a child is a loss of a child is a loss of a child......

Bristolvol said...

Sometimes I think that only us with kids afflicted with the disease of addition know that its not the cause of death that matters, but the death itself. I was talking with a sweet young lady yesterday whose brother died as a result of a cocaine overdose after being clean for a year. She says she has a hard time coping with the loss and she sees her parents struggle on a daily basis. We as parents never dream of having to bury our kids, no matter how they die.

Syd said...

The recovery community here does rally around the relatives of those who die, regardless of whether it was an overdose, suicide, or accident. AA and Al-Anon come to support the family. It is a fellowship of shared happiness and pain.

Lou said...

I'm not sure I believe most people feel that way when someone dies. It may be more of not knowing what to say. I have a friend whose child committed suicide, and people were just at a loss about how to give condolences. This is true of overdoses that have happened in my town. A young man in my neighborhood died in his bed sniffing glue. His parents found him in the morning. My daughter lived out of state, and because she had danced with him at their prom years before, she flew in for the funeral. Most of his high school class was there.

I have heard derogatory remarks on the internet by "anonymous" but have not seen it in person. But yes, if we have lived it, we are certainly more attuned to the fact that "there but for the grace of God."

Momma said...

We have also lost young people to drugs over the last couple of years, and the reaction does seem different. The stigma is different. Drinking is much more accepted, and there is a lot of that going on around here. Either way, there can be tragic consequences, so why isn't it viewed the same way?

Anonymous said...

Generally, ignorant people view drug addicts as dirty, low lifes, scum of society. It is not seen as a disease, but a way of life the addict chooses and there is very little sympathy for the addict. Drinking on the other hand, is viewed by society as something we all do and enjoy,and if it results in tragic consequences then it is viewed as bad luck or judgement, and sympathy abounds. The stigma attached to drugs is born out of fear. Fear of drugs, fear of the addict, fear of the unknown. It is a mystery to all who are uneducated about drugs. It still remains a taboo subject by much of society, and until you can walk in an addicts shoes, and their families, it is hard to educate.

Tori said...

I have written about this same subject. I had a friend one time call my son a "loser, low life, useless junkie." It was at that point I decided that I needed to not be so open about it. Not because I am ashamed but because I didn't want anyone viewing him like that.

It took a lot of people and famous people to stand up to the stigma of AIDS and HIV. I was thinking about that last week. Although there will always be people out there that will have issues with AIDS, there is a lot more tolerance to it.

When a famous person is acting crazy (Charlie for example) or a famous person OD's there is still little sympathy for them. And of course there is very little sympathy for the parents and families.

GenRxation said...

"According to state health records, 635 Florida babies were born addicted to prescription drugs in the first half of 2010 alone."

I'm a recovering addict of the Rx Generation, and I'd be dead without my mother.

GenRxation said...

I was a teen that lived through the epidemic. I'm struggling with it as a young person now. It isn't easy, but without the help of my parents, I'd surely be dead.

I'm from Florida, where the pill-mills are rampant and unfettered. I've seen the worst in people. I've been the worst person.

I live with my mother now in a different state and pray to remain sober.

If anyone would like to understand my story, a story shared by so many young people today, please read my blog. Also visit my Facebook, search:
I'm trying to compile a dedication memorializing all those fallen to our nation's disastrous prescription-drug epidemic.

Thank you,