March 20, 2011
What Can One Person Do?
I just read Ross's blog, Life of a Recovering Addict, and suggest that everyone read it today. Ross was an addict who is now in recovery and seeing things from a new perspective, and with a clear mind and a huge heart. He wants what we all want - change.
We all want for there to be less heroin/opiate deaths, less addictions, less ruined lives.
I get very riled up and passionate over this issue and it frustrates me to no end that our lawmakers and government don't recognize the severity of the problem. Why is heroin allowed to be imported by the ton into our country in the first place? Why is it so easy for kids to get their hands on Oxycontin? Why does a family have to go into debt for years to afford drug treatment? Why are addicts thrown in jail without an opportunity for rehabilitation? Why do other diseases get funding and research but addiction (even though the AMA defines it as a disease) is still treated like a character defect rather than a life threatening epidemic?
Obviously nothing is going to be done about this (unless maybe some high up government officials start losing their children to it) so what can we do? Ron, An Addict in Our Son's Bedroom, is the perfect example of what one person can do. He's talking to schools and writing for the Partnership for a Drug Free America. Each of us that write a blog is doing something by bringing awareness to whoever reads our blog. Those that are willing to openly share about what's happening to their family are making a difference by bringing the problem to light.
Many of us would probably like to do more - but what? I guess we have to ask ourselves that question and see what ideas come to mind. Unfortunately the people that are most passionate about stopping addiction are the one's directly impacted by it and therefore we are struggling on a day to day basis to find some balance and can't take on one more thing.
But never forget that one person can make a difference. Here's a personal story that illustrates this. Way back in the early 80's a friend and I learned that tuna fisherman used nets that also trapped and killed thousands of dolphins. Being major dolphin lovers we were so horrified by this that we could not sit by and do nothing. We joined every organization for animals rights we could find, but it didn't feel like enough. So we decided to take it upon ourselves to make people aware and get them to stop buying tuna. This was long before computers could make fancy fliers, so we did our best to make something presentable, a flier that alerted people of the issue. We made hundreds of copies and spent our weekends going all over the place to different grocery stores putting our fliers on cars and on the shelves with the tuna! So did I play a role in changing the laws that prevented fisherman from killing dolphins along with tuna? I wouldn't go as far to say that, but I believe I did bring awareness to hundreds of people that may have not heard about it otherwise and gave them the option to add their voice.
We keep hearing of deaths and ruined lives....we all live with the nightmare in our own families. How much longer till something happens to stop the drugs from being so available and to make treatment more affordable? And, most importantly, persuade young people never to try it in the first place.
Peace, Hope and Love, Barbara