Over 1.6 million pounds of “unwanted” drugs were turned into the United States Government at the 5,000 turn-in sites across the country in 2016. These are drugs left in medicine cabinets after the purpose of the drugs is gone.
The road to drug overdose has two basic paths:
- Prescription pain killers following surgery or an accident. The costs are high and the need seems critical. Oxicodone and Hydrocodone use goes to Heroin which is readily available in most communities and much cheaper. The results are devastating.
- Recreational use of marijuana which does not satisfy the pain or fully meet the emotional and psychological needs of the user. Then to Heroin or opioids.
Drug-related suicides have jumped seven-fold among veterans as well as young people using drugs. The heartache of parents who drive the streets at night looking for their children and loved ones among the homeless and hangouts is hard to share by those who understand or would like to understand their plight.
And the new horror on the block is Fentanyl and its deadly synthetic drug family–brings sudden death if the dose taken is a minuscule off. Often taken by recovering addicts on a dare!
A short time ago, drug overdose entered my neighborhood and a good friend of mine lost three members of her family: a daughter, a son-in-law, and a son. Three trips to the mortuary and three funerals within just about the same number of weeks. It stunned us all. And left me asking what can be done?
The White House announced this morning the new task force headed by Governor Chris Christie to enlist education, medicine, law enforcement, and drug oversight to stop the carnage. It was a Be of Good Cheer moment for me as I listened to the testimonies of recovering addicts and how they had received help and life in treatment centers and among those who really cared what happened to them.
Addicts and their families require all the support and help we can give them, as the government steps up concrete actions to do something about this epidemic that has hit America below the belt. I am encouraged that something good will come of this effort. And that our tax dollars will be used for something really meaningful, instead of foreign wars.
Be of Good Cheer, friends. Arlene Eakle http://arleneeakle.com
PS Cheers and cheers and cheers!