When we thought the number of drug related deaths could not get worse, the Global pandemic hit and the number of deaths from drug poisoning escalated to unimaginable heights.
I do not say “drug overdoses” intentionally.
Those struggling with addiction are not dying from overdoses as much as they are dying from a poisoned drug supply – a toxic mixture that has affected drug supplies from coast to coast to coast.
Taking a overdose means you have taken an excessive or dangerous amount of a substance you believed you were taking. You have “over dosed” yourself by taking too much of the intended substance. Today people are dying at alarming rates because the substance they thought they were ingesting, inhaling, injecting had been tainted and become a poisoned drug supply. Tainted by the gangs, traffickers and dealers with absolutely no consideration for those we love, rather just trying to increase the toxicity bringing more people into the life of being addicted and desperate.
The Pandemic has also meant that far to many people are using in isolation. More than ever before people struggling with addiction are using alone. The isolation from the pandemic as well as the ongoing stigma around addiction and drug misuse, the lack of understanding and compassion for those struggling, often means those battling addictions are using in private and no one is there if the drug they have taken overcomes them.
The pandemic has also seen an increase in the number of people struggling with a relapse. Those who have grabbed that life-line to living free of the substances that held them hostage, experiencing a relapse because of feelings of isolation and despair. Decreases in the number of support meeting. Decreases in the amount of time they are able to spend with others for support. They need our understanding and compassion and encouragement. They need to know we are there for them. That we believe in them. That we are there to help them get back to their hard-earned lifestyle. While we may not be able to be there in person – a daily phone call can be a life-line.
Judgement and anger or frustration will do nothing to help your loved one who has relapsed. They already feel they have failed. They need encouragement not judgement.
I believe as we end this year that has impact every single person – many extremely hard, we are going to see a reset in 2021. It will continue to be dark with the pandemic still raging, but as we get through this year, I believe we will find a world more tolerant. More understanding.
With so many people, first responders, medical teams, the healthcare community, families, Mothers in particular – Mothers are the real heroes in this fight – standing up and speaking out about the disease of addiction affecting the lives of those we love and tragically taking the lives of far to many of those loved ones – we are taking the disease of addiction out of the closet and into mainsteam discussion. We must never allow this awareness to ever again be hidden.
We must continue the momentum, speaking out, writing to every level of government to affect changes. The disease of addiction must be recognized and treated with the same level of care and consideration as every other disease. Diseases affecting the brain, affecting behaviors have for far to long been treated very differently than diseases affecting the body. This must end. We can only have a healthy body if we have a healthy mind.
This fight must continue until every single person asking for help with their addiction receives that help immediately. Not put on a three week wait list. The help must be immediate because a one day delay, can be one day too late for far to many. They deserve better and so do the families that love them.
I was recently invited on a podcast called Undercover Mental Health. Steve Serbic is a Surrey Firefighter who has seen first hand the impact of the illicite drug trade and Undercover Mental Health is his podcast. Please find two links below.
The first podcast is called The Burden of Abuse in which I discuss presentations I have given and the impact of emotional pain and how our emotional pain can be so prevalent in self medicating with drugs and alcohol simply to “quiet” the pain of past experiences or trauma.
The second half of our discussion is called Addiction: A Mother’s Story. The story of my journey with my son. These two sessions go hand in hand. I would suggest listening to The Burden of Abuse first and Addiction A Mother’s Story second to get the full message and complete story I am trying to share. I am sure you will see yourself and your addicted loved one in these two podcasts. They are free podcasts – you just have to hit the links indicated.
As we say goodbye to 2020, I hope that 2021 brings you and your loved ones the peace and contentment and happiness you all so deserve. Remember – we are making progress – we cannot slow down.
Remember to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. It is a necessity.
Much love to you all,