Heroin Support Blog

Our goal here is to provide our readers with the latest information about the signs of heroin addiction, support groups, treatment options, life in recovery, prevention & advocacy in our communities, and how to deal with grief of a lost loved one. If you have ideas or suggestions that you wish to share with us here please use our "Contact Us" page to email us.

Do You Know What Heroin Addiction Is Really Like???

EyeOfAnAddict

Hi, this is the first time I've put this all into writing. My name is John and I'm in love with a recovering addict. A little about me first. Just a short while ago those words would have been bizarre coming from me. I was a single dad (my son lives with me) he was 12 When i met her. I was an EMT for over 20 years with 3 OD /CPR saves under my belt, so clearly i knew what this whole addiction / sudo epidemic thing was all about (Ha, what a joke).

When I met her she was not an active addict. She told me that she had abused pills in the past but she got treated. Ok, so a "yellow" flag went up and was soon forgotten. Clearly she was cured. (Most of you are laughing right now) She owned her own home, car, was a single parent herself, had a great job (almost 6 figures). So, whatever had happened was clearly resolved. Besides, she was beautiful inside and out. The most gentle soul. Her favorite hobbies were crafting and sewing. We fell in love hard and fast. It wasn't long and she moved in with me. Her teenage son wanted nothing to do with this. This was a lot of uncertain change beyond his control. To me, it didn't seem like too big of a deal "we'll work it out". I said. I figured when you're in love, things will work out one way or the other. I was clueless and completely unprepared for what was about to happen.


She confided in a "less than" friend about some of the stresses she was dealing with, and knowing her past, offered her a synthetic pain killer that she didn't have to worry about getting addicted to. (Clearly more to this story, but that's not relevant right now). This went on for a short time before it was revealed that it was heroin. But, it was too late. She was hooked. Ashamed and hooked, she kept her secret hidden for a while. I knew something was off but, I just couldn't put my finger on it. She started missing work, she was gone strange hours, sleeping a lot, becoming distant in general. Of course not being able to pull one over on me, I figured it out. She must be cheating on me. Crying and full of shame she swore to me that's not what it was. Of course with no plausible explanation I didn't believe her.

(Pause: rewind... I'm an EMT. I recognize drug abuse from 100 feet away. I know the signs. I can tell you what people are abusing with pretty good accuracy. My spidy senses never kicked in.) Before long, she stopped coming home. But I didn't care. I was mad. Cheat on me will you? However, I was currently stuck with her 2 dogs, 2 cats, all of her belongings, and oh yeah.... Her teenage son. So, with her phone shut off, Not knowing exactly where she was....I emailed her. Boy did I let her have it. I laid it on thick. How dare she abandoned her responsibilities on me. All I got in response was "I'm sorry". That wasn't good enough by far. But, it wasn't the response I was expecting. I had been far too mean and sarcastic. It was dawning on me that something was askew. So the next email I changed my tone. I wanted to start a dialog. This time she responded. "I messed up. I'm hooked on heroin. The kind you inject. I'm so sorry. I love you".

What?! How? No! B.S!, confusion, denial anger. But, if that's true..... I missed the signs. I was all wrong. What do i do now? She made a bad decision, but she doesn't deserve to die for it. I know how to handle an overdose but I had no idea how to handle this.

My world was spinning out of control. I decided to immerse myself in this heroin addiction thing. What it was. What is heroin. How it works. Why it happens. How to fix it. I wanted a solid understanding of what it was. So I googled it. I went to forums for users, for addicts in recovery. I went to doctors and nurses. They had the same understanding about addiction that I did. (That's a huge part of the problem, the front line of the war on drugs doesn't understand what it really means to be addicted) keep in mind, something like 5 out of 7 opiate addicts started with doctor oversight. I talked to recovering addicts. Finally, some useful insight. I talked to active users. I listened to every word like they were my professor and I was cramming for finals. I talked to recovery counselors. (They are the first professionals in this battle that actually grasp the problem). I learned that quitting heroin is brutal. I'd come to see it first hand. The sweats, anxiety, mood swings, graduating to restless legs and arms. That's about the time electricity shoots through the bones. The excruciating pain. The grief, and shame. The insomnia and nausea. Desperately trying anything to bring relief. Truly believing that happiness may never be felt again. Sometimes feeling a loss hope. If a terrorist were subjected to this, it would be considered inhumane.

One thing kept coming to the forefront. This is their addiction. It will have to be their recovery. She needs to want it or it will all be for nothing. I can't force her. But don't count me out of the picture yet. I can learn how to be a healthy part of her recovery. How to encourage. How not to enable. How to draw the line in the sand and stick to it. I can go to meetings and learn the steps. Boy did that backfire. I'm not the addicted one but, apparently I needed to make some personal changes (before my flaws were pointed out, I was pretty sure I was close to prefect). I learned that some of my actions weren't healthy in this relationship and they couldn't continue. I had to do some deep soul searching be honest with myself. But, if she is willing to get help, I'll do it. Whatever it takes.

Finally weeks had gone by and I had been able to keep some dialog going through the emails. Several other events occurred in the meantime, but I'll save that for the movie, lol. Suffice it to say, the police may or may not have been involved and I may have made a few mistakes along the way. (Note: don't waste your time being vindictive to their supplier. It may feel good, but it takes away from the objective).

She finally said the words......"I'm in over my head. I need help but I'm scared". I told her "don't worry, I have a plan" and she said "ok". Well, That was music to my ears. Now i just had to come up with a plan. What i came up with was a good solid plan. Unfortunately it ended up requiring about 18 contingency plans. There were times when faith was thin (to put it mildly) on both sides. Ultimately in order to detox without her supplier walking and taking her out knowing she was still too vulnerable to resist and the staff taking the cavalier attitude of "well, that's what addicts do".

We decided to go out of state and detox in a motel room for two weeks. (Not highly recommended even though it worked for her. I can not stress enough that this is not for the faint of heart). It was nothing short of cruel. But, she was determined. She truly believed it was this or death. With the heroin out of her system. Clear headed (more than she had been in a while) We were able to get her into a very helpful inpatient program back home and drove straight there. This was not the end of the struggle by far. The battle continued for some time to come.

During this ordeal I watched her resolve herself to die rather than face the shame of what she'd done. I had her family members tell me things like "don't walk away from her.... run" , she's just being selfish, if she dies I'd like to have her photo albums. They turned their backs on her because she made her selfish decision. She hadn't done anything to them. Not borrowed money, not stolen, pawned or pilfered. Inconvenienced them in no way. But, because of the stigma, of this dark mysterious "H" word, turned their backs on her. Police made it clear that they will not go out on a limb for a junkie. Admitting that it was less of a liability to wait until they overdosed and just do the paperwork. The general consensus amongst first responders was "thats sad, I hope they get help but it's most likely a waste of time". A notable lack of compassion. And the ignorance in general (including myself until this and still learning) shows the need for education at every level of this battle.

Yes, initially this was a choice that your loved one made to take this drug. People need to understand that this drug gave the greatest, most euphoric feeling ever felt by your loved one. It allowed them to escape from the stress of everything. That is, until it didn't. And stopping means feeling the worst hell you never even imagined or spend a few dollars to get well enough to keep going. But, then it consumes you and spirals out of control ruining everything you were. It's a viscous cycle that takes an act of bravery and courage to face head on.

I didn't write this for those in recovery. They know this better than anyone like me could. That's the one group that is compassionate about heroin abuse and passionate about helping other addicts and those affected by addiction with their recovery. (Imagine that, the same people written off as waste by general society, are the most compassionate of all of them).

I wrote this for people like me, that just don't have a clue what the battle of heroin addiction really looks and feels like. What they can do to help. Where they fit into their loved one's recovery. To help break the stigma of this dark back alley hardcore drug to the #1 painkiller of the last 3000 years that it is, affecting every demographic in this country. And for loved one's to get an account of some of the things to expect as their loved one faces their journey into their recovery. And to give hope. Because, recovery does work. And as a family member affected by addiction. I'm here to tell you, not only did I survive. But, I'm stronger for it.

My loved one is now 3 years clean and we're planning our wedding now. I still come to this amazing support group of active users, those in recovery and parents for inspiration and guidance. (I suspect I always will). There's a lot of love and knowledge in these posts in this private group.

Best wishes

John Gold

Support our fundraising efforts here at Heroin Support by purchasing wristbands via our website or donating below.

 

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NKY/Cincinnati Companies that Will Consider Hiring You With a Criminal Record

NeedaJob

The companies on the attached list have verified they will consider hiring someone who has a criminal record. If the entry says “assorted locations,” each location has their own policy, but the corporate position is positive. Each company has said they will review each applicant on a case-by-case basis. There may be restrictions. Be honest, and focus on the good things you have been doing. Stay positive and upbeat. If you dont get the job, do not become discouraged. Just keep applying and keep putting your best self forward. You will be successful, dont forget that.

 

Type of Work Company Address
Aerospace Manufacturing Boeing CGV Airport
Airline Support Delta Airlines CVG Airport
Airline Support United Airlines CVG
Apparel Printing SRO Printing (OH) Small Business
Assorted Careers.org (KY, OH, IN) Assorted Opportunities
Assorted Positions - Non-Profit Org. Salvation Army Assorted Locations
Assorted/Airport Allright Parking CVG 613 Petersburg Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Auto Mechanic Aamco Transmissions (Erlanger) 3210 Dixie Hwy., Erlanger, KY 41018
Auto Repair Midas Muffler Assorted Locations
Auto, Insulation, Roofing, Manufacturing Bridgestone (OH)(IN) Headquarters: 535 Marriott Dr., Nashville, TN 37214
Automotive Machining Black Maching & Technology 4020 Bach Buxton Rd., Batavia, OH 45103
Automotive/Tires - Need clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Ft Wright 476 Orphanage Rd., Ft. Wright, KY 41017
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Walton 620 Chestnut Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumerel Tire Company Newport 63 Carothers Rd., Newport, OH 41011
Automotive/Tires Need Clean Motor Vehicle Record Bob Sumeral Tire Company (OH) 40 W. Court St., Cincinnati, OH 45202 (Headquarters)
Aviation Manufacturing General Electric Aviation 1 Neumann Way, Cincinnati, OH 45215
Bakery Busken Bakery Assorted Locations
Bakery Klosterman Baking Co. 4760 Paddock Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45229
Batteries - Sales and Distribution Interstate Batteries Cincinnati, OH
Building Products Bridgestone (KY) 8170 Holton Dr., Florence, KY 41042
Car Care Firestone Complete Auto Care Assorted Locations
Car Rental Avis Rent A Car Assorted Locations
Car Rental Dollar Rent A Car 3114 Loomis Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Car Rental & Customer Service Budget Rent A Car 7107 Dixie Hwy., Florence, KY 41042
Chemical Company & Agriculture Research and Inventory DuPont (Seed Consultant's, Inc.) Seed Consultant's, Inc. 853 E. Washington St., Sabina, OH 45169
Cleaning Service Master Assorted Locations
Clothing Calvin Klein, Inc. Cincinnati Premium Outlet, 207 Premium Outlet Dr., Monroe, OH 45050
Clothing Nordstrom Assorted Locations
Commercial Printer RR Donnelley 7405 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Computer Technology Dell Cincinnati, OH 
Computer Technology IBM 250 E. 5th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Customer Service & Maintenance Alamo Rent A Car 3230 Loomis Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Delivery DHL (Erlanger) 236 Wendell Ford Blvd., Erlanger, KY 41018
Delivery, Merchandising, Sales Dr. Pepper/Seven Up 1115 Regina Graeter Way, Cincinnati, OH 45216
Exterior Remodeling Arco Remodeling 876 Lebanon St., Monroe, OH 45050
Food Distribution Castellini 2 Plum St., Wilder, KY 41076
Food Distribution ConAgra Foods 7308 Central Park Blvd., Mason, OH 45040
Food Distribution US Foods 5445 Spellmire Dr., West Chester, OH 45246
Food Manufacturing General Mills 11301 Mosteller Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Food Manufacturing Grippos 6750 Colerain Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45239
Food Processing Archer Daniels Midland Cincinnati, OH; Silver Grove, KY
Food Processing Hillshire Brands (Tyson/Sara Lee) 1099 Bob Huber Dr., Alexandria, KY 41001
Food Product Supplier Frito-Lay 3740 Turfway, Erlanger, OH 41018
Food Product Supplier Kraft Foods 8805 Governors Hill Dr., Loveland, OH 45140
Food Service Aramark (KY, OH, IN) 5 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Food Service Supply Chain Company McLane Food Services 3755 Langley Dr., Hebron, KY 41048
Food Service Warehouse Sysco 10510 Evandale Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45241
Furniture Ashley Furniture 8040 Burlington Pike, Florence, KY 41042
Garage Door Installation Overhead Door 9345 Princeton Glendale Rd., Hamilton, OH 45011
Gasoline Retail Pilot Flying J Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Shell Oil Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Speedway Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Sunoco Assorted Locations
Gasoline Retail Super America Assorted Locations
Gate and Fencing Installation and Service Automatic Gates Plus 10866 St. Rte. 744, Hamersville, OH 45130
General Contractor Paul Michel’s & Sons (Hebron) 1547 Youell Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
General Temporary Labor Cincinnati Temporary Labor 1109 Vine Street, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Geotechnical Engineering and Construction Thelen Associates, Inc. (Erlanger) 1398 Cox Rd., Erlanger, KY 41018
Grocery Retail Kroger Assorted Locations
Grocery Retail Trader Joe's 7788 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236
Hair Salon Great Clips Assorted Locations
Healthcare Products and Services Baxter International One Baxter Parkway, Deerfield, IL 60015
Healthcare Services Talbot House 2600 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45206
Home Goods Retail Ikea 9500 Ikea Way, West Chester, OH 45069
Hotel Embassy Suites Assorted Locations
Hotel Hampton Inn Assorted Locations
Hotel Hilton Hotels Assorted Locations
Hotel Howard Johnsons Assorted Locations
Hotel Marriott Assorted Locations
Hotel Radisson 668 W. 5th St., Covington, KY 41011
Hotel Red Roof Inn Assorted Locations
Hotel Wingate  by Wyndham Hotels 605 Viox Dr., Erlanger, KY 41018
Hotels Best Western (National) 6201 N. 24th Parkway, Phoenix, AZ 85016
Ice Cream Stores Dairy Queen Assorted Locations
Industrial Cintas (KY, OH) 3368 Turfway, Erlanger, KY 41018 or 418 Wilmer Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45226
Industrial Equipment Supplier W.W. Grainger 10075 Sam Neace Dr., Florence, KY 41042
Industrial Staffing Labor Works 2236 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45206
Industrial Staffing TLC Staffing 1234 Madison Ave., Covington, KY 41011
Insurance Allstate Insurance Co. Assorted Agencies
Insurance Blue Cross & Blue Shield Association 120 Monument Circle, Indianapolis, IN 46204
IT CDW 9349 Waterstone Blvd., #150, Cincinnati, OH 45249
Labeling, Ribbons, Data Collection General Data Company, Inc. 4354 Ferguson Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Landscape and Supplies Service Evans Landscaping Assorted Locations
Lawn Care Oasis Turf & Tree 5339 Madison Pike, Independence, KY 41051
Logistics Verst Group Logistics 300 Shorland Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Logistics & Shipping Total Quality Logistics (TQL) 4289 Ivy Pointe Blvd., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Logistics & Transportation Advanced Transportation 1125 Glendale Milford Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45215
Machining Manufacturer Fives Machining 1780 Worldwide Blvd., Hebron, OH 41018
Machining Manufacturing Shawnee Systems 3616 Church St., Cincinnati, OH 45244
Maintenance, Administrative Xerox (OH, KY) 45 Glover Avenue, Norwalk, CT 06856-4505
Manufacturer Victory Industrial Products, Inc. 4600 Mason Montgomery Rd., Mason, OH 45040
Manufacturing and Warehouse Packaging Unlimited of NKY 2251 Augustine St., Covington, KY 41014
Moving Nelson Markesbery Moving & Storage Allied Van Lines 7370 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Moving & Relocation Atlas Van Lines 9917 Charter Park Dr., West Chester, OH 45069
Moving, Customer Service U-Haul Assorted Locations
Office Supply Staples Assorted Locations
Ohio River Marine Work C.B. Marine 50 E. Rivercenter Blvd., #1180, Covington, KY 41011
Oil, Car Care Jiffy Lube Assorted Locations
Packaging Ampac Packaging LLC (Pro Ampac) 12025 Tricon Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45246
Paper & Pre- Printing Facility International Paper 380 Shorland Dr.,Walton, KY 41094
Paper and Wallboard Manufacturing Continental Building Supplies 5145 Mary Ingles Hwy., Silver Grove, KY 41085
Paper Manufacturing Georgia-Pacific 9048 Port Union Rialto Rd., West Chester, OH 45069
Pet Store PetSmart Assorted Locations
Pickled  Foods and Salad Dressings Kaiser Foods 500 York St., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Pizzeria Domino's Pizza Assorted Locations
Pizzeria Donato’s Assorted Locations
Plastic Fabrication Plastic Moldings 2181 Grand Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Plumbing Whitt Plumbing Co. 1152 Ferris Rd., Amelia, OH 45102
Polymer Container Manufacturer Dart Polymers 2400 Harbor Rd., Owensboro, KY 42301
Precision Textile Braiding (Machining) A&P Technology 4595 E. Tech Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Printers AllScreen 1218 Race St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Printing and Graphics Multi Color Corp. 4053 Clough Woods Rd., Batavia, OH 45103
Produce Warehouse Crossett 10295 Toebben Dr., Independence, KY 41051
Product Market and Distribution Club Chef 3776 Lake Park Dr., Covington, KY 41017
Production, IT Caterpillar, Inc. Assorted Locations
Property Management General Growth Properties 2028 Florence Mall, Florence, KY 41042
Real Estate Coldwell Banker Assorted Locations
Recording, Imaging, Manufacturing, Sales Fuji Film 1650 Magnolia Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45215
Residential Living Support, Non-Profit Support Volunteers of America 700 W. Pete Rose Way, #335, Cincinnati, OH 45203
Restaurant Applebee's 7833 Turfway Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Restaurant Arby's Assorted Restaurants
Restaurant Baskin Robbins 130 Royall St., Canton, MA 02021
Restaurant Bistro Group, Inc. (National) 5803 Mariemont Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45227
Restaurant Bob Evans Assorted Locations
Restaurant Buffalo Wild Wings (KY, OH, IN) 5500 Wayzata Blvd., Minneapolis, MN 55416
Restaurant Burger King Assorted Locations
Restaurant Campbell's Foodservice Headquarters: Campbell's Soup Company, Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103
Restaurant Captain D's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Chick-fil-A (KY) 5200 Buffington Rd., Atlanta, GA 30349
Restaurant Chili's (KY, OH) 6820 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75240
Restaurant Chipotle (KY, OH) 1401 Wynkoop St., Denver, CO 80202
Restaurant Denny's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Dunkin Donuts Assorted Locations
Restaurant Frisch's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Golden Corral Assorted Locations
Restaurant IHOP Assorted Locations
Restaurant Jimmy Johns Assorted Locations
Restaurant KFC Assorted Locations
Restaurant Lee's Famous Recipe Assorted Locations
Restaurant Longhorn Steakhouse Assorted Locations
Restaurant Max & Erma's Assorted Locations
Restaurant McDonalds Assorted Locations
Restaurant Montgomery Inn Assorted Locations
Restaurant O'Charleys Assorted Locations
Restaurant Olive Garden Assorted Locations
Restaurant Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen 11975 Northwest Blvd., Springdale, OH 45246
Restaurant Perkins Assorted Locations
Restaurant Ponderosa 8053 Holiday Place, Florence, KY 41042
Restaurant Rally's Hamburger Assorted Locations
Restaurant Red Lobster Assorted Locations
Restaurant Red Robin Assorted Locations
Restaurant Ruby Tuesday Assorted Locations
Restaurant Season 52 3819 Edwards Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45209
Restaurant Subway Assorted Locations
Restaurant Wendy's Assorted Locations
Restaurant Yard House 95 E. Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Restaurant Supplier Restaurant Depot 4501 W, Mitchell Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45232
Retail Ace Hardware (Independence) 2136 Declaration Dr., Independence, KY 41051
Retail Bed, Bath, Beyond 2757 Town Center Blvd., Crestview Hills, KY 41017
Retail Dollar Tree Assorted Locations
Retail Family Dollar Assorted Locations
Retail HH Gregg 7601 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Retail Home Depot Assorted Locations
Retail K-Mart Assorted Locations
Retail Kohl’s Assorted Locations
Retail Lowe's Assorted Locations
Retail Macy's Assorted Locations
Retail Meijer's Assorted Locations
Retail Men's Warehouse 7623 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Retail Sears Assorted Locations
Retail Target Assorted Locations
Retail Toys "R" Us Assorted Locations
Retail Wal-Mart Assorted Locations
Retail, Assorted Goodwill Cincinnati 10600 Springfield Pike, Cincinnati, OH 45215
Retail/Distribution Walgreens Assorted Locations
Risk Management & Consulting Aon Hewitt Corporation 250 E. 5th, #2300, Cincinnati, OH 45202
Risk Management & Consulting Arthur J. Gallaher & Co. 1 West 4th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Roofing Holland Roofing of Cincinnati, Inc. (Florence) 7450 Industrial Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Sales Apple, Inc. 7875 Montgomery Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45236 (Kenwood Town Mall)
Sales Campbell's Soup Headquarters: Campbell's Soup Company, Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103
Sales and Support Delta Faucet Co. 55 E. 111th, Indianapolis, IN 46280
Sales Contractor Avon Products 777 Third Ave., New York, NY 1007
Sales Representative American Greetings (National Jobs) One American Rd., Cleveland, OH 44144-2398
Salvage Yard VanDemark 2129 OH-125, Amelia, OH 45102
Sheet Metal Sheet Metal Workers International 15789 Summit E. Ct., #106, Cincinnati, OH 45237
Shipping Company, Printing, Office Support Federal Express Assorted Locations
Sports Auxiliary Assist NFL Paul Brown Stadium
Staffing Agency Advantage Staffing 2337 Buttermilk Crossing, Crescent  Springs, KY 410147
Staffing Agency CM Personnel Temp Agency 3025 Dixie Highway, #107, Edgewood, KY 41017
Staffing Agency Crown Services, Inc. 8140 Dream St., Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Eastern Personnel 340 Reading Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Staffing Agency Express Pros Staffing Agency 8459 U.S. 42, Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Indeed Employment Agency Assorted Locations
Staffing Agency Kelly Services, Inc. 7300 Turfway, Suite 140, Florence, KY 41042
Staffing Agency Minute Men, Inc. 6600 Dixie Highway, Suite W, Fairfield, OH 45014
Staffing Agency Trustaff Personnel 7106 Turfway, Florence, KY 41042
Telecommunication Sales and Service AT&T (KY, OH) 150 E. Gay St., Columbus, OH 43215
Telecommunication Sales and Service Sprint Corp. Assorted Locations
Telecommunication Sales and Service Verizon Assorted Locations
Temporary Agency Belcan Corp. (IN, OH) 10200 Anderson Way, Cincinnati, OH 45242
Temporary Agency Simply Hired Employment Agency (on-line) Assorted Locations
Temporary Agency Staffmark Temporary Agency 8166 Mall Rd., Florence, KY 41042
Tires BF Goodrich P.O. Box 19001, Greenville, SC 29602
Tires Dunlop Tires (Goodyear) Assorted Locations
Tobacco Company Phillip Morris, Inc. International Company
Transportation and Support Personnel Greyhound 1005 Gilbert Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45202
Transportation and Support Personnel J.B. Hunt Transport Cincinnati, OH
Travel American Express 5806 Wooster Pike, #200, Cincinnati, OH 45227
Ventilating & Manufacturing Trentec, Inc. (Curtiss-Wright Flow Control Corp.) 4600 E. Tech Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45245
Warehouse G&J Pepsi-Cola Warehouse 3081 Kentronics Dr., Owensboro, KY 42301
Warehouse Levi Strauss 3750 N. Bend Rd., Hebron, KY 41048
Warehouse Merchants Cold Storage 240 Shorland Dr., Walton, KY 41094
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 1374 Bryan Griffin Rd., Alexandria, KY 41001
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 5535 Vine St., Cincinnati, OH 45217
Waste and Recycling Rumpke 3800 Struble Rd., Cincinnati, OH 45251
Water Route Delivery Deer Park Spring Water (Nestle Waters) 900 Long Ridge Rd., Bldg. 2, Stamford, CT 06902
Welding Supplies Praxair 2121 Spring Grove Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45214
Windows Installation & Repair Renewal by Anderson Windows 11785 Highway Dr. #200, Cincinnati, OH 45241
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Alexandria, Ky - "Angel Program" - Volunteers Helping Those Who Are Struggling With Addiction

Alexandria ACTS Flyer

What is the Alexandria, Kentucky Angel Program?

Beginning October 1, 2016, any person who enters the Alexandria Police Department and requests help with their addiction to opiates will be immediately screened into our Angel Program for placement in a local treatment facility. As a police-led and volunteer supported initiative, officers will connect people with substance use disorders to treatment options in the community, while volunteer “Angels” support participants during the intake process.

Moreover, officers will dispose of any drugs or drug equipment in the participant’s possession and not charge them with a crime. Ultimately, our goal is to connect participants to local, state, or out-of-state treatment facilities which provide an appropriate continuum of care based on the participant’s needs.


The Angel Program Origins
Massachusetts began the Gloucester ANGEL Initiative in June 2015. One year since inception, Gloucester has referred more than 450 people into treatment and shown a 33% reduction in property crime rates.

The success of the program and widespread need for new solutions to the heroin epidemic led to the development of Police Assisted Addiction Recovery Initiative (PAARI), a non-profit organization that provides support for police agencies launching similar programs and networking with nationwide treatment centers.

Reasons for Change
The City of Alexandria and Northern Kentucky has been strongly impacted by the heroin and opioid epidemic. According to the Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy 2015 Overdose Fatality Report, Campbell, Boone and Kenton Counties have had a high rate of overdose deaths due to illicit and/or prescription drugs that were inflicted intentionally or unintentionally including heroin and Fentanyl.

Kentucky Resident Drug Overdose Deaths 2014-2015 (Source: http://odcp.ky.gov/)
(These deaths represent overdoses by illicit and/or prescription drugs that were inflicted intentionally or unintentionally)
Campbell County - 176 deaths (45 from heroin)
Boone County - 180 deaths (23 from heroin)
Kenton County - 307 deaths (72 from heroin)

KyOverdoseDeaths2014 2015

Overall, drug-related crime, public health issues, and overdoses in our community have pushed our police to develop innovative programs to address this crisis. We wanted to implement a program with proven success at reducing drug-related crime and removing barriers to treatment.

Alexandria's Dedication to Drug Enforcement
The Alexandria Police Department is strongly dedicated to bringing justice to drug dealers and suppliers in our city. While we will continue to arrest and prosecute drug traffickers to the highest extent, this program aims to reduce their clientele by minimizing the stigma of addiction and removing barriers to recovery. The Alexandria Police Department will be a safe place for those who are ready to for help with their addiction.

Angel Program Walk-In-Hours at the Alexandria Police Station
Monday - Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm

For more information on our Addiction Community Training & Support (ACTS) and Angel Program, please contact:
Kelly Pompilio, MSW
Police Social Worker
City of Alexandria
8236 West Main Street
Alexandria, KY 41001
Ph. 859-448-2807
fax. 859-635-4123
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Recovery Is The Only Way For Me Now

ProudOfYou

Alot of people ask me about being an addict and my personal recovery so I wanted to share my story with everyone and show you my reasons why recovery is the only way for me. Warning Lol its long...

I was content living in the small town I grew up in. Had a "normal" childhood, other than my parent's divorcing at age 6. I am the youngest of their 3 children, each of us 10-12 years apart. My brother and sister say they all used to do "family things" together and have fond memories. I cant remember all of us being together other than our mommas passing in 2014.

Our father was always strict but at a very young age I learned how to manipulate him through the guilt he carried for not being able to give me the "family structure" he gave my siblings. So growing up, I knew I could get away with things my brother and sister couldn't. Sadly, I used it to fill every ounce of my addiction as an adult as well..

(It's taken me 40 years to figure that out)

Being blessed with a supportive family allowed me to finish school as a single mother, eventually working in the medical field. I was young, responsible, never got into trouble, had a healthy, beautiful curley haired baby girl, a great carrear working for the mayor who was also a practicing Physician. I was overall happy, just living my life.

I got sick one day, I thought it was just allergies but it turned out to be a bronchial infection and working with doctors, it was easy to get a prescription. I assumed I'd just get a simple antibiotic, wasn't expecting any cough syrup and daym sure didn't think the cough syrup had any opiates in it!

I had messed with weed and alcohol when I partied but never anything beyond that. I will never forget that feeling of euphoria. It was an out of body experience for me, every good feeling combined into one quick swigg.

If the heavens air, walking on clouds, flying with angels and sweet adrenaline were all put together in one bottle, this was it for me..

"Sippin syrup" became my daily routine and was too easy for me to get my hands on working where I did so that bottle followed me everywhere for three years until I found out I was pregnant with my second child. It was finally time to quit. Easy, I thought but nope, I was so wrong..

Ashamed and full of guilt, I continued "syruping" until I was four months along. I assumed I'd tell my obgyn and he'd just give me something to make this easy or tell me it was ok...

Once again, I was so wrong...
He told me that I had to start taking methadone.  I knew what methadone was and I told the Dr he was out of his mind because I was far from a junkie! 

My sister was with me and I remember leaving the room, crying, very upset. She followed me outside and told me I was selfish..
5 months later my Prince arrived, he was perfectly beautiful and my memories of his birth would be the same if we hadnt had to stay an extended 14 days. All I could do was hold him, rock him, Love on him and gently rub his tiny hairy ears while he went through methadone withdraws.

He's a fighter and he got through that just fine. Healthy and happy. My son is one of the strongest people I know so it was my turn to be strong and quit taking methadone..

Yep, wrong again because I couldn't just stop. I tried..... Several, several times.

A "friend" suggested heroin because I was very sick withdrawling from methadone cold turkey and conveniently he had heroin.
7 inpatient/ outpatient treatment facilities, 3 suboxone clinics, 4 arrests, 1 convicted felony charge, hepatitis c, 2 overdoses, 21 days in acoma and almost 15 years later, I'm still alive and have not used in over two years..

Today I am 40, my Queen is 20. Despite everything I put her through, she is the epitome of what a real woman should be and continues to make me proud daily. My Prince is 12. Comedian at best but he's also a gifted dancer who keeps me on my toes. Both beautuful inside and out. To be a child of an addict is a completely different story and a story of their own so I won't speak for them.

We all lost 13+ years to MY drug addiction which is heartbreaking considering they never touched a drug a day in their lives.
Not gunna lie, even in recovery there's times I want to 'check out', either through drugs or death but I already took away their childhood so I have to be here for their future

I realize I am beyond blessed and there's no greater gift in recovery than my kids just wanting to finally be around me, their Momma.

I choose recovery because I am worthy of recovery and I want to be remembered as the mother of two people who changed the world NOT as a hopeless junkie of two kids.

Liz Rosas

 

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I Never Met an Addict Who Wants to Be On Heroin

addict01

 

To the parents of the still suffering addict. The best advice I can give is not to give up on them, and try to show them there is still hope. Someone in active addiction has none they feel lost and helpless. I have never met an addict who wants to be on heroin. For the most part they all want to quit, they just feel that it cannot be done. They do not know how because they feel that the world has turned their back on them because of all the things they have done, and who they have become. They feel that they cannot even love themselves.

How can they expect someone else to love them? So love them despite of it someone had to love me before I could learn to love myself again, even if it is tough love sometimes the sooner they hit their bottom the better, and there are some that may never hit their bottom and just need to be shown there is a better way of life. I remember a time when i would wake up sick and see every one running around with their family and friends having fun and looking happy. This was something I was not able to understand because when I woke up, I had nothing but worries and I hated everything.

Thank God for my new way of thinking. When I wake up today, I see it as a blessing just to be here. Any addict still suffering, when you go into recovery, this way of thinking does not come over night but in time you will start to appreciate the little things in life. Even more than a normal person even just getting a good night sleep or waking up only because you will look back and remember what it was like. Not to be able to get sleep no matter what u did unless you were high. Waking up every day not being sick is great and not waking up sick having to worry about what you have to do to get right, is flat out the best thing ever. So when in recovery just be patient and the little thing will come take it from someone who has done everything you have and probably then some.

 

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Poem - My Living Nightmare

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"I wrote this poem when I was locked up. Please do not steal it. I take great pride in my writing but don't share much of it. It is my outlet, one I don't use often enough. Please share the poem all you want but with me Brandon Tyler Bray as the Author. Thank you hope you like it"

My Living Nightmare

I dread waking up
But I force a smile
I try to give a F***
Though I haven't for awhile
All emotion stuck inside
Heart burning as it piles
No one to confide
Worries tuck away like files
Drugs take away the pain
Yet my problems now grow worse
Without them I don't feel the same
My only stop is in a hearse
I hate who I've become
On the inside I scream
I feel the drugs have won
Reality is now my worst dream
From everyone I am shunned
It's all exactly how it seems
No more retirement fund
This is no longer me
Everyday the same goal
No matter what the cost
Even down to my very soul
I've never been so lost
Scared of the sickness
Always feeling hopeless
Lost in the thickness
Of never being dopeless.

-Brandon Tyler Bray

We wanted to share a poem someone sent us here.  Feel free to message us on Facebook or email us at the bottom of our website here if you have something you wish to share.

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Addiction - "If what I’ve said here saves one person then her death will not be in vain."

AddictionKilledMyWife

Addiction.

It was truly the saddest day of my life. Looking at the many funeral attendees and seeing all of the pain. Not just for the loss of my kids’ mother, but for how the loss would forever affect all of us.

Seems like 100 years ago, I would be down at the local pool and I would see a young girl in a green, one-piece bathing suit, with nose plugs.

She would be doing all sorts of crazy things off the diving board. Front flips, back flips, back dives. A very talented young lady.

Who would have thought that some years later we would be getting together and having four kids? Through the good and the bad, she was a part of my life for over 30 years. And now, sadly, we are all saying our good-byes.

I knew her as well as anybody, and I think she would be OK with me telling this story.

She became my best friend and loved to have fun. That may have been her downfall.

What I am saying is going to impact you all in various ways. Some will be shocked, some horrified and some angry that I am exposing her in this way. For that, I am sorry.

Denying what happened or continuing to not talk about it is not helping. It’s a problem.  Thousands of people are dying because of it.

With the funeral so recent, is it the proper time to be discussing it? Maybe not, but I have a grieving audience- and audience who cared enough about her and her family to attend the services. People who have just lost a loved one because of it.

A friend, a mother, a sister. She could be stubborn. She didn’t ever wear her back brace as she was supposed to. She felt she didn’t need it.

And, she stubbornly resisted the fact that she really did have a problem with addiction. She overdosed on heroin and her oldest son had to perform CPR while waiting for the ambulance. The crew administered Narcan to revive her and she was rushed to the hospital. She still didn’t have a problem with addiction. In the end, it was a combination of addictive drugs that took her life. She wasn’t a bad person, she just made some bad decisions.

If any positive things can come from her death, one would be that she is no longer hurting. Her back issues were crippling her. She faces more surgeries and was in a lot of pain.

The second that could be positive would be to raise awareness of the disease. Addiction is affecting half of my family, which means it is affecting ALL of my family. And I know it is affecting many of you.

Her death is tragic. She had four great kids and four grand-children that she will not see grow up. She won’t see her youngest two children get married or start their families with more grandchildren to watch grow up. She is missing so much- all to addiction.

Addiction is everywhere: cigarettes, pot, cocaine, alcohol. All bad. All can have serious health consequences and eventually kill you. But not quite like opiates or heroin. One overdoes, one bad packet or injection can kill you.

No time to turn back. Gone.. Forever. Big cities and larger communities all across the country are being ravages by drugs. Clearly now it is in small towns and close-knit communities like ours.

A Syracuse forum I attended places some of the responsibilities on us as parents. Refuse a prescription for opiate-based pain killer, or at least limit it to a week supply with no refills. Throw away any unused portions.

I personally feel this is an issue to be dealt with by the physicians, but if we must deal with it ourselves until they catch up with the problem, then that may be our best chance. If you or someone you know is dealing with an addiction, get help. More and more help is available every day.

If what I’ve said here saves one person, one family, one grandmother from this horrible disease, then her death will not be in vain.

I think she would like that.

mom

- Lawrence Blanchard is a resident of Cincinnatus, New York. His former wife, Jody Loomis Blanchard, died Jan. 25, 2016.

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The Price of Addiction: So Much More Than Dollars and Cents.

MattKlosowski

37-year old Matthew Klosowski died from a prescription drug overdose

In every conversation I've ever had regarding the disease of addiction somehow the topic always found its way back to the cost. We've all heard the horror stories of how pricy these resort style rehabs are. I can only imagine the dollars spent on advertising. The glossy photos that would appear on my computer screen looking like something I would book if I was searching for a romantic get away with my husband. The beaches, the palm trees and the pools all waiting for the arrival of our addicted sons and daughters. All promising they were the best. They had the best, they provided the best and so on and so on. I would scroll through and think damn, I should start taking drugs just so I could attend one of these fabulous places in the sun.

I closed my eyes and had this flash back from my early nursing days. Working as the charge nurse on the floor of a popular nursing home. The pamphlets show all the beauty. The common rooms and the gardens, all looking like something advertising luxury living. Hiding the smell of urine. The people strapped into Geri chairs, drool running down their shirts. Left to their own devices. The horror that lay behind those beautiful rooms for only the staff to see. How can the owners of those homes deceive the public and charge exorbitant amounts of money for such inadequate care.  Could another industry be as deceptive in their marketing of providing safe, effective care in a beautiful setting and continue to stay in business. I'm afraid they can.

I've lived the experience that so many other parents share. We had faith in the recovery system. We believed the brochures and those caring people that lead us to trust that our child's recovery was utmost on their mind. They tell us they care and will do everything in their power to ensure our addicts are kept safe and sound. They give us a false sense of security allowing us to take that breath and feel we are sending our addict to the best place possible. 

Then they hit us with the price tag for this most amazing care. As parents we are emotional wrecks. We will do anything and pay anything to have the nightmare that our child's addiction has inflicted into our life's come to a end. So we drain our savings, deplete our retirement accounts and remortgage our homes because we are desperate to believe these so called addiction professionals hold the keys to a world that will save our children.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, addiction is characterized by intense, uncontrollable drug craving. So why do these so called experts allow our kids freedom to leave the grounds and explore these new surroundings unsupervised. Matt had been accepted into a rehab in Florida, after I came up with three thousand dollars. Imagine my surprise when the phone rang at ten p.m. and it was Matt. Hi Mom, I'm walking to the beach. You're what? Yeah I'm just checking out the beach. Seriously, you are unsupervised on your second night in rehab and you're out and about? So now that familiar feeling of anxiety bursts through the false security I'd been fed by the owners that were more than happy to cash my check and allow my son more freedom than he ever had at home.

Unfortunately this seems to be a common practice. Another mother also bought into the promise of a safe place for her heroin using daughter. After spending eight thousand for a months stay at a luxury rehab, she received the same shocking phone call. Hi Mom, I'm at the gym. You mean the gym in the rehab, no mom I'm allowed to go to the gym, pharmacy and grocery store. My question is, just what services are we getting for our thousands of dollars. Why are addicts permitted freedom when the research shows that being drug free for a few days is not a cure. Addicts require long term care in a safe, drug free environment to have the chance of achieving the goal of sobriety.

If the research is available for parents to find and read why aren't these professionals educated in the basic fundamentals of caring for newly sober addicts. Why do their programs allow the freedom to enable our kids to return to the only way of life they know. It's no surprise that both our kids relapsed. It's no surprise that both these rehabs in Florida offered their help again after we spent a few more thousand dollars for a higher level of care. So in reality all we got for our money were random urine drug tests and broken promises. Our kids were set up to fail by a system that says one thing but does another. Placing three addicts at varying levels of sobriety in a cramped apartment. No formal counseling or one on one sessions as promised.

What are parents supposed to do. We are thousands of miles away from our kids. We trusted a system and the self proclaimed professionals responsible for overseeing their treatment and we were failed. These rehabs throw addicts out into the streets if they are caught using. I get the fact that the using addicts must be removed from the general population. I get the fact that rules were broken. What I have a hard time with is for the thousands of dollars they take in monthly why is there no back up plan for relapse.

As noted by the NIDA, the chronic nature of addiction means that relapsing is not only possible but likely. So again my question is why don't these professed addiction professionals expect and know how to safely respond to a relapse. The streets are not the answer. According to a report in Prescription Drug Abuse, Florida has the 11th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States. Yet these rehabs continue to advertise and give parents like me false hope that they will give our addicts the best shot at recovery.

Unfortunately, this is nothing new. The lawmakers in Florida had knowledge that both rehabs and sober houses have been kicking addicts to the curb for years. They have chosen to turn their backs on this unacceptable practice until recently. Florida Association of Recovery Residences also know as FARR has stepped up. It's goal is to regulate this broken industry. To get rid of the vultures that rob us of our money and our children. Sadly, because of Florida Homestead laws most of these unscrupulous sober living home owners will continue their practice of making a living off of and then throwing our kids away like the disposable income they are thought to be. Florida law will not allow the regulation to become mandatory. I really don't think any of these places will step up and allow regulations to rob them of easy money.

While these regulatory bodies are well intentioned and might have the potential to start a change toward the treatment of addiction, it's too little too late for many parents like me. Matt died of an overdose in a Florida motel after being kicked out of his sober living house by the owner. Many briefly sober addicts are back at it, except now they are using on the streets of Florida where they were dumped by those recovery professionals that cashed checks, told lies and took advantage of parents desperately seeking help for their addicts.

Two industries preying on a population that can't defend itself against abuse. The shiny brochures all hiding the ugliness of reality. Families spending thousands of dollars believing their loved ones are being looked after by professionals who care. I don't know about you but I smell a rat!

Marybeth Cichocki 

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What Life Is Like When You're In Love With A Heroin Addict

    LoveAnAddict

    To fall in love with a person after you've been hurt multiple times is a pretty hard task as is. You will always have the fear of being hurt all over again and your trust won't fully be there. But to fall in love with somebody who later on becomes addicted to heroin seems to be at the top of my list of fears. Although I am living through this fear now and am at battle with it almost every day.

    fear many things when it comes to this evil drug that is killing many. Every day I see on the news or on Facebook that another loved one has overdosed and died. But what I also see is the attacks people are sending towards this brand new angel that was captivated by heroin. "He deserved to die." "Good one less drug addict off the streets."

    I guess it all started for me last year. I met this absolutely amazing guy with so much ambition, love, and fun put into him. I loved everything about him. And when I found out I was carrying his child, I loved him even more. I still do. It wasn't until he was coming home with pin point pupils, itching himself, and hardly sleeping at night that I realized he had a problem. And for all I knew, after growing up around opiate users, I figured it was just Percocet that he was high on. I shrugged it off until the night I became scared of waking up next to somebody cold and lifeless.

    I was sleeping and woke to a sound of him sort of choking out his last breath. It was the noise you hear when somebody does a whip it, and loses oxygen to the brain. Usually, in those times, I see people pound their fist on the person's heart reviving them. So I yelled his name and did exactly that. Nothing had happened. Once a person overdoses I can tell you, it is one of the scariest things I've ever experienced. Being inexperienced and not knowing what to do while the love of your life and father of your child is lying there struggling to live is horrifying. But he also looked as if he was in a peaceful state of mind, feeling warm and not wanting to wake up. It was truly terrifying. As I couldn't bring him back, he started turning blue. His lips were blue, and his face was grey. Just like my brother looked laying on a hospital bed. I also noticed his heart was beating very fast and he was sweating profusely. Cardiac arrest was soon to set in, I imagined.  After I couldn't do anything to help him, I got help from his father. He did chest compressions on him as I called 911. Soon he regained consciousness but fell back into a peaceful slumber shortly after. We finally got him fully up when the police showed up and he was confused as to why I was crying like I was and why there were police at our home. We then talked that night after he refused the hospital. Talking was the only thing I could do to make sure he wouldn't fall asleep. He promised not to do it again.

    Now promises go a long way when you actually keep them. But we live in a world where the word promise is simply just a word. He stayed clean for quite a bit. I thought the worst of it was over. Until he came home high, a couple more times. And then a countless amount after that. Soon he overdosed again. We were able to get him back a second time.

    To love a person with a heroin addiction is the constant fear that one day you're going to wake up next to them, just to find out you have made it but they did not. You live in constant fear that whenever they make a noise, you shake them just to find out it was a snoring and not another OD. When they don't answer your texts or calls you fear they have overdosed in their car or in their bed while you're at work. You fear you won't be with them the next time this happens, and you won't be able to help them. You fear your son or daughter will have to grow up hardly knowing their father, and that kills you and puts a knot in your heart more than anything. You fear if you chose the alternative and leave that you can't help this person when it happens again.

    You check their skin in the morning when you wake up, you feel their face and make sure it's warm. You check their chest and see if it's moving whether you have to stay up all night or when you wake up that morning. It doesn't matter how many times you tell a heroin addict you're going to leave, and it doesn't matter if you leave. This drug is so evil they will continue to do it until they say it's time to stop, and by that time it could be too late. People ask me all the time why don't I just leave? Why don't you leave and find somebody new? Simply because if this was me and I was struggling, would you give up on me?

    Now to be honest with you, If I could see the future when I met him a year ago, I would have looked the other way and wouldn't have even acknowledged him. This may sound selfish, but to live in constant fear every day is something I wouldn't want anybody to ever have to do. Now don't get me wrong. I am so happy to be starting my life with such a loving, caring, ambitious guy despite the addiction. I am head over heels in love with him. He goes above and beyond for me. He doesn't hurt me physically and the only way he hurts me emotionally is lying. I am glad I did not turn the other way though because I would have missed out on an amazing 9 months with somebody that I love so much. I'd also miss out on forever with him and our daughter.

    He is going to be a great father and husband regardless of this disease. Because that's all it is, a disease. A disease that can't and won't stick around forever


    by NICOLE DESHAIES

    Shared from the the orginal post

     

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You Say You Don't Believe in Hell? Just Look an Addict in the Eye.

EyeOfAnAddict

You say you don't believe in hell? Just look an addict in the eye, You'll think I'm safely at a friends- while I'm in some dirty bathroom getting high. I've always had high morals; Standards stacked against the sky, You sit watching as things disappear, but are too scared to ask me “why.” I stand there, right in front of you, so frail with bones so gaunt, You still don't know the lengths I'll take, for that one thing I so badly want.

Its getting harder to catch my breath, I'm drowning slowly in my soul, Spiraling. Swerving. Plummeting. I have completely lost control. Sputtering. Stuttering. Breath wreaking of decay- When will you finally hear the words that have been so hard for me to say!?! Perpetual exhaustion: I am awake yet sound asleep, A jaded narcoleptic- why am I always the blackest sheep? Scabs form on my skin- oozing thickly, with gangrenous decomposition, Isn't that offensive smell starting to throw up some suspicion? You've found me strung out on the floor, more times than you can even count. Eyes pinned. Drooling. Slurring. Another night for which I can't account.

I always seem to have the flu, you think my immunities have gone to hell, But how quickly you see me turn around once my body gets that hit. I have always had that mindset- to never live with much regret, Not even though I'm bankrupt- and to so many emotions, I'm in debt. I've lost all of my possessions- years of hard work right down the drain- I'll always curse the day I made the choice to stick that fucking needle in my vein.

- Ashleigh Campora

 

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People who suffer from heroin addiction – and their suffering is unimaginable - from this evil disease are not bad people.

JoshuaJanneSandkuhler

Dear Family, Friends, Neighbors, Acquaintances, Co-Workers, Music Associates, and Our Heroes in “The Program,”

In the early morning of December 10, 2015, our son, Joshua, died from a heroin overdose. We believe his addiction started about 12 years ago but it’s hard to say for certain because this disease of the Devil entered our home as slowly and quietly as a snowflake hits the ground. Over time, we came to realize there was a lot of snow on the ground.

You may be wondering: Why in the world would anyone want to share such a dark family secret…expose the “Scarlet Letter?” There are several reasons.

Joshua’s life cannot and will not be defined by his addiction. Josh had this evil disease but his disease is not who he was. So, who was Josh? In his “professional” life, Josh was:

A brave firefighter and BLS technician with the BCFD
A skilled bridge inspection technician
A prolific and profound guitarist-singer-songwriter
An extremely talented engineer and producer of music for live performances and studio
A creative writer of stories
An aspiring photographer, woodworker, jewelry maker

All these things greatly impacted many people. All are now discontinued. This is WHAT addiction stole from the world.

But these things were his occupations, hobbies. Although they offer a glimpse of who Josh was, we don’t believe Josh, any addicted person, or any person, really, should be defined by their occupation. So, again, who was Josh?

A strong believer in, defender of, and evangelist for his Catholic Faith (Yes, you can have ugly faults and still remain true to your Faith.)
A loving, caring son, brother, uncle, nephew, and cousin (He always ended his phone conversations with “Tell everybody I love them very much and give ‘em a big hug for me.”)
A loyal friend to many
An empathic listener to anyone
A believer that “Right” was right and “Left” was wrong (I had to steal this line.)
A gifted storyteller and always an entertainer

Those of you who knew our son could testify to this being Josh. (Many already have on social media.) All these things greatly impacted many people in a positive way. But they are all now discontinued. THIS is WHO addiction stole from the world.

People who suffer – and their suffering is unimaginable - from this evil disease are not bad people. When not recovering, they are dreadful but it’s not who they really are. They are like our Josh. They are somebody’s mother/father, son/daughter, brother/sister, uncle/aunt, niece/nephew, cousin. Those with substance addiction have a devastating disease that requires intensive medical care, tough love, and an unearthly measure of patience and understanding. It’s very hard to look into those glazed eyes and recognize there’s a breathing human being inside. We know. We have looked into the eyes of our son but couldn’t see our beautiful Joshua. But, yes, sadly, it was. And as long as any one of these suffering people is still breathing God’s air, there is Hope, Hope for recovery that the person can again be who they are, not what they do. Hope is, many times, all they have left to lose. Hope is the last line of defense.

Warning to parents: Your children are the Devil’s target. If you don’t believe in the Devil you need to know, nevertheless, that your children are particularly at risk. If you have young children, don’t give them too much slack on their tether line. Discipline them with your love without destroying their spirit. Pray with them. Talk with them about drugs (and sex, too). Have meals as a family - - - daily. Monitor their use of the internet, facebook and the social media du jour, television, and the like. Although these are today’s sources of knowledge, communication, and entertainment, you must know they are also the world’s tools that, very insidiously, advocate all of the seven deadly sins and addictive behavior and lifestyles. Sure, we did all these things and, as it turned out so well for us, where’s the value in our advice? At some point in your childrens’ lives they will choose their own path. You’ll want to explore your hearts for some peace that their chosen path, especially if it’s not a good one, was one of their choosing, not a result of your ambivalence or negligence.

We thank all who have offered kind condolences, cards, gifts, and most of all prayers. Eternally love your family and live with the Faith that God keeps you all, always, in His Loving protection.

 

With Love,

Steve and Linnea Sandkuhler

 

#AskMeAboutMyAngel #HeroinMemorial #GoneToSoon

www.HeroinMemorial.org   www.HeroinSupport.org 

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Heroin Addict for 12 Years But Now Life Is Good

This is me in active addiction.

Eli Scott1

I've been a Heroin addict for 12+ years now and 5 months away from completing a Level 6 Therapeutic Community in Denver, CO. Oh my, what a crazy road I've been down. I got clean in 2011 till the end of 2013 and seemed to be doing great until the devil reeled me back in one day. Within a week I was right back to the vicious cycle of being a Heroin addict. I got a beautiful lady and put her through the mess with me. I remember one day we went to go pick up for me and she had NO CLUE what was going on and met up with my buddy at a 7-Eleven and shot up in the bathroom. I ran out and jumped into the drivers seat and took off driving down the road and the only thing I remember was opening my eyes to my girl shaking me in a frantic screaming my name saying WTF is going on, and the car was pulled over to the side of the road somehow. Oh my god, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

This Level 6 TC has shown me how to set boundaries once again, deal with adversity in a civilized manner, have more compassion for people because I had NONE for NO ONE, have empathy for people, so many things I could just go on and on! And here we are today, she has stuck by my side through this whole thing and she hasn't even touched drugs in her life! She has raised my son for me while being in this facility and she has probably suffered more being away from me than me being away from her. She and my family are a huge support in my life and want to see me strive to be the best! And that's what I'm here doing today!

All I can really say is to keep on fighting the battle and no one says that it's going to be easy. But how bad do you want it is the question? You put up such a fight during your addiction to get your next fix. So now it's time to put up that same fight but in a more positive aspect and fight for your recovery!  Anyone can find me and we can talk if you're struggling! I will hold anyone accountable and I would expect the same if I were struggling.

Below is me 14 months clean!

Eli Scott2

Keep heads held high and fight the fight!

Thanks for letting me share!

#RecoveryRocks    #HeroinSupport    #DontGiveUp

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No Hell Like Watching Heroin Change Somebody Into Somebody You Don't Even Know

HeroinHellWeb

There is no hell quite like the hell of watching HEROIN change somebody you love into somebody you don't even know.  How many of you have lived through the hell of watching the disease of addiction destroy an addict's life and the lives of those around them?  I am sure most of our readers have been down this road of hell with your addict as they fought or continue to fight this disease that has totally consumed their mental and physical health and also that of those around them.  

I talk daily to family members, friends and addicts themselves who struggle with how to but this monster called addiction in its grave.  It's a living hell for the addict 24/7 just like it is for those of us who sit and watch their struggle and wonder how we can pull our loved ones from the depths of this hell.  Addicts become zombies who look to feed their evil craving of addiction regardless of how or who it affects.  These zombies aren't like the evil ones portrayed in movies but they are our loved ones who are suffering from the consequences of a bad choice to try heroin for what ever reason.  

These reasons range from maybe a friend introducing them to heroin after school or maybe they became addicted to the painkillers they took for an injury and couldn't afford them any longer so then heroin stepped into their life and said "I am cheap, so give me a shot".  The list of possibilites of why someone became hooked on heroin goes on and on.  I have heard many of them but the one thing I don't recall hearing from anyone is that the addict wants this disease of addiction in their life.  Have you ever heard someone growing up and say that they want to be an addict for a living?

The stigma of addiction has also made the life of an addict and those around them worse.  Think about it.  If you were addicted to heroin and people constantly referred to you an a "junkie" or "loser" or maybe a "dopefien" would you be inclined to seek help for your addiction or would you be shamed by the stigma and continue to run instead of seeking help?  Remember these are addicts we are talking about and their mental thought process is severely affected by their addiction. For these addicts to be badgered, belittled and exiled because of our social values we uphold because of the senseless stigma that comes from people who don't fully understand what addiction means is a true crime right here in America and addiction continues to sweep under the rug.

So I ask you.  Do you understand the true meaning of addiction?  Will you look at an addict differently after reading our thoughts in this article?  Are you ready to "Take a Stand Against the Stigma of Addiction"?

- Heroin Support Inc

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People need to get educated on addiction, so we can change the stigma surrounding the social label of ‘JUNKIE’

JunkieStigma
“People need to get educated on addiction, so we can change the stigma surrounding the social label of ‘JUNKIE’.  Addiction is a brain disease.  It’s not like they can just make a choice to stop and it’s over.  This disease changes the functionality and structure of the brain.  Most of them hate the life they live each day as they are labeled “a social outcast who grow up wanting to be a junkie”.  They have a hard time finding affordable and available treatment beds.  With other diseases we are quick to make life better for those people but why not for addicts who suffer from the disease of addiction?  Addicts are good people with a disease and deserve to be treated the same respect and understanding as you and I are in life.”
 
- www.HeroinSupport.org
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How The Lure Of Heroin Led To My Most Destructive Relationship

fighter

When I first met heroin, it started off as a casual thing.

“Only on the weekends,” I told her.

I made it very clear.

My mind was made up, especially since I had so much to do during the week.

She understood her place at that point in time.

Then, I realized she made me feel unlike anyone else had made me feel before.

She made all my problems go away.

In a world that seemed so crazy and hectic, she made it sit still.

She had a thing about her, a mysterious side I wanted to know more and more about.

Our relationship became serious over the ensuing months.

To some, this is nothing. To me, this is a look into the darkest part of my life.

It reached a point where I would see heroin every day.

I craved her.

She knew she had me wrapped around her finger. I would do anything and everything just to get a taste of her.

I wanted to feel her slow my mind and body down, to feel those chills she would shoot throughout my body.

When she was with me, everything felt normal.

Having heroin in my life created a new normal for me.

One day, we both were caught.

It was that same day I lost seemingly everything.

She was a manipulative girl.

She tricked me into believing if I only had her, nothing else mattered.

She isolated me as I continued to lose all I had once known.

I became obsessed with her. Days turned into months, and months turned into years.

Heroin was an expensive woman.

She demanded hundreds and hundreds of dollars, or she demanded I steal from those who trusted me.

On another day, our toxic relationship took a turn for the worse.

The woman I loved so much got the best of me.

One moment, I began coughing profusely, as if I had water in my lungs.

The next thing I knew, I woke up in a hospital bed.

People around me were hysterical, crying and yelling. I had no idea what was going on.

The doctors hovered over me, saying, “It’s going to be okay, kid.”

After I was released, I wanted to see her again.

My entire being craved her.

My mind was fixated on her. She was the girl of my dreams.

Yeah, she had almost taken my life, but at that time, this was the type of love I would have died for.

It took another near-death experience to realize this relationship did more harm than good.

I laid motionless in a closet, my eyes closed and my hands twitching.

My body felt as if it was lifting, rising to another realm at a velocity I had never experienced in my life.

It was then I realized the painful truth: She was no good for me.

She manipulated, isolated and took all that I had.

Heroin was not the girl I thought she was. She was a monster who was destroying my life.

Perhaps the hardest thing I had to do was leave her.

Leaving the woman who I thought was the reason for my new normal and my new happiness was going to be hard.

It was tough. I ran back to her, time and time again.

Finally, I got the courage to say, “Enough is enough.”

On that day, I took a stand against her.

She has gone, but she has never fully left me.

I touch my arms and feel the holes where she would meet me.

Smells of pizza fill my nostrils and remind me of her.

Rubbing the back of my veinless and smooth hands remind me of her.

Pictures, the letter “H” and houses in the Paseo Arts District flood back the memories we shared together. They were numbing and time-slowing recollections.

She was, at one point, my everything.

Heroin is a vengeful woman. Leaving her made me feel uncomfortable.

Sneezing, cold sweats and not being able to sit still or be comfortable were the signs this breakup would be messy.

Her signature move — her go-to that would make me want to run back to her again — was making me throw up.

I would feel so weak, I did not know who I was without her.

I needed her now more than ever.

It seems simple to have a quickie with her. I’d just have a one-night stand, and then I’d never see her again.

This is how she would trap me again, isolate me, wrap me around her finger and take all of my money and my life again.

Being a fighter and a true advocate of what you preach are the keys to achieving and conquering anything you set out to do.

This is the hardest thing I have ever encountered or had to deal with.

I have come to terms with the fact heroin’s memories may never leave me.

But, I have the upper hand on her.

I have ambition to leave a legacy of greatness and triumph that will keep her shut out of my life for good.

Three years down the line, I am not turning back.

It’s been tough lately, but I remember how I felt when she put me in the hospital.

I never want to feel like that again.

We all struggle, but it is the size of your fight that determines whether you can make it or not.

Be a fighter. Be a warrior.

 

-Ezekiel Wariboko

Origninal Article: http://elitedaily.com/life/heroin-destructive/1260591/

 

#RecoveryRocks | #HeroinSupport | #HeroinSucks

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My Name is Called “Addiction”

addiction
ADDICTION

My name is called “Addiction”
And I want to be your friend
And have a good time while we’re together
And tomorrow, it can end.

I come in many flavors
Each is yours to freely choose
Try me only for amusement
What have you got to lose?

And when you taste my precious venom
I’ll become the one that you adore
And you’ll come back to me, just one more time
For more and more and more.

Your friends will no longer matter
Your family, put to the test
I see the bad that hides inside
They only see the best.

I will destroy what you hold sacred
I will defile what you hold dear
Any self-respect that you have left
I will make it disappear.

I only have one weakness
And that is your “Willingness to Fight”
Will it be a minor skirmish
Or a War with All Your Might?

And if somehow I am defeated
And your willingness prevails
I will take you back with open arms
And I will put your life through Hell!

Written by : Lonnie Budro
Copyright 11-13-2015
All Rights Reserved
email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Heroin. Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation.

KurtToday

A boy from my old neighborhood died this week. He was no longer a ‘boy’, he was 26, but to me he was still one of the kids. They ran around in the summer as a pack. You could tell where they were by looking for their pile of bikes. Scenes from those days of innocence keep flashing through my head – when they went from one house to another, rode their bikes to the playground or to the store- images of boyhood youth. Now he’s gone. Heroin stole him. My heart is breaking for his mother and siblings. They have already been through so much, having lost their husband and father to cancer four years ago. I’m sure Addiction has also stolen years of this family’s life. I know how Addiction takes over a home, because Addiction has been an unwelcome member of our family for the last ten years.

Addiction is stealthy. It hides in basements and bathrooms and bedrooms. It steals children and decimates families under a cloak of silence. The addicts themselves are embarrassed and guilty and are afraid to ask for help. Parents feel inadequate, trying to figure out where they went wrong, what could they have done better. I was a stay at home Mom for God’s sake, and my firstborn is a heroin addict. What does that say about me? Guilt, silence, embarrassment – these are Addiction’s wingmen, giving it the wind needed to kill our kids, gaining strength in whispers at book clubs and coffee shops, ‘he’s an addict you know’.

speak

It’s time to Stop the Silence. It’s time to Speak the Truth. My son is a heroin addict. I want to wear a t-shirt, a hat, a pin, something. I want a suffering family member or addict to see me in the grocery store and be able to walk up and say ‘me too’. I want families to not feel isolated and alone in this hell that is Addiction. It is everywhere, and we are hiding it because we feel guilty and ashamed. I have seen in people’s eyes in the past that they knew my son was an addict. But they also didn’t know if I knew, and I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops. So the elephant was with me everywhere I went. We lived in a small town. I was sure everyone knew. I was sure my son’s name was whispered when I wasn’t there. Yet I stayed silent.

My son is in recovery. He has been clean and sober for 16 months. It’s a miracle he’s alive. That miracle cost us a small fortune. True recovery is not cheap and it is not easy. It is not five days of detox, have a nice day. It is not a thirty day stint in rehab, have a nice life. It is a slow, slogging, exhausting crawl out of the muddy nasty pit Addiction digs under you. My son spent thirty days full in-patient, sixty more days at the same hospital in a step down program, and then five months in transition housing and treatment. He moved to a sober house where he has been for the past eight months. None of this was easy for him. He dug deep and worked hard. He would not have been able to do this without the support he had along the way. He recognizes that he will need that support for a very long time if not forever. He is beginning to see light and a future, but it certainly didn’t happen during his first thirty days – or even the next ninety. Time is the key, and time costs money. We spent a huge chunk of our life savings to buy him the time he needed.  It was a scary gamble for us, but we chose to bet on our son. We’re grateful and thankful he chose to double down on that bet for all he was worth.  We were lucky we had the ability to throw those dice. A huge percentage of addicts don’t have anyone (or have burned out the people they used to have) with the resources to get them the help they need.

My son had an Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield PPO plan. It listed addiction recovery as something they cover. It listed detox and hospitalization as something they cover.  I have in my possession a letter that states the diagnosis is heroin addiction and can be treated outpatient.  Detox, denied. Inpatient rehab, denied. Anthem’s medical plan did not pay one dime of his treatment costs.

Recently my son accompanied someone who asked for help to the ER. He had relapsed and wanted to get into detox. There was not a single bed in any detox facility in the state, for any price.  He had to wait almost a week for a bed to open up. In that week this young man stayed safe by staying on the couch in my son’s sober living house and not spending one minute alone. Kicking addiction takes a village, but addicts need a ticket into that village, and they are few and far between – and very very costly.

How are we to deal with this epidemic if we as a society leave these addicts out there to die? We all pay the price of this epidemic. Banks, gas stations, convenience stores are being robbed at gunpoint. Home invasions, car break-ins, shoplifting, and credit card fraud are all ways addicts are feeding their habit. For the families of addicts, we get to go looking for stolen possessions – sister’s jewelry, brother’s amp- at pawn shops, or we reach to pay for something only to find our money is gone. Let’s not forget the children of addicts. They pay the highest price.

The news tells us to worry about terrorists and Ebola and whatever else they think will increase their ratings. I understand that these threats are real, but our society is quietly rotting in basements and bedrooms across America. Opiates and methamphetamines are destroying this country from within, stealing the next generation right out from under our noses. Kids who should be going to proms and football games are stealing from their parents, dropping out of school, and starting on a path that ends with jail or death. They are our future, and we need to start fighting for them.

The front line of this fight is to Stop the Silence. Scream the Truth. Let people know that Addiction is in their own towns. It walks the halls of their schools and sits beside them in their workplace. It is teaching their children, driving their buses, policing their streets, and killing their neighborhood children.

If we stop the silence, people will start fighting this battle together instead of feeling ineffective, isolated and alone. If we speak the truth, society will begin to recognize the crisis we are all facing as this epidemic of Addiction stops hiding behind walls of silence and is driven into the light. If we start the conversation, we as a society can put our efforts toward a solution.

Share your story. Let people know how Addiction has touched your life. It has probably touched their lives as well. Help save our children.

My son is a heroin addict.

 

Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation.

 

- Patricia Byrne is from Canton MA and lives in Westminster CO

 

Follow "Stop the Silence. Speak the Truth. Start the Conversation" on Facebook and on their blog.

 

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A Letter From My Wife About My Heroin Addiction

A glimpse into the insanity of my past. A letter from my wife, written December 2011. This is the last day I was in active Addiction, I was completely powerless over my choices. I surrendered, 4 years ago to the day. What an Incredible Life we live today. I do not walk this path alone, I have many teachers, circles, friends, communities. It is shared with many.  We do Recover, Families can recover...  Thanks for 4 YEARS CLEAN!!!  My wish is that this gives Hope to the Hopeless.

Matt Ionna

Dear Matt,

My doll-baby…I love you. I respect you. You warm my heart and put a smile on my face at the most unexpected moments.  We have a wonderful life…you help make this life wonderful…but everything starts falling apart when opiates enter the picture.  The last three months have been a whirl-wind of pure hell. My heart has been shattered and pieced back together only to be shattered again.  When I found you in the bathroom with that needle full of blue liquid I really hoped it belonged to someone else. Can you believe that?? I actually wanted to believe you…but then you were so crazy about dumping it out.

 I went out that evening and I grieved for the loss of trust…but while grieving I realized that I am ok. I will be ok with or without you. Of course I prefer to be with you…but I do not prefer to be with you using. When you are using the strong, beautiful man that I love becomes a muted, grey, zombie-monster with nothing but lies, false hopes and empty promises. A monster that seeks to fry my brain through manipulation and half-truths. I hate that fucking monster…I want to murder that monster and free my sweet husband. I understand that I can’t do that…I have no control over your choices. You have to control the disease…all I can do is support you in your sobriety and know when to say enough is enough. I will not tolerate drugs in my home, I will not subject my children to the hell that our home is when you are using. Because when you become a zombie-monster I become mega-b#tch, control freak…and no one is happy. That night, Louis wanted to kill you…to be rid of you forever. He was heart-broken. He went out and drowned his sorrows in whiskey and friends. He lost respect for me because I did not make you leave the house. We are on the brink of losing our son…and it makes me sad.

After that incident, you went to a meeting and I thought things were getting better, but you just hid it better. I thought you were talking to Danny and others in Recovery, I thought you were talking with me and being honest. But I suspected and Louis suspected then you refused a drug test, and I knew you were using full time again. You’re zombie-monster self is sneaky that way…but I’m learning that my gut is more right than wrong…despite all your slick talk. Halloween, my birthday, our anniversary, were all a blur this year. I didn’t want to take you around my family because of your behavior. I was embarrassed that you were using again. Even after Falmouth…

In hindsight, I see that I was a fool again. I didn’t follow through on the drug tests due to money issues and you took advantage of that.  I’ve been avoiding the horror of Saturday, December 3rd. We were planning a shopping trip, had list in hand ready to go. I finished my shower while you looked for my Sunday jeans. Mom had just picked up Mia Bella to make Christmas Candy. After my shower, I called for you to see if you found my jeans…no response. I figured you were sneaking outside to smoke. So, I walked into the dining room and glanced outside…then I called for you again. I heard a mumble from the kitchen floor. I’ll never forget the image I saw…you curled up, cheek on the ground, mouth hanging open with slobber dribbling out of it, tongue partially protruding, eyes rolled back but partially closed, grey/blue hands by your face, knuckles down like you were trying to get up. I was hesitant to touch you because my first thought was you fell and hurt your back…that you might be paralyzed. I was horrified…I really thought you were broken.

Then I saw the blood on the tissue…and the cap to a hypodermic needle. I noticed the water was running in the sink. Of course it was drugs…and of course you were broken…just not like I originally thought. I immediately started shaking you and trying to wake you up. I sprayed you with water and tried to remember where I left my phone. You were breathing…but just barely. Finally, you started to move…pawing at the floor with both hands…then you got up on your knees. You kept mumbling my name…and all I could do was cry. I thought you were dying…I ran for my phone and yelled for Madeline twice. I tried to dial 911 but my fingers wouldn’t work. Madeline grabbed the phone from me and called…I continued to slap your face, throw water on you and shake you. You stood up and walked into the living room. I just cried…waiting for the ambulance.

I was so happy that you lived…but my resolve is stronger than ever. I will not find my husband dead on the kitchen floor. My kids will not find their father dead on the kitchen floor. We spent the day in the hospital…stopped by the pawn shop to get your beats and circular saw and spent the evening finding you a place to go. Busy, busy, busy…Sunday flew by, you left for treatment and it was peaceful in my home. I didn’t realize that I had been living every day since your surgery with fear, anxiety, clenched fists and a knot in my stomach. Sunday night was so so so peaceful…I slept. But, my dreams were filled with your death. The absolute magnitude of the situation didn’t hit me until Monday, wow…what a powerful feeling that was…to be sitting in my office and realize that I am not planning a funeral…and I am so grateful to be at work and not picking out a casket or deciding which urn would be best for your ashes. I sobbed with happiness…

I’m not sure how Madeline is processing the entire event…she trusted you…now she doesn’t so much. Louis continually tells me that if you come home he has to leave. He can’t live with the stress and he’s embarrassed that you lied to him and your brother. Mia is angry with me for making you leave...she’s seeing the counselor at school and she talks openly about you. She gives your picture a kiss every night before bedtime then cuddles with me. It’s complicated. I’m trying to move the family along and keep things going but I need to find a support group…and the time to get to a support group for myself and my kids. Yes, I have a bit of a resentment that you get a month of intense treatment…but I can find the time to work on my own recovery. I have a whole truck-load of gratitude that you are alive and working on being well.

I do grieve for your lost sobriety, but I understand you can get it back. I grieve for the time lost but have hope that we can move forward and find new times. The first time you went to rehab, there were lots of things that I learned that I never suspected (or unintentionally ignored for my own sanity). I was lost, without hope or support. I was completely shattered and depressed…how could Matt be a heroine user…a drug-fiend…a junkie; how could he use me and my kids; how could he sell our wedding rings; every conversation we had made me feel like the biggest idiot in the world. This time is different…I’m ok. I’m busy…I’m a bit overwhelmed…but that’s how it is around here at Christmas time. I love you sweet Mattie, but I love myself more. I don’t want to end up loving you to death…so I’m going to continue to work on me while you work on you. You have my support and my love while you are on your quest for self-love and recovery.


Your wife,
Lara Lee

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Addicts Disappoint. It Is What We Do

Addicts Disappoint.  It Is What We Do

My name is Tyler.  I am an alcoholic.  To declare that to a large audience, to strangers, to non-alcoholics, to people that know me but may not have known this fact, it is intimidating. For a long time now I have been open and honest about being a recovering alcoholic.  I do not feel it is something that needs be hidden. Yes, I have done things that I am not proud of and possess a long mental list of actions I regret. In the past two years I have strived to make those things right, rendering amends for all the wrong I have done.  I continue that mission and I also have set upon a quest to ease the pain of all the addicts I can.  As an alcoholic, I am an addict.  I have been in recovery for two years now, having taken my last drink on March 23, 2013.

It has been a journey of mental, emotional, and spiritual rehabilitation and I thank God, my family, my friends, my community, Crossroads Church, the organization Shatterproof, Alcoholics Anonymous, and countless others in assisting me in this journey.  It truly takes a village to bring an addict back.  And although I am an alcoholic, I consider myself a brother to every addict.

addict

We find ourselves facing an epidemic of heroin addiction in our nation, in the state of Kentucky, and in the region of Northern Kentucky.   This has caused a vast array of damage to the people, property, and way of life of this region I call home.  Hepatitis C has risen to levels that threaten not just the intravenous drug using population but the public at large.  Families are broken, lives are shattered by jail and destitution, and our healthcare facilities are dominated by heroin related cases.  It is no longer just a problem; it is the most plaguing issue in our communities.

On September 1, 2015, on Highland Pike in Fort Wright, Kentucky,  a forty-eight year old man caused a motor vehicle crash that claimed his life along with three others, those three all being over the age of seventy.  Opioids were found to be in his system.  A tragedy of immense proportions, totally preventable and incredibly brutal, had occurred.  A heroin addict had caused not only his death, but the death of three innocent people.  I have heard this invoke anger against addicts, to call for their jailing and to keep them separated from the public.  It is a sentiment I am not new to.

What happened on Highland Pike was a tragedy.  There is no two ways about it.  And an individual has been declared responsible for it.  Individuals are responsible for tragedies every day.  I feel deep remorse and sorrow for the families and communities of those involved.  This could have been prevented.

On December 23, 2012 I was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in Alexandria, Kentucky with a blood alcohol content nearing twice the legal limit.  I could have caused a tragedy.  I could have cost myself and innocent people their lives.  By the grace of God, I did not.  I am responsible for my actions and I am responsible for that DUI.  I make no claim that I am not liable for the numerous mistakes of my past that occurred while I was actively drinking.  But I also know I am not the sum of my mistakes.

Addicts disappoint.  It is what we do.  We have let down so many people, but most of all, we have let down ourselves.  But there is hope.  There are ways to fight it. You can come back from the brink of destruction.

Addiction is a disease.  And yes, it most certainly starts with a choice but so can a lot of diseases (heart disease through lifestyle, lung cancer through smoking, etc…).  We do not turn our back on the diseased.  We do not treat them less than human.  We do not lock them all up and throw away the key.  We treat them.  We educate them.  We support them.

Addiction may start with a choice, but it is a choice to use once.  Then it becomes a habit, possibly rising to a point where it dominates your life.  And guess what?  Once you get into recovery it still is an enormous part of your life.  You need to manage it.  You need to be open to treatment and mindful of your surroundings.  There has not been a day since March 23, 2013 that I have not thought about alcohol.  But I do not need to drink anymore.  I am not the sum of my mistakes.

I feel your anger, I do.  Tragedies like the wreck on Highland Pike hurt our hearts.  Crime is rising, people are being robbed for money to support habits, and children are being neglected and spurned.  But we cannot give up on addicts.

We need to continue exploring new ways of treatment, providing the forms of treatment we have, supporting clean needle exchange, educating everyone from grade school students to adults.

Some people say by getting people in jails we give them access to treatment.  Unfortunately that does not solve the solution.  Addicts need to really want to get better.  There is no magic cure.  Forcing treatment upon us is not effective.  And yes, neither is enabling.

I am not saying that addiction gives someone immunity from the law. It absolutely does not.  And I am not saying we should not try to treat the addicts we have in jails and prisons.  We absolutely should.  But we should not take the approach that jail is the cure for addiction.  That line of thinking comes with high price tag and a lot of broken hearts.

So let us work together as a community to help our neighbors struggling.  Remember we are all here together, striving for the best life for ourselves and our families.  Hate the drug, do not hate the addict.   They are more than the sum of their mistakes.  They are no less than anyone else.  We must not enable them, but we must also never turn our back on them as well.

I urge you to educate yourself on treatment options and the programs and laws that are being implemented and have been implemented to curb this epidemic.  Resources can be found at nkyhatesheroin.com as well as nkypar.org and nkyhealth.org.

I am also more than willing to share my experiences and my passion with anyone wanting to know more.  I can be reached via text or call at 859-653-5909.

By Tyler Owen

 

Orginal Story: http://www.fortthomasmatters.com/2015/10/op-ed-humanity-of-addiction.html

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I am the non-addict who knows all too well what it’s like to have an addict in the family

AlicaCook

I wish it wasn’t me who was writing this blog. I really wish it wasn’t. I wish I wasn’t handpicked because I have one of the “best handles” on this subject. I wish I wasn’t “qualified” to speak on the heroin epidemic that is a growing problem nationwide. I wish I wasn’t a member of a community no one really wants to be a part of. No one ever says to themselves while reading articles like mine, “I wish I could relate to this.”

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