Not MY KID, not at my HIGH SCHOOL, and certainly not IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD!!!!
We have to wake up people, this is going on in YOUR HIGH SCHOOL, YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD, AND THESE ARE YOUR KIDS!!!!!
Today teens attend parties where bowls full of random prescription pills are available for the taking. Party attendees bring whatever prescription pills they have and toss them into a bowl and randomly reach in and take a handful. The introduction of Oxycontin and Opana (both prescription pain medications that are highly addictive) has caused a widespread epidemic that is robbing families of their loved ones.
Anyone who has lived with addiction knows that it devastates the entire family. Once a young person becomes addicted to drugs they no longer have a choice. The craving for the drug rules their every waking moment. The need for the drug takes them to places they never could have imagined.
There is a very poignant moment in the documentary, Overtaken, when Cole says, "I like to say Addiction robbed me of my my morals and my ethics, I stole thousands and thousands of dollars from my parents, I wrecked cars, I wrecked relationships, I traumatized my family, which today, I am not comfortable with but back then I didn't care."
These young people didn't set out to be drug addicts or to have their lives ruined by the craving for a drug. There is another line in the documentary that speaks to this,
"When you can stop, you don't want to,
and, when you want to stop you can't."
As I mentioned before, teenagers have brains that are still developing, They are very impulsive as a result of this immature brain development. They don't have the ability to make rationale decisions. One choice to take a pill can alter a person's life forever.
The lives of the Rubin family will be forever altered as a result of Aaron's overdose from Oxycontin in 2005. Aaron was in a coma for 3 weeks. Sherrie stated, "we were planning his funeral". Aaron is now quadriplegic, he communicates by using his hands and fingers. Today instead of attending college as a student, Aaron and his mother give presentations at colleges about the dangers of prescription drugs.
|Aaron Rubin and some of my classmates at Saddleback College|
|Sherrie and Aaron Rubin|
Some teens don't survive the overdose. Jarrod Barber was one of those teenagers whose life was cut short. On January 8, 2010 Jodi Barber and her husband, Bill woke up to find Jarrod barely breathing on the sofa. A few days later they were attending his funeral. Today rather than attending her sons college graduation, or helping to plan his wedding she is advocating to shut down pill mills and educating students in junior high and high school about the dangers of prescription pills. She and Christine Brandt produced the documentary OVERTAKEN. Jodi and Christine work tirelessly to educate our community about the dangers of these drugs.
|Jodi Barber and Christine Brandt|
This epidemic is destroying families. Young people today should be attending high school dances and graduations not attending funerals of their classmates. This is the time for each one of US to decide what WE will we do to speak out about what is going on in our own backyards. Go to your local high school, ask what type of drug awareness program they have in their school, write your senator, clean out your own medicine cabinet, and take your old prescription pills to "drug take back days". We are way past teaching our children to "just say no". As parents and grandparents we need to learn all we can about drugs and teach our children the dangers of these highly addictive drugs.
|The Barber family|