Thursday, August 29, 2013

The t-shirt controversy continues

Parents Outraged By Kitson Drug T-Shirts - Los Angeles Local News, Weather, and Traffic#.UiANaoVRD8Y.facebook#.UiANaoVRD8Y.facebook

That mom who spoke up on this interview was Jodi Barber from Overtaken She lost her son Jared to an overdose of Opana which is another prescription drug that teens are abusing.

Way to go Jodi. You are amazing.

It is so amazing what can happen when people ban together to accomplish a goal

I am so happy to know these amazing women who have all lost a child to a prescription drug overdose. They have all taken the tragedy their families experienced and are educating the public about prescription drug overdoses.
When Kitson stores displayed t-shirts with the words, Xanax, Adderall, and Vicodin on them Facebook was flooded with protest from parents who have experienced the first hand destruction these drugs have caused either by addiction or overdoses. In just a few days the local news in Southern California was reporting on it, Brian Lichtenberg's facebook page and website was flooded with letters from angry parents, the three companies who own the trademark names were notified and are now talking about the legal ramifications of their names being used without permission. Today the story was broadcast on the national news after actress Kirstin Johnson who is in Recovery joined the campaign to get the t-shirts off the market.
Natalie Costa, who produced Behind the Orange Curtain, wrote this on facebook today,
"This is how the national media storm started. I tweeted Kristen and she went re/tweeted - so don't ever underestimate the power of social media. Thanks! Kristen Johnston. We waged rallied the troupes, waged a war, and got results. Next big thing --- get Kristen's school funded. People buy a shirt - help open SLAM! Sober Living High School in NYC."
Never underestimate the power we have to create change.  I am so grateful to have met so many amazing people who are tirelessly working to educate the public about the prescription pill epidemic we are experiencing all across the country.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Think this may promote drug use? YOU THINK???

I always check my Facebook page when I wake up and this is what Natalie Costa of Behind the Orange Curtain had posted. It seems these t-shirts are for sale in LA stores and are selling out.  


Natalie immediately went to battle and started posting these pictures on Facebook as well as some contact numbers to let the designer know that we have a prescription drug epidemic going on in this country. She also contacted the press. Last night Natalie was interviewed as well as  random people in front of the store that was displaying the t-shirts.

One mother holding her toddler said,

" I think their kind of funny, their cute"

Are you kidding me?

 Funny? Cute?

Parents of teens today are in a battle everyday to keep their teens away from drugs. It's not enough that we have to fight the music industry but now the clothing industry is bombarding our kids with these messages.

How ignorant are these people? When Natalie spoke to the designer yesterday morning he stated that he knew nothing about the prescription pill epidemic. Seriously? 

 I have been appalled at comments on Natalie's FB page. Some have said, "it's just a t-shirt".  Then there are the people that think we just need to educate our kids about drugs and they will "just say no" We know how that worked with the Dare Program.

Please join us in having your voice heard. If we say nothing Brian Lichtenberg will continue to produce this crap. Brian says," If they open the door to a much needed dialogue, as they seem to be doing then mission accomplished".  Brian didn't even know about the thousands of lives lost to prescription pills in our Country when Natalie contacted him yesterday. He is full of BS. He doesn't care about the kids, the families or the impact on our culture. Let's be honest, he is in it for the money.
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Sunday, August 25, 2013

Letting Go

We just returned from a visit with our son.
To be perfectly honest with you, I told my husband I just wanted to get away and it just so happens that our son lives near my favorite get-away spot.
So I have to admit I left with a bit of an expectation. I thought....... since we were so close ....... we might be able to slip in a dinner with him or a short visit in the 3 days we would be in town.
I knew he was working and that he would only have one day off while we were in town.
THE BOTTOM LINE IS....................
After our short visit with him before we headed home
We finished the lunch my husband and I brought to his apartment and then our son reminded us that he had a lot to do.
We were only there about 45 minutes when he let us know that we should get on our way.
His room-mate and his girlfriend were in the room at the time and I was really hurt and embarrassed. The whole 7 hour car ride home I reflected on my hurt feelings.
Was it WHAT he said?
Was it HOW he said it?
Was it WHO he said it in front of?
Was it honest?
Was it the truth?
I knew before I even left home that our son was REALLY BUSY.
I knew that his first day off was the day we would be leaving town.
We hadn't checked with him BEFORE making plans to see if he would have time to see us.
We just made the plans and THEN informed him we were coming! (rude)
ASSUMING he would fit us in.
it makes an ASS out of U and ME!
What I have decided is........
my feelings were hurt, but he had a right to say what he said.

Today I will be reflecting on what my part was, expectations, assuming,and treating my son like an adult with courtesy and respect

Sunday, August 18, 2013

"We have traveled a rocky road, there is no mistake about that."



"We have had long rendezvous with hurt, pride, frustration, self- pity, misunderstanding and fear." 

Every once in awhile I come across some little reminder of the ROCKY ROAD  our family has been on. Our son has not lived in our home for many years and yet, I continue to come across mementos of his life in and out of sobriety.

The past  few weeks I have been cleaning out closets and boxes marked "keepsakes".

 Tucked away in the bottom of a box of treasures I found an AA chip.  As I sat starring into the bottom of that box I thought about how many times my son brought an AA  chip home and proudly presented it to me. The first 24 hour chip and then the next 30 day chip brought with them hope for better days. I had no idea how many of those 24 hour and 30 day chips would end up scattered throughout my house.

As I was sorting through a  box of cards and letters from our children I found tucked between the sweet handwritten notes a letter our son wrote from jail.

 Today I was organizing my computer files I was reminded once again of the ROCKY ROAD we've been on. When I opened the file with my son's name on it  there were documents labeled, COURT RECORDS, RESTITUTION, ARREST RECORD.

When I opened my husbands file I was reminded of the deep hurt he experienced
several years ago. His file contained a letter he wrote our son after a particularly difficult time in our lives.

Chapter 8 of the big book says, "we had a long rendezvous with hurt, pride, frustration, self- pity, misunderstanding and fear. "


We have all worked really hard over the years to LET GO of the past. Most days our lives are filled with the blessings of peace and serenity that recovery bring.

 Some days God lets the wreckage of our past surface and we are reminded that the bumps in the road are smaller these days

we are reminded that  the moments of joy we experience in our family today are

oh so good.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Walking through addiction

When I decided to name this blog Walkingthroughaddiction I had no idea where our son's drug addiction would take us. We had been to some pretty dark places and there were times I didn't think we would ever see the light again. The journey through addiction is like a bad dream that you can't wake up from; a cycle of pain and heartache.  Just when you make it through one crisis you are faced with another one. I had become numb and was filled with hopelessness and despair.
When I finally found myself in the rooms of Al-Anon I began to hold on to a glimmer of hope that things could get better. People would say, "wait for the miracles". I stayed because I desperately wanted to believe that things could change. And although our family continued to struggle I began to witness miracles in other peoples lives. It brought me hope that one day our lives would be better. I CAME TO BELIEVE that a power greater than myself could restore me to sanity. I slowly came out of the fog I had been in and began to enjoy my life again. I learned that I had choices and that although I couldn't control my son's addiction I could control the path that I chose to be on.
I am thankful to say that our whole family is walking on a path of recovery today.
 The journey we are on is filled with peace, serenity, joy and laughter.
A few weeks ago our son came for a visit and we took a walk to the river where I was overwhelmed with gratitude as I watched my son and his girlfriend gaze at the river.
These two young people fought a hard fight to find their way THROUGH addiction.
They are committed to staying on a path that will lead them to continued sobriety.
We don't know what tomorrow will bring but
for today I am filled with gratitude! I am so glad I stuck around the rooms long enough to witness miracles in my life and the lives of these two young people as well as countless others.

Calls from Jail

Now and then I hear a parent in a meeting talk about the collect calls they receive from jail. In fact, tonight at my meeting a woman was speaking about the recent collect calls  her son had been making from the county jail. She mentioned that there really isn't a lot to talk about when he calls and that sometimes she just feels depressed after speaking with him. I remember all too vividly the overwhelming sadness I felt the first time I accepted a collect call from my son who was locked up. He was frightened and begged me to get him out. It was heartbreaking but I knew he needed to stay where he was. When I hung up the phone that day I vowed to never again accept a call from a correctional facility.

Today as I walked into a public restroom I heard a mother accepting a collect call from her son. I am not sure she realized that she was on speaker phone but I could hear both sides of the conversation. The young man sounded cheerful and happy to hear his mother's voice, the mother on the other hand seemed surprised and a bit weary. She told him she had expected him to call this evening. She then went on to say that she would put money on his books later this afternoon.

Only a parent who has been through the minefields of addiction would understand what was behind that brief encounter between a mother and her child.  I walked out of that restroom and said a silent prayer for that mother and her son.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Life through glasses blurred by addiction

Yesterday I was enjoying a relaxing afternoon getting my hair done when the teenaged son of one of the hairdressers came in asking his mother for gas money.  Before his mother gave him the money she asked the typical questions; where are you going, and who are you going with. My mind immediately reacted the way I did when my son was using drugs. I was suspicious. My first thought was "he is lying". Then I thought "he wants to buy drugs". When he told her he was going to a movie I thought to myself , "no he isn't". As the young man left his mother explained to her client that her son had been volunteering at their church all summer doing landscaping. She went on to explain how proud she was of him and what a good kid he was.

It made me think how distorted my thinking has become. Living with the lies and deception of addiction for so long has jaded me. I see the world through the lenses blurred by addiction now. For the past 10 years I have attended at least two Al-Anon meetings a week. Twice a week for over 10 years  I have sat in rooms filled with anywhere from 50-100 parents whose lives have been turned upside down because of their child's drug use. I have met at least a dozen families who have lost their child to a drug overdose. I have become a well informed parent and a professional student of addiction studies. My son's drug use became very apparent to me shortly after he began experimenting with drugs. It was impossible for me not to see the changes in his behavior and his appearance. For some parents it takes a couple of years before they recognize the signs of addiction. They may sense that something is "not quite right" but they don't want to accept the fact that their child may be using drugs. They rest in the comfort of denial. It provides a false sense of security.  I was forced out of denial long ago. I don't think I will ever again see life through rose colored glasses. There are moments like yesterday that I miss the bliss of denial. I have to remember there really are teenagers who "just say no" to drugs. There are teenagers who don't have to lie to their parents about where they are going or who they are with. There are teenagers who know how to have fun without using drugs or alcohol.
There are families who will never face the nightmare of addiction that my family and thousands of others have had to face. I forget that sometimes. The blurred lens of addiction has hardened me.

Afflicted By Addiction | VoiceAmerica™

Afflicted By Addiction | VoiceAmerica™