In my past life, I was a community mental health nurse for a year and a half. We worked closely with the other community mental health centers and substance abuse treatment centers in our area, including the Shelby County centers.
Today, I was heartbroken when another friend, who is a substance abuse counselor, posted this article:
The woman who passed away, April Carpri, descended so quickly into substance abuse, going from a suburban life as a substance abuse counselor to an addict, losing everything, finally succumbing to her addiction and being buried in the county cemetary as a number.
I did not know her personally. And it doesn’t matter that I didn’t.
This is just heartbreaking.
In Jefferson County, where I live, a person is more likely to die of a heroin or fentanyl overdose than by homicide, according to the Sheriffs Department. And that is just astounding.
What I want to say more than anything is that it isn’t “them” that are overdosing. It’s US.
It’s teachers and cashiers and nurses and waiters and engineers and doctors and church folk and moms and custodians and priests and social workers and secretaries and every damn body in between.
A person can get addicted while taking pain meds for a legitimate medical reason.
A kid can be experimenting.
There can be a gateway drug that leads to more.
Any number of things can happen.
It can happen to anybody.
It’s an US problem.
There is no “them.”
As strongly as I feel about this, I can’t help but feel that some part of my own journey with alcohol and my work experience and Tt lifestyle and all of my values are leading to something.
If I can be useful somewhere, whether in a church small group or online or in some other way, I want to be.
I want to do my part.
Prior to reading this article, three people that I know – not close friends or family members, but people that I have known in the community – have died due to overdose in the past three months in my small town. It’s absolutely stunning.
So I will remain prayerful and open to anyway that I can be of service.
And I will use my words here always to share what I know and what I discover in the hopes it can help even just one person.
And, as always, if you are struggling with alcohol or substances, I’m here. I give good hugs, I always have LaCroix, and, I don’t know much, but I’m a great listener. Sobriety is the best thing you can ever do for yourself. You will be so, SO free.
Be well, everybody.
Love and light. 💛💚❤️💙💜