NALOXONE! …What is it and why should I care?

Mikhaila wanted to stop using drugs

One of the ironies of Mikhaila dying of an overdose is that just a few weeks prior to her death, she and I had a conversation in which she shared with me, and more importantly admitted to herself, that she was addicted to prescription drugs and needed help. In the last two weeks of her life she took important steps to change her life; she severed a dysfunctional long-term relationship with a controlling, self-serving boy who is also an addict, and moved out of his parent’s house where they were staying. She began attending recovery meetings at a local church, and from what the meeting leader tells me (Hi Stacy!), Mikhaila was very motivated to begin her journey toward sobriety. She was actively look for a job, and was looking forward to enrolling in school in the upcoming semester.

She told me that she just didn’t want to live how she was living anymore. She felt as if time was slipping away from her, that she didn’t feel like she was the same person she once was… She was tired… sick and tired of being sick and tired, and hearing that from her was music to my ears.

Most Opiate Overdoses Occur After Periods Sobriety

An opiate addict develops a tolerance rapidly, thus needing a stronger dosage of the drug to achieve the desired effect. Opiate addicts typically enter treatment on such a high dose and with such a high tolerance that it would most likely be fatal to an individual who was not addicted. As addicts recover, their opiate tolerance decreases. If a person relapses, he or she is likely to consume the same dose that he or she had become accustomed to before sobriety. Because this person had abstained from opiate use and has little to no tolerance to the drug, relapses often result in overdoses.

Diseases involve cycles of relapse and remission

Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. The last time I spoke with Mikhaila, she told me that she was almost two weeks clean. Was she telling me the truth? Maybe, maybe not, but if if we give her the benefit of the doubt, which I do, it wouldn’t have taken relatively much for her to OD.

So the irony is this: it was not until the time that she chose to get clean, and relapsed in a moment of weakness, that she OD’d and died.  How fair is that?

This answers the question that asks, “Why is it that Mikhaila, the girl who realizes her addiction is out of control, and that takes steps toward sobriety the one that OD’s, while those that don’t want to change, continue to use and sell the drugs?”

Enter Naloxone

There is a medication out there called Naloxone, (its brand name is Narcan) that can be administered either nasally or by injection. It can rapidly reverse the potentially deadly effects of opioid drugs, which include heroin and prescription pain relievers like OxyContin and Vicodin.  It does not produce a high — quite the opposite, in fact, because it blocks the effects of opioids. Naloxone is much safer than some drugs currently available without a prescription.  Both insulin and Tylenol (acetaminophen) can be deadly if misused, but it is impossible to overdose on Naloxone and it has few side effects.

Currently, Naloxone is available only by prescription and is otherwise accessed easily only by health professionals and law enforcement. Overdose now kills more people in the United States than car accidents, making it the leading cause of injury-related mortality according to the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The number of deaths — 37,485 in 2009 — could be cut dramatically if Naloxone were available over-the-counter and placed in every first aid kit.


Once again, I am not condoning nor condemning the recreational use of drugs by suggesting that Naloxone should be more readily available to the general public. What I’m saying is that there are addicts that want to get clean and getting clean is a process – sometimes a long process, involving times of relapse and remission. It’s at this time, when a recovering addict takes the initial steps toward sobriety that he or she is the most vulnerable and that the chance of an overdose is highest, and one can’t be given the chance of a a sober life if one is dead.


Children learn by living…


If a child lives with criticism, she learns to condemn.
If a child lives with hostility, he learns to fight.
If a child lives with ridicule, she learns to be shy.
If a child lives with fear, he learns to be apprehensive.
If a child lives with shame, she learns to feel guilty.
If a child lives with tolerance, he learns to be patient.
If a child lives with encouragement, she learns to be confident.
If a child lives with acceptance, he learns to love.
If a child lives with recognition, she learns it is good to have a goal.
If a child lives with honesty, he learns what truth is.
If a child lives with fairness, she learns justice.
If a child lives with security, he learns to have faith in himself and those about him.
If a child lives with friendliness, she learns the world is a nice place in which to live to love and be loved.


The Justice I Seek

Focus on LOVE, not HATE. FEAR begets HATE, and HATE begets ANGER.

I know exactly who peddled drugs to Mikhaila, even on the night that she died, and who was in the same room with her the night that she overdosed. I know who encouraged her to use the drugs, who accompanied her to get the drugs, and who used the drugs with her. I know who neglected her, who abused her, who took advantage of her, and who mistreated her. I know their names and I know where they live. I have spoken to some over the phone, I have communicated with others through email or chat, I’ve even met with a few in person, face to face, at their homes, and have had the opportunity to share with them my thoughts about them personally, and about the situation as a whole.

In light of this, I could spend time and energy pursuing those individuals that in some way had a part in my daughters drug addiction and death, in hope that maybe I will find some sort of justice for Mikhaila. But even when considering the best case scenario of the most “perfect” form of justice: an eye for an eye, that is, you took my daughter’s life, so now your life will be taken, it does not change the fact that my daughter is still dead. In this way, I can never be made fully “whole” in the truest sense of the word. In the end, I may or may not get the justice I’m looking for, and in the meantime what am I sacrificing?

If I focus my efforts on finding justice in this way, I hold on to emotions that motivate me to seek said justice, and that hinder me from continuing with my process of grieving. The end doesn’t justify the means. Here is the thing: I refuse to allow those who facilitated my daughter’s drug use, and ultimately contributed to her overdose death, to take any more from me than has already been taken. Let me be perfectly clear, choosing to not spend more time than I already have on people I don’t really care about, does NOT mean I am over the death of my daughter any more or any less.  It does NOT mean that I condone my daughter’s drug use, or that I’m okay with how she died, or that approve of any certain kind of behavior. I’m searching for the low hanging fruit. I feel my energy is better spent helping an 18 year old, drug addicted girl that wants to get clean, than prosecuting an 18 year old boy that just doesn’t give a fuck. Saving the 18 year old girl is as close to being made “whole” as I can get, and the justice I seek.

The Art of Forgiveness


We have all been angry at some point in our life because of someone who has wronged us or hurt us. Anger is a completely normal, usually healthy, human emotion. But holding on to that anger can lead to problems at work, in your personal relationships, and in the overall quality of your life. Forgiveness, like so many things in life, is easier said than done.

Forgiveness can be a challenge for several reasons. Sometimes forgiveness can be confused with condoning what someone has done to us. Forgiveness can be difficult when the person who wronged us doesn’t seem to deserve our forgiveness -it’s hard to remember that forgiveness benefits the forgiver more than the one who is forgiven. Ultimately, forgiveness is especially challenging because it’s hard to let go of what’s happened.

What is forgiveness?
To understand what forgiveness is, it is important to consider what forgiveness is not. The act of forgiveness does not suggest you have forgotten the injustice. Nor does it imply you condone or excuse the wrongdoer.

When you forgive someone who has deeply hurt you, you let go of resentment and the urge to seek revenge, no matter how deserving of these things the wrongdoer may be. You give the great gifts of acceptance, generosity and love. Though the wrongdoer does not deserve these gifts, you don’t let that stand in your way. You give, not out of pity, not out of grim obligation. Rather, you give because you have chosen to have a merciful heart. A heart with the power to free yourself so you can live a better life.

Forgiveness is a paradox -something that may sound illogical but still works. It is the foregoing of resentment or revenge when the wrongdoer’s actions deserve it. It is giving the gifts of mercy, generosity and love when the wrongdoer’s actions indicate that he/she does not deserve them. As we give the gift of forgiveness, we ourselves are healed.

Studies show that people who were generally more neurotic, angry and hostile in life were less likely to forgive another person even after a long time had passed.  People who forgive are happier and healthier than those who hold resentments. The first study to look at how forgiveness improves physical health discovered that when people think about forgiving an offender it leads to improved functioning in their cardiovascular and nervous systems. Another study at the University of Wisconsin found the more forgiving people were, the less they suffered from a wide range of illnesses. The less forgiving people reported a greater number of health problems.

Judaism: The most beautiful thing a man can do is to forgive wrong.

Christianity: Then Peter came up and said to him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “I do not say to you seven times seven, but seventy times seven.”

Islam: Forgive thy servant seventy times a day.

Sikhism: Where there is forgiveness there is God himself.

Taoism: Recompense injury with kindness

Buddhism: Never is hate diminished by hatred: It is only diminished by love.

Anger can be a catalyst for positive action and personal change, but holding on to anger is such a waste of time and energy. Don’t get me wrong, I still get angry, forgiveness is a process and I’m not quite there yet. But I’m doing my best to turn that anger into something positive. I refuse to let anger govern my life. I chose to forgive.

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself


Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending. But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you. If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you. You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot. Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth. And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.

2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on. No, it won’t be easy. There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them. We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems. That’s not how we’re made. In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall. Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time. This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.

3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself. Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.

4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too. Yes, help others; but help yourself too. If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.

5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you like everyone else. Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you. Don’t change so people will like you. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.

6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.

7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing. Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success. You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.

8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us. We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future. Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.

9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive. But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free –love, laughter and working on our passions.

10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either. You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.

11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place. Evaluate situations and take decisive action. You cannot change what you refuse to confront. Making progress involves risk. Period! You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.

12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises. Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.

13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely. It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company. There’s no need to rush. If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet. Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you. But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.

15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. –Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you. Concentrate on beating your own records every day. Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.

16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own. Ask yourself this: “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”

17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you. You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough. But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past. You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation. So smile! Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.

18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart. You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate. Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.” It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.” Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself! And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too. If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.

19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.

20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway. Just do what you know in your heart is right.

21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it. If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting. Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.

22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things. The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.

23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.

24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile. Don’t take the easy way out. Do something extraordinary.

25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while. You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well. You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears. The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.

26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life. When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.

27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. –Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out. But making one person smile CAN change the world. Maybe not the whole world, but their world. So narrow your focus.

28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy. One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time? Three years? Five years?” If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.

29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen. Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story. If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.

30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life. Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs. Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.

12 Tough Truths that Help You Grow


As you look back on your life, you will often realize that many of the times you thought you were being rejected from something good, you were in fact being redirected to something better. You can’t control everything. Sometimes you just need to relax and have faith that things will work out. Let go a little and just let life happen. Because sometimes the truths you can’t change, end up changing you and helping you grow.

Here are twelve such truths…

1. Everything is as it should be. It’s crazy how you always end up where you’re meant to be – how even the most tragic and stressful situations eventually teach you important lessons that you never dreamed you were going to learn. Remember, oftentimes when things are falling apart, they are actually falling into place.

2. Not until you are lost in this world can you begin to find your true self. Realizing you are lost is the first step to living the life you want. The second step is leaving the life you don’t want. Making a big life change is pretty scary. But you know what’s even scarier? Regret. Vision without action is a daydream, and action without vision is a nightmare. Your heart is free, have the courage to follow it. Read Awaken the Giant Within.

3. It’s usually the deepest pain which empowers you to grow to your full potential. It’s the scary, stressful choices that end up being the most worthwhile. Without pain, there would be no change. But remember, pain, just like everything in life, is meant to be learned from and then released.

4. One of the hardest decisions you will ever face in life is choosing whether to walk away or take another step forward. If you catch yourself in a cycle of trying to change someone, or defending yourself again someone who is trying to change you, walk away. But if you are pursuing a dream, take another step. And don’t forget that sometimes this step will involve modifying your dream, or planning a new one – it’s OK to change your mind or have more than one dream.

5. You have to take care of yourself first. Before befriending others, you have to be your own friend. Before correcting others, you have to correct yourself. Before making others happy, you have to make yourself happy. It’s not called selfishness, it’s called personal development. Once you balance yourself, only then can you balance the world around you. Read Psycho-Cybernetics.

6. One of the greatest freedoms is truly not caring what everyone else thinks of you. As long as you are worried about what others think of you, you are owned by them. Only when you require no approval from outside yourself, can you own yourself.

7. You may need to be single for awhile before you realize that, although the co-owned belongings from your failed relationships might not have been divided equally, the issues that destroyed the relationships likely were. For how can you stand confidently alone, or see the same issues arising in your newest relationship, and not realize which broken pieces belong to you? Owning your issues, and dealing with them, will make you far happier in the long run, than owning anything else in this world.

8. The only thing you can absolutely control is how you react to things out of your control. The more you can adapt to the situations in life, the more powerful your highs will be, and the more quickly you’ll be able to bounce back from the lows in your life. Put most simply: being at peace means being in a state of complete acceptance of all that is, right here, right now.

9. Some people will lie to you. Remember, an honest enemy is better than a friend who lies. Pay less attention to what people say, and more attention to what they do. Their actions will show you the truth, which will help you measure the true quality of your relationship in the long-term.

10. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never have enough. If you are thankful for what you do have, you will end up having even more. Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold; happiness dwells in the soul. Abundance is not about how much you have, it’s how you feel about what you have. When you take things for granted, your happiness gets taken away. Read The Happiness Project.

11. Yes, you have failed in the past. But don’t judge yourself by your past, you don’t live there anymore. Just because you’re not where you want to be today doesn’t mean you won’t be there someday. You can turn it all around in the blink of an eye by making a simple choice to stand back up – to try again, to love again, to live again, and to dream again.

12. Everything is going to be alright; maybe not today, but eventually. There will be times when it seems like everything that could possibly go wrong is going wrong. And you might feel like you will be stuck in this rut forever, but you won’t. Sure the sun stops shining sometimes, and you may get a huge thunderstorm or two, but eventually the sun will come out to shine. Sometimes it’s just a matter of us staying as positive as possible in order to make it to see the sunshine break through the clouds again.

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