International Overdose Awareness Day

International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD) is a global event held on August 31st each year and aims to raise awareness of overdose and reduce the stigma of a drug-related death. It also acknowledges the grief felt by families and friends remembering those who have met with death or permanent injury as a result of drug overdose.

Syringe exchange program article I was involved with

The Open Aid Alliance handed out 96,996 syringes from the start of its syringe exchange program in June 2013 through the end of 2014.

Full article: missoulian.com

This is an article about Open Aid Alliance from April 2015 I ran across this morning.  I was the “Missoula man” mentioned in the article.

It seems like this was forever ago… had I been asked about this, my memory would have said this is from 4 years ago… the concept of time in my addiction is that I never had enough of it and I lost most of it…

While OAA has a great new space, they could still use your support if you’re looking for a great cause.

Christa Weathers, Executive Director of Open Aid Alliance

The Business of Recovery

As drug and alcohol addictions skyrocket, The Business of Recovery examines the untold billions that are being made off of families in crisis. With little regulation or science, the addiction treatment industry has become a cash cow business that continues to grow while the addiction death rates continue to rise.

Through unique access to internationally recognized treatment facilities, as well as emotional stories of addicts and their families, the film reveals how the treatment industry in the United States preys on addicts with little more than promises of hope and a huge bill.

The film challenges us to reconsider our assumptions about treating addiction and the human cost we will pay by allowing the industry to continue business as usual.

Source: The Business of Recovery

I’ve always hated the costs of rehab compared to the level of help you get.  In the few rehabs I’ve been in, patients compared price per day for staying like it was a badge of honor, but we all knew the costs were never justified…

I was required to take yoga every morning… my instructor was whatever video I found on YouTube.

I had to do a morning meditation and mindfulness session… from someone making minimum wage reading off something they found on the internet or from playing a .99 cent app on their iPhone.

I could go on and on… I have resentments against the institutions no doubt, but I’m not the only one who thinks they’re not in for the recovery of the patients… billing insurance is easy and big business…

A “Death Sentence” for People Who Use Drugs

Our single most vital tool for ending the overdose crisis isn’t naloxone, or buprenorphine, or syringe exchange – it’s Medicaid. Medicaid is the most important source of health care financing and delivery for people who use drugs. It’s the crucial cornerstone to reinventing a system to deliver harm reduction, mental health, and recovery supports; treat hepatitis C and HIV; and build out supportive housing, diversion, and reentry programs to keep people safe from harm.

Source: A “Death Sentence” for People Who Use Drugs

NA Speaker Tape

I needed this one today… it really reinforced the notion that it’s my program and I need to do it for me and if it takes N+i years (where = any number and i = infinity), then so be it… if I’m going to do it (recovery), I’ll do it… and guilt and shame on how quickly it should be done/by which method are not motivating factors… whether the guilt and shame are external or internal, real or imagined.

I relate to the drinking but really wanting to use… how I really have a problem with feelings… the distractions of relationships… pressures of life… envy and anger…

Today… currently… I don’t know how much I want to do this… this being recovery.  Hmmm… I want to be clean, but it’s the recovery that scares me.  It’s the mental health issues… the reasons why… the history… the secrets… telling the truth.

I do know that using will make things worse and I’ll be more miserable than even my most worst days clean… I have my really terrible, shitty and all the way down there moments… the question my sanity/reasons for doing what I’m doing… but I’m not making it worse by using.

Fuck, you could sum it up as having hope… hope and potential for better.

NA Speaker Tape

Today I needed to hear this… it helped me reconnect and find my empathy towards others when I started to feel a little down about my own situation.  I can identify with so many parts of this story that it’s been one of my favorites for a while.  I’ve heard it a number of times and it still gets me out of my own head.  I hope you get the same feeling.