For Wordless Wednesday.
This is a list of resources on opioid addiction that I am putting together for a talk to a community advocate group this Thursday.
The big picture:
CDC Grand Rounds: Prescription Drug Overdoses — a U.S. Epidemic, January 2012: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6101a3.htm
CDC 2018 (It’s not getting better yet.) https://www.cdc.gov/media/releases/2018/p0329-drug-overdose-deaths.html
Washington State Pain Law
Is it genes that make people addicts? (The short answer is genes are a minimal contribution. It is society and patterns learned in childhood and adulthood.)
Adverse Childhood Experiences (put people at way higher risk for addiction):
Books that helped me understand addiction (in my teens):
It will never happen to me by Claudia Black (about the patterns children take in addiction households to survive and cope with childhood)
Manchild in the Promised Land by Claude Brown (a black male writes about his childhood in Harlem when heroin hit the community. He was in a gang at age 6.)
Happy things starting with D:
Discrimination, death, delight.
I am happy that slowly, slowly, it feels as if there is change in the world and a decrease in discrimination. It is NOT gone by any means, but I think it is slowly being eroded.
My parents had a party when I was two and they were both in college. The party was raided in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1963 and my father was taken to jail. My mother and I were left alone and she was afraid we would be lynched by the neighbors. The next morning the paper wrote about a MIXED RACE COLLEGE STUDENT PARTY possibly with orgies. My parents were both suspended from the University of Tennessee.
They were both reinstated after a hearing, because there were no drugs, no underage drinkers, and it was not illegal to have a mixed race party. My parents never touched marijuana ever and I think it was because of that party. I don’t remember it, but I still feel cautious at parties and in crowds. My mother refused to return to the U. of TN and eventually finished her undergraduate degree at Cornell. My parents were so notorious that we left Knoxville as soon as my father graduated.
I grew up learning protest songs and work songs and joke songs. My mother joked about the party and it was years before I found out how terrifying it was. My mother joked that they sat at the one liberal table at the University of Tennessee. I hate discrimination and I do not understand it.
Death: is death a happy thing? Death is as much a mystery as life, and we cannot have one without the other. How could we value life if it were eternal? And we’d also get awfully crowded. I have the privilege of caring for all ages in clinic, all genders, any race that comes in the door, age newborn to 104, what joy! I get to be present when someone is dying and try to help the person and the family. There is no single idea about death or about how to “do it right” and often families struggle with multiple opinions and ideas and feelings. Death is as intense as birth and I have had the privilege to attend both.
Delight: there are many things that I find difficult and depressing, but I find delight too! The latest morbidity and mortality report from the CDC on overdose deaths, up from 52K in the US in 2015 to 62K in the US in 2016: Overdose deaths involving opioids, cocaine and psychostimulents — United States, 2015-2016. We have to work harder to prevent addiction, why do we choose addictive substances, why do people think it won’t happen to THEM?
And yet, I still find delight, taking photographs of bird, seeing patients that I know well in clinic, we laugh often, finding joy walking outside, my family and friends.
The photograph is from Mauna Loa last week. It is not a giant dinosaur nest, it’s a cinder cone. At least, that’s what a geologist claims….
Three happy things for the letter A:
I am thinking of the women I admire, whose names start with A. Anne, Amelia, Azula, Artemis, Adele.
They run businesses, work at the post office, make gorgeous hats, teach dogs and their owners, work in healing.
I am so happy I have so many women, whose names start with A, who I admire!
That is two happy things: the third is the abstract photograph and abstract art, that encourages me to dream.
For the Daily Prompt: inheritance.
Such soft colors. I am trying to capture the ferry wake color in the sunrise.
The news this morning and I am thinking of girls who are not believed and predators who are after them. And boys too. I am thinking of medical school, this essay.
I am thinking of the comment from a fellow male medical student, about the statistics of one girl in five sexually abused: “I never believed it. I didn’t think women could be okay after that.”
There is still the idea in our culture of a woman “ruined”. Women are still not believed. Boys are assaulted, too. One in twenty. Here: http://victimsofcrime.org/media/reporting-on-child-sexual-abuse/child-sexual-abuse-statistics.
And in the end, I wonder, what are the adults thinking? It’s the woman’s fault for being pretty? It’s the girl’s fault for being vulnerable? The devil made me do it? I was tempted by evil? It isn’t my fault. I have money and power and therefore I can do whatever I want. Women and children aren’t people, I can buy and sell and use them.
I am so relieved to hear the news from Alabama this morning.
For Wordless Wednesday.
Sunrise two days ago.