Untold Harm - Family

There is much written in recent years about the plight of the Australian drug user, the majority who didn’t start their journey into drug use because of trauma, but started out with an agenda to ‘party’ - only in search of a ‘better buzz/a good time!’ 

This now ‘positive’ focus is increasingly on the ‘rights’ and support of the self-harming individual (of which some is clearly warranted) But the growing, and by far, larger demographic that is paid little or no attention to, is the family of the drug taking individual. To borrow from an Alzheimer’s awareness campaign;  ‘He/She is a drug user, and the rest of the family suffer from it!’ For example, in our recent Ice scourge, the Sydney Morning Herald stated “For every one person using ice – 10 family members will be effected” (SMH 19/11/16) 

This egregious reality of course is rarely (if ever) spoken of, especially not by either pro-drug activists or any other non-civic minded ally – it  doesn’t serve well the brand of hedonistic self-indulgence party goer. These silent sufferers – these hurting families (and there are thousands) are more often dismissed or worse, made to feel guilty if they don’t accommodate every activity of the now captive consumer. 

Time and space here would not permit the diatribe of injustice that this speaks to, so we will refrain!

So, this space is dedicated to those who wish to step from their grief, vexation, fear, anger, and at times, utter despair, and share about not only what drugs do to their family, but more importantly challenging the notion that greater accessibility, acceptability and availability of drugs will make it ‘all better’ for their family and community!  

Read their stories and if you have one of your own, share it with us. This can be done anonymously and with complete confidentiality – Just submit your piece to drug-advice@daca.org.au for consideration. Again, all submissions will be treated respectfully and suitable ones posted with permission.

October 2018

A former New York Times reporter and now a best-selling author, Alex Berenson has an important new book, Tell Your Children: The truth about marijuana, violence and mental health. Simon & Schuster will publish and release it on January 8, 2019.

“I know this topic is controversial……I spoke to scores of scientists and doctors and examined hundreds of studies and papers. Whatever you think of marijuana, you owe it to yourself and to your families to know the truth that legalizers and the media have hidden from you.”

Alex Berenson

Indeed, Berenson’s book promises to confirm the facts that we’ve been warning about: the marijuana-psychosis links; that pot use often makes people violent; that it leads to more crime, more overall drug abuse and more fatalities.  As we try to “tell our children,” NO amount of marijuana use is worth the risks.

The Inconvenient Truth

• Almost no one is in prison for marijuana;
• A tiny fraction of doctors write most authorizations for medical marijuana, mostly for people who have already used;
• Marijuana use is linked to opiate and cocaine use. Since 2008, the US and Canada have seen soaring marijuana use and an opiate epidemic. Britain has falling marijuana use and no epidemic;
• Most of all, THC—the chemical in marijuana responsible for the drug’s high—can cause psychotic episodes. After decades of studies, scientists no longer seriously debate if marijuana causes psychosis.

Psychosis brings violence, and cannabis-linked violence is spreading. In the four states that first legalized, murders have risen 25 percent since legalization, even more than the recent national increase.

According to the overview on Barnes & Noble and a description on Amazon, “Berenson’s reporting ranges from the London institute that is home to the scientists who helped prove the cannabis-psychosis link to the Colorado prison where a man now serves a thirty-year sentence after eating a THC-laced candy bar and killing his wife. He sticks to the facts, and they are devastating.”

“With the US already gripped by one drug epidemic, this book will make readers reconsider if marijuana use is worth the risk.”

For complete story Exploding Myths of Marijuana NYTimes Journalist Emeritus

https://www.amazon.com/Chemical-Slavery-Understanding-Addiction-Stopping/dp/1985750325  

 This extremely ambitious book by Dr. Robert DuPont is the first book that I know of by a leader in the drug abuse prevention and treatment field that has highlighted the message of Pope Francis:  that engaging in drug taking for experiential purposes is tantamount to allowing oneself to become enslaved.  No one would ever willingly accept such a fate. When one gives up one’s will power, the theosophists say that one gives up one’s soul power.  The Dalai Lama has said that a person who uses drugs give up his or her authentic self.  This book provides a range of significant roadmaps that have been used by a country, Sweden; and by institutions, treatment programs, families, and individual drug users and addicts, to safeguard or sustain and retain that authentic drug-free selfhood.  By bringing to light in one place, many of these roadmaps, Dr. DuPont shares insights into how that authentic self can be safeguarded from the pitfalls of drug taking behavior. He shares insights into the steps that many have taken to retain or reclaim their authentic selves, initiative, will power, brain power, judgment, creativity, and essential humanity.

Paula D. Gordon, PhD

Families Destroyed By ICE!!

https://www.9now.com.au/a-current-affair/2018/clip-cjm63mil700050hlmrw4q5jir

by Katharine Q. Seelye New York Times, January 21, 2018. 

EXTRACTS

Drug deaths draw the most notice, but more addicted people live than die. For them and their families, life can be a relentless cycle of worry, hope and chaos.

* * * * *

Even in the cheeriest moments, when Patrick was clean, everyone — including him — seemed to be bracing for the inevitable moment when he would turn back to drugs.

“We are your neighbors,” his mother, Sandy Griffin, said of the many families living with addiction, “and this is the B.S. going on in the house.”

* * * * *

. But the opioid scourge, here and elsewhere, has overwhelmed police and fire departments, hospitals, prosecutors, public defenders, courts, jails and the foster care system.

Most of all, though, it has upended families.

* * * * *

 “It’s a merry-go-round, and he can’t get off,” Sandy said of Patrick and his overdoses. “The first couple of times, I started thinking, ‘At least he’s not dead.’ I still think that. But he’s hurting. He’s sick. He needs to learn to live with the pain of being alive.”

* * * * *

Unlike some of the other parents, Sandy seemed battle hardened, like one who had been immersed in a war for a long time.

“I lost myself 10 years ago,” she told the group. “I couldn’t go to work, I couldn’t get out of bed.” She said she was consumed by codependency, in which “you are addicted to this human being to save them.”

She said she had realized that she had to save herself. 

* * * * *

For drug users and their loved ones, though, the worry never ends. No day can be ordinary. The threat of relapse is constant.

When Patrick recently texted Sandy, saying, “I love you,” her first thought was that he was about to kill himself. She frantically called him back. Patrick told her he was fine, he had just been thinking about her.

For a moment, Sandy caught her breath.

For complete article

The phone rings, the voice on the other end of the phone is daughter I love, but I rarely hear her voice, unless there is a need, and this time was no different.

“I need a place to crash tonight!” My immediate response is, of course, but then I ask; “Why, what’s wrong with your place?”

The story comes back, not a new one, but one that is still both sad and frustrating to hear… “Oh, you know, my boyfriend is going on his monthly ‘bender’ tonight and he’s locked me out of the house!”

This, I understood. This is the ‘Harm Reduction Hamster Wheel’ that my poly-drug and methadone dependent daughter and her boyfriend are on. They line-up for their methadone, but don’t take it; they on sell it to other addicts or, as was the usual case this month, save them up for a ‘binge’, all courtesy of tax-payer funded and government supplied opiates!

This long term drug use, started as a naïve and somewhat rebellious teenager. She ‘bought’ the propaganda of the pro-drug lobbyists, that ‘fun’ and individual self-determination free of societal conventions can be found in the mouth of a ‘bong’ and a peer group school-yard ‘puff’ on a joint. 

 Thanks to this ongoing drug use, now decades, this precious family member is not only so dysfunction, but must be heavily medicated on anti-psychotics and they must be administered through a Community Based Order, by a clinician, or our messed up daughter will end up back in the Psych ward over Christmas. But, hey, they say this ‘system’ is ‘reducing her risk of harm and ‘possible death’; How - is my confused declaration!  There appears to be not only a lessening of any risk of her using any drug at any time, but these ‘peddlers of prescription opiates’ are adding another drug to her regime and so adding to the risk. This process enables her to continue to use unabated and her health and well-being are shattered – and it would appear for the rest of her time reduced life.

Meanwhile she is lovingly, but futilely, trying to bring a new born life into her chaotic unrequited world. Sadly, an unbroken cycle of what could have been a life well lived!

This self-indulgent choreography has now morphed into an enslavement to dependant processes that have only one perspective – the meeting of every felt need, regardless of what that means to society, relationships, family or even self. 

 John M.

DACA Comment - This tragic and true story is by no means in the minority. This level of chaotic dysfunction is growing and growing because the National Strategy of Harm Minimisation has been sabotaged and hijacked by one dimensional thinking and policy interpretation. The Full strategy of Harm minimisation is Demand Reduction, Supply Reduction and Recovery focused Harm Reduction with prevention and even abstinence as part of the mandate. Instead we now have the term ‘harm reduction’ interchangeable with Harm Minimisation and in practice it seems to have only one goal… Keep the drug user supplied and using all under the faux banner of ‘care’ and ‘kindness’. Yet this ‘version’ of care and kindness is only creating more users, greater use and then the call for even more paraphernalia and opioid substitutes, or even ‘clean’ product! And, so the hamster wheel keeps spinning ever faster!

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THE DRUG ADVISORY COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA SUPPORTS

More detoxification & rehabilitation that gets illicit drug users drug free.
Court ordered and supervised detoxification & rehabilitation.
Less illicit drug users, drug pushers and drug related crimes.

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