By Michelle Wells, Alumni
I had been discharged from my treatment program for a year and was in the ups and downs of early recovery when the call came. My husband’s voice cracked when he said my name, so I knew before he told me that my father was dead. There were no details yet, but I did not need them. The coroner’s report would later confirm what I already knew. My dad, like his twin brother twenty years before him, had taken his own life. There is much I could write about his life and perhaps some day I will, but as I sit here today contemplating World Suicide Prevention Day (September 10, 2017) all I have to share with you are the pieces of my heart.
In addition to the basics of food and shelter, children also need stability, consistency, and emotional care in order to thrive. Typically, at a young age, children form an emotional attachment with their caregivers and this has an influence on their development. The most important emotional attachment for a child is usually their parents. Children learn from their parents how to behave, how to function in life, and how to form other healthy relationships. When children grow up in unstable environments, it can disrupt normal development and lead to difficulties, such as mental health conditions.
Baby boomers are growing older. They are now entering the aging population and for the first time, a population associated with high rates of drug and alcohol use during the 1960's and 70's is entering the Medicare rolls, bringing high rates of drug and alcohol use along with them. The need for addiction treatment in older adults has never been more present.
Social media has become a place for mourning. As people search for ways to reach out for solace, websites such as Facebook have become a platform to express grief and bereavement through the creation of Memorial Groups. Now, it has become easier than ever to mourn a departed friend or family member with a click of a mouse. Instead of sending flowers, we offer condolences and comfort to grieving friends who live far away with a simple post on your friend or the deceased person’s profile. However, while we mean well, there are things that we should remember while mourning someone on social media or connecting with our grieving friends online.
You may have recently heard the news that on Thursday President Trump said he was preparing to officially declare the United States’ worsening epidemic of opioid overdoses as a national emergency.
“The opioid crisis is an emergency, and I’m saying officially right now it is an emergency,” Mr. Trump told reporters before a security briefing in Bedminster, N.J. “It’s a national emergency.”
Religious Families and Addiction
Written by Thomas Gagliano, MSW
In order to understand why religious families inadvertently and at times unintentionally create an environment where their children run to addictions rather than God as their coping mechanism, we must first begin by understanding the mindset of a child. When we look back on our childhood, we look back through adult lenses. Since then, we have grown by our maturity and life experiences, which may have distorted the truth of our childhood. Many of us carry messages that tell us we are bad children if we get mad at our parents or disagree with them. This message can have a profound impact on the way the person feels about himself or herself in adulthood. It is important to respect our parents but we can also have different opinions. A child needs to feel their opinion is important to their parents or the child may feel he or she isn’t important. Validating and acknowledging a child’s feelings is essential if they are to have self-worth. If children are afraid to share their true feelings and doubts in fear of reprisal then who can they trust? All of these messages set up the destructive entitlement that leads to addiction. It’s no coincidence that most addictions begin before the age of 18.