For the next month our streets..News feeds,TV's and Newspapers will be full of faces, all vying for your vote.
This is your opportunity to make your voice heard.
Addiction is stealing a whole generation of our Children..If we, as a community ,don't speak up, it will continue.
When they come knocking at your door..Ask the tough questions.
I am always amazed, how little, people understand about the epidemic ,we have exploding on our not so Gentle Island.
We have an Opportunity with our small size to be leaders in Addiction and Mental Health.To show the rest of Canada, what compassion, empathy and investment ,in our most vulnerable, can accomplish !!
We are known to be one of the most generous Provinces, when it comes supporting causes,Runs,Telethons,Food banks etc.
Addiction does not have Luxury of Tapping into those resources.Addiction is hidden..silenced..It is the Black Sheep of diseases,Not something people want to lend their name too.
Yet here we are,Thousands suffering in silence.We need to embrace Addiction and Mental Health as we do all the other diseases that Kill people.It Does Kill.We need to ask the tough questions,demand better treatment,take it out of the dark where it doesn't belong and out into the light to save lives.Stop the Stigma and Shame !
We need more education..programs for the front line staff at the hospitals..Addiction Centers..Mental Heath Facilities..Jails..,Those who deal with our children.WE need to make them feel like human beings with a Disease instead of second class citizens,who deserve what they get !!!
We need an In-Patient Rehab..Not just for youth..But for adults also.Evidence tells us that an intensive 90 day In-Patient Program is the best start of a good treatment plan.
We need more Recovery Homes, to help them move on to the next step..Getting their life back !!
Evidence tells us the brain needs to heal..circuits need to reconnect..Wounds need to heal..They need to re learn how to live..This takes time..they need new strategies..tools..coping skills..learn to love themselves again..giving them a reason to live.
We need Treatment in the Jails,Since that's where many end up..If your not going to offer treatment instead of incarceration..Then you had better offer it to them in the Jails..Do you really believe simply throwing them in jail for 30,60,90 days for petty crimes, that is in fact ,a" symptom" of their disease, is treatment ??...or a deterrent ??..where 90 percent are in there for addiction related crimes.That is the perfect place to initiate a treatment plan..I'm not talking support programs..Support programs work best DURING and AFTER treatment..Treatment isn't throwing them in hole to detox on their own for days on end..That's inhumane!! How's that tactic been working for ya by the way..NOT
Education in the schools...Not the "JUST SAY NO TO DRUGS" But Peer to Peer..That's who they are going to listen to..again Evidence shows us this is the most successful programing !
Pick anyone of these..or one of your own..But let's come together as a Community..a Province..and make our voices heard at the door for those who can't speak for themselves.Let's educate the Politicians..All of the above are cost saving for them ,in both the short term and long term.
A Young Woman explained to me, recovering from Addiction is like awakening from a coma..Yes she was detoxed..Body clean of drugs..But her brain was still badly damaged..and her body and soul badly broken..She had re learn skills all over again..She had to come to terms with her actions, when the addiction hijacked her brain thinking of nothing..no one..but to get that next fix.As her brain slowly healed..She was awakened to the all the casualties this disease had caused.Through in-patient treatment that encompassed both her disease and mental health,Followed by 6 months in recovery,And on going support programs in the community she is now living a productive,Fulfilling life.She's knows she will never be cured but feels she has all the tools to remain in recovery and move on with Life!!
Are we Compassionate enough,As Islanders to offer all those suffering with Addiction and Mental Health the same opportunity ?
I Think so...xo
Ask The Questions..Educate Them !