Saturday, 31 May 2014

Grandma is a drug dealer

Up until about 15 years ago, we all understood that it took a village to raise a child. Parents instilled good morals and values; doctors and dentists helped to maintain good health; police officers enforced laws to keep our streets safe; lawmakers put age limits on things like alcohol that were dangerous for kids; and senior citizens provided that extra layer of protection to children in neighbourhoods.

With everyone working together, children were given a strong foundation for life.

Unfortunately, the world has changed.

Doctors and dentists are now prescribing very dangerous prescription opiates, which are ending up in the hands of our youth.

Police officers are being arrested for being involved with drugs.

Lawmakers are failing to enact laws to keep children safe from opiates. As a result, these dangerous pills have infiltrated our communities, playgrounds, schools, and homes. A young person’s drug of choice is whatever is available. In the past 15 years, that has been opiates. It is no coincidence that the rate of addiction skyrocketed in the same ten year period that prescriptions for Oxy (the one that started it all) increased by 850%.  And, that was just Oxy!! Many more dangerous prescription drugs came on the market when pharmaceutical companies saw dollar signs.

This “free for all” continues while more youth become addicted and some die. Even though they know this, the people who can actually do something about it are doing very little. Instead, even more dangerous drugs are being approved by the FDA and Health Canada (i.e. Zohydro, which is expected to kill people immediately upon its release). Pharmaceutical companies will laugh all the way to the bank while more and more families will make their way to funeral homes.

And then there are grandparents!  Some Grandmas and Grandpas are selling their prescriptions to subsidize their incomes. They have become drug dealers in our communities. We have to do a better job of taking care of our senior citizens. They should not be so destitute that they have to sell their medications in order to put food on the table. Of course, some also do it out of greed.

Parents can’t be with their children 24/7. Even though we instill good morals and values, there are too many dangerous things out there that are beyond our control. Things that our own parents didn’t have to deal with. For one thing, children have NEVER had such easy access to drugs, and highly addictive ones at that!

Children are, by nature, curious risk-takers, which is why we put age limits on such things as driving, alcohol, and cigarettes. We, as a society, try to protect kids from themselves with these laws. We have always understood that parents can only do so much. Where is the protection against opiates (the most dangerous product of all)? We have an OPIATE epidemic because profits have become more important than people. We have also done a very poor job of treating those who are sick with addiction.

I can’t make my community safe on my own and neither can other parents. We have to get back to the understanding that it takes a village to raise a child. This “free for all” with prescription drugs has gone on long enough. Individuals, families and communities have been destroyed because of greed. It has to stop. We have to demand that more be done to fix the problem.

Basically, we need to start caring about each other again.


Thursday, 29 May 2014

Leaving the City of Regrets

Leaving The City Of Regrets
By Larry Harp

I had not really planned on taking a trip this time of year, and yet I found myself packing rather hurriedly. This trip was going to be unpleasant and I knew in advance that no real good would come of it. I'm talking about my annual "Guilt Trip."

I got tickets to fly there on Wish I Had airlines. It was an extremely short flight. I got my baggage, which I could not check. I chose to carry it myself all the way. It was weighted down with a thousand memories of what might have been. No one greeted me as I entered the terminal to the Regrets City International Airport. I say international because people from all over the world come to this dismal town.

As I checked into the Last Resort Hotel, I noticed that they would be hosting the year's most important event, the Annual Pity Party. I wasn't going to miss that great social occasion. Many of the towns leading citizens would be there.

First, there would be the Done family, you know, Should Have, Would Have and Could Have. Then came the I Had family. You probably know ol' Wish and his clan. Of course, the Opportunities would be present, Missed and Lost. The biggest family would be the Yesterday's. There are far too many of them to count, but each one would have a very sad story to share.

Then Shattered Dreams would surely make an appearance. And It's Their Fault would regale us with stories (excuses) about how things had failed in his life, and each story would be loudly applauded by Don't Blame Me and I Couldn't Help It.

Well, to make a long story short, I went to this depressing party knowing that there would be no real benefit in doing so. And, as usual, I became very depressed. But as I thought about all of the stories of failures brought back from the past, it occurred to me that all of this trip and subsequent "pity party" could be canceled by ME! 

I started to truly realize that I did not have to be there. I didn't have to be depressed. One thing kept going through my mind, I can't change yesterday, but I do have the power to make today a wonderful day. I can be happy, joyous, fulfilled, encouraged, as well as encouraging. Knowing this, I left the City of Regrets immediately and left no forwarding address. Am I sorry for mistakes I've made in the past? YES! But there is no physical way to undo them.

So, if you're planning a trip back to the City of Regrets, please cancel all your reservations now. Instead, take a trip to a place called, Starting Again. I liked it so much that I have now taken up permanent residence there. My neighbors, the I Forgive Myselfs and the New Starts are so very helpful. By the way, you don't have to carry around heavy baggage, because the load is lifted from your shoulders upon arrival. God bless you in finding this great town. If you can find it -- it's in your own heart -- please look me up. I live on I Can Do It Street.

I did not write this excellent piece, but I LOVE it and wanted to share it with you. I hope you love it as much as I do!


Friday, 23 May 2014

I'm Tired Dear Lord

I’m Tired Dear Lord
By: Rose Barbour

I can no longer carry the weight
Of such a heavy burden
I’m tired Dear Lord
And my heart is hurting.

That little child you gave to me
Who I love beyond words
Is now someone I don’t recognize
Flying higher than the birds.

He is a slave to a disease
That is devastatingly cruel
Lord, I’m trying to protect him
Isn’t that the rule?

In complete desperation
I stay up late each night
Praying for the answers
But I just can’t make it right.

Everything I’ve tried has failed
His addiction keeps on winning
I’m on a roller coaster ride
And my head is spinning.

I am exhausted, sad and
Have nothing left to give
I ask you Dear Lord
Please let my child live.

Save him from the grips
Of the demon’s hands
Please bring him back home to me
For I no longer can.

A mother’s love is a blessing
But sometimes it’s not enough
I need some help from you, Lord
This life can be so tough.

Please give me guidance
On what I’m supposed to do
Please help my heart to heal
From all it has been through.

I’ve met so many great parents
Who are living through this hell
Please open your arms to them
And heal their hearts as well.


Beautiful song version of this poem:

Monday, 19 May 2014

A Tribute To Sage Capozzi

 A Tribute to Sage Capozzi

By: Rose Barbour

His name is Sage
And I’ve never met him
But he opened my eyes
To the devastation.

Before I knew his name
Or heard his story
My life was in chaos
And full of worry.

I knew my son was sick
And on the wrong path
I was fighting like crazy
To get him back.

Along came Carmen
Full of grief
He’d lost his son, Sage
To this awful beast.

My heart broke for Carmen
And all the others
Who had to bury their children,
Fathers or mothers.

The reality of addiction
Reduced me to tears
Our children need help now
They don’t have years.

At the tender age of 20
Sage lost his life
Carmen started an Army
To take up the fight.

Sage, your memory will live on
As the Army reaches out
In your name, lives will be saved
There is no doubt.

You have a special place
Even though we’ve never met
Your death was not in vain
And the fight isn’t over yet!

Written with love for Sage, Carmen and family. Carmen is living my worst nightmare. He is the first parent I knew who lost a child to the disease. I was so sad for him. I was heartbroken that a nice young man like Sage lost his life to the terrible disease of addiction. That is why this family, who I’ve never met, will always be forever in my heart!  Please join the Army at

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Never give up!

I am so happy to tell you that our son is now seven months in recovery and doing great! His recovery is a gift and we are so grateful for it. One day at a time.

Recovery is what we prayed for. We wanted for nothing else. We had our boy back.  But, we would receive another gift this week when he was accepted into Holland College’s carpentry program. This news just put us over the moon.

When he called me at work to tell me, I screamed, cried, shook, told my co-workers, and then closed my door and jumped up and down and cried some more happy tears. What a blessing!

Of course, then I shared the good news with everyone else who has supported us in our difficult journey. It felt good to tell them and offer hope.

This time last year, we thought we were going to lose our son to the disease. He was at his lowest point. He was suicidal. He was turned away at the hospital because he was addicted. The addictions centre wouldn’t take him because he was suicidal. He was stuck with no options. He was desperate. He was tired of living! His text messages that day say it all:

“You don’t need to do anything for me because I’ll be dead by the end of the day. Love you”

“Oh well, no one wants to help me so I don’t care anymore”

Thankfully, he (and we) made it through that rough and heart-wrenching time.

This journey through addiction is hard. The pain brought me to my knees and made me physically ill.  I would have given my own life to save my son but God doesn’t make deals.

As family members, we have no idea where the journey will lead and we have no control over it.  Mike and I thought for sure that we would have to bury our son. His addiction was advanced and the help was inadequate to that point. I even had his funeral planned in my head.

He would suffer another five months before being offered adequate enough treatment and support. When it came, he found recovery. Now, he is healthy, happy and making great plans for the future.

If you are living the nightmare of addiction, please do not ever give up hope. Recovery is possible and it is a beautiful gift.  Where there is life, there is hope.