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Youth Guest Blogger- Overdose In my life

As we reflect on Overdose Awareness this month, we often hear stories of the role of an overdose in individuals' lives. Too often it is said that this is an individual issue, but anyone who has been around addiction knows it is a family disease. Our guest blogger is a high school student who is active in the recovery community.  She is a family member of Mercer Council and we are grateful to have her thoughts.  Her family will be part of our International Overdose Awareness Day observation on August 30th, from 5:30- 8 PM at Ewing Senior and Community Center. Please join us and register at

Our family was once destroyed and honestly, I didn't know if we were ever going to get out of that stage.

Twenty-two million people including myself have been affected by others who are addicted to drugs and alcohol. There are currently over 91,000 confirmed deaths a year related to an overdose.

The mind of an addict is hard to explain, however, to put it into simple words, an addict doesn't know how bad their addiction is which leads some of them to overdose on whatever they are addicted to without realization. Everyone knows the addict needs help however, families of addicts often don't realize they also need help.

After many years of struggling with the disease of addiction with many attempts at treatment and recovery, one of my parents had an overdose. After the overdose, it was then that my parents fully committed themselves to treatment programs (inpatient and outpatient, counseling, medication…) and vigorously jumped into 12-step fellowship meetings once again. Only this time, going back to the meetings, with an open mind and the willingness to accept help and the consequences of their actions, things started to change step by step. I didn't know then that the same type of fellowship meetings they go to would be helping me, the child of parents with opioid use disorder.

That is what brought me to being a huge advocate when it comes to addiction. I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the Narateen family groups who help me at their weekly meetings and most of all the people who helped my parents get sober. SUD affected my life with my parents in and out of treatment, jails, and overall homelessness. Our family was once destroyed and honestly, I didn't know if we would ever get out of that stage. I was once in those Narateen rooms feeling alone and misunderstood. Hearing other people's stories and relating to one another really helped me to feel heard. In the beginning, I never would've thought I would be so involved. Helping spread awareness is the most important thing when it comes to overdoses and addiction. I want others to hear my story when dealing with addiction because I want families to know that overcoming these obstacles isn't impossible. Addiction is a disease and I am powerless over it. Overdose tends to either start with an addiction or a mental health issue. Each of these has affected me. Addiction and especially overdose is a common issue that is not often talked about and this is why I am such a big activist today.

Today, ALL of our lives are much different. My parents live a life committed to their own recovery all while helping people who are still struggling. Our family is still repairing itself, which has proven to be a long journey with each member healing in their own way and time. I am blessed to have the support of my recovery community to help me on my journey of healing and recovery.

Overdose can Affect Anyone

Overdose death is found in every race, gender, education level, and economic group. It does not discriminate.

Someone who has overdosed could be someone's Father.

People who overdose are not just their disease, they are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, artists, athletes, officers, doctors, lawyers, and much more.  Substance Use Challenges do not discriminate.

Overdose death is PREVENTABLE.

Be aware of the signs of overdose. Learn rescue breathing, and how to administer Narcan and have a supply if you live with someone who is struggling.

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Friday, 09 June 2023

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