Addiction Can Be Conquered


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Posted in addiction, Inspirational quotes, Uncategorized

Danger of heroin on display, couple found high with child in back seat


SOURCE: East Liverpool Police Department
EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio —Authorities in East Liverpool, Ohio shared photos of an arrest on Wednesday of two people accused of being high on heroin with a 4-year-old in the back seat of their car.

Officer Kevin Thompson said he was behind a Ford Explorer that was driving recklessly on Wednesday afternoon. He said the vehicle was near a school bus dropping off children when it braked hard and skidded to stop.

Officer Thompson approached the vehicle and found the driver, James Accord, 47, with “pinpoint pupils,” bobbing his head back and forth. According to the police report, Accord muttered to the officer that he was taking his passenger, Rhonda Pasek, 50, to the hospital.

Pasek was unconscious and turning blue, Thompson said, while right behind her was her 4-year-old son in a car seat.

Thompson reached in to turn off the vehicle and attempted to open Pasek’s airway until emergency help arrived on the scene, authorities said.

A folded piece of paper containing a powdery pink substance later identified as heroin, was found on Peak’s lap, according to authorities.

Columbia County Children’s Services was called to care for the 4-year-old boy.

The City of East Liverpool shared the police report and photos  from the scene on Facebook Thursday afternoon with this caption:

“We feel it necessary to show the other side of this horrible drug. We feel we need to be a voice for the children caught up in this horrible mess. This child can’t speak for himself but we are hopeful his story can convince another user to think twice about injecting this poison while having a child in their custody.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control, deaths caused by heroin overdose in Ohio rose from 697 in 2012 to 983 in 2013. The 18.3% increase contributed to Ohio having the second highest number of overdose deaths in the country.

“We are well aware that some may be offended by these images and for that we are truly sorry, but it is time that the non-drug using public sees what we are now dealing with on a daily basis.”

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Posted in Awareness

Opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County up 75 percent in 2016


Palm Beach County firefighters have been responding to an average of five opioid-related overdoses every day this year.

The Palm Beach Post reports that county firefighters are handling 75 percent more opioid-related overdoses than they did during the last eight months of 2015. There have been 1,246 opioid-related overdoses since Jan. 1, up from 711 during the last eight months last year.

So far this year, 14 overdoses have been fatal.

The figures include overdoses from heroin and prescription pills.

Similar jumps have been recorded in other parts of South Florida. Delray Beach experienced a record 66 heroin overdoses in July.

Palm Beach County Fire Rescue and Delray Beach police both carry naloxone, an overdose-reversing drug they have credited with saving lives.


Information from: The Palm Beach (Fla.) Post.

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32-year old Brianna Byrnes says it was her addiction to heroin that nearly killed her. Today, she told the deputy who put her in jail last August, that it was him who saved her, and she wanted to thank him in person for making that life changing arrest.


MCSO K-9 Deputy Justin Albauer says he remembers the stop well. It was after 11pm when he noticed Brianna’s SUV swerving all over the road. After pulling her over, he noticed that Brianna was unusually nervous and may have been hiding something. He was right. She admitted to Deputy Albauer, that she just purchased heroin from a dealer in Riviera Beach, and she had it in the car. She told the deputy that she was an addict, and truly wanted help before her addiction killed her. Deputy Albauer listened to her story, encouraged her to begin that change tonight, then took her to jail. She was charged with possession.


Last week Brianna called the Martin County Sheriff’s Office looking for the deputy she said saved her life. Today, they saw each other for the first time since that arrest. Brianna gave Deputy Albauer a personal letter, then agreed to share her story about the arrest and the fateful night her life changed for the better. After an 18-year addiction, and a night in jail, Brianna immediately went into treatment, is now drug free, and living the life she has always dreamed of.


On behalf of Sheriff William Snyder, Deputy Justin Albauer, and all of us at the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, we congratulate Brianna for her strength and determination, and wish her a lifetime of beautiful memories as she follows her new path.


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Posted in Recovery

The Strongest!!!!!


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Posted in Inspirational quotes, Love

What the Death of Prince Says About Our Escalating Opioid Crisis


June 14, 2016

By Dr. Scott Alpert

how-prince-died-fentanylThe world continues to mourn the untimely death of Prince, who died of an accidental overdose of the synthetic opioid fentanyl, according the medical examiner’s report. How did this happen? What may have led to this? What does this say about our escalating opioid crisis?

Just like the tragic, senseless addiction-related deaths of Philip Seymour Hoffman and Cory Monteith, we’re left to wonder why another talent was taken so soon.

How Prince Died of Fentanyl

The Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office released a report that listed Prince’s cause of death as “fentanyl toxicity.” It said the death was an accident due to “self-administered fentanyl.” Basically, Prince over-medicated with a dangerous dosage of Fentanyl that likely led to respiratory distress.

Naloxone-opioid-rescue-drugMany of us now know that 6 days before he died, Prince made an emergency landing in Moline, IL to treat an overdose for the prescription painkiller Percocet. According to reports, he was treated with naloxone, which is known as a “rescue drug” that revives people going through respiratory distress due to opioid (painkiller) overdose.

One or more doses of naloxone, by injection or nasal spray, knock the opioids off their receptors in the brain, generally restoring breathing within minutes to prevent brain damage or save a life.

The window of time immediately following revival with naloxone is particularly difficult for opioid addicts. Naloxone can trigger almost immediate, excruciating physical withdrawal symptoms, including sweating and vomiting caused by the body’s craving for opioids.

So it’s likely Prince turned to Fentanyl to relieve the extreme physical and chemical withdrawal symptoms precipitated by his naloxone treatment in Moline.

With disastrous results, as we all now know.

“We don’t have protocols for post-overdose” in emergency departments, said Traci Green, deputy director of the Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center said in a Wall Street Journal article.

What is Fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a drug used to treat severe pain. Fentanyl is a prescription pain killer (opioid).

Opioids work by attaching to particular sites in the brain called opioid receptors, which carry messages to the brain – the message the brain receives is changed, so that pain is no longer perceived as painful.

Fentanyl is a fast-acting narcotic and sedative that is sometimes abused for its heroin-like effect.

Fentanyl is a prescription pain killer and sometimes known by its brand names: Duragesic, Abstral, Subsys, Ionsys, and Sublimaze. Patients are told to avoid mixing fentanyl with alcohol, which can cause very serious and dangerous interactions.

Fentanyl has long been used legally to treat people with severe pain, such as cancer patients. That form of the drug is sometimes diverted for illegal use.

Increasingly, drug dealers are selling illicitly made fentanyl manufactured mainly in Mexico and China, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Whether Prince knew he was taking fentanyl is unclear.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “Most of the people we’re seeing are dying unsuspecting that they used fentanyl,” said Traci Green, deputy director of the Boston Medical Center Injury Prevention Center. Because the drug “is extremely fast-acting, [Prince] probably died quickly,” she said. “There’s not a lot of time to intervene to reverse that.”

The Escalating Opioid Crisis

Deaths from opioids – both prescription painkillers and heroin – have gone up 200% (3x) since 2000. Heroin and synthetic opioids (such as fentanyl) have seen big spikes of almost 5x during this period, driving the crisis.


Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the US, with 47,055 lethal drug overdoses in 2014. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 18,893 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers, and 10,574 overdose deaths related to heroin in 2014, according to ASAM, the American Society of Addictive Medicine.

Could Anything Be Done to Help Prince?

We don’t know the details of Prince’s specific situation, but in general substance abuse is a treatable condition. When the underlying issues are properly addressed, success rates drastically increase. Unfortunately only a handful of residential treatment centers take this approach.

Over 80% of substance treatment is 12 steps-oriented, which has had limited success. 40-60% of people treated for alcohol or drug dependence relapse within a year after discharge, according to a study published in 2000 by the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Alcoholics Anonymous started the 12 steps in 1935 as a self-help program. Since then, there have been countless improvements in mental health treatment, yet very little evolution in the 12 steps program itself.

The 12 steps focus on “coping skills,” but the underlying issues are avoided. In order to heal, a person needs to address their whole self: their physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual levels.

There are 12-steps alternatives for substance abuse treatment. The Clearing is a 12-steps alternative, where Spiritual Psychology is taught. Participants learn how to combine psychology with spirituality in order to address deep core wounds underlying addictive patterns. It is a mind, body, emotions, and spirit approach.

Perhaps this approach could have helped Prince and his opioid addiction.


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Posted in addiction

Hope for the Prisoners of Heroin




My intention for this article is to spread hope to anyone feeling defeated, hopeless or lost. If you have read my articles prior you know I write with vulnerability and honesty. You also should be aware I am not an educated man when it comes to writing, having said that I write with passion, I do not have anyone edit my articles or modify in anyway, what you see is my true self and my views on addiction.

I no longer hold my head down and stigmatize myself as a junky, today I am a son, father, husband, brother and a friend! I have 4 beautiful children an amazing wife and the career of my dreams. I go home every single day after work to be there for my family. Yes, a home, I actually have a home with clothes in the dresser, food in the fridge and electric lighting up smiling faces. A lot of people look at me with a crooked grin and wonder why I am so grateful for things like this, why I appreciate running water and getting to lay in a bed at night. It is quite simple really, over 26 months ago I was lucky to find a couch to crash on, I once lived off bread crumbs and the neighbor’s hose water. When my parents weren’t having to watch their son detoxing in their spare bed room I was living in a spacious truck, supplied with cool ac and leg room. I was content. The seat belt was long enough to wrap my arm, center console supplied plenty of room for my needles and bags, and the window tint just dark enough to hide me from the world. Lets not forget the 129 deaths on a daily basis from drug overdose. Lets not forget as you are reading this article 10 more people will have died due to this disease. I sat with men and women to whom overdosed next to me as I would pick their pockets and steal the same drug that killed them. I remember looking at them wishing it was me, I envied them. The fact I had to live another day hostage to this drug was nothing short of hell. I always said I must have really messed up in my past life because I’m in hell. There was nothing sexier and more appealing than not waking up after a hit.

To an active addict the word fear doesn’t exist, the mindset when sick and craving for the drug left me with one motive, survival. No matter who, what or how, I found a way to survive. Don’t be misled please, I’m not talking about getting food and water, a bed to sleep in, no I’m talking about robbing, lying, stealing, cheating and manipulating my family and closest of friends. looking into their tear filled eyes knowing they were supporting my death. My grandmother found her son, my uncle dead in his home, his 3 sons had no idea daddy wasn’t sleeping but had passed. To this day she is traumatized by that day, I had this woman go get me oxycotin after hours of manipulating and lying about going to get help. I had this woman, my grandmother not only go buy but also hand me the same drug that killed her son. I sniffed those pills in front of my daughters mother, watched her hold my daughter with tears flowing down her face and my only concern was getting all this powder up my nose so I no longer felt sick! Tell me any human being with a heart can sit there and say this is a choice. Once caught in this vicious cycle there is nothing relevant to getting the drug. I get very frustrated at times and have to remind myself that not everyone is educated nor want to be on addiction. We are stigmatized as bad people, losers, druggies and dead beats. Tell a person with autism or dual diagnosed they are these things and you will see a much different response. Agree with me or not this is a physical allergy and mental disease. Anyway rant over and I don’t want to lose your attention. Having said that, please understand that you do have a choice, and a decision to make. All of you reading this that may be in active addiction we both know its no longer about that warm, exotic feeling of the first time we shot up, no we can agree that the fun left us a long long time ago and its a matter of feeling normal and not sick. And for all of you that aren’t active drug addicts, yes we get to a point where the drug no longer gives us a high rather it makes us physically able to get up, go to work, play with our kids, or even eat. All this bullshit, prisoner to heroin stuff can stop and can stop TODAY!!!!

No one can force a bottom or sobriety on anyone. I’m sure if you gave families one wish, it wouldn’t be money, clothes, or even world peace, it would be the ability to get their child clean and sober. This is a power unfortunately us as families and advocates will never hold. Yet! We can encourage hope. I tell my stories not to tell my story, but to possibly reach one or two people that can relate and get some hope out of what ive been through. My story is no different, better or worse than a lot of people, but It is my story and this once hopeless, homeless needle driven addict is now not only clean but living a life beyond my wildest dreams. Wouldn’t you like to wake up one day and your biggest decision was what to wear, or what to eat for breakfast? Wouldn’t you like to wake up and not have to figure out who you were going to rob, steal and lie to. Because lets get real, that shit takes more energy and work than any 9 to 5 I have ever seen. You have a decision.

The day I last used was May 14th 2014, on that day I wrote goodbye letters to my kids and family. I remember the warm feeling of death flowing through my veins as I attempted suicide. I remember the feeling of gratitude that I was about to die and I wasn’t going to hurt anyone anymore, I did have to see my kids cry anymore. My parents will now sleep at night. God stepped in that day and disrupted my death with a vengeance. After that day I realized I had a purpose, it took me awhile to know what that was but I knew it was something. I will never forget that day, I will always look at that day as my rebirth, the day I stepped out and God stepped in. YOU and only you can make the decision, once you have made the decision to get clean, brace yourself. Your about to experience life at all its levels. You will feel again, you will start to discover a person you never knew existed. Imagine waking up, looking in the mirror and saying, “well damn I look and feel great today, I hope theres enough time to get done all the stuff I have to do!” Sound crazy? Tell me about it, the only time I ever looked into any mirror was to sniff a line of coke or Percocet. Your life can and will change. You must make this decision for you, not mom, dad, wife, kids but you and you alone. Yes this is a selfish turned selfless way of life but I promise you everything you ever loved and everything you want in your life, it will at some point come, and you will be present to enjoy them. You will someday look into your kids eyes and start crying with gratitude. You will visit mom and dad and laugh with them, most importantly you will hold a gift like no other. You will be able to help the thousands out there needing that one person to believe in them.

Once you make the decision to get clean, you are no longer powerless and living in a hopeless state of mind. You are now on your way. You have bailed yourself out of Heroin’s prison and you never have to go back. Freedom from active addiction is available to anyone willing enough to take a suggestion. Active or not, families affected by this disease I love you all, I pray I may help some of you in any way I can. There are double the amount of people finding a solution than there are dying. If you have lost a loved one please reach out to a family support group, I know many and I will help in anyway I can to get you to sleep a full night. God bless

RECOVERY IS POSSIBLE!!!!!!! Please visit my page @

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Posted in addiction, Uncategorized
Today is the present.
October 2016
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Robert Christopher Mergupis


Robert Christopher Mergupis

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