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Saturday, May 29, 2010

Surviving a Death to Drugs

One thing I have witnessed over and over lately is the incredible toll taken on an individual upon the sudden death of a single loved one. The survivor's grief staggers comprehension and continues each day without soothing relief. Even remnants of sweet moments together barely console the living because of the tragedy's sharp edges that continue to cut through seeping wounds.

Those left to suffer the grievous pain often relive past times in hopes that their recollections will somehow open avenues for their departed angels to have one more priceless, desperate grasp at life. And, even if this bitter-sweet exercise poses inner hope for a while, reality soon returns rudely to shake the dreamers from their brief respite.

I Died a Drug Addict

I died a drug addict.
But I once laughed and played by your side
And held onto your warm, safe hand at the street corner
Or ran short races together through our sheltered innocence.

I died a drug addict.
I had planned on college and a job and children:
Those nice things to get ahead and rightly claim
My slice of the good life ahead.

I died a drug addict.
I thought I was too strong and too beautiful
To let any common devious master chain me
To its powerful prescriptive powers

I died a drug addict.
I craved something missing in my life
As humans most often do
But, instead of treasure, I found a faithless, dependent dream.

I died a drug addict.
I lost love as I courted pleasure,
And you cursed my wild fantasy
To prevent my costly consumption of intoxication.                                                               

I died a drug addict.
As I devoured fix after fix until I demonized myself
And began turning violently inside out
Through a dealer's greed and unimagined abuse.

I died a drug addict.
I lived defiled, stained, and unclean
While ruthlessly stealing and abusing
Anything and anyone for my next short-lived, satisfying fix.

I died a drug addict. 
But you forgot I was once your bright-eyed doting one
Of honor rolls, of sports teams, and of school programs,
Worthy of community adoration and pride.

I died a drug addict.
But you forgot I wasn't always an incorrigible whore.
Born not a psychopath, nor a manic depressive, nor a kleptomaniac
But instead induced into a chemical monstrosity by choice.

I died a drug addict.
But you thought I might defeat the illness
With every slight improvement
And regain full control, unbound by my restrictive chains.

I died a drug addict.
But you prayed for assurances of the past

When I used to want to tell you the truth. 
And place the burden for my poor choices in your hands.

I died a drug addict.
But you forgot saying, "God, please stop!" no longer worked,
Before a deluge of toxic consumption 
Drowned me under its poisonous waters. 

I died a drug addict.
Left in helpless, writhing agony
On a dark, lost highway
As some forgotten, filthy refuse.

I died a drug addict.
For the sins of the lazy politician,
For the sins of the poverty-abusing, rich business people,
For the sins of the greedy medical professionals,
For the sins of the crooked law enforcement officials, 
For the sins of the unethical criminals and gangsters,
For the sins of the foul pushers and dealers,
For the sins of the abusing fathers and mothers,
For the sins of the meek silent majority who witnessed and did nothing,
For the sins of the other diseased drug addicts,
For the sins of my dreadful, weak self.

I died a drug addict.
Remember me with compassion and not contempt.
Use soothing words and kind actions in my name
To save one whom you most detest.

Frank R. Thompson

Crying out in anger or in grief is not enough to stop the madness of death around us in Appalachia. People have not joined together in mass to fight the powers that be. Without thousands of those willing to dedicate themselves to the elimination of this problem, drug abuse (in particular Rx drug abuse and pill mill deaths) is not going to be actively corrected in time.

I thank everyone so much for joining the "Fix the Scioto County Problem of Drug Abuse" group, but now, we must write the Ohio legislature before they break for the summer because they do not reconvene until much later this year. Unless we put mass pressure on our legislators, we will not have a bill passed before summer break. This means many more people will die needlessly. Please, in the next couple of days, look for our addresses and write letters to the proper legislators. I beg you - this is the way to make the law become a reality. Scioto County is leading the way as a model for a grass roots reaction for many other localities in the nation suffering with this problem. Look for our addresses soon, then please fire off those letters - hopefully thousands!

We must understand our problem and dilemma better. Please attend with Jo Anna Donini Krohn's SOLACE group at the event below. Not only will you understand the position of the Scioto County Rx Drug Action Team, that of the Fix the Scioto County Problem of Drug Abuse, but also that of many concerned citizens. This event will emphasize the reality of the state of our county.

SOLACE Support Group invites EVERYONE to come to a Memorial Service for those we have lost to a drug-related death. Take a stand against drug abuse and join us to pay tribute to those we have lost. Saturday June 5th at Cornerstone United Methodist Church, 4:30 - 6:00. Pastor Kym James will be leading the service, and Dr. Clyde Fenton will be in charge of the music. We want all the church bells in Portsmouth to chime together at 4:00.

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