Deadliest of Drugs

Drinking my coffee this morning a news story came on the television about how prescription pain killers are becoming something to watch as far as cause of death in the United States. That got me to thinking, do they kill more than alcohol? Cigarettes? Personally, the pain left from prescription drug abuse has had immediate effects in my life. I have lost numerous friends to prescription pain pill overdose. I have lost a relationship or two to the over-use of them. I have had to attend countless classes in rehabilitation facilities where I was visiting someone close to me. It is more an everyday fact that we once thought it was…

The pharmaceutical companies push the doctors, that push the patients, that end up getting hooked. In my own experience with pain pills, it was damn near impossible to get my pain specialist to take me off of the ridiculous amounts of drugs he tried to put me on. His office was located in Southfield, MI and the wait was almost two hours each time you went in, with the waiting area packed full of people. I once spoke to him about the fact that it was starting to feel like what I would assume a drug house feels like. People sitting outside waiting for their “friend” to get out of the office to take them to the pharmacy to pick up the script which they would then sell. Patients going off on the receptionist, not because of the wait, but because of who was waiting for them… I have chronic pain, but he had me on 90 mgs of Morphine first thing in the morning and up to three Oxycontin a day!! I would have been a zombie! They made me so sick that I couldn’t stomach them anyway, causing more pain than help. An old roommate once told me that I could get up to $700 “on the street” for ONE of my prescriptions a month. Later we lost her to a prescription overdose…I am in much more pain these days, but I am not on any regular pain medication, controlling as much as I can with Bikram yoga and the things I choose to eat/not eat.

The CDC says,

  • In 2013, of the 43,982 drug overdose deaths in the United States, 22,767 (51.8%) were related to pharmaceuticals.8
  • Of the 22,767 deaths relating to pharmaceutical overdose in 2013, 16,235 (71.3%) involved opioid analgesics (also called opioid pain relievers or prescription painkillers), and 6,973 (30.6%) involved benzodiazepines.8 (Some deaths include more than one type of drug.)

I started smoking when I was 13 and have had the hardest time quitting completely over the years. According to the CDC, “Smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States.”  and “Harms nearly every organ of the body.” Even though old enough to know that it’s absolutely insane to even light one up after those statements, there is a comfort that comes when completely stressed out and you finish that first cigarette. That being said, One needs to have more control than that. Causing ” more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States,” the numbers cannot be argued with.

Not only did I start smoking at a young age, but being the rebel that I was, I also started drinking about the age of 15. Over the years it definitely was the cause of an issue or two, but it wasn’t until the FM kicked in, and after two children, till my body decided I could no longer drink like I use to. I don’t mind this at all, usually only having a couple of drinks every so often. I’d rather have one good glass of cognac than play with alcohol like I use to. Sticking with getting today’s information from the CDC, they say…

“Excessive alcohol use is a leading cause of preventable death. This dangerous behavior accounted for approximately 88,000 deaths per year from 2006–2010, and accounted for 1 in 10 deaths among working-age adults aged 20–64 years.”

I guess that it is hard to determine what One should consider the deadliest of drugs. I think that the most important thing is that we pay attention to what we are putting in our bodies and how we choose to handle the stresses of our lives. The more we are in touch with ourselves and purifying these beautiful temples of skin we were given, the better off we will be.

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Escaping to the Ocean via Pennsylvania

Every now and then I need to get away for awhile… Luckily I was blessed enough to meet my friend B some years back and she “sends” for me every couple years or so. I was hitting a boiling point recently and needed to separate myself from the chaos. Mighty B to the rescue! It took plenty of working with friends, family and the greatest man to make a plan. It was the last week of the summer, right in between the boys’ birthdays… My last opportunity to leave for another school year! So, I left on a midnight train, okay, it was 11 o’clock train, to Pennsylvania aboard Amtrak’s Capitol Limited. I have never been on a train and was thrilled that we were leaving in the middle of the night. The darkness tends to quiet people down and quiet was exactly what I was looking for.
What’s across the tracks? (Taken with Instagram)
This is what I saw right before getting on the train in Toledo, OH. I was kind of mesmerized by how ominous it was on the other side of the tracks. If I was into Harry Potter at all, I might have been a bit excited because I could totally see us boarding this train and disappearing into a cloud of smoke to Hogwart’s.
I couldn’t stop myself from snapping a photo before I boarded… I was incredibly excited to have a small break from the kids and the responsibilities of the house. They started calling people to board in the most interesting fashion. First it was passengers traveling with children, then people going to a certain area and so forth. The fact that they were separating us from the families with kids was awesome in my book. I have all the empathy in the world for them, but the chaos of the family is what I was relaxing from.  My hopes for there being plenty of room slowly diminished when they sat this older woman right next to me! Seriously? There was a whole empty top level of this car and you sit someone right next to me?! She must not have known that it was after 11pm or been uncomfortable, because she talked all the way to Cleveland! I was more than slightly irritated. Don’t get me wrong, she was nice, but who turns on their light and continues to talk when everyone else is sleeping?
Sleepy on train… #amtrak  (Taken with Instagram)
Being that I didn’t get much sleep the night before, I had plenty of time to try and take a nap on the way to Harrisburg, PA. Try being the key word. There is a long story about the dining car that I don’t feel like getting into right now…
Yaaaay..  I am SUCH a geek! #Elizabethtown  (Taken with Instagram)
Sometimes I can be such a geek! I absolutely LOVE the movie Elizabethtown and had to get a photo of this sign! 63b!!!
Yes, Life IS good… #vacation #lifeisgood (Taken with Instagram)
Got safely to Ephrata, PA, stopped long enough to shower and shave my legs, then jumped in the car to head to Delaware. Even my view from the couch when I finally got to sit down told me that Life Is Good
AND… I am on the beach…   (Taken with Instagram)
Finally able to put my feet in the sand at the beach!!! I think I have needed this for more than a couple years now…
Ahhh, the ocean… (Taken with Instagram)
Look, it’s the ocean!!! B has to put a pole out with live bait in order to use the beach, I think she prayed the whole darn time not to catch a fish.
La la la… I can’t hear you!!! (Taken with Instagram)
It looks like I am going, “Na na na na, I can’t hear you, ” in this photo, when the truth was I probably trying to figure out how to get my hair to stay up and out of the way.
Finally at some peace…
Proof that I was actually on the beach… The weather was perfect the whole time we were there, couldn’t have asked for anything more beautiful! I have the hardest time keeping my dreads up and out of the way though…
Flowers with breakfast… (Taken with Instagram)
It may have not been breakfast in bed, but the fact that someone else cooked it is just as cool! Even the flowers on my plate brought some joy to my day. I can’t tell you how nice it was to sit on the screened in porch, drink coffee and eat fresh, hot pancakes! What a way to wake up to head to the beach once again!
Before we head out onto the beach, B has to let the air out of the tires a bit… she would be so irritated if she knew I got this pic of her…

This seagull is bigger than my dog!  (Taken with Instagram)

This seagull just chilled for awhile near the truck on our last day there, he amazed me because he was bigger than both my dog and my cat! I had never seen one this size before!

Sitting at the station, ready to leave…  (Taken with Instagram)

Leaving Lancaster station and heading home… the night got infinitely more interesting from here. Hard to believe that there was so much drama packed into the ride home, but we will save that for another day…