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Today is the first day of Red Ribbon Week.  Our mission is to give you information that you can share with your family.

Here is a great video “Understanding addiction as a disease”.  Many people do not understand that Addiction is a disease, not a moral failure.   This video explains it in a very simple manner.  It is appropriate for those from 4th grade and up.

Watch Video

The substance that causes the most overdoses is Alcohol, also known as ethanol.  Often, we think about how it is just something that kids do.  “A rite of passage”.  However, we really need to understand that they will experiment, especially with their friends.  Peer Acceptance.  They drink, they drink fast, and they put themselves in danger.  If there is a problem, they get scared and make poor decisions.  Their frontal lobe is not developed yet.  They are kids.

I often tell our youth….  “So you go to a party and some kids may be drinking.  You see a guy passed out on the couch or maybe someone is throwing up.  You laugh and maybe pull out your phone and take a few pictures.  But you have to understand that this person is already in trouble.  Their body is starting to react to the alcohol.  You have a choice at this point.  You either babysit and make sure that they are OK, or you call for help.  Regardless, you get them into the Recovery Position to make sure they do not aspirate. Friends do not let friends die.”

Here is a story that a family shared to help educate to the dangers of alcohol, and the domino effect of bad decisions.  Please share this with your family and discuss. 

15 Shots of Vodka Killed Our Daughter

Here are a few questions to discuss after reading this story.

  • What do you think about Shelby doing 15 shots of vodka?
  • Do you think that her friends should have stopped her or that they did not really know the possibility that she could have died from alcohol poisoning?
  • Do you think that the father should have left them with alcohol before he went to bed?
  • What would you do if you were in this position?

Symptoms of Alcohol Poisoning

You’re likely to see things on this list that you’ve either seen in others or experienced yourself when drinking. Just because you’re still here doesn’t mean these aren’t serious symptoms. A drunk person who’s confused and complaining of nausea is at risk. It’s not good enough to simply drive them home and tuck them into bed. At an absolute minimum, a sober person will need to stay nearby to see if he or she gets worse.

Call 911 immediately for an intoxicated person who has any of the following symptoms:

 Alcohol Poisoning Treatment

There are a lot of myths about treating alcohol intoxication, but there isn’t a cure. The only way to sober up is with time. Calling 911 or taking the intoxicated person to the hospital is the only safe way to treat alcohol poisoning.

The most important first aid for alcohol poisoning—after calling 911—is to keep the person safe until help arrives. The most important issue is protecting the person from choking on his or her own vomit by putting them in recovery position, shown below.

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 Soccer Ball Lesson
Soccer Ball is a game that you throw a ball that has words on it.  Whatever word your thumb lands on, you learn about that word.  Today’s words are:

Wax Weed             LSD               Alcohol

 

 

We made a HUGE mistake

We made a HUGE mistake in our family. We thought that our kids were taught about drugs and the consequences of their use at school. Unfortunately, they never really learned why these drugs were so dangerous. Brett was a high risk due to his diagnosed ADHD and impulsive behaviors. Brett died from a mixed drug overdose at 18.  His FRIENDS taught him about drugs.

Red Ribbon Week starts next week. Many schools will be in the “Spirit” of being drug-free. They will sign banners and dress up like cowboys to “Boot drugs out”.

WTF provides education. As a family, we lacked it. You must have it. So next week, we will be posting important information on Facebook, our website and twitter for parents and youth to learn the real consequences of the drugs available in our communities.

I encourage every parent to take the extra time to follow us next week as we provide education to discuss with your child.

An estimated 20 million Americans aged 12 or older used an illegal drug in the past 30 days.  Those statistics prove that we cannot afford to believe that this will never happen in our family.  We must be educated and discuss this “Sensitive” subject.  Drugs destroy everything.  Our family knows this first hand.

Follow us next week.   And please, share with your friends.  Let’s be sure we use Red Ribbon Week to bring awareness.  A person in the US dies from a drug overdose every 13 minutes and addiction touches 3 out of 4 people in some way.  We must keep our families healthy.

Twitter:  @WTFfight

Website: https://www.facebook.com/winningthefight/
Posts will be made to the blog daily

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/winningthefight/

Stompin’ Stigma ’16

 

 

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On October 8, 2016 we hosted Stompin’ Stigma 5K / Fun Run – Walk to raise awareness to addiction and the stigma attached to it.  It was an absolutely beautiful day for this event.

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We were honored to start the morning off receiving a proclamation from Denton County Commissioners Court, declaring October 8th as Addiction Awareness Day.  It was delivered and read by County Commissioner Andy Eads.

 

The grounds were buzzing with runners, walkers, kids, strollers, volunteers, sponsors and even dogs.  Cara Nelson was our Emcee and Ben O’Keefe was our DJ.  We even stomped out stigma on a canvas with shoes and paint.

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We had Team Grant Hansen and Team Brett with family and friends participating to bring their stories. 

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We had lots of medals, but everyone that participated, whether they walked, ran, volunteered, sponsored or just came out to support us were all WINNERS!

Take a look at the Stompin’ Stigma Photo Album.

Plans are already underway for our 4th annual event in 2017. 

Yesterday, we took a leap

Yesterday we took a leap forward.
 
The last family photo we did was in 2008.  When it came time for our 2009 family photo, Brett was in rehab.   I figured we could still do the photo and it would be fun to do the “Wizard of Oz”.  Then a friend said, “What are you thinking?  Your life is not a F**ing fairy tail”. 
 
She was right.  I was trying so hard to make things normal, but they weren’t.  We were fighting for Brett’s life.  No picture was done for 2009, and he died in 2010.  We have not done a picture since.
 
Until yesterday.
 
Kyle and Claire came up from Houston, and Sue Brandvold Decker gave us the opportunity to move forward.  Yes, we had Brett with us, as he always will be.   There was a point where Kyle and Ben were taking photos together and I realized that God created this beautiful family who loves, laughs and also hurts at our loss.  But, it was his plan all along. 
 
Yesterday, we got back on the trail and it felt really great.

Sowing Seeds

Today, life moved forward.  Today, we laid a friend to rest.  He was more than a friend; he was more like a father to me.  One of the first families that we met when we moved to Dallas from California in 1995.  We quickly became extended family.

George created a great life.  He served his country with pride.  He had a long term love affair with his beautiful wife, was blessed with four children, many grandchildren and even more great grandchildren.  He boated, fished, hunted, loved nature and loved to work.   Mostly, he loved.

The service started with “You can only Imagine”.  Perfect song, because that is what most people there hope for.  To imagine having a fulfilling life like George.  Family talked about sowing seeds while on earth.  Yes, we must, so future generations can reap gratitude, honesty, faithfulness, loyalty.

Today, we laid to rest a man who impacted so many lives.  Touched in kindness and love.  Yes, George had his share of challenges, loss and misfortunes.  But he always stayed focused on God, who helped him through the rough times.

There is something peaceful about final goodbyes to an elderly person, who lived a full life.  It is easier to understand than saying goodbye to a youth.  But who are we to question?  It is our job to sow seeds, show kindness and love.  There is a plan that we do not know.  We just must have faith.  Like my father, George showed me what faith really looks like. 

Rest in Peace George Adolph Lindberg.  Enjoy the Kingdom of God, that you so much deserve.  Thank you for loving our family.

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We Must Speak LOUDLY!

The other day, I was going through Facebook and came across a phrase/photo that said, “So if a kid has an allergic reaction, the parents have to pay a ridiculous price for an Epi pen.  But a junkie who as OD’d for their 15th time gets Narcan for free?  What a screwed up world we live in.” 
Of course, I had to comment and let the person know that my son, Brett, was a heroin addict. He was a great friend, a wonderful son, and a child of God.  We paid dearly for the Narcan used for him.  I also let her know how offended I was from her post.

Poster responded that she had to pay $400.00 out of pocket for an Epi pen.  Some of the comments made on this feed, made my stomach turn.  I unfriended her and moved on.  Then I got a private message from someone that read through the feed and wanted to let me know how sorry she was that this was posted and how wrong it all was.

Because I unfriended her, I could no longer see the feed.  However, I was told that I was really thrown under the bus, and there was even a comment that “Maybe the junkie will die on the 13th OD and save some money.”

Why the need to blame the disease of addiction instead of blaming Big Pharma?  STIGMA!

We must SPEAK LOUDLY!  Things must change.  Addiction is a disease, not a moral problem.  We must educate these people.  I am still sickened by this, but know that we have so much work to do so that those “Junkies” get the medical help that they need without the judgement that they now get.

International Overdose Awareness Day

Yesterday was International Overdose Awareness Day.  WTF always tries to do something for that day.  It is more challenging when August 31st falls during the week.  So I reached out to the Denton County Juvenile Department, and they said come.

So, I had the opportunity to speak and show the documentary to the juvenile residents of the Courage to Change Program at Denton County Jail. It is such a great program because of all the counseling that each resident is given. When I do presentations like that, I can only pray that at least one person hears it and it will make a difference.

Later, I showed the documentary to the parents of those youth. That was totally different. Tears were flowing and you could see the fear in their faces. Fear of their child’s life due to drugs. Fear for their family unit. I believe that they all heard and that they will work toward keeping their youth on track when they finish the program.

However, the future is up to each of those youth. It is their journey. We can only pray they choose the best path.

I am an Heir

When I read the words “Heirs to the estate of”, I think of wealth, someone who lived a full life and a family of many generations still alive.

Brett had some unclaimed funds in the Texas Comptroller’s Account that I applied to get. I never thought of myself as an heir, just a mom who misses her son so very much. Heir seems regal, not broken. Heirs sit on nice sofas, not in a circle of support and hope.

Thank you Brett for leaving your estate. Dad and I will be going to dinner with your $96.19. I would rather take you, Kyle and Dad somewhere fun, where we could laugh and you all would make fun of me, but I can’t.  I am an Heir.

Today is Good Friday. We are in mourning.

How appropriate that I was at the funeral for Michael Luce. The room was filled with people in recovery. You could tell. They were shaken and probably scared. As each person came up to speak, they shared what an important place Michael had in their lives. Addiction is a very difficult part of their lives.

There were a few things said that really stuck out for me. One of his mentors asked each of us, “What part of Michael will you take with you today?” Wow, I had to think about that. For me, he was strong in recovery, sponsoring and mentoring many. What I take, is how strong addiction is for these children. I say children, because they are someone’s child. Those parents are changed and broken forever. You do not forget. You do not get over. You mourn. Just like Mary did for Jesus, just like Kim and Lori will for Michael.

Continue reading “Today is Good Friday. We are in mourning.”