Light The Night Purple

We went. We walked. We lit the night. We froze a little and we listen to some fantastic speakers. Light The Night Purple put on by DanversCares was held on the grounds of our library last week. The program was the first of its kind for our community. A community that has startling numbers in terms of drug overdose and death, I learned. The Chief of Police gave us the number of heroin or fentanyl related overdoses and deaths since 2012. The number seems to be going in the wrong direction. 2016 has shown a rising trend, so that is really scary. Of course, as drugs become more available and drug suppliers find newer, scarier, less expensive ways to cut their supply and double their profit, deaths are going to happen.  It’s also this writers humble opinion that as long as we are treating a symptom and not the disease then it will continue to be a problem.

Addiction is a brain disease. A brain disease. A disease of the brain. That is a real thing. There is a part of the brain that does not work appropriately or at all. That is before someone begins using drugs. Not as a result of drug use. There is a reason I can drink a few beers tonight, and tomorrow have no desire to drink for another year and someone else has a drink and immediately knows they can’t stop drinking.  There is a reason I drank in high school and smoked pot and never became addicted to it. Twenty three years later I rarely drink. Ever. Two or three times a year which Smolinsky’s can attest too.  But my daughter began drinking and smoking pot and moved up the ladder until she reached the top of drug chain. Actually, bad example. Let’s say she climbed down the ladder until she reached hell. But either way, you are probably picking up what I’m dropping.  That isn’t luck. It’s not by willpower, trust that. If you saw me in a candy store you would know I have no willpower. It’s about science. Science doesn’t lie.

Once a person begins using drugs it is true that their brain changes. Brain development ceases or decreases in teens and young adults. Heroin causes drug-induced-surges of dopamine which leads to the brain lessening it’s response to pleasurable experiences. This causes the user to have a very difficult time reaching any sort of pleasurable state. Not just with drugs but eating good food, having sex, or anything the brain would relate to survival. In other words, the brain needs higher surges to feel pleasure and believes heroin is one of the necessary elements of survival along with food, water, shelter, clothing, etc.  Those long-term effects can happen quickly with heroin use. It takes the brain a much faster time to be accustomed to the surges in dopamine then it does to reverse it. The reversal for a 6 month user can take up to 2 years.  Imagine someone who was using for years and years and years? Not to mention the behavioral factors. The dopamine response will happen with things we associate with pleasure. So if I get a pleasurable response from my favorite food, Burgers, then I will have that surge when I see a juicy burger on a commercial, or in a magazine, or if I can smell someone grilling when I jog by at night. The same goes for drug use. When an addict is in the presence of someone they used with, or pass a placed they used to use, or needles at a physician office or lab, they will have a similar rush associated with drug use. Those cravings, those rushes are hard to break. The longer the use, the more stimuli a person will collect. More people to use with, more places to use at and very suddenly short-term use turns to long-term use turns to nearly impossible to overcome.  That is science.  That is not assumptions or guesses or speculation.

Programs like we went to last night educate people on the advances we have made in finding support and help for addicts. There was a speaker whose daughter has been clean 10 years and another gentleman who spoke of his own 7-year clean time. One of the things that he said was that addiction is isolating. Addicts isolate from friends and loved ones. That is true but it’s also isolating for the families. I know that I don’t want to go out only to run into people who I  see always posting on Facebook about how wonderful their stupid family is and all the stupid  colleges their kids got into with their stupid athletic and academic scholarships while I sit in a stupid emergency room trying to get my daughter into another stupid detox.  Yup, I would say it’s real isolating. And morale busting. Have you ever worked in a place where the morale hit an all time low and everyone hates each other, and stops working together, and would rather swallow monkey balls dipped in battery acid then talk to anyone at the water fountain? That is sort of what happens in a house with a child addict. The family has a hard time functioning because of guilt, and terror, and shame, and a whole host of emotions. It is not a morale booster to send your child a text in the morning asking if they are alive.  I think those messages are good to hear because the other thing that the speakers touched on was the shame. Parents don’t want anyone to know they are addicts. Addicts don’t want anyone to know they are addicts. In an effort to shield our children from judgment and critics we foolishly believe we are helping them when we hide their addiction. It only proves to further enable them to use, and does nothing to aid in recovery. But it often takes parents a long journey travelled to figure that out. For me, I was so focused on keeping her alive; I forgot to worry about people finding out. My resolve had been beaten down to nothing, fear becoming my primary feeling that I lost attention to her reputation as a person. And that sounds like a bad thing, but it isn’t. It was not really a good thing. It was a necessary thing. It was a necessary part of my healing. For me to be able to admit there was a problem, I had to reach a point where I must confess that I could not handle it on my own. I had to realize and acknowledge that her addiction was making my life unmanageable so others could help. Help me and her and our family.  A lot of time she doesn’t want help but we do. We got help. We had to or we would be dead ourselves.  The message of hope and help is an important one. I know I valued hearing that. I hope there was others in the crowd that also found some value in those words.

It was also hard to hear about their long-term recovery. The elusive long-term recovery. It can’t be bought, or borrowed, or stolen, or gifted. It can’t be wished for or packaged or wrapped or stuffed in a box to use at a later date. It has to be worked on and earned. And desired. Desired being the most important part. There must be a will to live. When the desire to live becomes stronger than the will to use, a person will find recovery.  But, that is none of my business.  Whether she can find the recovery I so want her to have, is really up to her and not any of my business. At 22-years old she is an adult. She may be my adult child but she is still a free woman responsible for herself.  I am responsible for myself and have the shared responsibility with my husband for our family.  That includes her to a certain degree, but there has to be limits. Limits are boundaries and they are good and necessary.

Overall the event was a great success as far as remembering those that have died or are still suffering from substance abuse. There were a lot of high school and younger kids there which made me happy because they are learning about prevention. I was proud that most of our clan was present and accounted for. The library looked great set up at the pavilion with all the purple bags lit up.










We had a lot of fun walking with Jay J and Cinderella as seen here:





And AC, OC, and SC:

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My friend Steen and Jared:

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Look at these two, OC and AC literally walk the same. Two peas in a pod.  Cray Cray.

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Lastly, Jay J gave Cinderella a piggy back ride to the car because a bird shit in her hair. Yes. Shit. In. Her. Hair. Just right out of the sky. Pooped on. How in the world does that happen? It was the shits. Also par for the course around here.



Next time the town has an event like this I hope we can double the attendance. If you are from the area, whether you have an addict in your life or not, programs like these need the support of the community to have success. Peg Sallage with DanversCares is doing remarkable things for our community and works very closely with Lahey Behavioral Health developing new programs and with the High School educating our young on healthy choices, drug abstinence and prevention. If you are looking for a way to help, reach out to her or visit the DanversCares website. As a mother with a child in active addiction, I can attest to the need and importance of these programs.  Coming together as a community is integral to preserving the fiber of Danvers.  Town Selectman, Police Officers, DanversCares Coalition and the members of the high school facility can all do their part, but it’s for not if the rest of us don’t get on board.



Being responsible sucks. Adulting sucks if we are being completely honest, but being responsible is even a step above being an adult. I know some adults that aren’t responsible. I also know some kids or teens that are responsible but are not adults, so the two are not mutually exclusive. Responsibility and being responsible require maturity and a level of education surrounding a large pool of life’s issues. It means being able to make a decision based on fact not emotion, but weighting in the emotion that might be effected by it. Being responsible means doing what’s best because in life it is not about the difference between right and wrong, it’s the difference between what is right and what’s best. Being responsible is being able to ascertain the difference.

Lately responsible means going to work when I don’t want too, cooking meals when I don’t want too, and not spending money on things I would like too so we have money for events that are coming up. It means not offering to let my addict daughter move home because even though I want her too, I know it is not the best decision. I can recognize that it has not helped her in the past, and it has not helped anyone in the house have a better relationship with her. It means having to put up with secondary individuals because they are weaker than me, and they can’t understand how to be independent or responsible for themselves, even though I am really, really sick of it. Being responsible means recognizing that I can’t make any sudden moves or important decisions that will affect all of our futures because I am annoyed, and frustrated, and if I make a move while emotional it will likely be the wrong one.

Being responsible also means understanding how to be a participant, even when it isn’t the way you want too. So, I would love to find a way to rescue my daughter from addiction, but I cannot. I cannot do anything else. I know I have said this many times, but I can’t. Each time I say that something happens and I DO something. There is no something’s left. I can’t give her money, or a place to sleep, or a phone, or supplies to go to another detox or rehab she will run from. The welleth has runeth dryeth. But, feeling a little hopeless does not mean I am helpless. In fact, it’s the opposite. When I don’t feel like I can do anything for my daughter, I can try to do something bigger than her and me.  Which is why, I am participating in Light The Night Purple sponsored by Danvers Cares.  It’s a  walk and community gathering to help bring awareness to the community regarding substance abuse, including the opiate crisis. Everyone thinks it doesn’t hit their town but it does. My daughter became a heroin addict right in our home town. A wonderful community of people, with a good education system, great sports team, awesome local business, and a farmer’s market. She wasn’t raised by addicts, or suffered a terrible childhood trauma. She was an average kid, that got decent grades and had lots of friends. We have a hard time understanding that it can happen to anyone really means it can happen to anyone at any time because teenagers think they are invincible.  There are a great many that begin by using prescription drugs, but not all. My daughter didn’t. Sometimes good people make poor choices and those choices become life changing. Life altering and possibly life ending.  Don’t let that happen in your family.

Come out and learn about addiction. Learn about programs available, the way our community is trying stop addiction and help those already affected. Get informed so we can stop the stigma. Stopping the stigma helps addicts reach out without fear of being judged. I can tell you from personal experience how important that is. My family and I will be walking in purple to light up the night, tomorrow from 6:30-  8:30 at Peabody Institute Library in Danvers, I hope we see you there.

Graduation Realizations

Graduation is over. And has been. Thank god. Not that things have quieted down for us, because they haven’t. But that’s life I guess.   I have tried to write this post several times since then. It’s harder to write than one might think, but I think it’s important. So here goes….

The excitement leading up to Jay J’s graduation was an anticipated feeling. I had been there done that with JoDee already, so I knew the flood of emotion as Jay J started the processional. And I knew that I would be crazy busy putting the final touches on the party for after the ceremony. The list of things to do seemed endless, but alas, the day came, he got his diploma (and not a note inside that see you at summer school first sucka, which is always a possibility!) and we partied like rock stars until the wee hours of the morning. Actually, no we didn’t. I was in bed by 10. Dead asleep. But you get the drift. It went fine. Perfectly. No issues. JoDee did not relapse as I had assumed she would, and the day was good. Mostly. There was only one small issue.

As we walked into the football stadium that I had graduated from a mere 21 years before, I was only thinking of getting a good seat so I wasn’t really paying attention to people around me. I was honing in on a golden spot at the top of the bleachers so no one could block my view and so I could lean against the railing without anyone being behind me. As I started the climb up the metallic steps, careful not to fall like an idiot in between the slates, I spotted someone I went to high school with. She greeted me with a warm hello, a quick hug, then with a serious face, dropped her tone asking “How’s JoDee?” I was sort of taken aback for a moment. First of all the hushed tone insinuates that it’s private, whispering so no one hears, hushed so not to let others in on the conversation. But I didn’t pick up on this at first. I was sort of confused, I looked behind me to see if she fell, but she was walking up the steps to catch up to me. I looked at her, confused, and said “fine, why?” Glancing from side to side, she whispered apologetically, “I read your blog.” Oh. That. Hmm. Hadn’t thought of that. I hadn’t really put into perspective what writing my family business on the internet for anyone, anywhere, from sea to shining sea, would mean. It means, I have no secrets and everyone knows our bizniz.

So, in-of-itself that isn’t really bad, I mean, that is the whole point of this blog- bring awareness to people about addiction, that it isn’t scumbag losers who steal and kill to get drugs. Addicts do become that sometimes but they started as someone’s loved one, and even if they die that way, someone somewhere still misses them, wanted better for them, is grieving for them. I’m not ashamed of JoDee’s addiction. I’m not even really ashamed of her behavior, and I’m certainly not ashamed of mine. Anything I did in an effort to save JoDee from herself is not something I will regret. I probably will regret somethings I didn’t do, that now I realize I should have done, but that is sort of not the point here. The point is that a lot happened in that few seconds. And it took a few seconds for my brain to catch up. Once I recovered from my what-the-effing-eff-is-happening moment, I thanked her for reading the blog and explained that the purpose of the blog was to educate people that addiction is not a dirty word, a miscreant in a family of moral beings, a reason to whisper. And she smiled her beautifully polished, almost glow in the dark, white smile and I headed up to my spot on the bleachers. Sending a message and realizing the message is not being realized but is being heard is something completely different. (If you understood that sentence you are a better person than I) As I took my spot  against the railing as I had hoped, I had plenty of time to look around and think about how many people in that audience knew about my families struggles. I had over 20,000 views on the blog by then. That is a lot of people. Are they all people who want to know about addiction? Or are they wrong-doers trying to relish in my misery? People who disliked JoDee that were enjoying how tough things had been since she left school?

The biggest question was did that even matter? Did it matter to me if people who disliked me or anyone in my family, enjoyed the pain we were in? And the answer was of course it matters! Hell yes! People please. I would lying if I said it doesn’t urk me a little bit to think that my nemesis hears my melees, thriving on my pain and suffering. I would be lying if I said that I wouldn’t do the same! How many of us have seen the person that took our place in someone’s life and felt just a little bit gleeful when you realized you were better looking?  Isn’t it a wee bit gratifying when someone at work who gave you a terrible time is finally get a terrible time from someone else? It’s a terrible concept but it happens. I also know first-hand that unless you have dealt with addiction yourself, you have no idea how painful it is. Anyone that finds some gratitude to karma for my child’s misdeeds, just doesn’t know any better. And the karma bus has a funny way of turning on you when you least expect it. So, I decided, I’m not going to worry myself about that. The point of this blog was to help others like me. Let people know they aren’t alone; find some comfort in numbers, sorta kinda. If there are people who read for the merriment of my discomfort, I sat to them, have at it. But I would watch the rearview mirror for the karma bus, because it always comes around.

Although, for the briefest of moments, I felt completely vulnerable, I realized I was the most vulnerable when JoDee was in active addiction. 900 times. Not climbing the stairs to graduation and being reminded that my words are everywhere. I’m glad people read the blog. For entertainment, for spite or because it is helpful to someone in a similar situation. For me, it is cathartic. It feels like a little bit of something I can control in an uncontrollable situation, and it documents something so horrendous I never want to repeat it again… if we don’t pay attention history can repeat itself. So before the band even started to play the first note of Pomp and Circumstance, I had realized, worried, pondered and got over it which gave me the time to cry, laugh, cry and watch my second child, my oldest son, the serious one, walk across the stage wearing his classic white sunglasses, to get his high school diploma.  Delighted and overwhelmed with pride that I had my family surrounding us. Clean, alive, and together.

Mom and Jay J Our Kids

Kids? What kids?

What Kids?

Recently I had a discussion with someone about how to tell people their loved one was an addict. We sort of talked about which family members would help, which would think they were helping but not, and which would be openly discriminatory against the addict. In everyone’s family, the reaction is different. I talked about the day JoDee and I called our family to tell them about her situation. How I made her tell her Dad herself, because that should come from her. I remembered when we called my mom, and JoDee’s aunt, my sister, and my niece. I remember calling AC and telling him. Ironically, while I was getting the shock of my life, he was in divorce court, which we all know is a living hell of its own. Then this person said to me, what about the kids. Kids? What kids? Your kids she asked. No matter how hard I think, no matter how many times I replay those days, I cannot remember telling any of the kids. It’s like they just magically knew… I have no idea how I told them. It is completely blocked from my memory.

I mean, I must have told them. We must have had conversations about it. Jared, Jay J, AC and I visited JoDee at her first detox together. Jared has been to so many N/A meetings he can recite the 12 steps. Probably better than most! Even SC went to N/A meetings with us. All of the kids have been involved in her recovery. The day we got the call that JoDee was on the run in Arizona, OC and I were standing on the back deck watching AC mow the lawn. I barely choked out “get your father” before I fell to my knees. Jay J called her to pick him up once, and she showed up banged up. My car is a stick shift so he had no choice but to let her drive. On many occasions, we have all been involved in, seen or been exposed to her using. I just can’t believe that an important thing like this, has completely escaped me.

I text Jay J to ask him how he knew. He told me that he already had an idea by the time I found out, but that I called him and Jared into the living room to tell them. Still didn’t jog my memory. Even when Jay J told me what I said to him, I still didn’t remember. I asked SC and OC how they found out, and they said they thought AC told them on the drive from their house to ours but they couldn’t really remember either. That’s bad. Like, really bad. Like, bad parenting of the year award bad. When something that big, and that important, and devastating happens, our kids will be just as shocked and emotional as we will be. I’m horrified that I can’t remember even telling them, never mind if I handled it appropriately. This potential lack of good judgement had me do some research, to find out from professionals how it should be handled. What I found was really interesting.

First of all, siblings have a much different scope of grief than parents do, which makes sense. In many cases, siblings are well aware of the problem (ahem, Jay J) before the parents do, or are willing to except it. Siblings can be resentful of parents that ignore the substance issue, or see the parents as weak for not addressing it which may cause the siblings to act out. The first article I read (link below) outlined some key points or instruction on how to break the news to a child about their siblings addiction. To some degree I agreed with her but some of it I did not. See below… I added my own commentary.

  1. Pick an easy, comfortable time to chat with your kids. Maybe a picnic in the park or a meal at their favorite restaurant would make a good backdrop. Have both parents participate, if possible. I don’t believe that it is at all necessary to do this in public. In most cases, the child may be upset, or crying. In a park, maybe, but in a restaurant, may not allow the child to express their true feelings.
  2. If the other children don’t have a particularly close bond with each other, or if there is a large age gap, it might be beneficial to talk to them separately. Agreed. I told my two boys together, but we are a close family.
  3. If you do talk to them individually, make sure you don’t come across as wanting to share a secret or that this is a secretive discussion. Everyone needs to be on the same page with the information shared. This is important for everyone not just siblings. Addiction breeds in the places we don’t want to talk about. No one should keep it a secret, and no one should be ashamed into silence about it. We aren’t helping the addict or ourselves if we treat it like an embarrassment.
  4. Try not to make the conversation a big deal. Though it is, don’t act worried or wring out your hands, as your children will pick up on this and be nervous as well. I agree with this to some extent, but life as you know it, and your child knew it, will change. I didn’t realize, at the time, how much addiction would change our everyday life, and us as people. If I had known it then, I would have talked about letting the boys know to tell me if things were happening they were uncomfortable with, or needed my attention.
  5. Ask your children what their observations are about their brother or sister, and if they are confused, scared or upset about anything that they see or hear. This is tricky because most likely the sibling has seen things from their brother or sister that they shouldn’t have and will feel like they are betraying their loyalty by “telling on them”. It should be made really clear that there is a huge difference between sibling secrets and substance abuse secrets.
  6. Allow them to participate in the conversation with their questions, concerns or even a game plan that they think might help their brother or sister. This sort of goes without saying. Validate how they feel about the addiction, and let them know that it will be a complete and totally effing nightmare for the foreseeable future. Ok, maybe don’t say that, but you get the point.
  7. Establish that you are not looking for them to tattle or divulge information about their brother or sister, and that if they want to exploit them, this is not a loving and helpful option. I’m not really sure what to say about this. Exploit who? Who is exploiting who? I think that other siblings should be told not to give the addict money, cover up crimes for them or otherwise make using easy and accessible.
  8. If your child or children come to you first, acknowledge their interest in learning more about what’s happening with their brother or sister, but hit the pause button so that you can regroup with a plan and not be cornered into an immediate response or knee-jerk reaction. This is really important. If a child is coming to you to tell you that their sibling is using drugs, it must be very serious. Typically siblings won’t rat each other out unless it is so accessive that they are in fear of their welfare. Take this seriously, and make sure not to tell the addict that the child brought it to your attention. Addicts are basically people who have been possessed by the devil and will do anything and hurt anyone to get their way. Help the addict but protect the innocent….
  9. If there have been volatile arguments within the family, let the children know as often as necessary that they have nothing to do with them, that you are sorry that they witnessed these outbreaks and that regardless, everyone in the family unit is loved. There is no “If”. You will volatile arguments. With the addict, with other children in the family, with your spouse or partner, even with yourself. Jared heard me screaming at myself in the bathroom, knowing I was screaming at no one else, he text me to say that I had to stop screaming or someone would finally find out I was off the deep end. Maybe one of the few things I did right was make sure I talked to them as a group and individually after each blow up. Reassuring everyone that even in the face of something so terrible, we still love each other and I didn’t really mean when I told AC that I was going to stuff all his clothes in the dirty kitty litter box.
  10. If the children are aware that there is something wrong with their brother or sister, tell them that he or she is sick at the moment and that Mom and Dad are doing everything they can to help him or her get well, but that it may not happen overnight.The message here should be age appropriate. The truth is, your child is sick, and we may or may not be able to help. And it definitely won’t happen over night.
  11. If your child/children are teenagers, please consider Alateen, a group of teens who share    their thoughts with each other regarding the substance abuse in their family. Private counseling with one or both parents is an option as well. Some towns have great resource for kids when dealing with substance issue. Danvers has a lot of intiatives for opiate prevention. Click here to learn more. Also in Massachusetts, DPH released a new public service campaign called Stop Addiction Now. Google it for more info.
  12.  Do your best to keep your family a united front. Sibling splitting or having one child try to curry favor with the addicted sibling can be hazardous toward a joint effort in finding their loved one a path for recovery.

The whole family needs to be a united front. When addiction becomes part of your family, it involves everyone not just the addict themselves. In active addiction, the family suffers more than the addict. These are all my opinion based on my experience, take what you think is helpful and leave the rest.


DanversCARES…… Do you?

After attending the Candlelight Vigil in Medford, I was overwhelmed with the outpouring of support from their community. And it sort of got me thinking of what support and drug-free programs Danvers has invested in. I wondered about whether Danvers Police carried Narcan, and what education is offered to the school systems and their parents. So, I googled it. I love google. I mean, you can literally google “what do carrots look like when they germinate” and get a million answers. I googled myself recently, and guess what, I have a blog! Who knew. Anyway, I was directed, via google, to DanversCARES. I have lived in Danvers basically my whole life, other than a small stint living in an extremely rural town in South West Nebraska, and I had no idea about DanversCARES.

DanversCARES is not just about a drug-free community. It is a partnership that encourages, educates and offers programing for youth and families to help make healthy decisions in many areas of life. This includes education on tobacco use, physical education, abstinence from steroids, as well as drug awareness. They partner with 12 organizations including Essex Agricultural and Technical School, DEEP, Danvers Public School, Peabody Institute Library of Danvers, Lahey Behavioral Health, North Shore Medical Center and the Danvers Police Department, just to name a few. If you click the link below, you can learn more about their programs, their resources and catch up on their blog.

A recently blog post was called Defy the Opi-Odds. It spoke of a course for Teens last summer that focused on Opioids, Overdose Prevention among other things. Last summer, I was neck deep in relapsing with JoDee so I’m not super surprised I didn’t know about it, but I am surprised I hadn’t heard much about the organization as a whole. So, I did what I always do when I don’t know something, I set out to educate myself. There is a tab labeled “contact”. By clicking that tab I found out about Peg Sallade. She is the Program Director. Her contact info was readily available so I emailed her. I introduced myself as a life-long resident of Danvers with a daughter that is a heroin addict and would like to become more involved in the organization, as well as learn more about it. Peg and I met on a Friday morning, after many emails back and forth to find a time that fit both of our schedules.

One of the things I learned is that DanversCARES and Peg specifically have a tough job educating the community. The thing about drug addiction is it is not seen as a community problem. I mean, from the community that is. The people involved with DanversCARES understand that it affects everyone whether you have an addict in your family or not. Drug addiction is typically related to higher crime rates, increased sudden death and lower continued education statistics. If your child is 5 h/she will be in high school someday. And that beautiful, wonderful, smiling, innocent child may make one poor choice that leads to another and another until suddenly; you are where I am, and wondering why. I think often another huge hurdle is reaching those in the community that don’t have young children, any children, or whose children are adults without children. Community is just that community. If any particular malady ails a community that means directly or indirectly it affects everyone. The rate of addiction is rising rapidly. It is also rising predominately in the young age group; 18-25 are most likely to over dose, but that doesn’t mean it ONLY affects those age groups. There are many families with adults/adult children suffering from addiction. My family is a good example. JoDee is an addict but I have two younger children that could definitely benefit, and maybe be helpful providing inside information to others in their or similar situations.

Maybe part of the struggle with getting the community to open up about drug use in our own neighborhoods is due to embarrassment. I can understand that. I didn’t get to the point that I was publishing blogs on the internet about our family overnight. This was a process. It took a lot of Al- Anon meetings, N/A meetings and near death experiences with JoDee for me to be so open. I, too, was embarrassed at first. Not just for JoDee and what it meant to be an addict, but as a parent. I know even now that people judge me, but I have learned people will judge me if I drive a big car, a small car, wear glasses, cut my hair short, wear pants too tight or too lose. I had to have my own come-to-Jesus meetings to evolve into someone who understands addiction. And not just understanding it, but learning that concentrating on being embarrassed is taking time away from looking at the bigger picture; helping my addict find peace of mind to begin recovery. Just as we take pride in our homes, and our lawns and whether or not the taxes will increase because we build a new school or save a funeral home, should we invest time in the future of the children of our community.

If you want to know more about DanversCARES, reach out to Peg. If you have a child suffering from addiction and you want to be part of program that can help bridge the gap in the community, reach out to Peg. If you think that you can’t offer anything to this program, but you are invested in a better tomorrow for Danvers as a whole, reach out to Peg. Let her know what programs you would like to see, give her ideas on how to attract the masses. Is there a subject you think would be beneficial? Let her know. If reaching out to Peg seems daunting, you can reach out to me. I have offered to speak at forums; I will do whatever she needs to help put an end to drug use in Danvers.. I told her that I would lead by example. While parading my family’s personal problems through the town like the Little League Parade is not something I look forward too, I also know that for anyone to understand the struggles of addiction, they need to have something tangible to attach it too. I don’t want another mother to suffer like I have. I don’t want another mother to lose a child to addiction or for any child, at any age, to lose their life because of addiction. DanversCARES is taking steps to help educated the community so we can successfully pave a cleaner future for everyone. Will you help us?