Apologies for the lack of posts, news or info on Drew’s Foundation site the last few months. I took some time to practice a little self-care, spend time with my family, and prepare for another winter season in Western Alaska. September brings the day of my son’s birthday and that is always hard for me. I think of what might have been, what will never be and I grieve. Almost 4 years and my sense of loss is sometimes still as raw as the day we got that call. Our family goes on. We love and support our other children, but we all suffer still with what we can never explain.
Are we making a difference? I think so. I don’t follow statistics every day, week, or even month. I believe suicide rates are down a little. I think all the efforts to get people, and especially young people, to “call someone” are working. Careline calls are at a record level. Many commited individuals like Barb Franks and Cynthia Erikson, through their persistence and refusal to give up, are getting others to listen and forward the message. Life is worth living. If we care for each other we can help each other. Sounds so simple.
While I see some positive trends I’m deeply troubled by what I see as a slow suicide epidemic sweeping across Bethel and Western Alaska. Heroin addiction. Here in Bethel our homes, businesses, and persons are under attack by those feeding their habits. While that is extremely troubling, what is worse, is the slow suicide of those experimenting, using and or addicted to this truly evil drug. The lives of these mostly young people are heading for a fate as certain as that at the end of a gun, the noose of a rope, a handful of pills.
If you are using, call someone. There are no great people in history who were or are junkies. If you are a parent who has even the smallest thought that your son or daughter is using do not be passive. Jail is a much better outcome than the morgue. Like the suicides we are and have been dealing with for much to long this slow suicide has warning signs. It also has outcomes that are depressingly predictable.
Be a parent. Be a friend. Don’t be afraid to speak up, stick your nose in, get in somebody’s business. If it means their life whats the downside?
ALASKA CARELINE 1-877-266-HELP