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Starbucks cups and the North Shore heroin problem: which should we be worrying about?

Starbucks cups and the North Shore heroin problem: which should we be worrying about?

This is a question that most people should know and state the obvious answer to. Then there are those who actually were up in arms over a Starbucks Cup that was too plain. A. Starbucks. Cup. Or as Ellen calls it: #cupgate. The Official Page of DV (dysfunctional veterans ) Radio put that one to rest; (pardon the profanity for those that are easily offended, apparently everyone if I read the Starbuck problems correctly) with this rendering:

starbucks

So now that we have settled this problem, although I'm certain there is some group missing from this, can we address a real issue? A real problem that is becoming deadly to our children?

Two weeks ago a family I know buried their 25 year old son. He died from a heroin overdose. This was a boy that came from a good family, went to an affluent, highly rated suburban high school (actually rated #5 in Illinois) and had the world at his fingertips. Earlier this year, another family from the same school buried their 25 year old son. Last year, yet another family their 26 year old son. These were not the first three graduates from this school to die from overdoses. Their drug issues began during high school and only ended with their deaths.

Today I came across an article about the issue that Chicago's North Shore has been experiencing with the drug. Please take the time to read this and if you know anyone who may have a problem have them read it.

I have heard and read comments that only now that "rich kids" are dying is this an issue. Instead of twisting the issue to yet again be considered racist, be glad that at least the problem is being brought to the surface and addressed. How's this for a terrifying statistic?

"Over the past decade, statistics show heroin use has risen throughout the U.S. with Chicago quickly becoming a hub for the drug that now claims more than 8,200 lives annually. From 2001 to 2014, there was a five-fold increase in the total number of deaths across the country, with Chicago consistently ranking as the worst city for heroin-related deaths, according to the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy."

A recent episode of 60 minutes , entitled "Heroin in the Heartland" shed some light on the problem and how the medical community has to take some responsibility. When Doctors are prescribing drugs such as Oxycontin and Vicodin to teenagers for various sports injuries, they become addicted. Once the prescription runs out, they turn to heroin: similar high; cheap and easy to get. A long time friend lost her son to a heroin overdose from this exact scenario. Knowing the addictive nature of these medications, they should not be prescribed so freely.

Parents should never assume it could not be their child. No more is the image of a typical junkie a back alley derelict. When watching the 60 minutes report you will see young men and women that are cheerleaders, football stars, class presidents - never who one would "typically" look at as a drug addict. It could be your child.

Parents that are involved in their children's lives have been shocked to find out of their addictions. Unfortunately for many, they find out too late. There is no race, religion or political agenda in the war on drugs. IT CAN HAPPEN TO ANYONE.  I encourage you to read the article that I have linked to and watch the 60 minutes report. There is also a book I recently read titled "Beautiful Boy". It is a heart wrenching account of a father's journey through his sons addiction written by David Sheff.

When I posted the article link on my Facebook Page earlier today many responses were "I never knew". Pass the word. We should all know. This knowledge can save a life. It could save your child.

And it's much more important than a cup.

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