Today is International Overdose Awareness Day. Each year on this day I create a special post specifically dedicated to honor the memory of all those who were lost to overdose and the parents who are grieving them.
My daughter, Melanie lost her life to the disease of addiction in 2020. Prior to that I never knew such a day existed. Sadly, this is the 4th year I have been a member of a group that no one ever asks to join.
If you have not had this disease touch your life directly I imagine you know someone who has. Regardless of the way your loved one died, grief is still grief, and loss is loss. We all hurt the same and miss our loved ones.
Please know that if you have lost a loved one due to an overdose, I see you and I care.
Today, I want to bring awareness to what is an often-overlooked disease in our country.
Did you know that Substance Use Disorder is in fact an actual disease?
Are you aware that the disease of addiction touches people of all backgrounds, despite race, religion, education, or social class?
People from all walks of life have suffered from substance abuse or known someone who has.
People who suffer from substance abuse are mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and friends to many. It is up to us to make strides to reduce the stigma associated with substance abuse and bring about education and healing.
I’ve watched the videos, looked at hundreds of photos, and read countless heartbreaking stories of love, loss and grief. Today many will post pictures of our loved ones on social media, fly beautiful purple balloons from our homes, porches will be filled with beautifully hand-painted chairs, candles will be lit and in some states flags will fly at half-staff.
You are stronger than you think and I am in awe of each of you.
Sending each of you much love and prayers that this disease will be recognized for what it is, and in the days to come awareness and support will be provided to help others.