Category Archives: February 2012

The New Face of Addiction

I spent months researching for this article in Diablo Magazine on the rise of prescription drug abuse amongst suburban teens. I interviewed mothers whose honor roll/athlete sons and daughters became slaves to their addictions. I interviewed teens who gave up their dreams of college and professional careers to live “one day at a time.” I was awed by their courage and willingness to speak out. They do not want any one else to go through what they have. And if you think it is “there,” think again. It is here, wherever your here is. Please read it, share it, and talk with others about it. Thank you.

It's A Pharmacy!

It’s A Pharmacy

You might recognize Ann Le Veille of Danville because so many of us are like her. She is a devoted mom who has focused almost all of her time on her family. She volunteered in her children’s schools, chauffeured her kids to their many activities, and was active in her church. Still in love with the man she’d married decades before, she thought she had the perfect life. And then her teenage daughter got hooked on prescription pain medications, and Le Veille realized nothing would ever be the same.

“Chelsea was a happy, social girl in elementary and middle school. Then she hit high school, and soon things began to change. The pressure to get top grades, to be popular, to be on the fast track for admission to a top college was overwhelming,” Le Veille says. So, she took her daughter to a doctor who prescribed Klonopin for Chelsea’s anxiety. Little did Le Veille know that would be the gateway drug to addiction.

The antianxiety medicine worked. Chelsea felt better, and things seemed to calm down. What Le Veille didn’t realize was that Chelsea liked the feeling of relief so much, she moved on to other pills, including Vicodin, Xanax, and finally, OxyContin. Soon, Chelsea’s grades were slipping, and she started hanging out with a new group of kids. “I knew something was wrong; I just didn’t understand what,” Le Veille says.

Within about six months, Le Veille’s daughter became so addicted, she would do anything for the next high. Chelsea stole pills from friends’ parents’ medicine cabinets and from anyone who had a prescription, and when those sources dried up, she turned to dealers to keep her buzzing. She got caught stealing jewelry from a store to pay for her habit. After many unsuccessful attempts to get Chelsea off pills, Le Veille and her husband felt forced to throw her out of the house. Their beloved daughter ended up on the streets.

“The drugs won,” says Le Veille. “The only way we could survive was if we went on without her. One of the worst days of my life was when I saw my ragged, barefoot daughter at a local gas station. She was living in the car of a friend, eating candy and potato chips to stay alive. I felt like I was in this movie of someone else’s life. I never dreamed it could happen to me.” Read more…
 

“I Know What Love Is”

One of my favorite artist’s sites is Gwarlingo by Michelle Aldridge. She recently created a post on Ansel Adams and used a letter he wrote one of his closest friends as an opportunity to ponder the nature of love. I have taken the liberty of copying the letter that inspired Michelle to share with you. Please take the time to discover her site. By the way, the Welsh word, Gwarlingo, can be translated to mean “the movement before the moment.” I hope you are as moved by her work as I am. 

June 19, 1937

Ansel Adams

Dear Cedric,

A strange thing happened to me today. I saw a big thundercloud move down over Half Dome, and it was so big and clear and brilliant that it made me see many things that were drifting around inside of me; things that related to those who are loved and those who are real friends.

Continue reading

Valentine’s Day? Hey Honey, Thanks For Sticking Around.

This essay originally appeared on Blogher. I repost it every year on Valentines Day to honor the slowest of growths, love.

They’ve finally taken down the Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa decorations. They’ve worked their way through the January sales. What’s left to drive us to the cash registers between now and the President’s weekend rush? Valentines Day, of course! The shop windows are already filled with faux red roses, oversized pink hearts, and floating white cupids that look remarkably like my little nephew. This all wouldn’t be a problem but for the guilt and anxiety it creates in most of the marriages I know – the pressure to be romantic and swoon with unadulterated passion can be just too much to bear, particularly for those of us into our third decade of wedded bliss. Continue reading

When Will It End?

The Komen debacle may be over, but women’s health continues to be collateral damage to politics. These survivors remind us that safe, affordable health care is essential for all.