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Podcast: Fentanyl Poisoning Deaths are Leaving Loved Ones Behind

WAISMANN METHOD® Podcast

Episode 42: Fentanyl Poisoning Deaths are Leaving Loved Ones Behind; Plus Rainbow Fentanyl Dangers and More!

The fentanyl poisoning crisis has taken a grave toll on American families. When someone dies from such an unexpected death, their loved ones are left behind to grapple with the aftermath. For young children, the loss of a parent can be especially devastating. They may feel isolated and traumatized, leading to future struggles with mental health issues for years to come. The ripple effects of pain and suffering extend far beyond those who have passed. We must remember those who are left behind and support them in their time of need.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Welcome back to Addiction, Recovery and Mental Health, a podcast by Waismann Method Opioid Treatment Specialists. I’m your co-host, Dwight Hurst, LPC. Joined today by Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC and David Livingston, LMFT. Hi, guys. Thanks for being here, as always. We have been, of course, talking a lot about awareness. Within our last couple of episodes. We’ve talked about perhaps the use of the term poisoning rather than just overdose, and I’m sure we’ll get further into that today. But Clare, you had proposed a topic where we talk about those throughout this crisis that are left behind. Family members, support systems, you know, partners and family members of those that have died through this epidemic of fentanyl poisoning and how that’s having an effect upon them.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah, because, you know, more and more I’m joining, you know, especially mothers, but families of people that have lost their children or their family members to fentanyl poisoning. And in most cases, again, when we’re talking about the poisoning and not the overdose, we are talking about people that really did not have that addiction issue before, people that did try a pill or borrowed the pill, and suddenly the families lose their loved one and the tremendous trauma, that is! Because I think when you are dealing with addiction long term, you know the risks. You know, you’re always scared of that call. But when these families suddenly get a call that their son or daughter or husband passed when they really never had the addiction issue, I think is a totally, totally different story altogether. Not to minimize how any family feels when you lose a loved one is just I think is a different trauma altogether. And I think it’s also important for us to talk about the kids that due to fentanyl poisoning or overdose are being brought up by grandparents, grandparents that are retirement age. And suddenly they have this two, three-year-old that you know, what’s going to happen in when they are ten, 15 and 18 and these grandparents are maybe not here anymore to care for them. So I think the long-term tragic effects of the ones that stay behind are something that is not often discussed.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah, there’s an element of complexity to trauma nowadays. When they study complex trauma, they find it’s more complex. When it’s surprising, you take tragedy and you add surprise and that trauma becomes, I don’t want to say better or worse than pre- you know, something you had pre-knowledge of, but it’s definitely more complicated. Right. And you have, as you put it, these single-use deaths or maybe if not the first times close to the first time that someone has experimented with opiate or any other kind of drug use and there’s fentanyl in there and they die. Right. And so that’s surprise right there for everybody. We weren’t aware there was a problem. Maybe there wasn’t a problem until all of a sudden the problem that ended up taking this person’s life and that’s obviously on the increase as well with that surprise element.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Right. So again, again, I think, you know, when we talk about the opioid crisis, the overdose crisis, the poisoning crisis, all these crises that are standing from opioid drugs one way or the other, I think the consequences are, you know, so much more extensive and tragic than we are even aware of and so lengthy. I mean, this is going to cost generations to come.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: And that’s the thing that people don’t always talk about is that anything that affects kids affects the next generation, and you carry trauma with you into the next generation on a massive level that’s going to impact, you know, just a lot of things in society that’s going to start impacting society.

David Livingston, LMFT: Hugely. And, you know, if we if you think about how many I don’t know what the numbers are. We’ve talked about it in previous podcasts, but I don’t know exactly what the numbers are. But over 100,000 people look at things that have impacted us in terms of our collective psyche. And you’re looking at the profound loss of a generation of young people, primarily, not entirely. It’s hitting all generations and all people, but it’s significantly younger people, from what I understand. I think shame and not knowing how to kind of talk about it. And I know, Claire, you’re in these groups where people are talking about it, which is, I think, great and fantastic. The amount of people I’ve talked to, young people who will tell me they’ve lost like five, six, seven, eight, nine. I mean, sometimes they’ll say, I don’t have any friends left. I don’t even know where to start, I guess that’s what we’re trying to do here is, is really sort of bring more awareness but also. Um, some gravity to… I think that we’re slow to act as a culture, right? Especially when things. Because we want things to feel like it’s elsewhere. It’s not us, it’s not our lives. It’s someone else’s. And that’s about as human as anything. And so there’s kind of a collective feeling of not wanting to think about it because you don’t want it to be in your life and you don’t even want to. It’s an unthinkable type of thing. It’s so pervasive and we see it more than anybody or as much as anybody.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah, I mean, I mean, I don’t want to give any wrong numbers. All the numbers I can give is what I read in the Internet. But if you figured that on 2020, the overdose deaths reported by the CDC was 56,021 was 107,000. So it has doubled. Imagine this year it’s probably going to double again. There are also some places that you can read that it says that 100 over 170 people a day. Or dying from poisoning. Parentheses. Overdose. So I think the numbers are something that I don’t think we can even imagine what the real numbers are. And because it’s mostly people between 18 to 35 years old, I mean, these are people on the age of, you know, of having young children.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Absolutely. Yeah. They’re the ones who are more likely to have just started. And so you get children who are really likely to be within the first, I don’t know, maybe five years of life if we’re going to look at it. I’m making up the likelihood. I’m not sure when people are having kids on average now, but, you know, the first three years of life, you don’t even really remember anything. And then plus that. So you’ve got a whole bunch of people. Enhanced numbers of people in this generation that are growing up with, you know, essentially a potential attachment disruption and trauma right along with now a family history of, you know, those problems that come with that.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Correct? Correct. And not wanting to go back here to statistics. Just an idea here. I’m reading here, right here from gregmurphy.house.gov “Fentanyl fatalities poison one person in America every 8.50 7 minutes, killing 175 people every single day.” That is huge, guys. Huge.

David Livingston, LMFT: It’s staggering.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It’s a tragedy. Can you imagine? Can you imagine? You know. Almost 200 people dying a day of poisoning of a drug. The consequences of that.

David Livingston, LMFT: Right. Imagine if it was a war or a plane going down and. All right. Or, you know, it’s street crime.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: I mean, we’d be right. We’d be rioting, Right? Somebody needs to do something about this.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Well, yes. Think of the you know, if you say that a plane is going down every two days.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Killing almost 400 people, they’ll stop flying planes right away.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: No, it’s it’s a fascinating thing to see where people place this, because I remember I grew up in a downtown city area kind of thing. And it certainly wasn’t the worst neighborhood in the city that I lived in, but it wasn’t the best one either, I guess. And I had friends and associates who lived outside the city and suburbs that didn’t like to come to the city because they were nervous. Now, this is not a high-crime city. This is Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. It’s not it’s a moderately sized city with not much street crime. And just so just as an example of one of the things that we latch on to. Oh, the city means crime. Don’t go there, you know, And that’s just an idea of a problem. And so we look at something that’s actual a public health crisis that’s going on and psychological health as well as, you know, just the death toll. And we’re not looking at it that way as much. I know we’ve talked before on the show about kind of the over-demoralization of these problems. And personally, I think this topic we’re talking about today goes right to that. You know, if it’s there’s certain things that we don’t talk about all of the ramifications of as much. And I feel like what is viewed as an overdose is sometimes minimized by saying like, well, that was the person they took the thing, they took the risk. And we don’t talk about like their children and their families and their parents and other people that are affected afterwards.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: All right. And even, believe it or not, that, you know, dealing with all these parents that I’m working with right now, the stigma also for those kids that were in college and got a Xanax from a friend because they were put in sleep, they were overwhelmed, never did a drug. They were great students and they died. Even to those parents, there’s a tremendous amount of stigma because it was. Why did your kids take a pill?

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah, well, and especially, you know, I remember growing up and knowing people, family members or just people you knew that were like, oh, you know, I don’t have health insurance. Oh, well, you know, I got some pills left over from my surgery, some painkillers. You know, you got back problems. I mean, you know, or I know a guy who knows a guy, right? I mean, in this day and age, too, with lack of access to health care, people don’t maybe realize that, that people sometimes get hooked on these things following a surgery or because they don’t have health insurance to get their own prescriptions and they think they’re just getting something. You know, these things happen and we over demonize it as if it’s this. And this is not an excuse to dehumanize people, I don’t think. But we have this concept of it’s all like people who are willingly taking super risks on the street with street drugs. And, you know, the majority of what we’re talking about, how people get into opiates, I mean, they’re expensive, right? Some of them. And so people it’s people of all walks of life, I guess, is what I’m trying to say, of course.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: And which kid doesn’t take risks?

David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, right. Or one experiment and you know and and feel, you know, at that age between 18 and 35, most kids feel pretty invulnerable or don’t feel vulnerable. They feel invulnerable. And. And it’s. So. And historically, things have never been this dangerous. And so it’s new territory. And and then on top of that, I guess maybe the thing that. That seems I think there’s a lot of confusion and maybe this has political ramifications or this or that. I don’t really know. But there’s confusion between the the collective and the individual. And I think what happens right now is there’s got to be more of a collective process and really even a I mean, I don’t understand why there isn’t political pressure on the countries and the places that are making this stuff and bringing it here. I don’t understand that. I mean, if I mean, think about the political pressure we would put on if after 911. I mean, it was, you know, and not, you know, as tragic and horrible as that was and it was not nearly as many people are are being poisoned or killed as we’re talking about, you know. I mean, it’s not even close, but there’s no collective will to sort of change it. Maybe there’s a feeling of not knowing sort of who or where to go, but I can’t believe that entirely. But I think a lot of it happens because we go back to the individual. Well, they made a decision. It was a choice. And so it’s. Right. It’s kind of like you’re saying it, Clare, you know, you want to I think if anything, what we’re trying to do in this conversation or what makes sense to me is we have to have a collective. There needs to be a collective, right?

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: No doubt! I think us as a society have to, because again, I think there’s a combination of guilty parties. You know, why this has not become… No, why this is not spoken about as the tragedy that it really is. Now, A –  because it’s that simple is we’re going to need to talk about the open borders. Right? And nobody wants to talk about that. B, because it’s very easy to blame the victims because, again, they use a drug that was illicit. So I think the combination of both of these factors keep everybody quiet. We spoke about this on the last podcast, and I keep going back because for me, it’s beyond my understanding what the ability we have, the platforms we have with people on social media all day with their phones in their hands. How come every possible technology platform does not create awareness throughout the day that it pops on your phone, you know, with how many overdoses today in New York, how many in California, not overdoses, poisonings! Faces of the people. Remember when we had the nicotine, the cigaret commercials on TV? You know, with people dying of cancer with a lady could hardly speak with Ben Vereen, with, you know, it really moved people. We are able to do that a thousandfold. And we are not because it doesn’t fulfill our agendas. But again, without going back, I think we as a society have to understand the seriousness of this tragedy. The speed in how it just snowballing, the ramifications to not just the victims, but their families. And I think that’s where I’m trying to go. I think if we talk about the family, the grandparents, the kids, you know, the parents’ trauma, I think if we take the focus a bit off the victims, maybe people. Will. We’ll hear maybe people will join the efforts. Then there’s what I’m saying.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah, I think that’s an excellent way to put this out there. I think that there’s an effect by those you mentioned, those who push it away or rather avoid it for kind of, well, I guess either malicious or just, you know, neglectful reasons. But I think even amongst those that want to help or would do something, I think that nowadays we’re so aware of so many different things that we do see some compassion fatigue. And if people don’t see a clear thing they can do, then they don’t do anything a lot of times. And when you talk about the effects of like grandparents and kids who especially are the ones affected with the population most at risk, you know, if you’re out there and you’re thinking, well, geez, what can I do about it? I’m not a drug counselor. I don’t know how to prevent you know, I don’t have any friends who I think are using. I do all that kind of stuff. But one thing you can definitely do is when you hear about these things, you hear about someone who’s affected by this, you know, reach out, reach out to their the parents, especially if it’s grandparents with kids or reach out to their kids or, you know, if we don’t tell our neighbor down the street or that person we go to church with or that, you know, just that friend of a friend, if we don’t go to them and say, hey, you need some help with those kids, or can my kids invite them over to play or can I drop off some meals here or something If we don’t do it, who will? Right.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. There’s even an easier way to help retweet. If you see news about somebody that passed, retweet it, create awareness, maybe, you know, your neighbor’s kid will read it, maybe your nephew, your niece will see your retweet and think twice before asking for somebody for Percocet. I mean, there are so many ways to get involved without personally getting involved. And I truly believe the best way to enrich your soul is to help the next person. It doesn’t matter how extensive that help is. I think if you do it every day, a little tiny, it’s the best way for you to feel better. So there is a payoff in the end result.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah, it’s interesting, as you say, that I think about all the things I see on social media, but I’ll throw myself under the bus. I mean, you know, how many times have I been online, I don’t know, standing up for some cause that I believe in or even just pushing back on something I feel is dumb? Like, how many arguments do I get in online when someone says there’s too many women starring in the Marvel Cinematic Universe or just something that like that, that is, you know, a thing. But how many times have I then gone, well, you know, I should retweet something important, something, you know, important in a different way. I’ll say that that affects this epidemic of people dying, you know, And you could share some of that.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. It’s almost 200 and mostly young adults. Daily. Daily. That’s a lot.

David Livingston, LMFT: I. Right, Right. But. But I have to think that that, you know, that the empathy and the compassion, which is that both of you express. And that certainly I feel when I’m talking to people and I’ve talked to people who’ve been devastated by this, young people, like I’ve said, and it’s horrible. But I, I just I still feel like there’s this collective denial about the size of it. And wherever it’s it’s being manufactured, there’s a ton of this that’s pouring in and you’ll I read somewhere that they did a huge bust somewhere I can’t even I don’t remember specifically but it’s a massive amount of people massive amount of fentanyl had that hit the streets. You know, however many people that would have killed would have been, you know, in the thousands and thousands. But imagine if on television, imagine that you saw governments raiding the facilities in other countries that are manufacturing it because it’s getting manufactured in other countries. And imagine if our government was putting pressure on those countries to figure out who’s doing it. And then you got to see that.

David Livingston, LMFT: I mean, that’s what happened after 911. I mean, it was a statement of such a collective statement. And I’m telling you, if you saw five of those raids or ten of those raids and so forth, it would change the collective understanding and then you would get a whole different feeling about it. And then the collective awareness, what you’re really is a collective denial in some way would shift significantly. So I think individually, you know, every I mean, look, it matters on both ways. I mean, you know, it’s it’s funny to hear me talking about this because in general, I think I’m more oriented towards individual sort of health and responsibility because that’s primarily what I do. And, you know, and what I can actually be effective and potentially helping. But I think this I think there’s got to be a different collective effort. And, you know, and I think to some degree, both of you must agree because we are spending you know, we’re doing our podcasts on to some degree on that idea. Um hum.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah, but you see, that is exactly. And again, I don’t want to get political about it. So we know that the illicit fentanyl is being produced, starts in China and then sent to Mexico where they turn it into pills, fake pills. We know that this last month they found every possible color pill because now they’re trying to reach a younger group of people. We know those schools just started. So, you know, why the all these colorful candy-lookalike fentanyl pills are coming in? So but in the same hand, what you hear about is the busts. Yes, there are busts, but within the bust, how many people are walking in? With fentanyl. If you think that a tiny little pencil point is a deadly dose, how many people are walking in with a little bag that can kill 20 people? 100 people a day? So again, you’re hearing about the bus. You’re hearing about the things that are being done. But we are not hearing about what’s not. We’re not hearing about the deaths, the real number of deaths. I don’t want to hear a year from now, because when people hear things that happened last year, it’s not so relevant for them anymore because it’s past, there’s nothing we can do. This is something we should be hearing daily.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: That’s a great point. I think that because a lot of the studies that we quote are about a year old, because that’s where study, that’s how research works. But so when we are retweeting, it’s probably good to retweet the current news stories and like that story of that bust or whatever and, you know, comments that are pertinent to the present.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Correct. So that’s what I’m trying to say. So any time I see a face because parents are putting the face of their kids on Twitter, I retweet immediately. This is somebody that died yesterday, that died a week ago. You know, I think emergency rooms are able to, you know, expand on how many deaths are coming in or, you know, police departments. I think, again, but that’s out of our control. What’s going to be publicized or not and for what reasons, again, is also beyond our control. I think as people as a society, we should do what we can to create awareness of what’s happening right now. I think we should also create spaces to support the kids left behind. The grandparents left behind, the parents left behind. I think they are also very important, their stories for us to share because again, I think it will take a bit of the focus of who bought the drug because it could be any of us, you know, it could be any of our kids. It could be. It’s important for people to see that there are more victims than, you know, the ones that use the drug. I think then you’re going to get more empathy, maybe. Does that make?

David Livingston, LMFT: Sense? I do. I do. But I think I think it’s both. I think I think you have to, you know. Why? Yeah, it’s kind of it’s mind-numbing, But there is a collective denial about this. And I, you know, I think, you know, we’re not in denial because we see it all the time, constantly because it’s we’re in the you know, we do the work of helping people with this. But most people, it’s not on their mind. It’s not in the media. And even if there’s a bust up, I mean, it’s. Yeah. Yeah. So I think it has to be both. And so we’ll see.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: When we talk about the trauma effects on children and families, but especially with the up and coming generation of children who lose their parents, what would we say are some things people should be aware that can happen as you have a group of people growing up with this trauma and this loss, what are some concerns? People should be aware of that, how trauma symptoms are going to carry over into child development, education, the workforce? Any any thoughts about that?

David Livingston, LMFT: Well, they’re going to carry over very badly. Right.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah. Not a lot of.

David Livingston, LMFT: Pros, right? Right. Well, I mean, you’re going to have, for starters, just a ton of broken hearts. I mean, just to humanize it and, you know. It’s so specific to each family and each individual. And but what you’re talking about is. Families and communities and individuals all being sort of torn apart by it, that that we really, really underestimate how much we count on the people around us being there. Even if we don’t talk to them all the time, even if we just count on them being okay and in the background. And it isn’t until you start losing people that you even know how important it was that they were okay and in the background. And so I think I think people’s lives get sort of shaped differently, their internal lives, how they feel about being alive. Everything gets shaped differently when they when you start to have losses.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah, there’s been resilience research where they talk about what helps kids to come through, things like that. And one of the words that I always think about with that research is the word interested. They say that adults who are interested in a kid will greatly increase that kid’s resilience to the trauma that they face and that even one interested adult can make a huge change in someone’s development. And so I often think of that word of like, how do we communicate interest in a child? Obviously, there’s people who are teachers or nurses or counselors or may work with kids professionally. But those of us who I say, those that don’t work with kids professionally and just kind of looking out in your life and seeing, when do I run into kids? Do I put myself in a place where I can be supportive, You know, obviously difficult if you don’t know anyone directly, but who’s been affected by this. But if you do, if you hear that story about so-and-so’s kids are now living with their aunt and uncle or their grandparents because they lost their parents to overdose. You know, if it’s if it’s someone you know or a family member, can you communicate interest? I like that word because it feels more actionable to me than just be nice, you know? You know what I mean.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Is the story. People want to be heard, right?

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yes. Yes. Heard. And and it makes them feel validated, their existence validated.

David Livingston, LMFT: Right. That you have to have something to counterbalance the loss. An interest is a feeling of life moving forward again. And so, you know, the losses are, you know, and if you so you can’t stay identified with the loss or not process at all. If you have someone interested in you and they want your the best for you and and you can reattach to them, its some help and and sort of combating the other experience and sort of you know and I think interest is a great word to to sort of talk about how that gets catalyzed as a catalyst.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: It seems to me, too, that one thing that we can do for people in that situation is and this goes back to what you said about humanizing, is if we focus on the needs of the family left behind, it becomes more and more important not to talk down about their loved one who died. Right. And not to say, oh, well, you know, so those out there that might feel that temptation or that societal norm of talking down about someone who who who was killed by drug use, don’t do that. If you really are interested in helping the family right that’s left behind.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It’s a combination, I think. I think especially when you’re talking about grandparents caring for kids. I mean, this was an unexpected person that they are going to have to not just financially and emotionally support, but physically support as well. I think, you know, as you said in the beginning, there is a lot that should be done by the administration for these grandparents, but also that we can do by, again, offering sometimes support on things that they don’t have to look in bed to desks, laptops, whatever. Playing with the kids, giving your time, listening to their difficulties, going back to being able to provide mental health support. It’s a shame because I think we don’t have even assistance right now for the patients that are currently using drugs. So we definitely don’t have for those that are left behind.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Even if it’s just a couple of kids in a set of grandparents or other foster family or family members who step in, let’s assume two parents and two kids they’re bringing in. That’s for people who probably need some help. You know, at least two, maybe four. So is that four therapists or one really, you know, a therapist who helps the whole family? The other thing, too, is I had a psychologist that I interviewed with a while ago said that we’re at about a 50% burnout rate for medical professionals, including those in the social services. That those numbers are looking pretty down as far as people who are feeling burned out enough that they’re not continuing. So as you put it, not only is there a lack of access to care, a lot of the practitioners of care are taking breaks or or burning out to.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Or we’re feeling that in the hospital. The lack of the nurses within a lot of them after COVID retired or actually found other professions, they were just burned out.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: So that’s another group of people to be nice to those in your life that should be next. Extra nice to my sister-in-law who’s a nurse.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Kindness nowadays goes a long way.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah.

David Livingston, LMFT: Always has.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: All right.

David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: I’m waiting here, guys. So you have an idea of. Yesterday, 250,000 pills. And when I say pills, I’m talking about colorful pills. Pills from smugglers who have a candy-like appearance were found in Arizona coming from Nogales, Mexico. Now, truly, these are pills that look exactly like candies.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: Wow. It’s pretty serious. It’s pretty insidious.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: So it is here, as CDP says, could be the start of a new trend where cartels are targeting younger users.

David Livingston, LMFT: The thing that we repress the most in life, whether we know it or not, is death itself. If you look at if you look at 911, you see 90% of pictures of the planes hitting the towers. And or if there’s a war going on, you’ll see helicopters landing and other things. And the problem with the opioid epidemic and all of these deaths is people don’t want to know about deaths. We collectively and individually don’t want to think of our own mortality, our friends’ mortality and, God forbid, or kids mortality. So so nobody wants to even think about it. It’s so big. It’s mind-numbing, so, so much bigger than these other things I’ve talked about. But in the collective, in terms of the feeling of a society, not at all. I don’t know what you do about that, given that that’s just kind of a reality of of I think how we’re all formed and the repression of death is a useful thing because we need to build a life and move forward and feel confident and not feel too anxious and all of that. So it’s necessary, useful and helpful. It’s not helping with this epidemic. So I don’t know what the answer is. I pointed out because I always point out these things. That’s kind of what I do. It’s I think it’s critical to why there isn’t actually a you know, you’re not going to see the news going to 100,000 funerals and putting that on the TV. You will never see that ever, because people don’t want to see it. They won’t be watched. So this is the this is part of it because I worry about empathy. Empathy is critical. It’s great, but it’s too late. The idea is, what do we do to prevent it?

Dwight Hurst, LPC: My experience working with young people who have lost someone to overdose, you might think that all of them are turned off to the idea of drugs, but no, they’re just a group of kids like any other group of kids. But there’s almost a fascination there, right, Because you’re going to be fascinated by your parents and their life and their existence. And so sometimes and then also, how do you treat trauma? Right? Yeah. If you self-medicate, then they’re at risk, is what I’m trying to say. They have. There are several reasons why they’re in a higher risk to do the same thing, and hopefully that empathy can be provoked to look out for those kids and help guide them away from substance abuse.

David Livingston, LMFT: Totally. Totally. But look, if you tell 100 kids, hey, there’s a monster over there in the forest. First of all, all 100 kids start looking at the forest. Right. And then you’re going to have some of them are going to go over and see what the monster is like and check it out. Some of them won’t. And that’s just temperamental. It’s not necessarily a flaw. It’s just kind of certain people have certain levels of risk tolerance that are just kind of built into them. So some of this is just human nature.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It’s truly, truly, truly a tragedy and is a preventable one. And that’s the saddest part of it. It’s something that needs everybody’s help immediately. Whatever help one can give, if it’s to the families, if it’s creating awareness, whatever, whatever it is, we’ve got to get out of our own selves and our own thoughts and understand the extent of this tragedy that is going on as we speak at this moment.

David Livingston, LMFT: As soon as one of the I am going to say this because why not as soon as one of the political parties, either one is certain they’re not going to get elected. And until they deal with this far more intensively, you will have a shift. And that has never happened. And I’m not saying that both parties are not aware of it and do things about it. And there has been some changes. There certainly has been some changes and some of them have been very helpful. But it’s it’s actually gotten more dangerous in some ways due to the interventions. And now it has to take on a different there has to be a different, I think, political perspective. And and I’m the last guy who gets into all that, I mean, in general. So but I really do think so.

Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. Guys, you know the easiest thing again for anybody listening to this out there, go to Twitter, just put the word fentanyl on your search and you will see what happened the last 24 hours. If you feel you are part of the society and I’m sure you care, just retweet, retweet what’s what went on the last 24 hours of fentanyl in this country. And if you do that twice a week, three times a week, I think you are helping out.

Dwight Hurst, LPC: And we’re going to leave it there for today. Remember, you can follow and retweet and participate in Claire’s hashtag, #StopTheSilence over on Twitter. Always remember to follow us on Twitter @opiates or go to the Waismann Detox™ website at www.opiates.com To learn more. You can also email us at info at opiates. Please send us questions and things that you’d like us to talk about in the program, as well as any questions that you may have. We’d love to help you out. Our music is the song Medical by Clean Mind Sounds. This podcast is a production of Waismann Method Opioid Treatment Specialists and Rapid Detox Center, and also produced by Pop Culture Productions. Go to Pop Culture Dot Net to learn more about how to start your podcast for Clare Waismann and David Livingston, I’m Dwight Hurst, and I am here to remind you, as always, that you should keep asking these questions because if you can find questions, you can find answers, and if you can find answers, you can always find hope. Thanks again for listening. We’ll be back with you again soon.