In observance of the International Overdose Awareness Day (IOAD), Clare Waismann, M-RAS/ SUDCC ll, founder of Waismann Method and Domus Retreat along with her co-hosts, David Livingston LMFT, and Dwight Hurst, LPC, illuminate the nuances of the overdose crisis. Reflecting the core message of IOAD 2023, this recorded live event resonates with the voices of those often overlooked, fostering empathy and urging collective action. In a heartfelt tribute to those unseen, our expert panel lead an enlightening discussion addressing the silent threats of modern addiction.
With counterfeit drugs becoming an ever-looming danger and the pressing challenges that individuals face, the podcast highlights the intrinsic value of community and professional support. This conversation aims to emphasize that battling addiction is not a solitary journey but rather a communal effort.
The team delve deep into the unspoken aspects of addiction. Addressing the disparity in resources for treatment and mental health, she underscores the dire consequences many face. The conversation further illuminates the stark differences between overdose, poisoning, and suicide, shedding light on society’s misplaced blame.
The panel’s emphasis on society’s pivotal role in driving change underlines the essence of #WeSeeYou – the need for individuals to feel seen and heard. This recording is a clarion call for society to reprioritize, place well-being above all, and fundamentally change our approach to addiction.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: And we are live on here today. Welcome, everyone. This is the observance and the special awareness episode live episode here of the podcast to answer your questions about addiction and mental health brought to you by the Waismann Method and Domus Retreat. And I am your co-host, Dwight Hearst. So glad to be here to to observe International Overdose Awareness Day. And I’m joined here, as always by Clare Waismann and David Livingston, except here we are in live video action for the world to see. Hey, guys.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Hi. How are you, Dwight?
Dwight Hurst, LPC: I’m doing okay.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Hi, David.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: How are you?
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Meeting here. Go ahead, Clare. You start.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Now. Just glad to be here in such an important day. Um, I think awareness is the beginning of, you know, this healing that is so incredibly needed with this opioid crisis. Hundreds of people are dying a day just in the United States. So this is an international day. And I don’t want to forget, you know, the whole world that is suffering this terrible tragedy as we are. But, um, I think awareness, education, um, you know, talking about it, um, without judgment, without stigma is incredibly important. And I think the only way we’re going to fix this crisis is if we truly understand, um, that drugs are a consequence and not the issue.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: It’s an excellent thing. One of the things I know that this day was organized for is to have that focus of remembering those that have died. And you said two of the main words, which is “without stigma”. Right. And I know one of the thrusts of the message of the Waismann Method and the podcast that we’re doing is that the stigma is really it’s not necessary and it’s not important and it’s not it’s important in that it’s bad is what I mean. But when we feel that stigma being applied to ourselves or to others, especially those who have been lost in this crisis, we completely take out several things, one of which is simply the medical nature of addiction, which is that, you know, we do we judge those that die of a heart attack as all the things that we judge someone who dies of an overdose. And then, of course, with this crisis and epidemic, we also take out the fact that people might be using something that while it might be self-destructive and not technically responsible from a healthy perspective, they don’t know that it’s poisoned. By the way, that’s also part of it with the fentanyl being present. So there’s a lot of things with that stigma that are very damaging, obviously.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. And again, if we are, if this day is to, um, you know, remember those that passed, I think to make your death, you know, uh, to make their, their lives important more than their deaths is to help others not end up with the same fate and have people understanding that people use drugs most of the time. And when I say most, it’s almost all the time to treat pain, emotional pain, physical pain, regardless, is a self-medication for pain. So, um, you know, there shouldn’t be any judgment or stigma because at one point or another we all go through immense amounts of pain and not providing these people with the resources they need is usually the reason why, you know, they’re not here with us anymore.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yes. Yeah, I know that. I mean, self-medication is I personally, I think it’s one of the most useful and groundbreaking theories of the origins of addiction and the reasons for addiction that there has been, I know at least I mean, in my life and career, seeing that change away from just being considered a problem of bad moral choices to being a problem of self-medication, which includes mental health, pain, all different kinds of pain, trauma, all of those things. And I think the research bears out that when you look at people who have fallen into addiction, it’s pretty much those things are present. Um, and I know that’s something and something you I’m sure you guys see when you’re dealing with it on the treatment end of people coming through for detoxification.
David Livingston, LMFT: There’s no doubt. All right. Go ahead.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: On mental health. I see. David, you know, can talk about it, that, you know, the amount of pain and the amount of, you know, suffering. Most patients that we see endure and how strong they are, not just to get through that pain, but to actually seek help.
David Livingston, LMFT: Well, and I talked about this before in our podcast, but I think it’s the Greek word agon, which means to be in the arena. So people take opioids because they want less, less self-consciousness from loneliness causes more self-consciousness. Pain causes more self-consciousness. On top of other things, just the difficulties of being alive. And so people often take opioids to. To lower their self-consciousness. It’s an attempt to be able to bear life more when it feels unbearable in some way. Like you’re saying, Clare pain or however it is. And it’s really an attempt to be able to engage in life more. It’s almost the incredible irony and why the stigma is so terrible is that actually people are trying to find a way to cope and to be in life and where it doesn’t feel so overwhelming and so and, you know, horribly people pay a consequence of that where especially with fentanyl and everything else, the overdose rate is just mind numbing. And just so I mean, the amount of young people and not just young people, not of people in general, but specifically young people who have lost friend after friend after friend is is it’s horrible. So I’m glad we’re here talking about it and also changing the mythology around it, which is, is that people are trying to live better lives often and doing it the wrong way because it doesn’t work. And with fentanyl, it’s ten times more dangerous, but at least we can begin to understand it better.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Absolutely. When one of the things that people kind of relate to this problem in a way that can be very destructive, we tend to look at it as other people’s problems in a way, right? We look at it as, oh, we hear about this, and there may be some out there who have maybe not felt the sort of like Sting or the tragedy in their own life. But I think most people now with the numbers and the crisis that are going on, most people have either themselves, their family or someone they know has been their life’s been touched by addiction. But for those who aren’t, I think it’s important to know that we’re not talking. And well, let me put it this way. For those that aren’t, I would bet you that you are that you have been anyone out there who thinks that their life hasn’t been touched by addiction. I’ll bet it has. And if you have that relative who had that weird health problem or that weird change in behavior or you have, you know, just the, you know, mean guess macro, right? Economic and other safety reasons and things. But basically, our lives are all touched by this. So when we think, oh, that’s a problem that’s out there somewhere almost academically and I can, you know, think about it that way. No, it’s us. It’s it’s our loved ones and our neighbors and people around us. It’s not some other people on some other, you know, weird like Addiction Island somewhere. It’s it’s around us all the time.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. I think nowadays I mean just living in society the way we are with the homeless issues and mental health crisis. I think nobody can separate themselves anymore. I think probably 30 years ago you could say, oh yes, I heard about somebody that had an addiction issue. I think nowadays it hits us, all of us directly, and indirectly, and it’s going to affect us as a society for generations to come.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, we’re we’re slow to learn. I mean, I think at some point in history, we’re going to look back at this period kind of like we were doing, um, and looking at the amount of opioids that were just being prescribed and given to people basically without any real discretion. And that’s being reversed and pulled back. When we look at the amount of people who have overdosed and, you know, over 100,000 people a year well over it, it’s it’s staggering. I think it’s it’s we don’t even know what to do about it. Exactly. Um. But there is there is treatment, there is help. And people get very, very confused themselves and isolate. Don’t talk to other people about it. They feel a lot of guilt and shame. And if anything, and we can help people begin to understand that, that it’s and I say this to people and I know there are two sides to this, okay, because insane the one side of it there’s a danger that you minimize it, but it’s just some chemicals. Okay? On one level, it is just some chemicals that people have to get off of. And on the other side, it’s unbelievably dangerous and can be fatal. And that’s part of what we’re talking about today. So you’re talking about from the humanistic side, just get off these chemicals, reach out, get some help, get off of them because they are that dangerous.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah, the only sad part on this, David, is unfortunately for most people, the resources are not there. And, you know, when you add the lack of resources for treatment with the lack of resources for mental health, um, it’s, um, you know, it’s a death sentence for many people. Um, I think a day like today to create awareness is to whoever will listen to us out there that can make any changes is again we talk about so much in our podcast is mental health. Resources. This is your new United States of America. We all the money we have, you know, channeled into homeless, into addiction, into drugs. If half of this money has had gone to mental health, we would not be in the shape we are today. We cannot keep treating the consequences and ignoring the and ignore the problem. Mental health should start early. Resources should start early and should be available for educators on schools in our high schools. Middle schools. Um, people who are able to assess a situation and provide the resources because just assessing the situation actually makes people feel ashamed of who they are. I think when we the day like today hashtag #WeSeeYou you is so important because as you know, we see so many patients. People don’t feel seen, don’t feel heard, and they end up isolating, isolating because they feel so lonely on their suffering. Yeah, having to mask it because it becomes tolerable.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: What? Let’s talk a little bit about that. The hashtag #WeSeeYou as you brought that up. I think that’s a great sentiment, right? Especially with awareness is first of all, are we building awareness of people’s needs? Right? Are we building awareness that we’re aware of? Oh, you know, we have a comment that just came in from Ella. Michelle, thank you for posting Ella. Um, she says, I have a brother who has relapsed, I should say. They don’t don’t have an indication of anything about you as a person. So, um, they say I have a brother who has relapsed for the, for multiple times. He is currently in rehab again and it affects the entire family. And that’s a that’s a great point to put out there. Getting back to the idea that it touches everybody, you know, you don’t actually have a person who gets sick in life. Usually, you have a community or you have a family. Right. Who goes through that? Um, I appreciate you sharing that and anything, let’s say anything we want to share there about the the effects that we’re seeing, not just on individuals with the struggle of addiction directly, but those those around. I would say that the hashtag applies to them, to those who are in support systems as well. I don’t want to speak for the hashtag. But anyway, get your guys maybe reactions to Ella’s comments and just how that affects the caregivers and family members.
David Livingston, LMFT: I think that. Um, just kind of dovetailing on the thing I was talking about before in terms of self-consciousness, it makes the whole family more self-conscious and, and it brings the type of pain and that can end up feeling like a burden for the person who’s getting treatment. So we count on each other to for help. We count on each other to be, well, you know, it’s a great gift when everybody, you know, in your family, your friends and so forth are all doing well enough. And then you can sort of forget about each other and, you know, and let each other be in the background knowing everybody’s okay. When someone’s struggling or in danger, it shifts everything in a family or in a system. And it’s hard on everyone. So, you know, like you were saying, Claire, the process should be really figuring out how is this person going to get better, what’s working, what’s not working. And um, you know, and maybe I’ll talk about this later, but opioids are a tricky, tricky drug because of the fact that they make people feel so much better initially and actually can aid in people’s functioning and mimic. And I really do mean mimic that mimics health in the beginning. Okay. But then it goes up, it flattens out and then it goes down the other side. Okay. And with fentanyl that, you know, the danger is so profound at all levels. But, um, but it tricks the brain in some ways initially, and I think it registers deeply in the deep brain that this is okay, but it isn’t, and it leads nowhere.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah. And especially when we don’t find or haven’t found other things that help with that. Go ahead, Claire.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: No, that’s okay. And I think, like what Michelle’s comment about her brother, I think there is the factor of, um, understanding that sometimes he didn’t fail. Sometimes the treatment failed him Again, when we go back to we see you, maybe he hasn’t been seen yet. Maybe he hasn’t been properly diagnosed. You know, we often talk to patients that have been through several rehabilitation centers and they just keep relapsing. And the first question is, you know, were they ever diagnosed with any emotional issues, mental health issues, you know? Well, you know, when they were young, there’s always something there, you know. Um, did they follow up with the therapist? Well, not really. He just went to see and I understand, you know, especially with insurance that cover such a small part of mental health. So, um, most people don’t get the help they need, so they go to a rehab with, you know, 50 people. They sit in meetings. Um, they often. Are not seeing by themselves or with somebody that can truly diagnose the issue. And they leave feeling even worse because now they don’t have the drug to mask. The issue anymore. They are feeling like a failure. They fail the family. They failed the loved ones, you know, and it just snowballs. And every time they relapse. They it’s worse and is more dangerous and their self-esteem gets smaller. It just, you know, this revolving door of never getting well.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: It’s. Oh, Ella had just commented one thing. I’m at work trying to keep up. We really appreciate you being here. And you do have a follow-up for us. It says he’s done every possible drug and put it in his body in any way he can get it started with weed at the age of nine. Wow. And that highlights another problem, I think connected to what you’re saying is when we haven’t been seen and or people don’t see it at that, especially at that age, at that level, there’s just a lot of things that. Yeah. Are very, very.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Very, very.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Difficult.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It changes, you know, the chemistry of your brain, especially somebody using, you know, for a lengthy amount of time plus different drugs. It changes how their brain works. So the healing process will take time, too.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: And I think you can see where there’s also the holdup that happens when we have this kind of a problem. It does mess with our development also, especially at a young age, because we have a different experience developing that can also make people feel even more distinct, more-othered, if you will, that kind of thing. One thing I was thinking about as you were talking, Clare, even this concept of just we see we see you or seeing people around us with these struggles and issues, when we talk about overdose awareness, we generally associate that with death because that is the biggest risk. And there’s a huge epidemic of people who die. But I think for those who haven’t been caught up in opioid use, you know, you may not be familiar with the idea of the fact that a lot of people experience overdose without dying. Right. Um, and that that’s something that we don’t always talk about is those that survive overdose. And in some cases they might have small overdose experiences that they are alone and just by whatever, you know, grace and luck or whatever they survive And then it’s like, well, what if I had that over the weekend while I was sitting in my house alone? And do I tell anybody, especially if I don’t want them to know I was using opiates, Right. Um, and now I’m just carrying that around. There’s another trauma that’s happening within my youth. So I think you can see that where there’s more to health than just avoiding death. Right? I mean, to put it frankly.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah, you’re destroying your life in the process. You know, you’re destroying your relationships, you’re destroying your self-esteem. I mean, there’s so much that is involved. But if I could go back, Dwight, I think I would like David to talk about a bit more, especially because Michelle is talking about her brother, you know, the emotional maturity that, you know, that you miss when you use drugs, you know, since a very young age. And I think, David, we talked about that a lot, you know, especially with the young adults.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, Well, I mean, for particularly for boys that, you know, their brain doesn’t really fully develop till they’re 26 or right around there. So it’s a long developmental process. And, and, you know, on top of that you’re establishing, you know, so there’s there’s the biology of the development of the brain. And then there’s also how how your personality and your relationships develop, which is sustaining, you know, as a as a sustaining principle. So what happens is, is when you get involved with drug use, it becomes a default dependency. So you could say that a lot of element is developing healthy dependency, healthy dependency on friends, family, on your capacity to learn and master things, and your brain develops along these lines. It’s actually evolutionarily how the brain develops is through relationships significantly, which is why treatment ultimately treatment has to do with the depth and the way you develop a relationship with the people you’re working with. And that’s a long-term sustainable thing. It’s not something that just happens quickly. No development happens just as a short-term, quick thing you can get you can get you can have a good experience. It can give you momentum moving forward, but it has to all development is a sustained process, you know, and there’s many phases to it. So, um, as you talk about maturity, that’s, that’s the, the process really for all of us.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Excellent as we’re talking about awareness and and advocacy as well. One of the things that people can do, it sounds like we may not think of some of these things as supporting overdose. You know, fighting overdose. But one of the things people can do is contribute to the local mental health aspects of their community, whether you have community mental health centers that could use volunteers or even donations or whether you’re just raising awareness or even the way you vote. Right. If you vote for people who care about mental health. And so I think sometimes, once again, we view these as distinct. I even worked at an agency once where we had kind of the mental health part of the building and the substance abuse part of the building. And as I worked there, it was interesting how the building parts not physically, they didn’t physically shove the building together, but the parts of which therapists worked in which hallway and which clients turned right or turned left when they walk in the building, thankfully, became so much more integrated than when I first started working there. It was like, Oh, you got pulled over with DUI. You go that way, Oh, you’ve got mental health trauma, go that way. It’s like, well, it should just it’s the same way, right? I mean, we’re hopefully addressing the same things, but as far as awareness and helping people, if you’re raising awareness and access to mental health care in whatever way you can, you’re helping, you are helping. It’s still under this banner that we’re talking about, I think.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: What thoughts do you guys have about what people can do to promote awareness and what is the proper way for them to observe? Um. Oh. All of a sudden, I channeled Ebenezer Scrooge for a second to keep International Overdose Awareness Day in their heart all year long. That might sound like a weird thing to do, but. Or a weird, weird way to say it. But what can people do to raise awareness and keep that going?
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: You know, um, I think we’re living in an age where, um, we possess such technology. You know, it is so easy to spread, you know, awareness, education. Now we have AI, AI that can, you know, find the most effective way to reach, especially, you know, young kids, adults, young adults. Um. I think we need to request or in a way even demand that the social media that makes billions of dollars from us, you know, participate in this awareness, create those, you know, commercials that show how old I am. Uh.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Create commercials. What? What are those?
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Create the messages that will provide people the education they need and save some lives.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: I think we have to talk as well about the difference of overdose, poisoning, and suicide. Um, I think all of those, you know, are thrown in the same bucket where they are not especially overdose and poisoning. You know, I think one we call, um, overdose a poisoning overdose. We’re shifting, shifting the blame from the dealer to the victim, you know, and. We are forgetting what is fueling this crisis in the first place. So if you put together the lack of mental health resources, you know, open borders, the influx of fentanyl, the lack of education and awareness through our, you know, social media and the lack of understanding in our schools with young people trying drugs. Young people always tried everything, but he didn’t meant that they died. He didn’t mean meant they got poisoned. And I think we need to understand the difference.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah. And sometimes when people are. I always use this word when people are “othered” and we think of them as belonging to this other group over here that’s never gone well historically, I should say, with any group. But when we look at someone and we say, Oh, there’s this group of people with addiction, they’re over here and we treat them that way, we ignore a lot of that. And it’s possible to be. You know, to be doing some things that are unwise or self-destructive behaviors and to still have the right not to be murdered by people giving you poisonous drugs. Right. I mean, it might sound very simple to say, but I think the way we carry ourselves and the way we talk about these things is that we don’t often call. We don’t call it what it is of like, oh, here’s tainted or, you know, laced drugs that are laced with something that will probably kill you and I’ll sell it anyway. Well, that’s a murder or that’s at least, you know, I mean, well, I don’t know any other way to say it, legally speaking, especially. But. But we don’t always talk about it that way. We still talk about it in terms of like, isn’t it sad that they did that, which it is sad when someone does something self-destructive? But I guess I’m just trying to say we’re I’m circling back to the stigma is what I guess by saying that is that that stigma covers up a great deal of another complexity to it, which is the the recklessness with other people’s lives that’s that’s being done there. And hopefully, hopefully we don’t contribute to the idea that we don’t notice that problem because we don’t value those people’s lives enough as we should, if that makes sense.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It makes a huge amount of sense and I truly believe that this is just going to change when we as a society, you know, shift our priorities, putting the well-being, you know, of citizens above all else, above, you know, political agendas, above stigma, above judgment, above, you know, financial gains. The moment we as a society. Start seeing people recognizing the issues with and making well, the well-being of, you know, our citizens a priority. I think things will change. Right.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, I have a good friend of mine who had a friend whose son was thriving at college, did not have any history of addiction, did one line of coke at a party one night just to mess around with some friends and laced with fentanyl and died just tragically. So it’s and not that his life or anyone else’s life is more or less important. Whether they’re not they’re struggling with addiction or not, it doesn’t matter. But I bring this up so everybody understands just how dangerous it is. I don’t I mean, because part of what we’re doing today is bringing awareness to the level of danger. So you’re talking about just. Just a young, young kid messing around. Not not. And not thinking he’s going to not even thinking it’s going to be destructive or dangerous. Just thinking he’s you know, he’s going to get high for a for an hour or whatever it is. And. Okay. And I get it. You’re still taking a risk or whatever, but not the risk you’re imagining. Right. It’s and so it’s it’s changed. And I think it’s you know, and I point this out specifically so that people understand just and that like you’re saying, Claire, that’s poisoning, okay. That people are being poisoned. That’s not that’s a whole different thing than has existed at any other time that I’ve seen in my lifetime that I did not hear about or see that type of thing going on. Um, so. So it’s dangerous.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Yeah. We actually treated a young adult a couple months ago, David, that his brother who actually did very well with treatment and stayed off drugs for over two years and started college and had anxiety issues, but was just, you know, flourishing and was actually in Santa Barbara. And one of the nights he was at a friend’s house and his anxiety just started. A friend offered him a Xanax. And the Xanax had fentanyl in it, and that was the end of that. And this was somebody that was doing, you know, wonderfully he was fighting his demons was in school. And after two years of just, you know, succeeding in every part of his life, you know, a lot of effort, one Xanax, you know, took away his future. Is the reality we’re living in today is it is so tragic and is so preventable. Yeah. And people are just not talking about it enough.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: We have a question that that popped up here from Marina that I think ties it very much in with what you’re saying. Uh, thank you, Marina. How valid are my concerns about everything potentially being laced with fentanyl nowadays? My 14-year-old son doesn’t take me seriously when I warn him about the dangers, even with vapes he might get from his friends. And that’s, you know, that’s that’s the thing we’re kind of historically used to. If someone’s like, well, I’m hanging with friends or I’m going to get a little high or be a little, you know, rebellious or things like that, um, it’s never been more dangerous than that. And the idea that you know, oh, and when you’re in that mode of addictive use, you don’t necessarily think, let me be careful what I’m putting in my body. We just don’t think of it that way. So first, what are your guys thoughts about this? First part of the question? How valid are those concerns? When we’re saying it? Maybe someone’s like, Oh, really? Come on.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: I wish I had the data because I was reading about it last week and, um, but the, the amount of like the Percocets out there, um, when, say out there I mean that you don’t buy from a pharmacy. Um, I, if I’m not mistaken, it’s nearly 80% of them has fentanyl traces in it.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: So of the illicit of the illicit ones, Yeah.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, I can tell.
David Livingston, LMFT: Good.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: It’s real. And I think that’s what I go back to. I and I go back to. I mean, these kids are stuck to their phones. TikTok, not Facebook anymore, but Instagram. You know, everybody talks about, you know, how they want to help, especially the social media, you know, the heads of the social media. This is it. Reach out for these kids, make videos, make any kind of effort, um, of, you know, things that will educate them. Things that they they will believe you’re talking to them. Things that, um, they will take it as the truth because parents can say whatever they want. And historically, kids say, oh, you don’t understand me.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Well, and also, you know, the, the, the quality of fake fill-in-the-blank nowadays is it’s better. I mean, that even crosses industry, right? You can say with anything knockoff anything. And so that definitely applies to drugs. You have pill presses, you have you can go online and see what different you can look up and see what a Xanax looks like if you want to sell Xanax, but you don’t have any and you might be able I haven’t done this, so I don’t mean to, but, you know, there’s ways that you can make something look like something or the other side of that.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: The ones, the illicit ones look pretty perfect. Yeah.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Especially when they’re fake opiates made. And I had read something the other day and this was amongst the let me so let me subpopulation the DEA as they’ve seized street drugs and they’ve tested them. Obviously some of them are not opioids. They are the pills that people are buying. Some of the pills were fake. They were mostly fentanyl and of that group. So shrink it down. Subpopulation of that group of fake pills that had fentanyl in them. It was 1 in 6 that were fatal for just about anybody. If you took that pill, you die. Right. And so that’s there and the industrialization and the people having tools and being able to. So, for example, when I was a kid, nobody was like, Hey, I got this vape cartridge that doesn’t really have a lot of smell and appearance to it, but it’s got pot in it. Woo! It was like there were certain, you know, just practical restraints of people being able to get Ahold of things that obviously didn’t even exist when I was a kid. But to have that now and say, oh, my friend has this cartridge, they say it has this in it. They were told that by whoever gave it to them, who might have been told that by whoever they bought it from. And so it may have passed through several pairs of hands that don’t know that it may have toxic additional elements to it. And so we don’t really know what it is. And then, as we put it before, this is the most dangerous time we’ve had in, I don’t know, my lifespan to do that without knowing for sure where something came from. And when you’re buying things illicitly, you never really know for sure where they came from, let’s be honest, you know?
David Livingston, LMFT: Right. And that I was talking to somebody recently and in a who had just gotten off of opioids and they were talking about how hard it was to the whole process of being on them and so forth. And they were saying, I don’t I could never do this again. And I’m not. But, you know, if I ever did, that would be it for me. I just would I couldn’t I couldn’t I couldn’t manage going through all of this again. And I would just kind of throw in the towel. I would just die on opiate type thing. And I and that’s not the first time I’ve heard that. I’ve heard that many times because, one, the cycle does really tire people out more than they imagine. Okay. But but here’s the other side of it all. While awareness is critical, it’s not enough, if you ask me. So part of what I said to him is I said, the hell the hell that’s the case. You’re not going to die on it. You get off of you get off of the damn chemicals, no matter what. I don’t want you to ever have to go through that again because it’s nothing but hard on you. There’s ten times better options than that. And. And so but but it’s critical that we use our anger not punitively not to make people feel badly about themselves, but to help them understand how to use that protectively because there is an inability. And one of the things that happens is a stigma with this is there’s too much, there’s too much, um, kind of like shaking your, your, your finger at people for doing badly than rather using that intensity to truly help them get in, stay in, feel deserving and, and use that in. Ten city protectively, and they need that. And so awareness begins it. But there has to be even a deeper commitment, a more intense commitment. And that’s really how people get better from what I’ve seen.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Yeah. And it’s interesting how another facet to awareness that we’re talking about is people finding out information. And it’s funny because nowadays whenever we use the phrase don’t really know a lot about that. One of the things we have to remember is that’s optional nowadays for good or for bad. I mean, the technology and all those things have a lot of downsides. But if my if my friend or spouse or child is going through something, you know, I can figure out and learn more about it, or if I just want to be one of those people who’s more aware. Google some stuff. Sit down now. Yeah, be careful. But you know, if you get into some of those places, some of the national organizations or some of the major clinics or some of those or email, you know, email us at our podcast, we’ll make sure to answer your question, too. But, you know, there’s resources out there is what I mean. I mean, just look up “addiction podcast”. There’s there’s a number of us out there, right? And so there’s different things that you can do to learn and to be aware. And raising awareness can mean, uh, you know, doing stuff. And as you put it, David, I think that raising awareness can launch into actually doing things about it to help. On the other side of awareness is raising our personal awareness, even if that’s all that we start out with is also good. Because if we know something, we’re going to tend to do something or we’re going to want to do something which can then lead to doing something right.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yes. Yes. You. If you’re going to get better at anything. I mean, as we were saying, it’s developmental. So you grow out of you grow, you grow out of everything, Right? So to get better in anything is a growing process. To grow and really develop in anything is a prolonged, sustained commitment.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: I think being I think creating awareness is being part of something bigger than yourself. Um, you know, being less self-involved and more, you know, involved on, uh, on society, on helping others I think makes you feel good. I think. Makes you.
Clare Waismann, M-RAS/SUDCC II: Um. I think especially.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: We lost. It was just a few of the words you were saying, Clare. You were talking about, I think that sense of community and that, you know, that sense of that connection that people have, I think. And then we lost a little bit of what you were saying. And we have you back on yet? If we don’t, then that’s. Happens as well. I’ll just add on to what you’re saying there with that sense of togetherness that people also do crave. Um, I’ve heard it said recently that, you know, we run into a lot of things in our world and in our field with these kinds of things that have to do with what they call what they usually call self-help and how there’s really no self-help. It’s really there always is a community, a community of professionals and treatment people that we are relying on a community of family and basically just the people, the people that are around us. So, um, let’s see, as we’re, as we’re coming close on, on it for today, is there anything else we want to say before we wrap up today? David, do you have any parting words of wisdom?
David Livingston, LMFT: What I would say is. Might seemingly sound like a contradiction to what I just said. You know, so so we’re because we’re dynamic beings. Part of it is we need to be able to take things seriously, work at them hard, you know, and do them. But then, you know, like when a treatment is working well, I would say you go into the session, you there’s a period of self-consciousness, you’re working things at a certain level and then you get up, you walk out the door, you close the door and you can forget about it all for a while. Because a lot of times what people are taking drugs for is to forget about things, to make life feel a little less, to make it a little easier, to be able to feel like they can play some and forget some. And that’s just as critical. So so in a good treatment, there’s this back and forth between engaging, growing, being, handling enough self-consciousness and then the opportunity to sort of shut that door, walk out, forget about things for a while, and until that dynamic gets sort of. You get comfortable with both aspects of that. So maybe that’s that’s a place for me to leave it.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Well, hopefully, everybody out there and thank you so much for those who listened, whether you’re joining us during the live time or whether you’re joining us in the future as this video is floating around, doesn’t matter. We love you and we’re glad that you’re here and glad that you’re the kind of person I think you’re showing yourself and showing, hopefully, those around you that you are the kind of person who wants to be aware and engaged and helpful with the issues of addiction. Just by tuning in, just by educating yourself and by joining this community of awareness that we’re trying to promote. And I’ll just echo one last thing about what David was saying, too. I think that awareness is great, but then hopefully that awareness will motivate behavior behaviors that we will do and go out and help. And that’s the only way these things are going to happen. So, um, as, as we sign off for today, just want to remind everybody, the podcast that we we host on a regular basis is Addiction Recovery and Mental Health, which is a podcast by the the Wiseman method, medically assisted opioid treatment programs and for rapid detox as well. And we talk about lots of things that have to do with that. We love to hear from you as well. If you have questions or thoughts you’d like to hear us address because like I said, we want to keep awareness and education going all the time, all year round. So definitely hit us up at [email protected]. Opiates.com is the website as well lots of information there and you can get at us on all social medias at opiates as well. So thanks again and thank you. We lost Claire just a second ago before we end up but thank you David, and glad to be with you today.
David Livingston, LMFT: Yeah, glad to be with you. And thank you, Dwight, as always. And goodbye to Clare. And it’s it’s always good to. To have these discussions. I appreciate it.
David Livingston, LMFT: Excellent.
Dwight Hurst, LPC: Well, thank you so much to everybody. And we will be back with you again soon. Bye bye. Bye.