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2014-03-27 - 9:41 a.m.

Last week there was a snow day in which I hoped to bring my girls skiing. Unfortunately, although their Dad was amenable to that, as school was closed, the fact Loudoun County had a driving ban until 2pm that day made it not happen.

So on Friday Pocahontas and I headed up to Bear Creek Mountain Resort where we used the two lift tickets I had bought at a school fundraising auction at about 1/2 of the normal price.

Pocahontas offered to drive and I said "Great, I have a lift ticket and a snowboard for you."

So she snowboarded while I skied.

She snowboards about as well as she sings, but it was fun to watch her enjoy the challenge; just as much fun as it was to sing Karaoke along with her which we did a few months ago when the local bar that used to have Karaoke every Friday night and was about a block away from me closed.

I didn't go there often, but did for dinner on occasion as it was so close and the chef of that restaurant bar was very good. I in fact knew the owner who is the nicest guy in the world that took a hiatus from the restaurant industry for his health and drove one of the VA Regional Transit buses for about two years.

It was sad to see his restaurant bar close as he and his brother in law went into business there about three years ago. It was nice place, but just never picked up enough business. It was kind of the only local "Cheers" in town with the same few regulars.

One of my friends used to hang out there so on occasion I would go in with him. It was always a really nice place to be. He however quit drinking so it was actually really weird when the attorney, Pocahontas, and I went out to enjoy Karaoke and dance the night of its closing that he was not there. I swear every other time I went there with anyone else we used to run into him!

I also have fond memories of bringing Kato there. Kato has apparently also quit drinking which is good and I hope for both of them the choice sticks. I mean BOTH are alcoholics, but only one seems to have full knowledge and understanding of that. My friend here in town is still in denial I believe but quit so as to help HIS FAMILY members, as one was overtly struggling so he also stopped drinking in support. The thing is he SAID he stopped but when I talked to him not all that long ago I could TELL he had not maintained it. It was about a month after our Karaoke night, which fell about two weeks after he was sober. HE is one of those who has the rum and coke or scotch after the workday and would never think he is an alcoholic. I think however, he does not realize just how ingrained alcohol is in his daily life. Addiction is so much more apparent when one goes down the extreme path and starts being unable to function in the world, can't work, can't think of anything but the addiction that overcomes their own will almost. My friend is a successful professional who works every day, doesn't shirk any responsibility, has raised a family, and in fact has a child who is currently on dean's list in an engineering program at a very well respected college.

It is not only those who are not successful that are plagued by addiction. Some are able to navigate in the world QUITE Well but STILL Have that crutch. It concerns me as it just erodes one's health and while I think that while working and otherwise productive the addict can harness their addictive personality into work and other productive things- but it is much harder to manage if alone with just the self and no other obligations pulling one OUT OF THE SELF.

So I do think that some working professionals hit real crisis when they get older, when their kids are grown, and when they face retirement.

IT just makes me sad to think of anyone taking years off their life- yet some just have such trouble overcoming this.

Guess this topic is on my mind as yet another oxycotin bust with charge of possession with intent to distribute.

This was a technology professional who sat on committee for local government and won an award for community service just last year.

Addiction does not discriminate. I think in this climate of oxycotin being the killer of our kids, that it is just terrifying.

I believe those who experiment with drug usage now take a risk that prior generations did not take. I seriously doubt that so many straight A students DECIDED at some point to take oxycotin.

I DO believe they decided to drink, or decided to take a toke of pot thinking it was not harmful. I DO Think the PRIOR myth of marijuana being a gateway drug, which IN THE PAST did not seem to have much evidence, in this climate should be seriously looked at again.

I simply think that if in an impaired state one is not able to make well thought out decisions as they are when NOT impaired. I suspect the first introduction to HARD DRUGS, which are killing teens in epidemic proportion along the East Coast, was when these kids were under the influence of pot or alcohol that they did not think very risky. I strongly suspect the first introduction to harder drugs may have been via a LACED form of something a kid THOUGHT Was something else and WAS NOT AFRAID OF.

I don't like living in fear. I consciously make choices NOT to make fear based decisions. When it comes to the area of experimenting with drugs and alcohol however, I believe there is not ENOUGH HEALTHY FEAR among our young people.

It is truly a different world today.

I had NO intention of writing about this topic. When I write however I suppose that which I need to let go of comes forth. With two teens in college and four other children who are either teenagers or approaching the teen years I do find this to be the #1 Critical public health issue we have to face.

This is from the CDC three years ago.

The problem since then has just escalated. Yes, prescription painkillers are killing more than heroin and cocaine combined. We are also finding that now there is a heroin epidemic. I think the stats will come out to support the reality of this crisis such that term "epidemic" will no longer placed in quotes as if calling this problem an epidemic is questionable. Mexico has increased its heroin production 600% in the last 10 years according to this:

And here is a LOCAL report which is thankfully calling attention to this problem in MY AREA:

Those popped up with a very quick search on heroin epidemic.

When heroin is reportedly as easy to get in almost ANYWHERE in America as ordering a pizza which I have seen mentioned in a few articles, our public health officials, police and local community leaders and PARENTS Need to REALLY PAY ATTENTION AND EDUCATE our children and our communities.

The Gov. of VT nixed talking about anything else and ONLY Talked about the heroin addiction this Fall as they have had an unprecedented public health crisis . He indicated, "Last year nearly twice as many people here died from heroin overdoses as the year before. Since 2000, Vermont has seen an increase of more than 770 percent in treatment for opiate addictions, up to 4,300 people in 2012."

The thing is, this is not just an epidemic is VT, it is nationwide.

The nation as a whole had better start paying attention and doing something about it.

I suppose this terrifies me as my daughter is in a well know college in rural Vermont in a town that has been torn apart by this. I know her college is its own little world. I understand that and she CLAIMS this is NOT a problem on her campus.

I tell her not to be so naive.

Her mother is not.

I hope and pray to GOD she is not. She is NOT in a place where experimentation with drugs would be SAFE. Yes, that may have been the case on most college campus environments just a generation ago.

Now, to experiment with drugs is akin to playing Russian Roulette.
Perhaps EVEN MORESO if you happen to be in rural Vermont.

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