STOP. THINK. PREVENT. BLOG.
The Construction Industry has twice the rate of alcohol and drug misuse as the United States as a whole. This affects safety, quality, production, insurance costs, and morale in our industry. This is measurable.
Immeasurable is "presenteeism" as workers who show up dutifully every day for work are distracted by the pain, the hurt, the anger associated with caring for their loved ones they simply can't seem to help. In the background, every day, families lose homes to medical bills. Divorce is common. Siblings are depressed, or act out.
Next week, on Wednesday the 26th of July, I will rappel 22 stories off of the Hartford Hilton to help prevent addiction.
Stories - over the past month after signing up for the Shatterproof Hartford Rappel Challenge, I have spoken to Dads who have cried as they spoke of the struggles of their sons. Uncles who have spoken of their nieces. Near death experiences. Multiple rehabs. Family devastation. Fast approaching 22 heartfelt, emotional stories of personal heartache and struggle – and some successes. Rappelling the Hilton has become a metaphor for overcoming challenges, and embracing action.
Addiction is not simply something that happens to "them". It affects all of us, in some way, shape or form. It is in our homes, our schools, our churches, and our workplaces.
Babies are affected. This story from the New York Times is heart-rending: https://mobile.nytimes.com/2017/07/13/health/opioid-addiction-babies.html Babies!
Addiction is not a choice. It is a disease. It can be put into remission with support, medical care, and counseling. I truly believe our "Higher Power" plays a tremendous role in recovery as well, when His message is heard and embraced.
Treatment is changing and improving as more research is being done. Folks like Shatterproof and Aware Recovery Care are pressing at a regional and national level - pressing Congress, pressing Insurance Companies, pressing Caregivers, and State legislatures. Gary Mendell, Founder of Shatterproof, is an outspoken advocate on the Substance-Use-Disorder-Treatment-Task-Force. They are teaming up with organizations like CIGNA, because they all recognize the importance of Prevention, and Intervention. There are so many more, families, friends, and small recovery care practices like Oceanside Recovery in Niantic, CT. Professionals and lay people. Working together to push back against this increasingly deadly scourge that affects homes AND workplaces.
Every FOUR minutes a mom loses a child to addiction. How many moms work for you, or with you?
We all have our charities of choice, or need. Many of you know that our daughter has Crohn’s Disease, and our oldest son has Type 1 Diabetes. We support these causes wholeheartedly, in a search for a cure, and proper care. As a consequence, we also support Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the staff of which has helped care for our kids for nearly 18 years. Many of you have contributed to our fundraising efforts – and THANK YOU. We continue to receive fliers and emails for so many causes that we simply can’t support, given time and expense. We pick and choose, based on applicability – and ability to make change happen. Any cause that can say, and show, that one hundred percent (100%) of every dollar raised increases funding for the prevention, treatment, and recovery of an affliction demands our attention…and one that can show concrete results, gets our attention as well. Some of you have probably reached “charity overload”, which I can fully understand – but I urge you to consider this effort – it can affect SO many, in so many ways.
With this particular cause, I have personal and professional reasons for being involved, not the least of which are the stories and the statistics referenced above. Many of you have similar experiences, or know someone who does. The news bristles with stories of this expanding problem, and ever-increasing fatality rates.
Next week, my teammates and I will step off of a 22 story building. I will have the support of family, friends, co-workers, all of you, and many complete strangers. I will also have ropes. But it will still be a leap of Faith.
I encourage you to join us. Let your voice be heard.
Together, we are Shatterproof.
If you haven’t joined us yet, please do…with as many e-mails and social media postings I have made over the past month, even $5 a person could raise THOUSANDS. Grass roots count in this important initiative! Please pass on as you see fit!
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