Last night at a lovely, quiet graduation dinner party in a private home on Grosse Ile, Michigan, I heard one graduate use a new label for his generation.
I laughed at the black humor ~ and immediately felt it would have struck me as hilarious if I didn’t know how grave the consequences of underage substance abuse truly are. In 2013 the rate of occurrence is pandemic. Every two minutes it seems there is some stupid new trick to get high and half the thrill is is toying with death. You may remember in the Fall of 2011 it was K-2 (“Spice”, “bath salts”). Partakers experienced psychotic breaks leading to violent murders, death.
According to drugfree.org, the next sick “IT” is:
If regular, 21st century, middle-class American families, educators and communities are unable to inform and prepare teens of the extreme dangers of using ANY mind~altering substance…then there really ought be a law!
Basic biology tells us that the human brain stem is the primary message center to the rest of the body of what it must do to stay alive, whether asleep or not. “Heart, keep beating. Lungs, keep breathing. Liver, keep filtering…” and the like.
If an individual finds entertainment in spinning in circles until they experience a dizziness so high they fall down, not a big deal.
But if that same person ingests so much of an opiate or depressive substance, like alcohol or Rx painkillers, their brain stem is saturated and shuts down, and the survival maintenance messages don’t get out to the major organs. Then it’s time to call 911. Or the coroner. That person just experienced a fatal overdose.
I remember a high school classmate who died a few years after graduation because he got so blasted drinking at a party. When he passed out he landed on his back. Letting him “sleep it off”, non-judgmentally everyone left him alone; maybe even covered him with a blanket. Evidently, no one at the party knew to turn him on his side so if he threw up (as the brain stem would have TOLD his digestive system to do) he would not have aspirated ~ that is, drowned in his own vomit.
That is one incident that the law would have been his friend. The law of gravity would at least have taken over, clearing the material away from his airway. The carpet would have been a mess, but he would have been able to continue to breathe, and still be alive today barring some other calamity.
Applied information: we should be teaching about this stuff starting in the middle schools at the very least. Along with social coping skills, 15 ways to say NO and still keep your friends…(this is grist for another post another day!)
- Your story could save a life | drugfree.org (gloucestercitynews.net)