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Labor Day Sobriety and Mental Health – ARR43

by Kevin on September 2, 2014

labor day sobriety Staying Sober During Labor Day Celebrations

In Today’s episode, we talk a little about Robin Williams Death, Mental Health And Labor Day Sobriety.

With Labor Day celebrations around the corner, it’s important to surround ourselves around people who understand your sobriety battle and offer to help you in anyway possible. We usually don’t recommend attending celebrations where there is a lot of alcohol being served or drugs being consumed. However, if you are surrounded by like minded people who are in recovery themselves, then its more than likely you will not be bitten by the temptation bug. It’s important to stay strong and have the support network at your side. Enjoy the holiday sober and look forward to many years of sobriety holidays in your future.

Sadly, we lost a great comedic icon, Robin Williams. It had been reported, he had Parkinson’s, but later revealed he was also suffering from Lewy Body Dementia. Interesting enough, this diagnosis has similar symptoms of  Parkinson’s Disease and sometimes is misdiagnosed. What is Lewy Body Dementia? Well, it has symptoms such as being confused and disoriented and exhibits unusual behavior. Robin did display some unusual behavior before his death. There are reports he kept a few watches in socks. He wanted to protect these watches from harm. The dementia portion of Lewy leads to cognitive impairment which makes everyday life, difficult. Simple things like paying bills, eating, keeping good hygiene and trouble sleeping are just some of the difficult tasks for someone suffering from LBD. There is also more severe symptoms such as hallucinations, which may be the result of Robin’s suicide. Based on lab results from samples taking from his brain during an autopsy showed, Robin had the tiny LBD protein deposits on the nerve cells of the brain. They also discovered, he had traces of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s through the same discovery. This leads us into our next discussion… Mental heath.

Mental health is a hush hush subject in our society. Sadly, it’s something that has needed to be addressed since our first veterans fought in a world war and came back with forms of PTSD. In the past, it was like a black mark on the family, giving notions of embarrassment having a mentally ill family member. I think the time has come, that we have a serious conversation about mental illness and begin to address it immediately. It’s time to act and stop sitting around discussing the politics of it. We have had school shootings because of mental illness, various other murders due to mental illness.

I have personally dealt with many levels of mental illness through my previous career. I will tell you, in many cases, these people have a way of surprising you just when everyone starts to give up on them. They portray moments of brilliance… passion, extreme intelligence and have a great imagination. Some of the other things i can recall is their wonderful art abilities, or use of technology such as computers and tablets. Its simply amazing to watch unfold when you begin to first interact with them. I really hope, mental illness gains the same momentum that AIDS & Cancer research began to see. With the government stepping in on our private healthcare system, i think this responsibility needs to be placed in their lap.

One thing i will say when it comes to government interaction within the healthcare system, is addiction. Addiction is finally being addressed by the new appointed drug czar, Michael Botticelli. I caught a really interesting piece on 60 minutes about the new drug czar. Unfortunately, you need to subscribe to 60 minutes in order to view it online. However, you can catch a rerun of it or find it on demand. I highly recommend watching it.

Mr. Botticelli has a long track record with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, where he was in charge of overseeing substance abuse programs. He has demonstrated his commitment to advancing more science-based and compassionate drug policies. He is removing the bad associated with addiction, or those following a conviction from drug abuse. He is a big supporter of Naloxone, which is a drug used to reverse the affects of a opiate overdose (whether prescription or heroin).

In my personal opinion, the whole war on drugs that was started in the 80’s has been nothing more than a huge waste of money. I am not sure how you can enforce the trafficking of narcotics when you have zero border control. I think the first step should of been finding a way to secure the border to keep the bad out, but leaving a system in place to allow the good in. Meaning, twart the smuggling of narcotics and bad people, but allow those good people in and using a common sense approach to it. The funny thing about government, there is very little common sense happening.



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