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Welcome to This Awful/Awesome Life! My name is Frances Joyce. I am the publisher and editor of this magazine. We'll be exploring different topics each month to inform, entertain and inspire you. Meet new authors, sharpen your brain and pick up a few tips on life, love, entertaining and business. Enjoy and please share!

Pieces of the Puzzle: An Epidemic Overview by Patricia Petrusik

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There are as many pieces to the opioid epidemic as there are reasons why people abuse a substance. We need to stop and think what each of us can do to be a better person. Blaming ourselves or everyone else but ourselves is not the answer. We are fighting the forces of power, ignorance and greed. The FDA has a difficult time regulating drugs once they are approved. It is difficult to regulate the behavior of physicians and consumers. It is difficult to regulate the behavior of pharmaceutical companies. Companies are allowed to make profits but not when it means killing people rather than healing. It is an ongoing effort to regulate the dealing of drugs. You can build a wall but it won't keep drugs out of the United States. You cannot talk to your children about drugs but sure as heck, somebody else will talk to them. You can say that THE SOBER CAT and all books on drug prevention are not a good fit for your community but there isn't a community where there hasn't been an overdose death. You can keep books on drug prevention out of your library and say that your granddaughter would never take drugs. But, somebody's granddaughter will take drugs and you have done nothing to help stop the drug epidemic.  We are dealing with Physicians who never had a single class on substance abuse in all their years of education. We are dealing with drug dealers who only see money and not the people they kill.

We are dealing with patients who only want their pain to stop and don't care what else they are doing to themselves. We are an instant society. We want a quick fix to our problems. When you are under the influence, problems can go away. But your problems all come back and twofold when the substance goes away. Let's start the dialogue about the opioid epidemic. Insight is step one.

Is it an Umbrella or a Parasol? by Fran Joyce

Go Fly a Kite! by Fran Joyce