Red Ribbon Train Wreck

prescription pills with a red ribbon on themWell, the community in Manatee County, Florida, as reported in the online periodical, “” last October, 2009, is united by a red ribbon breakfast against prescription drug abuse by teens. They say their mission is to be “the wall.”

I guess they’re going to be a beribboned wall. “Pounding the pavement” with their ribbons and bows.

Not really sure how that’s going to help the estimated 2,500 teens SEEKING illegal prescription drugs, but that’s their plan, anyway. Guess it’s better than nothing. It might make the teens laugh too hard to take drugs.

The Connecticut Hartford Courant reported this month that although a federal survey says teen drug use is down, teens don’t see drugs as all that terrible, which the feds find vaguely disturbing, natch.


While I am terrific at picking out things like computers, colors, solutions to most problems, etc., there is one thing I am really, truly horrible at in my life.

Choosing boyfriends.

Two spectacular mistakes in my past spring immediately to mind.

One was a crack addict, desperately in need of drug treatment.

The other was a FORMER crack addict and blazingly explosive alcoholic. (He could seriously have used some genuine alcohol rehabilitation – but then, one has to want the help.)

While I was under no delusions I could CHANGE either of these idiots, I was delusional enough not to NOTICE either gigantic flaw until I was in too deep to get out fast enough.

The soft HEART in me, unfortunately, softened my HEAD.

The thing was? Both of these <ahem> fine gentlemen would have done well to have gotten help in the teen years. BEFORE they stumbled along and cut swathes of destruction through the lives of women like me, and others, before and sadly, after me.

(Don’t, whenever you sluff off a moron, wish you could phone the next poor victim and warn her? Totally NOT out of jealousy, but rather out of pity for the next girl? As in: “Honey, sit down: Let me just tell you what this jackass is REALLY like…” Ah, if only they would listen…)

Early course correction. When I was a teacher at a college, the math department had this GREAT picture of a train wreck.

“This train was only off by .0000023 degrees.”

But it was enough, over time, to wreck the train.

I loved it. I use it as my own parenting philosophy.

Get help early on with addiction recovery. Save the teen, and save the adult a world of misery – and the rest of the people’s lives they touch. Including your own.


Filed under America, confidence, family, health, humor, kids, life, love, news, parenting, people, relationships, reporting

7 responses to “Red Ribbon Train Wreck

  1. Well-written. Thanks. As someone who has struggled with an addiction myself, I really appreciate your blog.

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  5. I have a brother that died from drug over dose. It gives me comfort to know other people are writing about drug addiction. The more we know the more we can help people with addiction.

  6. Usually I try to have a humorous take on life, but losing a loved one is nothing to laugh at. My heart goes out to you – I myself have lost loved ones to addictions. One person I know simply lost his soul; it’s hard to say which is worse – but I don’t have to tell YOU.

    I’m so very sorry to hear about your loss; I really, really am. You’re right. People need to know addiction is a disease, not a character flaw. Best of luck to you. They say time heals all wounds, but time sure takes its bloody time about it, doesn’t it?

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