Alternatives To Opioids

By D. S. Mitchell & Trevor K. McNeil

Definitions: *Opiate and opioid are often used interchangeably although that interchange of usage is not precisely accurate. The following would be more correct:

Opiate: A drug (such as morphine, codeine or heroin) containing or derived from opium or the opium poppy, used to alleviate pain, or induce sleep or euphoria.

Opioid: A synthetic or semi-synthetic drug producing an opium-like effect, often prescribed for the alleviation of moderate to severe pain; a prescription painkiller in the opiate class.

Balancing Act

With drugs, even those considered alternatives to opioids, there is always a risk. Even a “safe” drug such as caffeine.  Caffeine is regularly consumed by children, and has had documented negative effects. The same goes for nicotine, deemed for the most part “safe” except when smoked by children. Some of those effects include paranoia, muscle spasms and heart arrhythmia’s. The question becomes how much of a risk is there; and are the positive effects worth the negative risks?

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RESPONSE to “IN MY OPINION: Clean and Sober”

RESPONSE: to “Clean and Sober”

By David Shadrick


Hello, my name is Reverend David Shadrick but I’d appreciate it if you would just call me Dave. I run a small non-profit called Street Level Resources. I would like to respond to Jennifer’s Troy’s two recent articles; “Homeless Helping Homeless” and her follow-up article, “Clean and Sober.”

For Education

Education is my goal, not conflict. Most people understand that a large part of the homeless population are mentally ill, or are alcoholics or drug addicts, or all three. The reality of homelessness is that 85% of the chronically homeless are mentally ill.  “Chronically homeless” is a category that describes people who are homeless in excess of one year.

Who Are We Talking About?

I’m not sure how the homeless participants for the Kenton Women’s Village were selected.  Did the project contain only handpicked people who complied with certain prerequisites?  Were they required to be clean and sober? Were they on prescribed anti-psychotic medications? The reason I ask is because Jennifer’s results are very good when the demographic for the homeless is applied. One to two participants out of such a group of 14 is good.

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Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

Please Stay, Suicide Is Permanent

D. S. Mitchell

Just The Facts

If you are between 15-35, suicide is the second leading cause of death for your age group.  For all age groups, suicide is responsible for more deaths than murder and natural disasters, combined.  Men take their own lives four times as often as women. Many men sadly would rather be dead than seem ‘weak.’

Those Left Behind

As you can see, suicide is not a rare, or isolated event. It is very real and definitely permanent, and it leaves those who are left behind, in utter despair. For them the suicide event is plagued by stigma, guilt and self-recrimination. The most common question from those left behind is, “what could I have done differently?”

A Societal Contract

Suicide is like the tentacles of an octopus wrapping itself around all of us, casting doubt on hope, and future.  It tears at our social fabric and brings into question society’s compact with the individual.  Whether spoken or unspoken, we as people, are part of a greater society.  As a society, we have agreed to a collective future, a means to provide for our children, to continue our culture, to sustain our existence at all cost. Jennifer Michael Hecht wrote,  Stay: A History of Suicide and the Arguments Against it. And in her words,  “Either the universe is a cold dead place with solitary sentient beings, or we are all alive together, committed to persevere.”

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