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addiction to connection

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Every 49 Minutes

One of the worst seven day stretches for overdose deaths in 2020 was between Saturday, July 11, and Friday, July 17, where toxic drugs killed at least 207 Canadians. This is more than 29 people per day, or one life every 49 minutes for seven straight days. (By comparison, COVID-19 killed fewer than half that many during the same span: 80 or about 11 per day.) – Maclean’s Magazine, September 2021

Let’s remember that numbers are more than numbers. Let’s also remember those that died from alcohol use disorders and mental health issues during that same period. But most of all, let’s remember that these numbers represent someone’s son, daughter, mom, dad, brother, sister…we tend to forget the person when we talk about number. For a lot of us it is too hard to put a person behind the number, it is heartbreaking, it is emotionally numbing, but most of all it is maddening. As a society we can do more, much more. We owe it not only to ourselves, but to our loved ones as well. This past month has been a tough one at Jericho Road. We have watched this insidious disease take 3 people from our community. They are not numbers but men who loved, laughed and made us all better people for knowing them.

There are so many good people and organizations trying to cope with this health crisis. I applaud each and every one of them. From the street outreach workers to the support homes and every 12-step fellowship holding a meeting over 500 times a week in this city, fighting for someone who has lost the ability to fight.

The 12-steps have given me a toolbox to use when my thinking and feelings get off track or awry. My sponsor has drilled into me one of those tools. Problem, solution and plan of action. I want to address the problem. If I don’t know or identify what the actual problem is (the truth), the solution and plan of action won’t matter.

Here is the problem. Trauma, adverse childhood experiences and a society that has placed more emphasis on eating too much, buying too much and wanting too much as a way to fill the gaping hole within us resulting from these things. Drugs, alcohol, overeating or sex, these things are all just another way to find peace from the guilt, fear, shame and resentment that we are living with. There is no quick fix, no pill, no magic cure. This hole can only be filled by God, period. I wish I could say there are other options but there aren’t. Luckily, there is a God and I’m not it.

“Actually we were fooling ourselves, for deep down in every man, woman, and child, is the fundamental idea of God. It may be obscured by calamity, by pomp, by worship of other things, but in some form or other it is there.” AA Big Book Pg-55

We try to consume more and more, believing we are hungry for more, yet what we are really hungry for is connection. Connection to people who will understand me, listen to me, love me and accept me, no matter where I am “at”. Connection to God with whom I may form a relationship with, built upon simple and understandable terms. A connection to a loving and powerful God to empower me as I am powerless. This connection doesn’t happen overnight, it takes time, for a lot of us a long time.

This is why I love Jericho Road so much; they gave me the time. The time to heal, the time to start loving myself, the time to begin to forgive others and myself, but more importantly, the time to nurture that relationship with God. By helping us, you are helping others by giving them the time they need. That my friends is a priceless gift.

Kevin Williams

Executive Director

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