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Guest column/Some profound thoughts about some things

Sometimes, do you sit with your cuppa, staring into but not seeing your surroundings and ask yourself profound questions like, “Does everyone on Spaceship Earth think we are living in a test tube?” Or, “Can anyone else remember a time when they consciously thought, ‘I do not want to be a statistic?’ Or, “Do people know what it feels like to not be good enough, achieve well enough, or just be enough?”

The human condition “is all of the characteristics and key events that compose the essentials of human existence, including birth, growth, emotion, aspiration, conflict and mortality,” says Wikipedia. “Part of being a person,” says Merriam-Webster.

Cause and effect: What we do at this point (cause) results in an effect (consequence) somewhere down the line. How we deal with now and all the current issues of now, will have a direct effect on the future for us, our loved ones, our communities. We are influenced by the people with whom we associate, what we read, what we see around us, our choices of entertainment, hobbies and pastimes. We develop our beliefs through our life experiences and from what we are taught.

Someone once said to me, “Is that your belief or do you believe it because someone told it to you?” First, let me make clear the fact my mother instilled in my brothers and me that we should do our own thinking, make our own choices, not follow the crowd “who will lead you down the primrose path and when they have taken all that you have of value, you will find yourself alone.”

Add to this I am a learner. We all should be learners for it is through learning that we gain wisdom. And wisdom guides us to make better choices. And better choices lead us to a place inside where we can feel peace, contentment and more moments of happiness. (Happy is not a constant state because it takes adversity to help us to appreciate those things in life that are most important to us.) You can have an abundance of material things, but how much happiness do those things bring to you? For how long? What are the most important things to you and why?

Here is a recent headline: “How Fentanyl and Meth Exploded Nationwide and Led to More Mental Illness, Homelessness and Deaths.”

I can tell you that my worst fear is becoming homeless and living in a box. I cannot imagine not having a roof over my head, food to sustain me and warmth on the coldest winter nights. These are the basic human needs for survival.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a recent release of statistics, 100,000 people have died from overdose with fentanyl. Do you wonder how many of them and how many persons with substance misuse problems understand the test tube, the being a statistic, to realize what has happened?

Meth is easy to make, easy to get. It’s made in a lab from chemicals, not plants. These drugs are stronger and riskier than ever before. Sam Quinones, the author of “The Least of Us: True Tales of America and Hope in the Time of Fentanyl and Meth,” writes about the “Mexican trafficking world,” about the drug that “is cheap to make … extraordinarily potent … enormously profitable …”

It is designed with fentanyl, to make customers for life, which might not be very long. There is no regard for the faceless, nameless customers who suffer for it.

Think. Don’t follow the crowd. Knowledge. Good choices. Adversity. Wisdom. Contentedness. Things to think deeply about.

For information about the treatment and education programs, contact the Family Recovery Center at 1010 N. Sixth St., Steubenville; by phone at (740) 283-4946; by e-mail at info@familyrecovery.org; or visit the website at familyrecovery.org. Family Recovery Center is funded in part by Jefferson County Prevention and Recovery Board.

(Brownfield is a publicist at the Family Recovery Center.)

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