Tag Archive: Whitney Houston


OK.

So Megapillions isn’t a word. If it were, I would make the description something like “the rapidly growing pill problem among the hundreds of millions of Americans.”

Many of you got here probably my misreading the title for “megamillions.”   After all, that’s what everyone wants to talk about, right?

I know. It’s not a sexy thing to talk about. Most Americans don’t fantasize, read up on, or concern themselves with the prescription drug problem in America.

The pill addiction isn’t as fun to talk about like the record breaking lottery jackpot that awaits someone or some people this Friday. Megamillions fever has caputred the countries attention. It’s fun to sit around with friends, family, and co-workers and talk about what you would do.

Let’s put it this way. The odds are REALLY stacked against you. Not just a toughy, it’s downright near impossible. Sure it happens. Someone right now is doing absolutely nothing, and making thousands of dollars a minute on the interest to their big win.

So to be cliche, lets take a look at some of those odds charts to see where winning the jackpot falls.
Odds of getting a hole in one: 5,000 to 1
Odds of getting canonized: 20,000,000 to 1
Odds of winning an Olympic medal: 662,000 to 1
Odds of drowning in a bathtub: 685,000 to 1 (we had one recently, so it’s going to be a while RIP Whitney Houston)
Odds of being killed sometime in the next year in a transportation accident: 77 to 1
Odds of being killed in any sort of non-transportation accident: 69 to 1
Odds of being struck by lightning: 576,000 to 1
Odds of being killed by lightning: 2,320,000 to 1

The list goes on and on. So what are the odds of winning the mega millions jackpot?

176,000,000 to 1.

That’s right. It’s not going to happen to 175,999,999 of you. Yet come Friday, it will likely be the top story in most news markets where the game is played, and it will certainly be the watercooler discussion this week if it already hasn’t been.

So why is that people don’t talk about the growing pill problem, where the odds are 3-1 that a teen may abuse prescription meds over the next year?

2.1 million people abuse pills each year. An addition 1 million kids ages 12-17 begin abusing pills. So you have 3.1 million pill abusers. If they just use 1 pill a month each, you’re looking at 37 million pills abused a year. If they misused medications once a week, those pill popping Americans will go through 161 million pills annually.

Very few people know about our pill problem, and those that know, don’t really want to talk about. Parents seem to think that just buy saying “drugs are bad” that’s an encompassing statement that will prohibit their children from trying anything.

It’s time we speak up and talk about this. You have some very vocal lawmakers like Senator Chuck Schumer from New York and Attorney General Jack Conway in Kentucky. Both are adamant about stomping out this epidemic.

It’s hard to tell kids that drugs are bad, when drug use is glamorized in movies, TV, and music. Snoop Dog is the musical ambassador for pot for the younger generation, as Willie Nelson continues to inspire baby boomer puffers.

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Scores of music, movies, and television celebrities have had some pill issues. Whitney Houston appears to be the latest. Heath Ledger also had a dangerous combination of pills in his system. It’s tough when the drug use is glorified constantly.

Most parents already avoid talking to their kids about drugs. They usually figure that the “drugs are bad” message is assumed and of course they rely on programs like D.A.R.E. to make their kids aware about drugs.

But what about the parents who do stress the message at home? What about the proactive parents that monitor the media that their kids watch and listen to? Are they fighting an uphill battle?

So what happens when you have an evangelical, with plenty of airwaves to push his message, comes out endorsing marijuana? Pat Robertson believes that the war on drugs have failed. He believes that taxpayers are paying billions of dollars to support the initiative, and that people are wasting away in jails and prisons unjustly.

This is not exactly a startling revelation. The 81-year-old danced around the decriminalization topic in 2010.

This week, the former presidential candidate told the New York Times, “I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol.” “I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

With a following of millions, how do parents combat Robertson’s message, which is being spread by drug legalization groups across the social media?

How can parents tell their kids marijuana and all other drugs are bad, when an evangelical leader endorses them? Marijuana remains illegal for everyone, except for patients of numerous states’ medical marijuana laws. Once legalized, could the marijuana mindset become something similar to the alcohol mindset? With booze, may kids have the perception that “if it’s good enough for adults, it’s good enough for me.” Of course that thinking contributes to the serious number of binge drinking teens and young adults across college campuses. If legalized, would we have a growing number of potheads in our society?

America’s Parenting Coach, Tim Chapman, a 30-year treatment veteran says the message is simple, “Parents should tell their kids that everyone has an opinion. Some people are brilliant on some subjects but not as informed about others. For example, some Europeans believe that it is acceptable for 10-year-olds to have wine at dinner. Most families do not. That’s why each family should make the decision what’s good for their family, despite what high profile person is saying it. Reinforce your values, and your kids will listen.”

 

It still comes as a shock, when a known long-time drug user dies.   Whitney Houston is no exception.   While the singing legend had spent the last several years in relative obscurity, her known battle with drug addiction not hidden at all.   The pop star was trying to make a comeback, and died just a day before the Grammy awards.   Immediately the rumors started spreading as to why she died.   Officially, we won’t know until the coroner releases that information.    There was speculation that her death was caused by drugs and alcohol, and other speculation that she might have drowned.

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Photos taken late last week show Houston looking confused and full of emotion outside a nightclub.   There was obvious speculation as to her degree of intoxication.    Houston set the recording industry by fire.   Discovered by Clive Davis, Houston rocketed to the top of the charts with hit after hit.    Kids these days may not be familiar with much of Houston’s music, most of her most recent work had not fared well.    But Houston was adored by her fans.   Millions are mourning her loss.

Whitney Houston’s death may offer uncomfortable parents an “in” on the drug conversation with their children.   If they are typically uncomfortable talking about drug use with their teenagers, parents can use this tragedy to discuss the dangers.   Whether Houston’s death is connected to prescription drugs or not, her history of drug abuse, and the fact that she had several different medications in her hotel room are strong reasons why parents should discuss the topic with their children.

Among the topics:

  • Painkillers are severely addictive.  Opiates are very difficult to ween off of, and the detox period can be very brutal.
  • Taking pills meant for someone else can have deadly results.   A 13-year old 80 lb teenaged girl taking medicine for a long time, male, 225lb, chronic pain sufferer can be overwhelming.
  • Just because you’ve taken a Xanax or Oxycontin before, doesn’t mean it was the same strength as the pill you will take next time.
  • Pill use can evolve into heroin use in a blink of an eye.   Heroin is easier to get, and it’s cheaper than most painkillers.

Parents need to encourage their kids to talk to them about drugs in the community, and drugs at school.   You want your child to be open with you regarding drugs and alcohol.

Another good option is to talk about home drug testing with your teen.   Parents can say, “I don’t want you to end up like Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix, or Janis Joplin.  I want to drug test you so that we know you stay on the right path.”

The 12-Panel Teensavers Home Drug Test Kits covers the most popular drug combinations, including opiates, marijuana, cocaine, ecstasy, PCP, and many others.