This past week, my son, Dante, had his wisdom teeth pulled. He did great. But I NEED TO BRING THIS UP, because through my work I’ve encountered too many tragic addiction stories.

Before we left, the young nurse handed me two prescriptions – one for an antibiotic and one for Percocet. She didn’t explain much nor did she warn us that what she was giving out contained the highly addictive oxycodone. I’m sure most parents are aware of the opioid crisis and the role the prescribed Percocet plays in it. Healthcare providers can do better than just dispense it with such ease.

Sure, we can blame the greedy Pharma and doctors who play along for their own survival. BUT we can also do something about it.

I told the nurse I didn’t want to fill the prescription, to which she said, “Ibuprofen should be enough!” Then why prescribe it in the first place? I guess we live in a free country with a free marketplace, so the only option we all have is to EDUCATE ourselves and each other. Let’s keep improving a culture that supports nurturing our children through pain – rather than just giving them a pill so we can go on with our lives (a.k.a. run the rat race so we can be exemplary consumers.)

I understand many parents don’t have the luxury to stay home and make blended soups and smoothies (that contain the special ‘love’ ingredient, which is more powerful than any drug concocted in a lab). Not all parents can sit there with their hurting kids for comfort, and give ibuprofen when the pain gets really bad. But if we all knew how difficult (and almost impossible) it is to nurture that same child out of an addiction, we would be a little bit more willing to drop everything and help them through the pain.

We all need to look out for each other.

So, if it’s not your own child, maybe you can offer the parents in your neighborhood help with getting groceries or making a soup, or simply ask what help they need. Remember what one researcher said: “The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it’s connection.” And perhaps this connection starts with parents and neighbors and the whole village.

Thank you for reading this and being that village.

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