My Daughter Was Not A ‘Junkie,’ She Was A Human Being With A Disease

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“Her name is Brieze McCabe. She is our daughter, a mother, a sister, a grandchild.

What she is NOT is a junkie, a fiend, and ‘not less than.’

She suffered from a substance use disorder. She has a heart of gold, a contagious laugh, and a beautiful smile.

She was 17 and struggled to overcome her disease. She wanted to accomplish her goals and her dreams. Unfortunately, this insidious disease we suffer sadly overtook her.

Courtesy Corey McCabe

Having suffered through the disease of addiction, it often takes us down a dark path. She was young and confused, and had to endure many different challenges that most young people face, adding the disease of addiction to the equation made her extremely vulnerable.

We as a community and society as a whole need to do a better job educating our children and adults alike.

We need to have more resources and support in place and make treatment readily available. We have to challenge our legislators to create more funding sources that are sustainable and time to put effective programs in place.

We need to send a message to drug dealers that we will no longer allow you to peddle poison in our neighborhoods.

Courtesy Corey McCabe

We need to hold everyone accountable on all levels. We need to break down stigma, and eliminate this shame-based mindset that prevents people from seeking help because of public ridicule.

We have to tell the whole story and report all the effects of this disease and acknowledge that the number one cause of death for Americans under the age of 55 is drug overdoses.

Brieze is a beautiful person, she was a human being, she struggled. She desperately wanted to live a good life, she is a caring sympathetic person who cared about people, she loved God, she is not heroin…

Heroin is what she expected she was getting, instead it was a lethal dose of fentanyl and quite possibly carfentanil. It was one bag and it was lethal. She didn’t stand a chance.

It’s the backyard chemists that are making lethal concoctions for a few dollars and no regard for human life.

There is good work being done primarily from the grassroots level. It’s the community that’s involved in this, it’s the people that impact the most change. We shape public policy and policy needs to change. People in recovery are the experts in this field; we need to be heard and consulted.

This has become so serious that we literally have to fight each day to save just one person’s life.

That’s the birth of my grassroots organization, Alive2day. We launched an initiative, our first annual Drug Awareness Day, on Aug. 18, 2018, at Barefield Park in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. Little did I know in leading this project would it hit so close to home.

There is so much work to be done to overcome this drug epidemic. I challenge people to become part of the solution. It’s not a ME problem, it’s a WE problem. To me there is nothing worse than apathy.

We must begin to care, before it’s too late.”

Courtesy Corey McCabe

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Corey McCabe of Allentown, Pennsylvania. Subscribe to our free email newsletter, Living Better—your ultimate guide for actionable insights, evidence backed advice, and captivating personal stories, propelling you forward to living a more fulfilling life.

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