Food for thought

Kate Spade Suicide

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Kate Spade Suicide Sparks Discussion on Mental Illness in America

Kate Spade, known for her famous line of handbags and fashion design, hung herself in her apartment in Manhattan on Tuesday, June 5, 2018. NYPD sources state she was found hanging by the scarf that was allegedly tied by her to the doorknob. She was discovered by her housekeeper. Despite a suicide note, the media, friends, family and fans of Kate Spade are grieving over her suicide.

What is Being Said Surrounding Kate Spade’s Suicide?

Many people are beyond shocked about Kate Spade’s suicide. People who don’t know her, friends, family, fans, CNN employees and others are all saddened terribly by the news. Some of the things which are being said surrounding Kate Spade’s suicide are the following:


Kate Spade New York issued a statement confirming the “incredibly sad news” of their eponymous founder’s death.

“Although Kate has not been affiliated with the brand for more than a decade, she and her husband and creative partner, Andy, were the founders of our beloved brand,” the statement said. “Kate will be dearly missed. Our thoughts are with Andy and the entire Spade family at this time.”

“We honor all the beauty she brought into this world,” the company said in a tweet.

“She always had such a great ray of light about her. She was so jovial,” Zee said.

There are so many ways in which Kate Spade will be missed and she will always be remembered by the many who loved and admired her. In addition to Kate Spade, more unfortunate news, is that suicide rates are rising all across the United States. Just in the last decade, suicide rates for all ages have risen, especially with white women, at a rate of nearly 60%. Some of these people have a drug or alcohol addiction, but others do not. There are many reasons why people commit suicide.

What is Going on With American Suicide Rates?

According to the CDC or US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in the past 17 years, the suicide rate for all ages overall has increased by 30%. Nationwide, the rise in suicide rates is approximately 25%. What does this statistic mean? It means that 16 in every 100,000 United States citizens will commit suicide. That may not sound like a lot to many but when considering how many United States citizens there are, the numbers add up. Just in 2016 throughout America, around 45,000 committed suicide.


While these numbers are extremely unfortunate, the numbers prove one thing. There are many people who are depressed who are able to hide it. When many people commit suicide, everyone in their life are surprised or shocked to hear the news. They are beyond words at to how it could have happened without them knowing what was going on. With American suicide rates rising, it is important to get help if you need it. Whether you have an addiction that leads you to suicidal thinking or you are feeling depressed for any reason, ask someone for help.


How Does Addiction Play a Role in Suicide?

Many people don’t realize how many people that commit suicide have an addiction. According to SAMHSA or or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, suicide is the leading cause of death in those who have an addiction. Why is this?


There are many reasons why an addiction can lead someone to suicide. One of the reasons is the sleep issues associated with addiction. Some drugs can cause the user to stay awake for days on end. This messes up the chemicals and signals in the brain and can lead to depression, cause hallucinations and make already present mental health issues even worse. Additionally, many drugs and alcohol are depressants. When someone is already suffering from mental health issues, abusing alcohol or drugs, increases the depressive feelings and thoughts, which increases the risk of suicide as well. This is just the start of how addiction plays a role in suicide.


If you suffer from an addiction, be sure to get treatment. With addiction treatment, you can get help treating the addiction and any mental health issues at the same time. This is called co-occuring disorder treatment.

Kate Spade’s suicide has shaken America and brought up a lot of talk about mental illness, depression, addiction and suicide. It is such a tragic event that has saddened so many people. It is only with hope that more people will learn about the resources for getting help if they are feeling depressed, that there is hope for a better future with reduced suicide rates. Don’t suffer in silence. Be sure if you are suffering from depression, addiction or any other mental health issues, you get the help that is needed right away.

Best Songs About Drug Addiction

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Undeniably, every generation has an anthem, a song so sentimental, it can deliver us back to the first time we remember hearing it. We are able to recognize both the time and place – as well as the feelings the song invoked in us. Whether due to its profound meaning, controversial political or social implications or just simply the uncompromised raw talent contributing to its creation – the sound of a familiar song can transport us backward in time.

Similarly, when recounting experiences using drugs, the most memorable experiences are often the “first time,” or the “worst time.” For more experienced drug users, specific experiences usually run together, and it becomes difficult to remember each individually. One element of a drug aficionado’s experience, rarely forgotten – is, what song was playing in the background?

The music of the last four decades of the Twentieth Century set the new cultural standard and raised the bar for performers. Music had become marked with unfettered self-expression, curiosity, and masterful storytelling and continues to be today. Here are four of the most brilliant examples, one decade at a time.

White Rabbit, Jefferson Airplane – 1967

“We are the people our parents warned us about,” roared Grace Slick, into the audience of Jefferson Airplane’s August 17, 1969, unforgettable Woodstock performance.

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small

And the ones that mother gives you
Don’t do anything at all

Go ask Alice
When she’s ten feet tall

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you’re going to fall
Tell ’em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call…
Call Alice
When she was just small

The song, an obvious metaphor for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, which is a staple of almost every modern-day child’s youth. The lyrics, “feed your head,” take the story to a much deeper level by describing pleasures of LSD. There is no debate that the story of Alice, down the rabbit hole, conjures up feelings of a more carefree, innocent time in the world. Revisiting the story, with the help of mind-altering chemicals – is the direct route to “another great adventure,” and can momentarily transcend time and space, to us return to less turbulent and less troubled times.

Grace Slick’s melodic Summer of Love performance of White Rabbit, is the penultimate return to innocence.

Kid Charlemagne – Steely Dan, 1976

In a 2000 interview with the BBC, Steely Dan’s Walter Becker explained Kid Charlemagne, was inspired by a character named Augustus Stanley Owsley. The song describes the rise and fall of a well-known San Francisco-based LSD chemist and drug dealer in the 1970’s.

Owsley Stanley was to LSD, what Breaking Bad’s “Walter White” was to methamphetamine.

Get along Kid Charlemagne

Clean this mess up else we’ll all end up in jail
Those test tubes and the scale
Just get them all out of here

Is there gas in the car
Yes, there’s gas in the car

I think the people down the hall

Know who you are

Careful what you carry
Cause the man is wise
You are still an outlaw in their eyes

Steely Dan has carved a permanent place in history with Kid Charlemagne; for LSD, for Stanley and for rock and roll.

And She Was, Talking Heads – 1985

And She Was, artfully written by David Byrne and then performed by his band, Talking Heads on the 1985 album titled Little Creatures.

In his book Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads, Byrne talks about a woman from his past “a blissed-out hippie-chick in Baltimore,” who regularly took acid and would “lay down on the lawn of the Yoo-hoo chocolate soda factory.  This girl would truly fly above it all.”

The world was moving, and she was right there with it (and she was)
The world was moving she was floating above it (and she was), and she was

And she was drifting through the backyard
And she was taking off her dress
And she was moving very slowly
Rising up above the earth
Moving into the universe
Drifting this way and that
Not touching the ground at all

Later in the book, Byrne refers to the woman again, this time when describing his own drug-induced out-of-body experiences and the adventures they shared. Presumably he, at least for a time, enjoyed both her and their mind-bending experiences, so much so, he was inclined to write the melodic as a tribute to both.

Morphine, Cure For Pain – 1993

It is hard to imagine a song better able to encapsulate the lure of a needle, more than Cure for Pain.  Unlike most of the over-produced, over-sized performances of arena-rock bands in the 1990’s Morphine perfectly pulls off one-of-a-kind minimalist rock and roll, fused with jazz and blues.  Cure for Pain, written from the deep, personal experience of front-man, Mark Sandman is an unflinching, unapologetic and exuberant ode to addiction.

Where is the ritual?
And tell me where, where is the taste?
Where is the sacrifice?
And tell me where, where is the faith?

Someday there’ll be a cure for pain
That’s the day I throw my drugs away
When they find a cure for pain

Where is the cave where the wise woman went?
And tell me where, where’s all that money that I spent?

I propose a toast
To my self-control
You see it crawlin’ helpless on the floor

Someday there’ll be a cure for pain
That’s the day I throw my drugs away
When they find a cure for pain
Find a cure for
Find a cure for pain

Over the last few decades, music has become a vital part of our lives. With songs being the bookmarks on time, memories, emotions, and experiences. These songs along with many others have gave many people trapped in addiction a reason to believe someone out there understands what they are going through. It isn’t until you open up that you realize so many others out there are feeling and relating to these songs.

Painkillers in the NFL

Painkillers in the NFL

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Is it Time to Get Rid of Painkillers in the NFL?

Prescription painkillers are one of the most abused drugs in the US. In recent findings, more than 42,000 people succumbed to drug overdose using this drug in 2016 alone. About 2.1 million Americans are addicted to prescription or opioid drugs because it has a controlling effect on parts of the brain responsible for the production of dopamine, the feel-good chemical. Painkillers in the NFL have been used for years but the recent opioid addiction epidemic has more players wanting to speak out about the problem.

The National Football League recently received backlash from the media because of how they dispense painkillers to players. Lawsuits have been thrown at the league in an act to regulate and prevent the abuse of opioid and painkiller drugs. This summer, one player was denied access to medical marijuana to treat pain even though he has been outspoken about his addiction to painkillers.

What Every NFL Player Endures and Why They Need Painkillers

Being a contact sport, football has always been physically demanding. Every team has medical personnel that is responsible for dispensing drugs to the team members. And because the competition is stiff, an athlete has to be in good shape every game. This means looking for alternatives to get rid of the pain, and using painkillers is an easy way out.

Muscle pains, fatigue, and exhaustion are a common everyday occurrence in the world of NFL games as the body is placed under intense physical activity. Adding the pressure of competition makes a player susceptible to opioid addiction which often leads to overdose.

Media reports state that teams have violated Federal Law and State guidelines concerning the distribution and use of painkillers amongst its players. This has been deeply stated in complaints filed against the confederation that included testimonies from the NFL’s medical personnel. The documents also indicate players from the 32 teams who are allegedly provided with prescribed painkillers without informing them about the possible side effects or even without their full understanding.

Defensive back Steve Jackson for instance once addressed the issue about the use and abuse done by players behind the cameras. He said is being cautious about using injection painkillers and taking a shot just to play the game is fooling your body and trying to cover up what body is really telling you.

What Makes Painkillers Addictive?

Prescribed painkillers are typically administered in manageable amounts. This has to be overseen by an attending physician and dispensing needs to follow State and Federal guidelines. The NFL has been constantly plagued with players who come out of the game or retire with addiction because of unregulated use of prescribed painkillers.

Though these drugs can be used to lessen the effects of the physical affliction of the game, it can be very addictive because of how the chemical concentrates on your mind and neurons. Synthetic endorphin released into the bloodstream creates a surge of intense emotions and pleasure. It blocks pain receptors in the brain which hooks a user even more.

Intense pleasure brought about by constant intake also makes a player want to use them again and again. Small doses increase over time as the body grows tolerant to the effects of the drug. Discomforts when not using the drug is also one quality of painkiller that makes it addictive. Symptoms like nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, anxiety, and sleeping problems start to manifest as the drug wears off. To relieve these symptoms, you have to use more opioids. With time, dependence on the drug leads to addiction.

Is it Time to Get Rid of Painkillers in the NFL?

In a truthful sense, painkillers cannot be removed from contact sports. It just needs to be regulated by concerned officials. A responsible command and keen observance of the rules need to be followed to prevent addiction and overdose among its players.

The Government will always have its eye on this problem as it adds to the deluge and inundation of drug-related deaths experienced by the population. The National Football League also has to create an internal regulation to change the culture of the sports or even lessen the pressures drawn towards its players.

Football is a demanding sport. But it does not have to go way beyond destroying a person’s life because of gains. This has distorted the outlook of the NLF and the reason why players get addicted to drugs and painkillers.

Understanding Drug Addicted Thought Patterns

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Drug addicted thought patterns are full of delusions and denial. These allow addicts to continue abusing drugs despite the known consequences. This is because the drugs’ chemicals alter their brain. Eventually this creates a strong, unavoidable urge to get high. The urge is also characterized by impulsivity and aggression. It leads to isolation due to relationship problems. Clearly, it’s an aggravating cycle.

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Easter: A Time of Rebirth and Resurrection

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Jesus crucifixion stained glass

For young kids, Easter is a holiday about the Easter bunny and candy. It is a holiday of fun and relaxation. However, there is much more to the Easter holiday than those young kids know. For religious people, Easter is about the story of Jesus Christ and sacrifice. Jesus is a notable figure in different traditions but in Christianity, he is the son of God and the savior for all mankind. According to the Bible, Easter occurred early on a Sunday when Mary Magdalene and other women noticed that Jesus’s tomb was opened. Two angels approached them and told the women that Jesus had risen.

The apostles Peter and John went to see what happened to Jesus. They only saw the linen cloths that wrapped Jesus’s body and they went home dumbfounded. Eventually, Jesus made an appearance to Mary Magdalene. He told her he was still ascending toward the father (God). He made another appearance to two disciples, Cleopas and another man, on the road to Emmaus. They shared a meal before the two disciples realized it was Jesus and he vanished.

On Sunday evening, Jesus appeared to his apostles and showed them the wounds of the crucifixion on his body to prove what had happened. The apostle Thomas took the most convincing, which gave rise to the expression “doubting Thomas.”

Following his appearance to the apostles, Jesus remained on Earth for forty more days before appearing again to the apostles at the Sea of Tiberias, on a mountainside, and eventually to over 500 people. He then made his return to heaven after leading the disciples to a place near Bethany, a village near the Mount of Olives. He blessed them and ascended into heaven.

This Easter, you might be struggling with an addiction or substance abuse problem of some sort. You might want to consider following the example of Jesus and work toward your own personal resurrection.

With assistance, you can rise beyond your substance struggles and experience your own rebirth this Easter season. You will not only find a great change within yourself but the strength to continue for the rest of 2018 and the future beyond.


About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.

Saying Goodbye To Your Family Before Rehab

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One of the hardest things to do before rehab is saying goodbye. For me, saying goodbye to my spouse and kids was heartbreaking, but necessary. On one side, I knew that I was doing the right thing, but on the other side, it killed me to know I would be gone for almost three months. I had to keep convincing myself, almost hourly, that I was making the right choice.

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St. Patrick’s Day

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St: Patrick’s Day: The Reason for the Season

For many, St. Patrick’s Day is a reason to get drunk with friends and celebrate Irish culture. A lot of people who “celebrate” the holiday do not know what they are celebrating. Saint Patrick was a man who did a lot for the Irish and his story should not be forgotten. The day commemorates the life of a man who accomplished more than most of us do within one lifetime. His story dates back to around 385 A.D in Roman Britain. His family was well-connected to the Roman Empire since his father was an official for it.

At the young age of 16, Patrick had his childhood ended. He was taken captive by pirates. Once they took him to Ireland, he was sold into slavery. For six years, he prayed 100 times a day as he herded sheep each day by himself. Eventually, he heard a voice that his ship had come in and he went home once he reached the ship. Yet, Patrick would not remain in Britain for too long during his 20s. He eventually encountered another spiritual experience that was God calling him back to Ireland to help the Irish people. Patrick spent the last 30 years of his life pushing the Druids out of Ireland. He ordained priests, baptized pagans, founded monasteries and churches.

He was able to put an end to human sacrifice, slavery, and warfare that went on in Ireland. The story goes that he banished snakes from Ireland. While he might have accomplished converting much of Ireland to Christendom, many see the snakes as metaphorical for paganism. For the Irish, the holiday means attending Catholic mass or church service to celebrate the life of the great man. Still for others, especially Americans, it means going out to party. Now that you know the story of the man behind the myth, maybe you will celebrate the day of the famed Irish saint in other ways this year.

About the author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, addiction and recovery, and the entertainment industry.

When Professional Drug Testing is Necessary

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Professional drug testing is appropriate in many circumstances today. Sports teams need to know that their players aren’t abusing steroids. Nonprofit organizations need to know their volunteers aren’t abusing drugs too. Of course, companies also need to make sure that their employees are clean. This is all because drugs can compromise work, jeopardizing the company’s integrity and well-being.

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