Operation Immersion a success

Operation Immersions (19 April – 21April2011) was both informative and entertaining. We survived death by power point and ate lots of food.

The biggest thing that we learned about military persons at OI is the closeness they feel toward their battle buddy. The change they have gone through while protecting our lives and freedom can cause friction when they are being reunited with their family. In the full-time military, there is a three week period of adjustment and counselling when our Warriors return from deployment before they are reunited with their families. It is a well structured adjustment time during which they readjust to ‘normal’ domestic life as a part of their families.

Our Indiana National Guard Warriors go through the same training and the same conditions as full-time military. They are deployed just as long and have just as difficult a time being reunited with their families. However, they only get a three day adjustment period and basically no help at all. When our National Guard Warriors go home, they are just released to their families without time or help to adjust.

Additionally, when full-time personnel return home, they still have a job and a paycheck. Our National Guard Warriors usually find themselves unemployed. There is a significant need for an adjustment in our laws to provide parity.

The relationships involved with military persons are different than what we encounter with civilians. Our Warriors are trained to be independent, strong, and self-sufficient. They trust their battle buddy with their life, but they may not have confidence in an outsider. This impacts our ability to help military personnel recover from addictions. As it is a very private problem, they may not want to admit a weakness or a need and they may have extreme trust issues. While no solutions were immediately obvious, we did gain some appreciation for the situation.

Our thoughts and prayers are with our national guard military who are undoubtedly spending the week right now away from their families again, filling sand bags and building walls, to protect our cities from flooding. God Bless America and our Warriors. Amen.

National Drug Take Back Day Fri-Sat, April 29-30, 2011

National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day is Friday April 29 and Saturday, April 30th 2011. This is a combination of a local (4/29) and national (DEA.GOV 4/30) effort.

This comic by Bill Whitehead (on GoComics.com) tells the whole, sad, story. Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions in our society. Teens and youth collect forgotten drugs from grandma’s medicine cabinet to get a quick high or to sell at school. Doctors prescribe 90 day supplies instead of 30 day supplies because it costs insurance companies less to process one claim for Rx than three. One of the most frequent complaints about the VA is that it is the place to go to get drugs, but never really get well — just give them more drugs is said to be the SOP.

Bill Whitehead’s comic nails this serious topic hard and fast — we play with Rx as if it was snack food, and at the rate we are going soon pills will come in greeting cards. The DEA.GOV web site summarizes the problem:

This initiative addresses a vital public safety and public health issue. Medicines that languish in home cabinets are highly susceptible to diversion, misuse, and abuse. Rates of prescription drug abuse in the U.S. are alarmingly high—more Americans currently abuse prescription drugs than the number of those using cocaine, hallucinogens, and heroin combined, according to the 2009 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Studies show that individuals that abuse prescription drugs often obtained them from family and friends, including from the home medicine cabinet. In addition, many Americans do not know how to properly dispose of their unused medicine, often flushing them down the toilet or throwing them away – both potential safety and health hazards.

National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is a united attempt to reduce the problem by allowing the ‘no questions asked’ return of prescription drugs which are no longer needed. Unneeded Rx can be disposed of at many Fort Wayne area facilities, such as our Walgreens Drug Stores. Only dry (not liquid) drugs can be placed in the recepticals, but liquid drugs can be poured into a bit of kittie litter first to satisfy this requirement.

From the official DEA web site

Collection sites in every local community can be found by going to www.dea.gov and clicking on the “Got Drugs?” banner at the top of the home page, which connects to a database that citizens can search by zip code, city or county. This site is continuously updated with new take-back locations. In addition, interested media can now go to: www.nationaltakebackday.com to download a public service announcement about the initiative.

According to the justice.gov web site, some of the participants in this initiative include the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy; the American Association of Poison Control Centers; the Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America; D.A.R.E. America; the Federation of State Medical Boards; the U. S. Health Resources and Services Administration; the International Association of Chiefs of Police; the National Association of Attorneys General; the National Family Partnership; the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy; the National District Attorneys Association; the National Sheriffs Association; and The Partnership at Drugfree.org.

You can drop off unneeded medicines at Walgreen Drug Stores in Fort Wayne on Friday April 29 from 9:00AM until 1:00PM and Saturday April 30. The stores are located at:

  • Clinton at St. Joe
  • Lincoln Hwy. W at Brookwood
  • Chapel Ridge (Maysville Rd)
  • E. Paulding as South Anthony
  • Cook and Lima Roads
  • Dupont and Tonkel Roads
  • Jefferson and Getz
  • West State and Wells

You can also drop your unwanted Medications at

  • Allen County Sheriff’s Dept. 12535 Lima Rd Hrs.: 8am to 4:30pm
  • Fort Wayne Police Dept. 1320 East Creighton St Hrs: 24/7 in the lobby
  • Indiana State Police Post 5811 Ellison Road Hrs: 24/7 in the lobby
  • New Haven Police Dept. 815 Lincoln Highway East Hrs: 24/7 in the lobby

To find a participating drop off location close to you on Saturday, click the top ‘Got Drugs?’ banner on the DEA.GOV web site. For the local event you can also come Friday and drop off your drugs at local WallGreens Drug Stores.

InATR at Camp Atterbury this week.

Fort Wayne charities which participate in the Access to Recovery program will be at camp Atterbury south of Edinburgh, Indiana for three days of training Tues, Wed, Thurs this week. The goal of the training is for the personnel to understand military culture so they can better assist military persons in recovering from drug addictions.