Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Photo by Kelly Krajewski
He was a typical high school  kid. One filled with a promising high school baseball. One who always kept his grades up. One who never knew his life would be changed forever just by a simple bottle of medicine.
“I just started out of peer pressure,” recovering addict Aaron Emerson says. “My addiction was really bad and I felt awful for doing it.”
Linda Vail, an Ingham County health officer, has seen many cases of prescription drug abuse in many different areas around the state. She says that all people are affected by this epidemic whether they take the pills or not.
“There’s no group that I have seen that hasn’t been touched by this {prescription drug abuse},” Vail says. “I’ve even seen athletes who take lots of painkillers or adderall to relieve pain and to focus on games or training.”  
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Senior Assistant for Policy and Planning Elizabeth Hertel says that prescription drug abuse numbers have dramatically increased over the past six years.
“The numbers have skyrocketed since 2009,” Hertel says. “The largest age group of abusers is from the age group of 18-25 which is a very bad thing.”
In the case of Emerson, he started because he had an empty feeling in life. He felt trapped and alone so he turned to prescription drugs.
“I was lost in my life and I felt like I just needed something,” Emerson says. “What’s even worse is that my prescription drug abuse turned into a heroin addiction.”
Emerson was a high school baseball player who was going to make the varsity team as a sophomore. But just one bottle, one pill, would flip his life upside down. He became heavily involved in abusing medication. Painkillers, adderall and many other prescription drugs.
“Once they found out, {that I did prescription drugs}, they kicked me right off the team,” Emerson says. “I couldn’t believe it, it felt like my life was over.”
According to city of Mason police chief John Stressman, he sees prescription drug abuse as an epidemic he wants to see cease rapidly.
“People who use prescription drugs use it as recreation and don’t think much of it,” Stressman says. “Then they turn to heroin and then it’s not recreation, it’s a legal problem at that point.”
For Emerson, being removed from the baseball team crushed him immensely but he still continued to abuse medication.
“Once I started, I just couldn’t stop,” he says. “The cravings you get, you just can’t even describe it.”
Once Emerson spent his time in jail, he wanted to go into rehab and change.
"Going into rehab was probably the best decision of my life," Emerson says. "It was scary at first but I know that it was the right thing to do."
Although Emerson had a very checkered past, he could have never imagined his life where it would be right now.
"I know it was for the better but it was difficult at first to change my life," Emerson says. "But I have no regrets when it came to that, I changed my life and I'm happy about that.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Assignment 2: Prescription drug abuse

Photo by Kelly Krajewski
Prescription Drug Abuse

He was a very bright kid. One who was going to make the varsity baseball team as a sophomore with hopes of being recruited by big name division one schools. That all would be taken away when Aaron Emerson would be caught with prescription pills. He was immediately thrown off the baseball team. His parents enraged by the teenager’s actions.

    Emerson continued his drug abuse and become one of the 13.4% of teens who abuse prescription drugs in the United States according to the National Institute of Drug Abuse.

Prescription drug abuse has become a recent problem in the U.S. and is very popular among 18-25 year olds. Many of these abusers are thrown in jail and just deprived of assistance and help. Granted that all other drug abusers get thrown in jail, prescription drug users are just kids who just stumbled upon drugs. I believe all drug users should receive help and therapy to help them back into their normal lives. If they’re just kids, why should they face the harsh treatment everyone else gets?
Life was created to make mistakes. Everyone makes them. Kids, adults,even senior citizens make mistakes. However, if that was possible, how many students would take the help seriously?
Aaron Emerson embraced this chance to change. He took the classes to heart and wound up being a representative for an anti-prescription drug abuse committee. According to, 60% of teens who abused painkillers did so before the age of 15. Emerson used prescription drugs like painkillers to fit in with his friends. People like Aaron needed help and prison is not the place for this help. All of these individuals deserve a second chance for redemption? The answer is probably yes.
Emerson got that second chance and changed his life. He now helps others who were in his shoes not too long ago. Emerson is proud of the changes he made in his life and he doesn’t have any regrets. Victims deserve that second chance no matter how bad their offense. Throwing them in prison solves nothing. Nursing them back into normal life is much more effective. Because people like Emerson prove that the therapy works and changes people forever.

Photo by Rod Satterthwaite
Creative Thinking

Listening to Karl Gude last night was inspiring, necessary and downright hilarious. He is a very good public speaker with his movement of his body and arms, his change of voice and his sheer enjoyment of the topic. Although his topic was supposed to be on just being creative, he taught everyone that the way of being creative is by experiencing anti conformation. This applies to sports writing because you can think outside of the box to write things that are not just sports. You can find new angles, angles that don’t directly relate to the sport itself. Also, Karl also said that failing is the way to finding new, creative things. For example, you can try angles that you think will work but actually don’t work. So you just pick yourself up, embrace the failure, move on and try again. He taught us failure is part of life. He also taught us that we should always try to remain creative although we have lots of exterior forces trying to remove the inner child in us all.