One of the greatest benefits of my job is that I get to work with some pretty amazing people. This past week, Mike Neatherton, the President and CEO of Northbound, and I rode our motorcycles out to the Betty Ford Center to see our other co-worker, Mandy, speak about synthetic drugs. I thought her presentation would help serve as a solid refresher on these types of drugs, and having caught up with things such as Neknominate last week, I didn’t think there was all too much more to learn about in this area. Well, I was wrong.
Mandy is great for a number of reasons, including how involved she has gotten in spreading awareness about synthetic drugs. She does speaking engagements all over, and Mike and I were so happy to be able to catch one. I learned so much more than I thought by listening to her speak, especially about the kinds of drugs people are using, how the laws protect companies who produce certain substances and more. It became obvious to me that we aren’t just dealing with common drugs anymore, but with substances that many people (including myself) haven’t even heard of.
A big part of Mandy’s presentation was dedicated to the recovering users who are in the field of running sober living or aftercare programs. In my addictive behavior, when I was fresh out of treatment and in transitional living, I used Spice, which is a synthetic form of marijuana. I never even liked smoking weed or anything like it, but it was the one thing I could get my hands on that was mood altering and could help me escape reality.
After attending Mandy’s presentation, I realized that regardless of my own personal experiences, I still had so much to learn about how drug use is constantly changing. Last week, my mind was blown when I heard about Neknominate, but then I got caught back up to speed in the world of synthetic drugs and my mind was blown yet again! It is a true testament that not only are there always opportunities to learn more in my field, but that the people who I get the pleasure of working alongside will continually strive to share that information with others – including myself. Both Mandy and Mike have been major sources of inspiration for me when it comes to continuing on my own path of awareness, and I hope to continue to educate others!