Prevention: It Starts with Technology

This Wednesday, Tim Ryan spoke with Detective Richard Wistocki, of Besure Consulting, to a crowd of concerned parents and teens. Their presentation, The Cop and Convict, aims to educate viewers on the dangers of addiction and how it can be prevented through technology monitoring.

Some of what they talked about was difficult to listen to. I could not imagine being a parent and going through my child’s phone to see what they had gotten in to. Just being in high school 5-8 years ago and experiencing what I did, I cannot imagine what the next generations of highschoolers will witness with their pocket computers.

But I could also accept the necessity of parents being more involved in their child’s technological life.

Shouldn’t my Life Be Private?

Det. Wistocki repeated throughout the presentation, “There is no such thing as privacy (regarding technology) for a child.” This was difficult for me to swallow. I like my privacy. I enjoy thinking that my conversations with friends are just between us. But, what if these conversations were harmful to me?

What if these conversations between friends were malicious without me knowing? What if these conversations were leading me down the path to addiction, and I did not even know it?

It was powerful to listen to some attendees in recovery talk about how they obtained drugs. One hundred percent of the methods they described involved some form of phone technology.

When I looked at the issue through this lens, it was easier for me to understand why parents should go through their children’s phones. However, it did not take away the cringe-factor of Det. Wistocki pulling up his child’s phone activity at that minute in front of complete strangers.

The Revelation

But that is when it hit me.

The activity on our phones should be innocent enough to be projected on a TV screen. Why should it be cringey to watch your phone activity in front of hundreds of people if you have nothing to hide?

I then realized what was making me uncomfortable.

An Extension of Myself

My phone has become an extension of myself. Just the thought of showing my phone activity feels like exposing what is going on inside my head. It was not just a violation of privacy, it felt like a violation of my being.

This thought frightened me, but I realized this was the purpose of this talk. No matter if we are 14, or 22, we should be using our phones in a way that would make our loved ones proud.

A Change of Heart

By the end of the presentation, my perception of children’s phone privacy had completely changed. And by children, I mean ages 18 and under. I saw first hand the dangers of having the key to world at such a young age, and how it can have horrific effects on our children.

When we look at the opiate epidemic as a whole, it can feel hopeless. However, The Cop and The Convict showed people on Wednesday night what they can do in their own homes to fight. What Tim Ryan has experienced in his lifetime due to drugs and alcohol is unfathomable, but as Det. Wistocki said, this does not have to happen, and we have the power to make it stop.

Check out our New Website!

The majority of AMIRF’s efforts have migrated to timryanspeaks.com. Here we will post blogs, update you on where and when Tim is speaking, and his recent media appearances.

This website is also a great way to reach out to Tim if you are looking for him to speak at one of your events.

Feel free to explore the new website and let us know what you think. We are excited to see what is in store.

 

 

 

 

 

Tim Ryan Talks Opiate Pandemic on “The Doctors” TV Show

Grab your remotes and hop onto the couch, Thursday, Dec. 7,  Tim Ryan will appear on popular TV show, “The Doctors” to discuss America’s opiate epidemic.

DATES AND TIMES APPEAR BELOW:

Ryan has been traveling across the United States speaking to individuals about the deadly realities of the opiate epidemic and how we, as a national community, can combat it’s effects.

Tune in on Thursday to hear Tim tell his story, and learn how to arm yourself for the fight against addiction.

 

 

 

 

 

Tired of the tug-of-war? Drop the rope.

Have you ever been in a tug of war?

Your friends are surrounding you. The enemy is on the other side. There is a white ribbon fluttering in the wind as you use every muscle in your body to drag it across a line etched in dirt.

The rope cuts into your hands as an equal and opposing force uses all of its might to swing the ribbon in the other direction.

Feet dug into the dirt, it can feel like every effort you make is powerless over the strength of the opposing team.

Until everything changes.

Something gives, and you feel the weight of everyone’s effort force you back onto your teammates.

Laughing, wiping your hands on your legs, you realize … You won.

Sometimes, when we are knee deep in our struggles, it is difficult to see how our own actions can contribute to the pain we are feeling.

It can feel as if we are in this never-ending tug of war with our addiction/anxiety/depression etc. We are constantly fighting the inevitable waves of emotion and it is difficult not to feel helpless.

Until we realize that we can drop the rope.

We have the power to end this game if we allow ourselves the reprieve of just letting go.

Accepting that we are powerless over our addiction is the first step for a reason.  It is impossible to win this fight if we continue to hold on to the rope, never allowing ourselves to take control of our lives.

Although in the game of tug-of-war, letting go may signify defeat, in the game of life, letting go is the ultimate power move. Instead of continuing to fight, you are finally allowing life to happen on life’s terms.

So, drop the rope.

Signify that you are not continuing to battle what you have no control over, and welcome the support of those around you. Maybe hand the rope over to someone else for a while?

When we allow ourselves to “Let go and let God (or Higher Power)” we open ourselves up to change. We allow our tired souls to rest, and can drop the burden of whatever we are carrying.

Tired of the war? Drop the rope.