The recent shooting at the Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas left us all heart broken. A lone gunman shot dead 26 people, and injured so many others. At this time of crisis, I am reminded of a talk on pain and addiction that I recently translated about the aftermath of the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.
Austin Eubanks at TEDx Mile High
I am so fortunate to have been able to watch this talk about pain and addiction live at TEDx Mile High, Denver. What an eye opener it is! Austin Eubanks has explained the emotional and physical pain he went through after the Columbine High school shooting.
Pain is unavoidable
I do not think there is any one in this world who has not seen suffering. There is no one who has been untouched by pain. At some point or other in one’s life, we all have fallen prey to pain and suffering. But the most important thing is how you come out of that doom. Do you ever come out? Or do you remain entrenched in the darkness forever? Moreover, do you make it worse for yourself by falling prey to addiction?
Pain and addiction management
How we manage pain is the problem as well as the solution. After the Columbine shooting, Austin was given medicines to relieve his physical pain, but nothing was done for his emotional pain. Furthermore, he was not even asked about his emotional pain. He even goes on to say that his physical pain subsided with the opioids that he was given. But he continued to take them as his emotional pain was still unmanageable. And soon he moved on to alcohol, marijuana and other illicit drugs.
Our society is filled with emotional pain and trauma. Along with this comes the healthcare system which only deals with the physiological aspect of the pain. And on top of it, the big Pharmaceutical companies which only work for profit. So, what would be the result? No doubt, an addiction pandemic. Overdose deaths rose by 19% in 2016. And this is getting worse.
Austin says that we have to do something about it. First of all, we need to start early intervention. Real world methods have to be introduced to the people who are suffering. The healthcare system needs to be reformed. Access to long term rehabilitation has to be improved. It is not something that can be resolved in a short period of time. It needs long term effort. Austin is right when he says,
” In order to heal it, we must feel it.”
And once that is done, we need to move forward and take steps to heal ourselves.
Sending hugs and prayers to the people of Sutherland Springs. May the departed souls rest in peace.
If you are not able to view the subtitles in Hindi, please refer to my earlier post..