Greg interviews Jennifer Levitz, reporter with the Wall Street Journal, to discuss what she has learned investigating the opioid epidemic. Jennifer’s recent article, Vermont’s Radical Experiment to Break the Addiction Cycle, tells the story of Todd Popovitch, a former drug user who has been given a second chance under Vermont’s revolutionary new policies regarding drug possession.
Jennifer discusses the research which she undertook to write the article. Vermont has been hit hard by the opioid epidemic. “Vermont is situated in a pipeline for drugs between New York City and Connecticut,” she says. “They were going right up from New York to Rutland, Vermont. That became known as the heart of it… in a lot of places, first, it was the opioid pills. Then there were crackdowns on getting those pills. Then the heroine started to flood in from the big cities. People could make a profit on it in Vermont. It was simple economics.”
In this episode of the Cover2 Resources podcast, Greg interviews Harriet Ryan, an investigative reporter at the Los Angeles Times who frequently writes about the opioid epidemic. On January 19, 2017, Harriet wrote an article about a recent lawsuit in the city of Everett—located just north of Seattle, Washington. The city was prompted to sue the drug producer Purdue Pharma after reviewing another article published by Ryan last year.
Harriet says that her investigation found the roots of the issue: dirty physicians and pharmacies. She goes on to say why Purdue Pharma waited to disclose findings of these dirty physicians and pharmacies, rather than reporting them immediately.
Listen to the podcast to hear how Everett plans to proceed with the case against this massive drug manufacturer.
The Daily Motivator message for
Work without delay
Procrastination achieves nothing positive. Go ahead and do what must be done, before it must be done.
Purposeful effort is a joy. Fill your moments with an abundance of that particular joy.
Delaying the work just makes the work more difficult. So choose to do the work without delay, to do it now.
No longer will you be burdened by what must be done. You can be satisfied with what you have accomplished.
Do the work now, and earn the freedom of knowing you’re out in front of it. Then you can use your time in highly meaningful and productive ways, not just striving to catch up.
The sooner you do the work, the more leverage you have. Time has great value, so get that value working for you instead of against you.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
Father, God chose the foolish of the world to shame the wise, and God chose the weak of the world to shame the strong, and God chose the lowly and despised of the world, those who count for nothing, to reduce to nothing those who are something, so that no human being might boast before God. It is due to him that you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, as well as righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Whoever boasts, should boast in the Lord.” 1 Corrinthians 1:27-31
The seasons are changing and for the first time it was cold enough that I needed a coat. As I scanned the coats in the hall closet, I spotted a nice looking black coat that I had never seen before. I removed it from the hanger and noticed that it still had the sales tags. It was new! My wife had bought me a new coat, and I didn’t even know it.
As I slipped the coat on, I noticed that it fit perfectly. But, to my dismay, as I went to zip it up, I noticed that the zipper was backwards. It had been sewn in wrong. As I scanned the tag, my suspicions were correct. This wonderful coat was an irregular!
The Daily Motivator message for
Courage to choose
Countless possibilities swarm around you, every minute, every day. Live with the courage, the confidence, to choose.
The best possibilities are useless if you do not make the choice to follow them. The best opportunities have value only when you choose to act on them.
You cannot do everything, and wouldn’t want to. However, you can do what you choose.
To do that, you must make a choice, and commit to that choice, and act on that choice. Choose a possibility to explore, an opportunity to take, a path to follow.
No choice is going to be perfect, but don’t let that deter you. Because once you make the choice, you have what it takes to make the best of that choice.
The right choice is the one that enables you to give your best. Make the choice, and use it as a way to create great value for your world.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
In this episode of the Cover2 Resources podcast, Greg interviews Eric Eyre, a Journalist at Charleston Gazette-Mail. Eric reports on healthcare issues, including the current opioid epidemic sweeping across the nation and, more specifically, in West Virginia. Eric’s team analyzed opioid shipments in WV between 2007 and 2012. Through this deep research, they learned that wholesalers shipped enough opioids to supply every man, woman and child with 433 pills during that time period.
Eric’s team also found that a disproportionate number of pain pills went to the poorest and most rural counties in West Virginia. In the podcast, he shares why the number was so disproportionate compared to less rural counties.
Listen to the podcast for Eric’s highly-researched perspective on the opioid epidemic.
In this episode of the Cover2 Resources podcast, Greg interviews Lenny Bernstein, a journalist at The Washington Post. Recently, Lenny’s team spent a year investigating the rising death rate of rural white Americans. They found some startling evidence for why many rural Americans were falling victim to diseases of despair—alcoholism, suicide, and drug overdose. His team discovered that some distribution companies were giving rural pharmacies much more pills than they could possibly sell or store.
Listen to the podcast to hear Lenny explain what the DEA did about the distribution companies and why the epidemic continues today.
“Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.” –Confucius
“Seek To Be Worth Knowing Rather Than Be Well Known” – Anonymous
We live in a time of instant stardom and notoriety. People go from relative obscurity to fame overnight. Whether it’s American Idol, The Voice, Dancing with the Stars, a cable reality show, or an Instagram post that goes viral, someone is only a heartbeat away from being well known.
It seems like this want for celebrity has become the pursuit of many and being a better person has either taken a back seat or isn’t even part of the equation. Being well known has replaced being a person worth knowing.
But, is that really what we should want? Is that going to make us a better person; the person God meant us to be?
What many people discover is that popularity is fleeting. You can be on top of the world today and completely rejected tomorrow. Popularity is just not that important in God’s plan.
The Daily Motivator message for
Quantity can often impose great burdens. Quality, on the other hand, almost always brings sublime joy.
When caught between quantity and quality, seek quality. Quality is what makes anything worth having, knowing, learning, experiencing in the first place.
You cannot have a hundred million close friends, and would not want to. Yet you can experience a life overflowing with enjoyment from just a handful of quality friendships.
You cannot eat every item on every menu. You can select one quality meal at a time, and find great satisfaction in it.
Quantity spreads your attention, your purpose, your caring too thin. If a small quantity of something does not satisfy you, then more of the same will satisfy you even less.
Let go of the need to have the most, the latest, the fastest, the biggest. Seek deep, meaningful quality and make yourself rich in life, not just in stuff.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
“Other times, I look at my scars and see something else: a girl who was trying to cope with something horrible that she should never have had to live through at all. My scars show pain and suffering, but they also show my will to survive. They’re part of my history that’ll always be there.” ― Cheryl Rainfield
As I was shaving in front of the bathroom mirror, I couldn’t help but notice the huge scar on my stomach. It reminded me that it has been 12 years since I had surgery for colon cancer. Two feet of colon removed and cancer free for over a decade and the ugly scar to prove it.
We all have scars some visible and some invisible. Some physical scars are hidden by clothing; some are visible and can’t be covered. When I see scars, I see stories. A scar means you have survived and every scar tells a story.
The Daily Motivator message for
Each moment makes a difference
The person you become, the life you live, the results you get are a direct result of the way you spend your time. How do you intend to spend your time today?
Every person alive will have the same number of hours in this day. Yet the value obtained in those hours will vary remarkably.
You have time, and with it, opportunity. Decide right now to put it to its highest use.
As you travel through the day, remind yourself that each moment makes a difference. The way you live it determines what that difference will be.
You know that the difference between speeding forward and standing still is made in each moment. As the moments arrive, keep reminding yourself of their opportunity.
A little extra effort, each time you get the chance, leads to a lot of extra richness in your life. The day has arrived, and you know what to do.© 2017 Ralph S. Marston, Jr.
In this episode of the Cover2 Resources PPT Podcast, Greg interviews Dr. Mark Rosenberg, the Chairman of Emergency Medicine and the Medical Director for Population Health at St. Joseph’s Healthcare System in Patterson, New Jersey. Alternatives to Opioids Program (ALTO) was born in the emergency wing of St. Joseph’s Healthcare System. The program uses music and other alternative therapies instead of opioids to relieve pain.
The ALTO program is truly making a difference. “The numbers are just staggering,” says Dr. Rosenberg.
Listen to the episode here to learn more about the impact ALTO has had on the community in Patterson, NJ.
In this episode of the Cover2 Resources PPT Podcast, Greg talks to Angie Ferguson, Executive Director of Drug Free Clubs of America (DFCA).
Angie discusses the origin of Drug Free Clubs of America. The idea started in 2005 when Angie’s father and his colleague told Angie that they had an idea for combatting drug abuse. As firefighters, they had witnessed a lack of heartfelt preventative efforts by others. What if a club existed that offered high school students incentives for passing drug tests? Angie says, “Instantly, I thought of my high school friends who struggled with substance use disorder…Something like [DFCA] could have worked for them.”
2016 was another great year for Finding God’s Grace. By the grace of God we continued our forth straight year of uninterrupted Sunday morning posts and we completed our third year of Wednesday Podcasts, now over 160 in all!