Today’s Rickey Unleashed hit particularly close to home for Rickey this morning, as he uses this time to plead with parents and explain why, more now than ever, we must sit down and have those uncomfortable conversations about the real impacts of drugs, specifically fentanyl.
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Overdose mortality rates are at an all-time high, and according to CommenWealthFund.org, “In 2020, after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, overdose deaths jumped to previously unseen levels and eventually claimed nearly 92,000 lives that year — 21,000 more than in any previous year,” with death rates reaching record highs the following year, in only 6 months.
Rickey has felt the impact of the negative impacts of drugs from his family & friends, and is truly concerned and hurt by the overwhelming amount of tragedies he sees constantly among his friends, and even in his own life. As uncomfortable as it may be, please sit your kid down, take them to a meeting, and show them the true impacts and altering effects that drugs can have on someone’s life, which includes overdosing & death.
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Listen to the full conversation above, and read Rickey’s full statement below.
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Rickey Smiley: I just want to talk to Todd to all the parents this morning, we got a serious problem. And we have a drug epidemic that is just absolutely unreal. You know, in this country, and I’m telling you, you know it, everybody out here they got kids and and stuff, man, y’all please, please sit down and have those conversations with your kids. You know, as a child growing up in the projects, man, I’ve seen a whole lot of stuff. I’ve seen drugs and how drugs has affected my family and things to me, you know, my to be six years old, sitting down at seven years old sitting there on the front row with your dad in that casket. You know, it changed my childhood because I just remember all the little league football games and, and stuff when everybody else dad was this man. But you know, I really, you know, I had my granddad, my granddad was there. So I’m not gonna say that I didn’t have anybody. My grandfather stepped up to the plate. And, and completely raised me, but to lose my dad to drugs and see my mother struggled with drugs in the 80s. And, you know, now, I’ve lost a lot of relatives to drugs, you know. And if you ain’t never take your kids to an NA meeting, and let your kids sit in there and listen to some of those stories. Because I know about Na, because my mother was in the program. For years. My mother has like 34 years clean, clean and sober. And she I’m talking about did it without rehab decided that she wasn’t gonna do it no more and change the whole life. And now he’s in ministry. My stepdad and they wonderful people. And And now these kids are dying. And, God, God, God, God, forgive me. My pastor. I had to sit there in the front seat of my pants car while everybody go into church, my pastor Kevin Bryant and Faith Walkers. Why everybody go in that church at his daughter’s his daughter’s funeral. And then I took my niece Micah to the Bahamas, and we went to the Bahamas one weekend, and I got all these videos of us out there on the boat sitting on the beach and having a good time. And one fentanyl peel. She was dead. After we came back from the Bahamas. I got a call. Two weeks my cousin Kevin Kahn said what’s wrong? She said Mike was dead. I said dad how she said fentanyl. And these people I hear stuff and he’s been and I lost a wonderful nephew. You know that I had custody of sent off to college that was raised in my house. That also passed away last year, a month apart. So I had an aunt that was that went to the Bahamas put us to die of COVID So all of us in a hotel room with two beds sitting on the edge of the bed eating Chinese food. And there was seven of us in a room and two of them passed away within a month apart from each other. And I’m telling you all my grandfather sat down and had a conversation with me about drugs and alcohol or whatever. Every single night I got into my head and I just decided that I just wasn’t doing it and I didn’t want to die like my father did. And now we sit here burying kids that we changed a pamper and raised about close points at the school. Like I’m seeing so many of my friends birthday kids and so many people dying from fentanyl, y’all please have a conversation with your kids. Man is short and I hit on these pills. They take in these pills and they die and these dudes out here. They don’t care. They are here getting money and they selling these bills and they lacing it with fentanyl to get people to get them addicted. Right in they get addicted and then a bad batch appeals go out in every city don’t just Birmingham is St. Louis Atlanta. I can’t tell you how that’s all across the country.
Special K: You all you want to hear some numbers on it. Yeah. Okay. So what they’re saying is, and this is from 2019 to 2020 and 2021, that the overdose mortality rate of adolescents 14 to 18 years old rose by 94% 94%. And it’s saying that more kids are it’s not that more kids are using drugs, but the drugs that they are using the pills that they’re taking are more lethal. So we went from 492 adolescent Oh overdose deaths in 2019. To over 11 146 and 2021. I’m telling you, that’s like an increase of this double plus.
Rickey Smiley: Talk to your kids have conversations with your kid, tell your kids, please do not take pills and take stuff that people give them and have these uncomfortable conversations. Your kids ain’t gonna want to talk about it. But you have to get in the room and make the kids talk because you don’t want to bury your kid. I’ve been on the front row too many times with this. Watching young people that I watch in pet grow from Pampers to becoming teenagers now passed away. You know, so So let’s be mindful of that and pray for all the families that suffer and everybody that has suffered a loss, keep on to these families lifted up and bred because we are living in some terrible times. And we’re gonna talk more about it and stuff and just bring more awareness to it. And thank y’all listen, I just want y’all to have conversation with your kids.
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