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284 | Cammie Wolf Rice - Author of ”The Flight: My Opioid Journey”

September 27, 2022

284 | Cammie Wolf Rice - Author of ”The Flight: My Opioid Journey”
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Cammie’s a mother, an advocate, an author and an agent for change. She has personal experience dealing with the dangers of opioid misuse through her own son’s battle from childhood through his passing at 32. Cammie has transferred her pain into purpose. She has made it her mission to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and alternative pain.

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Unknown Speaker  0:02  
Welcome to positive talk radio. Our goal is simple to explore evolving ideas, one conversation at a time. So stay with us. Right now, we present. Welcome to positive talk radio, everybody, we've got a great show for you today, I need you to stay right where you're at. Because this is this show is going to be highly impactful. It's necessary to talk about, even though there's a little bit darkness associated to it. There's also a great deal of light if we look at it in the right way. And CAMI wolf rice, the author, are you getting used to saying that yet? No hearing that I love hearing it. She is the author of the forthcoming book, it's called the flight, my Opia journey. And, and it's quite quite a story. And the book is coming out. But she is also a philanthropist, a speaker she's working to get the word out and the understanding of which can change everything. And that is the understanding of opiate abuse, and where it comes from. Because I guess we should begin and just bring just briefly because I want them to buy the book as as well, which is by the way, what day is it coming out? October 26. So October 26, you'll be able to go to Amazon and you can get the flight myopia journey and it's a really important book because I well, we'll get into that a little bit. But tell us about your darling boy.

Unknown Speaker  1:40  
So my son, Christopher, I mean, this kid AP student wanted to be a Navy Seal, just super book smart. And he was diagnosed with a colon disease in high school. And this was 20 some years ago, Kevin and he had to have his large intestine removed. And it was right at the exact time that Purdue pharma was releasing the wonder drug oxy cotton. And we went home with 90 oxy cotton followed by 90 more.

Unknown Speaker  2:15  
I didn't even know that they could do that type of the surgery to remove someone's entire large intestine. Because where did where I suppose that that meant that he had to have a colostomy bag.

Unknown Speaker  2:31  
Yes, sir. He did. He did. And then followed by a surgery a few months later, they have a J pouch surgery where they actually turn your small intestine to act as a large intestine and you can get rid of the bag. Thank God.

Unknown Speaker  2:44  
No idea they could do that when either.

Unknown Speaker  2:47  
Yeah, for a senior in high school for you know, teenage boy, you know, the disease is just terrific. He had, you know, they have a lot of medicine. Now, that's much better for ulcerative colitis. But then there weren't many options. And he was having, you know, diarrhea 20 times a day. And so trying to go to school and have a bag and it was just super humiliating. And, you know, honestly, that first prescription of 90 oxycottons, it took us a while to even understand that there was an issue. He didn't know it. I didn't know it. We didn't know the right questions to even ask the doctor.

Unknown Speaker  3:26  
Well, I in those days, I don't think they have the answer to the question that you might ask them.

Unknown Speaker  3:32  
Exactly. You're right. I think that, you know, doctors were told by the pharmaceutical reps from Purdue pharma that oxycontin was not addictive, when in fact, it was very addictive.

Unknown Speaker  3:45  
And in those days, when when they and when doctors get a new medication, which is one of the reasons why they don't necessarily go down the natural path of, of eating better and, and stuff like that is because the pills, they get samples all the time. So I'm sure that when this first came out, they were inundated with because you know, doctors actually got hooked on this stuff. So they were inundated with samples of try this and trying to get them to take that and stuff like that. It made it it made it really, it made it really tough. So your son had an opening prescription of 90 plus 90 That's 180 pills, that you take one every and never is one,

Unknown Speaker  4:28  
one every four hours. And Kevin, honestly, I you know, feel horrible to even say this, but we don't ask doctors questions and I was told to give them to him. Every four hours. He was in pain. He had a hole in his stomach. So of course, I was doing exactly what the doctor said and giving them to him every four hours. And we fought this for 14 years for rehab treatment centers. I was fortunate to have her sources to get him treatment. And this this drug as opioids, do, they hijack your brain literally hijack your brain channel, you gotta have it gotta have it gotta have it. So we had many relapses, we had, you know, which of course, he's feeling like a failure, because his brain is telling him, he has to have the medication. And so it eventually went to, as I was telling you earlier, Kevin 80% of heroin users started with a prescription. And so my message is, number one, you can become addicted with one prescription. And we must feel comfortable to be our own health advocates and ask doctors questions. Because February 26 2016, I lost my son.

Unknown Speaker  5:56  
I'm sorry. Thank you that, and he was 31 years of age 3232 32

Unknown Speaker  6:05  
and fought it for years. And so

Unknown Speaker  6:10  
what must that have been like for him? Because I know that he wanted to get on with his life, but his brain was, and from what I understand this stuff actually rewires your brain to into believing that this is what you have to have. And and then is it, then there's not enough of it, then you gotta go get more and it's a vicious cycle. It's a vicious cycle. And I'm sure that when he was, was trying to get over it, and you took him to rehab and stuff like that, it he must have felt, you know, horrible must have felt like a failure.

Unknown Speaker  6:46  
He really did. I mean, I, I really stand out about I mean, AAA has been great for a lot of people. And there's a lot of great things about AAA. However, for my son personally, to stand up and have to say, at every meeting, Hi, I'm Christopher, I'm an addict. For him. It was it made him feel like a loser. He's like, I might as well just say, Hi, I'm Christopher, I'm not worth anything. I'm a loser. I can't beat this. And so I felt like we really needed to bring more positivity into how we treat. And you know, that lines with the whole issue that we have in this country around stigma, and people are afraid to talk about it. And I was a victim to that because I didn't tell my friends what was going on, because I didn't want them to think poorly of my son. I think we as parents also think that we're going to look bad as parents that we've done something wrong if our son or child is an addict, and we don't want the judgment. And and as sad as this sounds, Kevin, it took me two years to say that Christopher overdosed because I wanted my son to have a respectable death. Now, how sad. On top of dealing with losing my child, but wanting it to be a respectable death. I could not say the truth.

Unknown Speaker  8:17  
Now, how long was he after he had a second surgery? How long was the recovery time for that to when he if he had a different mindset and a different belief, he could have quit the pills, because I know, he had a tremendous amount of pain for a very, very long time. And there's stomach pain, like is like no other. You can't run from it. You can't put an ice pack on it. You can't. It's just as there. But so when was he actually feeling better? How long was this whole process?

Unknown Speaker  8:48  
I don't think he ever he never fully recovered when he had the J pouch completed. And what happened after that was now your small intestine is acting as a colon. Right. And what happened is he got a blockage? No, no. And so we had to have emergency surgery and they had to cut both sides and you know, get the blockage out and then breathe. So as small intestine, he was constantly having different surgeries. Which a cause PTSD, you know, again, by by then Kevin, when I look back at the whole story, I didn't know what was happening when it was happening. But now looking back, he never had a chance to get off of them. He never had a chance to get because something else would happen. And by the time he was okay so to speak. He was way addicted. I mean, it was it was done. He was addicted. And it went from one thing to the next and you know he would go to the emergency room. And he would be thinking he'd be having a panic attack thinking oh my god, I'm having a blockage after he had the first blockage. When it wasn't that at all. He was just having a stomachache a regular you know, because again, you have to be very careful with your diet, and so forth. And we go back to the IDI. And the other thing is, at the time, it's gotten a lot better, but still needs a lot of improvement. The emergency rooms, didn't know how to deal with an addict. And so I would come in and say, you know, my son is in recovery. You know, he just he's been in treatment, you can't give him opioids. And they had no idea what to do about the pain, they had no idea how to treat somebody that's in recovery. And so it was a battle between him and I, because he's looking at me that I'm the devil trying to keep pain medicine away from him when I was trying to protect him. So it just it literally just snowballed into one issue after another after one treatment center after another.

Unknown Speaker  10:46  
Well, I can tell you this, I'm very glad you've you've written the book. And it comes out at the end of October, and you can go to Barnes and Noble you can go to Amazon is going to be a wide release. And it's about your journey with your son of fighting opioid addiction through him, and also subsequently to that, because you've become quite the advocate. You were telling me before the podcast that you had a last weekend, the Attorney General's Oh, Georgia was over to your place and, and you have 300 people that were interested in in supporting the work that you're doing. Because we probably should, at one point run through the numbers of why we're even talking about this, and why it's such a big deal, and why I believe in it so strongly. And I want to support you in any way that we can, is that it is I you know, we talk a lot about COVID-19. And we talked about some of the related things. But I tell you, you have new numbers for us to talk about I think, don't you?

Unknown Speaker  11:51  
Yes, I recently went up to Washington, DC and met with the DEA, they invited Well, if you can imagine and probably most can't. I walked into a conference room with over 200 parents that have lost their children. And you talk about growling, because our country is under a chemical warfare attack, literally. We have kids dying every nine minutes. And we're not. We need to be really sharing the information. And that was the purpose of writing the book is to meet the Met, you know, to hit the masses to try to educate everybody because I'm telling you, you're a parent, Kevin. And in the dictionary, there is no word for when a parent loses a child. People can't even imagine it when they talk to me. They don't even know what to say. Because you're an orphan. If you lose a parent, you're a widow. If you lose a spouse, there's no word for losing a child because it's out of a natural order. And the pain is something that is so it was excruciating. That I had to say, you know, I read this book, it was called the sixth stage of grief. David Kessler says the sixth stage is purpose. And I think I skipped a few of the stages and went right to purpose. And I know I'm not answering your question, because I wanted to explain first, like why I had to get this book out because I don't want another parent to bury their child. Now, when you look at the opioid epidemic, it is the largest epidemic any of us anyone that's listening today, Kevin, any of us will ever witness in our lifetime. I mean, we're talking 100,000 Just in the last year. Now, there's several tentacles to this. There is Peep there are people becoming addicted by prescriptions. So there's that box. But then what we're talking about now is fentanyl and fentanyl look, let's be honest, hundreds of years people have been experimenting with drugs in college. You try this you try that parent say Oh, my kid wouldn't do that. Well, I'm sure the West Point cadets thought the same thing about their children when they went on spring break and try cocaine. Kids are curious. They're told different things. They might be under peer pressure, whatever. Here's the difference. In today's world, experimenting with street drugs, the drugs are poisoned. It's not an overdose. You're not taking too much of something. You're taking one pill and dying because it's been poisoned with fentanyl. Big difference. So street drugs, experimenting being at college trying this. Those days our O V E are over because our country's an under literally under a chemical warfare attack. That's Coming from our own DEA out of Washington, DC.

Unknown Speaker  15:04  
It is amazing to me that you the number that you just said, 100,000 kids. And I just want to remind everybody that we were in Vietnam from like 1963 to 1975. And we lost 56,000 service members who were killed during that conflict. During all of those years, we're losing 100 that we're losing, we're having a Vietnam plus, every year now, and I get it, it must make your blood boil that you don't hear as much about this in the media as we really should be. Because this is a all hands on deck. We've got to figure this excuse the expression, we have to figure this shit out or people are going to lots and lots of people are going to continue to die, especially with this venerable stuff, where from what I understand, it can be there can be a granule in it in a particular pill and it can kill you. Is that Is that right?

Unknown Speaker  16:01  
Yes, it is. It is. And I just last week, there was a girl, 14 years old, she got a sweet tart at school. And the fitna was in the sweetheart, and she's gone. She died. And so my point is, it's not just in Adderall, Xanax, marijuana, oxy cotton, all the street drugs. It's also they're putting it they're calling rainbow fentanyl. It's in skiddle in an IT sweet tart, looking like a sweetheart. It's not a sweetheart of a clarify. It looks like candy. And the girl was 14 years old. Another case. I was at the DEA and a mom sitting next to me. She said my son never did drugs. He went to a slumber party. And they were on Snapchat. And they were all you know, somebody contacted and kids and, you know, again, the black web and said, you know, you want to dance all night. You want to laugh, so you can't stop. They delivered it to the house. And like three people the summer party died. And these are 1415 year old kids. So it's you know, we've got to talk to kids literally as young as five years old about what's going on. And they're, you know, yes, I'm screaming and screaming Narcan, Narcan, Narcan, it's nasal spray, everyone should own Narcan. Everyone should know what to do in a situation. It's not that you might be at a party and someone has fentanyl. You could be at a gas station, you could be at a coffee shop. They are training servers across the country, in coffee shops, because people are overdosing airports. You take a Xanax to go fly, you've got anxiety, and they got it from a friend and it wasn't a prescription. And they're spitting on it. And they're dying.

Unknown Speaker  17:58  
Why is is this intentional? Are people intentionally putting fentanyl in stuff to kill people? Or what is the purpose of having such a strong? I'm sure the DEA talked about it, too. They have such a strong chemical that can kill you. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised if it could kill you through your skin.

Unknown Speaker  18:23  
Well, there has been police officers that have been exposed, you know, and then had an issue they had Narcan or you know that it's happened. baby was sleeping in between a babysitter and another person and those girls were doing something in the fentanyl got on the baby and the baby overdose. I mean, yeah, it's it's insane. Honestly, it gets really tricky and a little bit complicated to explain because there are people and again, we're on stigma we try not to use we're trying to change the vocabulary and call it substance misuse disorder, instead of addict and instead of drug abuser, we're trying to change the way we look and what we use what words to describe. But my point is there are people that are fentanyl addicts. The average lifespan is three years, they've built up a tolerance for the fentanyl and it's a high, it's I think it's 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin. So it's just an unbelievable high that once you have it, and people that don't have any tolerance and don't have that they can die literally with a pebble like a salt. That's good, they're gone. But if people have a tolerance for drugs, then they get just a little bit of fentanyl and then they get addicted to that fentanyl. Their average lifespan is now two and a half to three years.

Unknown Speaker  19:52  
So it's kind of like when you go down the road of taking drugs and you develop your body develops over time. Tolerance for it. And you need a little bit more every time a little bit more every time that this is kind of I equate it. Maybe I'm totally wrong. But would this be like taking that extra shot of booze with a beard too, so that you can achieve what you want to achieve? A little faster? So you take a little shot that and that to get you high a little bit faster? Is that kind of how they're using it kind of thing?

Unknown Speaker  20:26  
I think it's, yeah, I think it's even more exaggerated than that. I think the high is just, it's, it's, of course, I don't obviously do drugs. But I think it's just it's such a euphoria, that once you have it, you literally, I mean, as again, it hijacks your brain, and you have to have more, more, more more. And it's inexpensive. And, you know, I always say, Well, why would a drug dealer kill off their client. And if you get addicted to it, it's an on top, it's constant, that that person is going to come back to you buy more, buy more, buy more, buy more, buy more. And if that person dies, you just go to the next one. I mean, they also said at the DEA that the drug dealers on the street corner are pretty much a thing of the past, this is all being done on the black web and delivered to your home delivered to wherever and they don't care somebody dies, they go to the nether and and you know, it's it's chemicals being brought in, it brought from China, to Mexico and just literally bombarding over our border. There's many articles you can Google of all the fentanyl busts. And quite frankly, the DEA is trying to train police officers to fight the cartels. I mean, they showed a map and there are cartels all over our country. So it's just a very frightening time that there's actually a war going on in our backyard, and it's killing our children. Not to mention, it's killing our kids the age group that goes into our military. We're not even talking about that. It's the number one killer of kids are from ages 18 to 45.

Unknown Speaker  22:14  
Wow, I had I had no idea. But if you if you look at it from that perspective, and then you look at somebody that has gotten nefarious means nothing is safe. Our water supplies and safe are because because if somebody decided they wanted to have, I assume this is true that tell me if I'm wrong. Somebody wanted to have a mass casualty event. And they were to put a bunch of pills in the reservoir. That was that went into our tap water. The air could kill people. Is that right?

Unknown Speaker  22:50  
Oh, yeah. Yeah, I don't want to give anybody any ideas. But I thought that myself too, is like, I just wished that

Unknown Speaker  22:57  
well trust me if you if you and I thought about it, it's already been thought of.

Unknown Speaker  23:02  
Yeah, that's so true. That's so true. And you know, I, I think the number one thing that I'm thankful for that the DEA did is when they brought parents from across the country, I will tell you, I have met the most amazing mothers and it's an it's a connection, I can't even describe to you. Because we get it and it only mothers that have lost a child understand and can be there for the other. And we are now an army. And I will like literally mom's from Kentucky, California, North Carolina, Arkansas, they came for my event on Sunday to support me, and I'm supporting them. And we they marched on the White House steps on Saturday, September 17, with posters of showing all these children that have died, and that's the thing, like that's what we all have this fire inside of us. We're not getting our kids back. My Christopher is gone. I am screaming an alarm to save your child so that you don't feel the pain that I feel. And that's what I'm doing this for. It's it's Christopher's gone. But but but if I can say parents from losing their children, I want to scream to the highest from the highest mountain. And that's how all these mothers feel.

Unknown Speaker  24:23  
And I'm just I was just going through this with my mind going, okay, you know, we're having a gun crisis in this country because kids are being killed by these these rapid fire guns and these military weapons. And we talk about that. And we talk about ways to fix it up on Capitol Hill that not that they're going to get anything done. But they at least at least it's out there and people are talking about it. Nobody's talking about this. This is the weirdest thing I've it is far and away. Statistically speaking, it's far and away more deadly than then mass shootings are by just by the numbers. I mean, if 100,000 People were well, there are lots of people being killed in this country by firearms. But but this is this is but this is something that we can actually do something about. And that's, that's why you're working so hard. By the way, we're talking with Kami wolf rice. And she's got the, by the way, did you add the middle name because you're now a hoity toity big time author.

Unknown Speaker  25:29  
No, actually, my son, he, he wanted to take my maiden name because my we didn't have any boys to carry on the wolf name. And obviously, unfortunately, he's passed away. And so I honored the name of my charity is Christopher wolf crusade, I want to, you know, wanted to build a crusade. And so that's why I put my maiden name in the middle because I want to carry on my maiden name. And Chris,

Unknown Speaker  25:59  
I think that's great. I think that's, that's really, that's really cool. And she's written a book, and which is coming out in the end of October, the flight myopia journey, I highly suggest that you buy the book, and give it to family and friends. Because a lot of times, we don't even know what's happening with our kids, until it's too late. And that good friend of mine, was in rehab, came home seemed to be doing fine. Had I had a bad experience one day with life, which we all have. And if you don't know how to deal with it, you might revert to going back to what you used to do to make you feel good. So they did that and rented a hotel room, the sound on the next day, the needles still in his arm. And he was gone. And and it happened so fast. Nobody could stop it, nobody could. Nobody was even aware of it until it had happened. And so we as a culture have to really work to change how we are deciding that we're going to handle some of these things. And we're gonna have to offer support like we've never offered before, or we're gonna run. We're gonna rack kids before before too long, because that's all folks are gonna die off and, and, and the kids are gonna join us. This is crazy.

Unknown Speaker  27:21  
Yeah, I mean, you know, so I love it, by the way that your name of your show is positivity, you know, Doc show. And so, you know, it's pretty grueling. The the first part of our conversation here, Kevin, and so, but you have to bring the attention to what's going on. And so when I started Christopher wolf crusade, I wanted because my son spent so much time in the hospital I wanted to create, I pick the hardest thing in the world to do. Which is interesting. But, you know, if you look at our country, we use coaches for everything, right? Imagine a sports team without a coach. Imagine, I mean, you've got executive coaches, you have nutrition coaches, they even have sleeping coaches, who have coaches for everything, except for when you're in a health crisis. And you need a coach to get through the recovery. And had I had this position when Christopher was in the hospital to help me and to help him. So I've had a clinical trial going on at one of the largest trauma hospitals in the country here in Atlanta, Georgia Grady Hospital, and we it's called a Life Care Specialist. Now, they have child life specialists all over the United States, there's 6000 of them in children's hospitals, when you're 18. and above, there's no coach, there's nobody to help you get through, right. And so this, and I call them to the patients, they're your Care Coach. And this care coach's job is to number one, educate you about the medication that you've been put on. If you have to be on an opioid. You've had a car accident, a football injury, whatever the case, the importance of how quickly you need to taper off. We also provide all these techniques for non pharmaceutical things to do for pain, we as our society think we can take a pill and that solves all the pain. And so we have all these different types. We do music therapy, we do brain distraction. We provide mental health techniques to help with anxiety, stress, depression, PTSD, which normally you have all those if you're in the hospital, and the nurses and doctors, they don't have the time. We're in a nursing crisis in our country, they don't have time to explain to you and talk to you about a pain management strategy. We follow up with the patients once they go home, to make sure they're off their opioids and again, provide support from a from a mental standpoint as well. And so my my goal, Kevin is to have these care coaches in hospitals across the United States that is the goal of Christopher, what crusade is developing this new position in healthcare, it's desperately needed.

Unknown Speaker  30:05  
And the reality is, even though on the face of it, somebody might say, well, that's gonna be really expensive to do that. But the reality is what?

Unknown Speaker  30:15  
No, actually, if two people are not readmitted into the emergency, if you're released from the hospital, and you don't go back for pain management into the emergency room, within that 30 days of being let go, that's paid for the Life Care Specialist for a year.

Unknown Speaker  30:34  
You told me that before, it was like, wow, that, again, that makes altogether too much sense. And well, in the in the other thing I just wanted to say is I've been in the hospital a few times, I've spent, you know, I had sepsis, and I had, you know, this and I had my hips replaced, and, and all of that. So I've had, I've had opiates, and all that kind of stuff. But the nurses, they're too busy, they don't have time to, to go through all of this with you. And in addition to assess your mental state, all they're interested in is making sure that you're following the doctor's protocol. And oh, by the way, I've got 10 Other patients in my rounds that I have to get to, and I'm here for 16 hours a day, because the other one called in sick and so I don't have time for you. That's that's the way it was when I was in the hospital anyway.

Unknown Speaker  31:29  
Exactly. And you know, what's happened is, the care coaches spend so much time with the patient that they uncover other issues, comorbidities like domestic violence or home insecurity or food insecurity. And they're able to get that patient resources where they normally would have fallen through the crack, we do a full assessment, which we can tell this assessment tool that we have that I have a champion surgeon Chief of Surgery at Grady that's helped me put this together because I'm not from the healthcare industry. I just knew what I didn't have all those times as as Christopher's mother and what Christopher didn't have, and the results and the data, we're getting the preliminary data, and we have a 25% opioid utilization rate decrease. It's prevention, we've got to stop it before it starts. Because so many addictions start with a football injury, a car accident, whatever the situation, right, and you go home with a prescription, and you might have low self esteem, depression, stress, those things can accelerate addiction, because you're going to self medicate, right? So not only did you hurt your shoulder, and you're out for the whole season, and you're depressed about that, right? Then you got these pills that make you feel good. So you're going to self medicate. And the next thing you know, you've got a senior in high school that's addicted to opioids. So we have to get on the prevention side. So that's, that's what the Crusades mission is, along with a million other things, of course, but

Unknown Speaker  33:05  
I think I think that that is so needed, it's important, because what kids will do, having used to being one of myself, or kids will do is, you know, one pill feels good to will feel even better, right? And so when you start going down that road, and you're taking over your prescribed amount, and in those days now, I don't know how it is across the country. I know that in Washington state where I live, they're becoming increasingly aware of opioids, and they're prescribing them less if they can, they used to give them out like candy, they don't do that anymore. As much well, I can't say that, because I'm not in every health care situation. So I don't know that who's doing what and, and stuff like that. So it's, but 100,000 people dying is not acceptable. Every year, it's just not acceptable. And, and so your the work that you're doing is just is really, really good and good for heaven's sake. It's so needed, we, when you're in the hospital, life sucks. I don't care who you are. It's not fun to be in the hospital room in a hospital bed, and you can't go anywhere and you don't feel very good. And, and it would be nice to have people there to support you, especially for those that don't have family around them.

Unknown Speaker  34:25  
Absolutely. I mean, that was a silver lining during COVID Because they couldn't see family members and when we had a 26 year old that had her leg amputated and couldn't see your parents can you imagine and I said do not leave her side, you know, in the Life Care Specialist spent hours in there. And you know, you build a trust and we have a patient care package, believe it or not like simple things. You know what one of the number one things that patients love as an adult coloring book because it distracts the brain. And we have all kinds of things in there for them. Just a blanket, a soft blanket, you know, because hospital rooms can be so sterile. And so, you know, we do music therapy. And it's just so we really are constantly adding innovative things to help with pain besides taking a pill. How did you come up with this idea? Well, I was on a board alliance for kids that that dealt with supporting child life specialists. And so that's what made me think you know, what children have that. And the child life specialist helps children and helps the parents of the children and the Children's Hospital. But there's nothing in an adult hospital. And I thought, If only I would have had somebody with me all those times, I was in the hospital with Christopher telling me, hey, let's try this for pain. Let's do this distraction. Let's you know, there's we've been trained by the trauma Resource Institute, with these little simple techniques to help distract your brain when you're having anxiety, stress, and depression. And so we've all been certified, even myself, I've gotten certified on these on these techniques, because everybody deals with stress and anxiety. I mean, you know, we're hearing about mental health now, like we've never heard before. And thank God, we've got to get the stigma out so that we can all help each other.

Unknown Speaker  36:20  
Everybody needs, everybody needs a coach, everybody needs help, from time to time, we all have blind spots, we all need, we all need support. And one of the things that I like about what you're doing is that you're providing and gathering all these people to support each other. What happens is when you have a community, and you're having a community, they came together because everybody's wounded, but you can help each other. And you become a very, very strong advocate for one another, is that that's what I think happens is that what happens

Unknown Speaker  36:54  
it is and you know, if you have a family member, you're listening right now, and you have a family member, because we all know one. And it might not be immediate family, it might be a neighbor, it could be we all know one, and don't give up on them, they're in there. And they need a tribe of support around them, they need support. And, you know, and so to the sort of the caretakers, you know, it's this tough being a caretaker, you got to take care of everybody. And that's why we have to eliminate the stigma and beat you can't do it alone, you have to be it's such a freedom. I will tell you, it was such a freedom for me to come out and stand in the sun and say, you know, I'm not going to worry about looking good. I'm not going to worry about sounding good. I am out to help people and to save lives. And so to do that, I had to be raw, I had to come out and say this is my son, my son overdosed, you know, my son, my son turned to heroin. And I would have never in a million years, you got to understand my boy was such a disciplined, I mean, he was straight going to be a Navy Seal, until you got those oxycottons. And it totally, totally ruined his life, took his life.

Unknown Speaker  38:10  
I'd like to give for somebody that has not talked about becoming like a Navy Seal, or know somebody that's talked about the regimen that they go through. You have to be strong willed, you have to be tough, and you have to be willing to do some things like no other. And if he was in I'm sure he knew what was ahead of him to become a Navy Seal and was preparing for it. So this is a completely different he went down a completely different place. And it was because and they're proving it now that the the the OxyContin and those things, and and fentanyl and that it changes your brain chemistry. And so it becomes a necessary thing for you. So I'm just real pleased for you on on what you're doing. And I know your pre sales are going well for your book. If somebody wants to order this book ahead of time. How do they do it?

Unknown Speaker  39:06  
Thank you, Kevin. I do want to talk a little bit about the book. So if you want to preorder the book, it's kami wolf wo LF rice ric And then see WC dot NGO is the charity we have a lot of resources up there a lot more information about our care coaches and the charity. All the author proceeds every dime goes to the charity. And so I'm not taking any of this money for myself. This is all for the charity. And I gotta tell you, it's been an interesting journey writing the book because I had to go outside to really explain because you can't explain the pain you just can't. And so I use an airplane as a metaphor as our journey of life. And people that get on your flight that you think are going to be on your flight your whole journey. Me, and just like my son, he left my flight. But yet I have to keep flying and you land different places in your life, you land at joy and success and happiness, and forgiveness and the worst place grief. And so no matter what challenges you have, no matter what you're facing today, you still have the empowerment to fly, to keep flying. And that's, that's really the message, the book really transformed into tools that will help people. And while you're hearing about my journey, it actually helps the reader to reflect and think about your own journey. So I've had people that you know, didn't have a son that passed away didn't have anything to do with opioids, but they said, You know what, I've been wanting to open my own business. And I'm going to do it now after reading your book. And I was like, Whoa, that has nothing to do with losing a son or an opioid journey. But it really meant helps you to think about your own journey.

Unknown Speaker  41:01  
I've always said, Well, I haven't always said, but in the last 20 years, I've said that. At one point in our lives, we all have two questions that we ask. One is, why am I here? Why am I really here. And the other one is, is this all there is, there's got to be more than this. And so you find your passion, you go search for it, you found your passion with CW see, and it's become a major part in your life. And by the way, I'm looking at her website, and she actually put her EIN number so that you can do easily research so that you can determine the quality and you can use that for for 501 C threes, because you can very easily get the rating of that particular organization. And so she puts it right up there for you so that you can go do it. So that, that tells me that your integrity is totally intact, and that you're not scared of having anybody look at your books and, and what you which is just awesome. And so I just want to put this out there, if you're somebody that and you're listening to this program, and you're somebody with means, and they are looking for a place to to be an angel investor, or to help with an organization like this, see, WC would be a great organization to for you to invest in. So I just wanted to put that out there just in case. And you can go to CAMI Wolf and get in touch with her and you can deposit a great big check on her behalf. Or somebody.

Unknown Speaker  42:35  
You're so sweet. I really appreciate you so much. You know, and and I gotta say you're right that, you know, I've been chosen to do this work. And I promise you I mean, I, we don't know what happens when we die. We all have our own perception of what we think is going to happen. But what I will tell you is my son has been helping me this whole time I get God links all the time, I get signs from him all the time that he's with me. And he sacrificed his life so that others can live theirs. And that's the way I look at it. And I've been chosen to do this work to save lives. And so that's that's what gets me up every day, you know, he would have been 39 years old on Sunday. And it's a rough day for me. But I celebrated it instead I said I gotta celebrate this. And that's, you know, that's when I did this whole program to educate people and I just feel good about it. I feel like I'm am making a difference. And if one person hears today, one person shares with somebody, one person goes and gets Narcan. Everyone should have Narcan. You know, that it can save a life.

Unknown Speaker  43:45  
I want to ask you about that. But first, I want to mention this to you. And that is I I firmly believe that we come here with a predestination of what we are going to do. And I think that you and Christopher came here together in order to save a lot of lives. Because they could see this coming in. So he had he chose to be the one that was the example and you chose to be mama bear who's going to come after it like no other. And I and he's still Yeah, I know he's with you every day. Absolutely. He's so freakin proud of you. You know that.

Unknown Speaker  44:26  
Thank you. That means a lot Kevin. It really does. I mean, I I have it right here. He's a smile. Abby is right here. Yes, smiles, you know, right next to me all the time, all the time. He is

Unknown Speaker  44:41  
He is there to protect you. And he's also there to support you and he's so thrilled that you are taking this role. And I am thankful to Christopher for bringing us together so that I can help you

Unknown Speaker  44:55  
know. Thank you, Kevin. I really appreciate you. You've been such a big supporter to have me You're on here and giving me the voice. Because anytime I can get a microphone, and even when I can't I constantly, I'm just on fire. So I really, really appreciate this platform. You've built an unbelievable platform, Kevin, and you reach so many people. And I am incredibly grateful for this opportunity,

Unknown Speaker  45:19  
I can tell you this is that I'm grateful to have you here. This is the grateful club, I'm grateful to have you here because we have a unique platform you and I, because of what I do with the radio show, and with the podcast, and all of that, and what you do with writing your book, and being an advocate, and then the 501, C three, and all the things you're doing, you're making a difference, and you're saving people's lives, you're impacting them in a positive way. And that's that, to me, there is no better calling than that. And here's something that, that and the cool thing is, you're not even going to know who it's going to be. But one of these days, when your book comes out, mark my words, your books going to come out, and somebody's gonna walk up to you and say, Cami, I just want you to know, you saved my life, or you saved my son's life, or you're saved my daughter's life. And they're gonna say, thank you, thank you for what you're doing. And hopefully they'll turn into an advocate. And then you can have more people because what will happen is, this will become a bigger and bigger movement. And as well, it should, because we've got to figure out how to get the drugs out of the system, and to make it work for everybody. And you're only going to do that through positivity through working together through meditation and prayer and all the all the things that we can do in a positive way. And we've got to work together on this stuff, and quit arguing amongst ourselves. I'm sorry, I'm gonna soapbox now. Quit arguing amongst ourselves over stupid shit when we need to be talking about what is killing 100,000 kids. Nobody and I, you know, the midterms are coming up. And I have not heard one politician say, you know, we really have got to get really work on the drug problem here and figure out how we can save our children. And Narcan isn't is a integral part of that. Why is it so hard to come by?

Unknown Speaker  47:21  
That's a great question. I feel like they should have been giving Narcan out at every COVID vaccine place. I mean, they should be giving it out for free instead of being in lawsuits with Purdue pharma and giving all these money to the states. And not handing out Narcan. I mean, in some states, you don't need a prescription. It's true. There are websites, there are a few websites out there. But again, if you watch the tutorial, like a two minute three minute tutorial on how to use nasal spray, they'll ship it to you, but they've been running out of it. For free. It's honestly it should absolutely be no prescription. And it should be given anybody can go to a pharmacy and get it. And like I said, some states you don't need a prescription, you can just go to your pharmacy, I'm telling you please go get it. You might not need it for your child. You might need it for your child's friend, you might need it for the neighbor across the street that calls you that their son's passed out on the floor. You might need it at a gas station. I mean, every single person should have Narcan. And you know, it's interesting. There are some people that have said I was at a conference speaking and I said Narcan, Narcan, Narcan, and they came up afterwards. And they said, we don't we don't agree with you. We think that you're enabling drug use. And I said, so if you see somebody drowning, you wouldn't give them an or you wouldn't give them a life jacket. I mean, who are you to decide when somebody dies or not? Like I just got so upset. I just didn't even I couldn't comprehend how you could be worried about drug enabling when somebody I mean, they might think they're taking a Xanax, and it has been on it. They think they're taking Xanax for anxiety, and they overdose and die. So I just I, I'm appalled that there is some question in some people's minds of Well, I don't really know if I would want to save somebody really? I can't, I can't, I can't wrap my brain around that. So I think that the country needs it'd be great to get a petition going. A lot of the moms have we've all talked about it, of getting a petition going across the country to say why is why are we not dispersing Narcan in a huge way to everyone to save a life.

Unknown Speaker  49:38  
Why What you said makes so much sense because it's like somebody's drowning. Well, you know, if they should have learned how to swim, you know, and then getting them drowned. It makes it makes no sense besides the person that may have overdosed and it may be an inadvertent overdose or something like that. That little girl who took the sweetheart, and you don't have it available yet. And I was just thinking while we were talking about that, you know, the I don't know if they do it as much now, but years ago, they used to do CPR drills, and they did CPR classes, and you can learn how to do CPR so you can save a life. This seems like a whole bunch easier. And I will tell you, I've I've witnessed a couple of guys that were overdosing and they you could not wake them up to save your life. They were but Narcan, they were up instantly, and that wears off. So they still have to go to the hospital. And they still have to go through all that stuff, but they're not dead. That's that's, that's pretty. So I agree with you that we have COVID boosters for free. I think that anybody who needs Narcan, anybody that's got kids. It's, it's like having an epi pen.

Unknown Speaker  50:57  
Yes. Exactly. Exactly.

Unknown Speaker  51:01  
You don't know when your kid's gonna get stung by a bee or eat a peanut.

Unknown Speaker  51:06  
And which epi pen? Because the peanut and they made a bad choice they weren't supposed to. I mean, yeah, it's just yeah, that's exactly right. I mean, that is exactly the way it should be looked at is. I mean, to me, why isn't Purdue pharma providing that, right?

Unknown Speaker  51:27  
Because it probably there's not enough money in

Unknown Speaker  51:29  
it. Right? Right.

Unknown Speaker  51:33  
Because everything, everything, sadly, is about money. But this, this transcends that, because we're losing people, not even some of which have not even reached the prime of their lives. No. And, and that's just it's we, I'm with you, I, I value you and what you're doing, you're doing some incredible work. And this book is going to be a big deal, I think. Thank you, Kevin, I couldn't help it be a big deal. I Well, thank you. Because this is one of those. I you know, I can't think of anything better to do with your life than to help people. And this is if you can, if you can, if you can help people live and not die. And, and your book is important. It's called the flight myopia opioid journey. And the author is kami wolf rice is going to be out in late October. However, you can go to our website, which is kami Wolf And there's a little tab there that says buy the book, then you can preorder it right now. And you know what, Christmas is a common, it's going to be, you know, the older I get, the faster Christmas comes every year just amazes me.

Unknown Speaker  52:44  
Yeah, I know what you mean by that. And the other thing I just want to mention too, I put QR codes, I learned this through, you know, going to a restaurant and wanting to eat. So I learned how to do the scan at a restaurant. And I was sitting there I was like, Oh, I'm gonna put that in my book. So in the back of the book there is you scan a QR code and it has a full library of resources, information if you want to learn more, how to talk to your kids about drugs, how to find a treatment center in your area, there's many it's a resource library that I can constantly keep updated, it'll never go stagnant because it's a QR code. And then I also did a QR code after each chapter, just to add some extra content of my own personal experience and journey. And you know, I talk about a lot of things in there and I know we've talked about a lot of really disturbing things here but I just want you to know that there is a strong message of positivity and hope and most importantly love in the book as well.

Unknown Speaker  53:51  
If you want my honest opinion, the only way that we're gonna get through this kind of stuff is with love compassion, caring for each other and really working to make it happen because it's not gonna happen any other way and and is enhanced. Even you know, you talked about a and I in, I think 12 Step programs are a real good idea. But I think there's a better way personally, I don't know exactly what that way is. But there's got to be compassion. There's got to be loudly to kind of take care of each other. And I know they try and do that there too. But but if you need and also in your book or on your website, does it give anywhere that somebody who needs help can go get

Unknown Speaker  54:36  
it? Yes, it does have its it has a Treatment Locator. You can put in your zip code, and it'll tell area where they have treatment centers and areas of help. There's also Partnership to End addiction. They help families. I'll tell you, you know, families when you are dealing with someone fighting substance use disorder. It doesn't just hit For the person suffering, it's the entire family and you need support for siblings and for moms and dads. And so there's a lot of resources from that perspective, as well. You do need support, it's an ongoing, unfortunately, there's not a cure, you're going to be dealing with it. There are relapses I mean, it's a long term journey that you need help. And that's going to have all those resources in there for you.

Unknown Speaker  55:26  
It's a, it's a horrible thing that the kids are having to go through. They don't think it is when they first start. But after a while, it becomes insidious. And it affects family life and affects your ability to work and do everything else. It also raises the crime rate. So for those of you that are very interested in lowering the crime rate, or getting people off of drugs would be would be a really great way to do that as well. So what do you say to people that would tell you, you know, Kami, Kami. Kami, your, your hearts in the right place, you've got a wonderful idea. The work is going to be good, but you're never going to fall solve a thing. Because these people choose to do what they do.

Unknown Speaker  56:08  
Yeah, I got that in the net. And also, when I'm, you know, trying to create a new position healthcare, they're like, oh, that sounds great. But where are you going to get the money? How are you going to fund it? And those are doubters, you know, I, I'm on a mission, I got big boots, and you just got to look at it one life at a time. And again, I am such an advocate for prevention. We just do a lousy job in this country of preventing anything, and we wait till there's this disaster, and then we're going to fix it. And I want to prevent people from going getting that addiction to that drug. So I, I'm not the naysayers. I just kind of, you know, thank you for sharing, for caring, and I keep moving.

Unknown Speaker  56:59  
I tell you what, I admire your guts and your intestinal fortitude, because that's what it's gonna take to change this country. And you know, the other the other thing is, is there's a segment of our population that wants to ban books, wants to take sex out of school, wants to do these things we need and you know, education is the key to touching a young person. And that's drug education, sex, education, all of it, so that they can understand what it is going in and prepare themselves so that they don't, I guess I gotta tell you quick story. I have never been into drugs at all. I've never never taken them. I drink a beer occasionally. But I went to a party one time when I was in my early 20s, I was working in a restaurant at Denny's downtown. And so I go to a party afterwards. And, and they're the way that parties worked. Back then, you had the Front party, where you had all the people with, you know, we're drinking beer, and maybe a glass of wine. And we're talking, and then you have the back bedroom party. And this was a selected few back bedroom party where fewer people could go. And so I wandered back there just minding my own business had no idea. And I see this mirror. And they're taking, they're taking this white powder in there. And with this mirror, and they're chopping it up and making lines out of and stuff like that. And so it goes around to everybody. I'm the last one in the room. And I say no, thank you, you should have seen the look on their face. She was like, What do you mean? No, thank you, you know, we you're gonna you've got to do this. And I said, No, I'm not going to do that. And stuff, but there aren't very many people that would say no. And because of peer pressure, or whatever, and, and stuff. So you know, I just got the biggest kick out of that, because they were like, Why don't you want to have any of our cocaine? It's good stuff, man. didn't interest me, but they're like, what's

Unknown Speaker  58:50  
wrong with here? Yeah.

Unknown Speaker  58:52  
Yeah, well, that's exactly what it was is like, it was like, they were like, gay people there. They were, like, first of all, they thought maybe I was a narc. Like I wasn't gonna take any and so what's what are you gonna call us in? What are you gonna do? You know, kind of like,

Unknown Speaker  59:09  
undercover? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker  59:11  
exactly. So but you know, we have to start young, we have to start now. We have to start helping kids understand what it is, and then not take candy from strangers. Make sure it's so sad that we have to make sure that everybody all the candy comes wrapped. And it's in the original wrapper and all that kind of stuff. So that is why that's why it is

Unknown Speaker  59:34  
it is I mean, you know, we there was a mom that asked the question, how young should we start educating and they said, literally, age five, six, you should have those conversations. So yeah, we need to wake up and understand it's the reality and, you know, social media and all that it's just changed the way you know. And you know, it's like you can't it's hard to have it come from adults. So you know, one of the other hats, I am on another charity, and we work with young people. And we do peer to peer model. And I really, my second phase is going to be, you know, educating young people, and then train the trainer that had the young people teach the other, it should be peer to peer 100%. You can't have an adult saying don't do this. Don't do that, that it doesn't work. But if you have a young person sharing, you know, I think that's the answer to educating the young people is having it be peer to peer. I think that is what has to happen.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:35  
I agree with us the only way the only way is a certain segment of kids are just not gonna die. Yeah, your, your old, what do you care? Or what do you you know, stuff like that. So, by the way, we've been talking again, I enjoy our conversation so much, Kami.

Unknown Speaker  1:00:49  
Thank you. I enjoyed it, too. Kevin, I really appreciate it. You gave me all the opportunities to get everything. I mean, I could keep going. I mean, I just I have so much information I'm trying to share, but I think I hit the highlights and then the most important things that for your audience to just be aware of.

Unknown Speaker  1:01:06  
Well, if you watch this, in the next floor, no then that whole next week, because she's gonna be on KK and W 11:50am and 9am in the morning, Pacific time next Monday. And we're gonna continue this conversation and we're gonna point to this podcast so that people can go there and, and watch that. I don't know that you can get enough information about this. For it to be you know, like, overdone, because which when you think about nine, every nine minutes, we've been doing this. We've been doing this for 60 minutes. So that means every nine minutes. What is that? That's six or seven kids have died? Since we started this podcast, that's just unacceptable. That's just unacceptable to me.

Unknown Speaker  1:01:56  
As it really is, I mean, it's, you know, it's so sad. I mean, I've got one mom that I met and she's had an Arkansas Stacey James, and you know what she does? She raises money. When a child dies, and the parent can't afford to bury their child.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:16  
That's the other thing that you got to start to think about.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:18  
Yeah, because you talked about 100,000 people died this last year. Think of the impact to the survivors. You got to Mother devastated you got to Father You got siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, it's destroying the communities. Do you not think this war they know what they're doing? They're not just killing the individual. They're destroying the community. A family.

Unknown Speaker  1:02:44  
I have a good friend of mine. Her name is Kayla. And her best friend to maybe multigo Odede and died. She was beautiful girl. She was like 2425 She had a beautiful life ahead of her. And, and it's no more and it was devastating. Kayla was absolutely and her friends and family were absolutely devastated. And she didn't intend that. She didn't think she didn't commit it. Sure. She didn't do suicide. It was an accident. But because somebody poisoned what she had and what she put on her body.

Unknown Speaker  1:03:27  
It's about friend, we're not even we didn't talk about that. We're talking about the families that are impacted. What about the whole friends? To everybody?

Unknown Speaker  1:03:39  
The whole community in the end? Yes, sir. The end. So we can we can fix this, we can? Well, I can't say that definitively. But I can say that we can shine a light on it. And hopefully, it will, over time that people will recognize that we need to put every dollar that we have behind it if that's what needs to happen, so that we can get the you know, some countries take it real seriously this health care business, about making sure that people have resources so that if they run into a problem, like, like some sort of an addiction that they can get help for it. We don't do that here. Maybe we should, I think it would probably be a good idea. Yes, I agree. I agree. I'm gonna I'm gonna step aside I've talked way too much in this episode. So I'm gonna step aside and I'm gonna let you say anything to our audience, the ones that are listening now, and the ones that will be listening later, anything that you'd like them to know.

Unknown Speaker  1:04:35  
Really what I want you to do is share I want you to go home this evening. I don't care if the dinner table on the phone, call your best friend. Talk about it at the kitchen to at the dinner table. Share what you've heard. You don't really realize again, because of stigma, people don't talk about it. And you know, I put stuff out on Facebook I put stuff out on in Instagram and I get people to private message me and they say, oh my gosh, my son's a heroin addict can you help? It was one person, you know, but they happen to see a post, they happen to see somebody else that shared a post. It's really about sharing the information. You don't know who you're going to help by sharing what you've heard here today. Again, it's just to be aware, be your own health advocate, ask doctors questions, ask, make sure a dentist when your kids getting wisdom teeth out, they don't need a bottle of Percocet. They do not. If they have to take a Percocet, get them off of it as quickly as possible. I said Motrin. I mean, these are the conversations we need to be having. And so that would be I could go on and on and on. But I'll stop there. Be your own health advocate. share everything that you've heard today. And Kevin, just Bless you, bless you for this opportunity. If you're interested in the book, please pre order on kami Wolf And see WC dot NGO. Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker  1:06:04  
The name of the book, again is the flight. And it's an it's an inspiring story of camis personal journey through the opioid epidemic. And is that is truly that. And you can also have a look at that there's a Donate button, so you can go there. And you could donate to the cause and stuff like that. Because they're, you know, Galeazzi, I gotta, I gotta stop. And we'll talk about this for another hour. Because, yes, we will. But we're going to talk on Monday, next Monday at 9am. That's, that'll be for the K K and the K K NW, listener audience. And I hope that you'll tune in to listen to that. It's K K, NW, 11:50am. Go to 11 50k k And you can listen, no matter where you are anywhere in the world. They just listened on the stream. So I want to thank you again, for doing this. This has been, I think it's been a real positive episode, because you're making a difference to make it positive and, and to really impact people where they live. And that's in their homes, in their offices with their families. And to help people understand that we've got to end this. We don't really have a choice. Because the last numbers that I read were like 60,000 people. You said this year 200,000 people, there's no reason to assume that it won't go up from there. Unless we take active steps

Unknown Speaker  1:07:33  
to stop it. That's right. Thank you, Kevin. I'll talk to you on Monday. I'm excited to talk to you on Monday.

Unknown Speaker  1:07:40  
That will be fun. And we may even take some calls, if somebody wants to call in to talk about their particular situation. So that'd be great. If you wait right there CAMI I will be right back. Thanks. Hey, thanks for enjoying this episode. All the way to the end. Please give us a like and subscribe to this channel. This has been a production of positive talk radio dotnet please visit our website oddly named positive talk radio dotnet for more details about us and our mission, which is to provide great positive programming designed to inspire us all. I'm Kevin McDonald. I'm proud of these shows, and I truly hope that you'll like them and share them with friends and family. So on behalf of our entire team, remember, be kind to one another because each other's always

Cammie Wolf RiceProfile Photo

Cammie Wolf Rice

Advocate, Author

Cammie Wolf Rice is a mother, an advocate, an author and an agent for change. She has personal experience dealing with the dangers of opioid misuse through her own son’s battle from childhood through his passing at 32. Cammie has transferred her pain into purpose. She has made it her mission to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and alternative pain management strategies. Her book, The Flight, chronicles her journey and will out in October 2022.

Kevin McDonaldProfile Photo

Kevin McDonald


Creator and Host of Positive Talk Radio and its Parent Company