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Many individuals engage in self-destructive behaviors. These can include addictions, gambling, eating disorders and other problems. Often, the person is not aware of how serious the situation is, since the mental health problem that they have is clouding their judgment. For example, a person with anorexia is quite literally unable to see just how thin they are – they see themselves as fat despite all evidence to the contrary. People with addictions, be it to substances or to certain behaviors, also fool themselves into thinking that they can quit at any time, that they have full control or that they are just having fun. These types of issues severely affect the person's ability to think critically in relation to the problematic situation.

Twenty. That’s how old my daughter was when she never woke up one day. Oxycodone. The pill slowed her heartbeat, it stopped, and before anyone could revive her, she died. My heart was broken. That was eleven years ago.

The drugs didn’t define who she was. Stephanie was a vibrant young woman who loved helping others; art, music and animals comforted her when she felt depressed. Since she was so young and away at school, we were shocked she was experimenting with drugs. My family has survived with faith, hope and love. The support was overwhelming for a tragedy that has become an epidemic. Young people get addicted to opiates every day. There are many places with skilled people who can help them survive. I’m proud of the hard work my daughter did with a talented team once we realized she needed more support than what we could give her. She wasn’t lucky enough.