After this sad news dropped yesterday, this is a topic that needs way more discussion – not just thoughts & prayers.
Tyler Skaggs was known as one of the happiest guys in baseball. Drugs/alcohol however are often masks for pain: emotional &/or physical. We must address the underlying issue that we have a lot of ppl in this world in pain. MH Education & teaching healthy coping mechanisms are musts.
Some may look at the situation & say – maybe this isn’t the appropriate tie-in. Maybe Tyler just liked to use drugs – recreationally. After all, from the choking, his death is being called an accident. But here’s the background: the @angels were beginning a road trip in Texas that Monday morning. They were to be playing 7 consecutive games in a row, for which Tyler would have been a starting pitcher in the rotation, w the All-Star Break to follow, (July 8th). The time to be using recreationally would have been at the Break (not condoning it, just being honest). A recreational drug user could potentially wait. Someone who needed the pain killers could not.
The drugs found in his system were oxycodone & fentanyl, both pain killers, along w alcohol. To be fair for this post, I checked w a # of substance abuse specialists & a drug like fentanyl is rarely used for recreational purposes.
It actually makes me sad for Tyler – a guy w an infectious smile, that emotional (&/or physical) pain led to this. I personally don’t know the source of the pain (or the trauma experienced), so won’t speculate. But we are losing ppl in record #s bc we don’t have an Education System that teaches where our pain comes from, nor how to effectively deal w it,
naturally. W/o knowledge in both those areas, sadly, so many turn to things that take away the pain (like drugs & alcohol).
Does it matter even WHERE the pain came from? Chronic stress, past traumas, physical pain that lingers. The thing about pain is that we can’t compare one person to another. Someone who watched their parents go through a nasty divorce as a child & has never dealt w it & obsesses over that trauma…can you say they are more/less impacted than someone who was in a car accident where there were fatal injuries w passengers next to them? Trauma impacts each of us differently. And trauma doesn’t have to be something “big” like the examples above.
We have to get to a place where it doesn’t matter where the chronic stress & trauma arose from. Most are unavoidable byproducts of being human. What we can do, however, is educate ppl as to what they might feel from life throwing at them what it does, how to recognize something as being a bit “off,” & then positive coping strategies to help them manage the pain and heal. Without the above formula, this crisis isn’t going anywhere.