If we've crossed paths over the last few months, I've probably told you that at the end of June, I'm riding my bike (similar to, but not exactly the same as, the one below), from Louisa, VA to Sullivan's Island, SC over the course of 7 days (June 23 - 30). Solo. I've always dreamed about a ride across the country, but I'm nowhere near ready for something like that, so this'll be agood test!
From Louisa, Day 1, I'll make my way through central Virginia to Farmville (home of Longwood and Hampden-Sydney Colleges). Clarksville, VA (home of ?, we'll find out!) on the North Carolina border is my Day 2 destination, where I'll meet up with the East Coast Greenway . I'll then follow that down through North Carolina, stopping outside Raleigh, then Fayetteville on the ensuing 2 days, eventually hitting the coast at Wilmington. Lastly, a quick stop in Myrtle Beach to see Kenny Powers and it's one more day down to Sullivan's Island!
SO WHY THE GOFUNDME?!
I know that's only a couple weeks away and I should have gotten on this sooner, but I'd love to use this ride as an opportunity to help support the Benzodiazepine Information Coalition (BIC). BIC is a non-profit organization that advocates for greater understanding of the potentially devastating effects of commonly prescribed benzodiazepines such as Xanax, Ativan, Valium, and Klonopin, as well as prevention of patient injury through medical recognition, informed consent, and education.
They are working to ensure that patients seeking treatment for variousissues, such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, etc. are made aware of the risks (by the prescribing doctor) of being treated with Benzos (Xanax, Ativan, Klonopin, Valium). A lot of doctors are treating these drugs as a panacea, prescribing them as to be taken daily, when they are really only supposed to be used in dire circumstances (anxiety/panic attacks, seizures, etc). Taken as prescribed, many patients later find it incredibly painful to come off of them and go into acute/severe withdrawal (iatrogenic injury) and can spend years struggling to remove the drugs from their system, destroying their lives in the process. Taken cautiously, these drugs work for many people, but countless patients suffer due to lack of disclosure as to the risks associated with them.
Research pioneered by Heather Ashton in the UK in the 1980s has been the guiding literature on patients' recovery, but little has been brought to light in the mainstream media about it. While slightly less publicized than the Opioid Epidemic, this has been destroying lives and families across the world.
On a personal note, my family has been affected by this over the last year and I'd love to be able to help other people avoid having to go through what we've gone through. In the course the year, we've met dozens if not hundreds of people through support groups and online forums going through the same thing, but there is sadly little infrastructure in place in traditional drug treatment facilities that can accommodate this type of injury/withdrawal. Even with premium insurance, very little in this process has been covered as there is much stigma in the medical industry as to whether patients have been abusing the drugs, despite just taking them as prescribed.
So, all that being said, if you'd like to donate, I (and we) would appreciate it. All your donations made through this page will go directly to the BIC.
More information about Benzodiazepine Information Coalition