If you are a Raiders fan, you are probably aware of the struggles Darren Waller has had with regard to addiction. Or at least you are aware that he has had those struggles at least in the general sense and how he has not only turned his football career around, but has become an outspoken voice for those who struggle as he has.
The Pro Bowl tight end has his own foundation, for which he has brought onboard his Raiders teammates as well as used him music for events in Las Vegas and elsewhere.
Waller’s latest endeavor is a crucial one as well. It’s called Reverse The Silence. The campaign deals specifically with the opioid epidemic, and its aim is to save the lives of those who could overdose from opioids. Of which Waller himself nearly became the wrong kind of statistic.
“Opioids were my number one drug of choice,” Waller told RaidersWire. “I came across it in the form of pain pills when I was 15 years old. A former friend of mine’s parents had it in their medicine cabinet. At the time I was really desperate to fit in and also when I started taking those pills I realized what it was doing for the anxiety I was having and just the thoughts and the feelings that were revving a thousand miles per hour inside me that were overwhelming and I wanted to just escape those. And those pills presented that for me and I’ll be honest, I was on those for the next decade. Through three arrests, multiple college suspensions, multiple NFL suspensions that everyone knows now.”
Opioid addiction is a serious problem in the US. And it isn’t just addicts who are at risk of overdosing. Some 250 people per day die have dies of drug overdoses since last November, and the overwhelming majority of those deaths were from opioids. Those overdoses range from addicts to those who are simply taking them for temporary relief from pain or anxiety.
Many of us have had opioids hurt someone close to us. I personally lost a close friend from an opioid overdose while she was recovering from a minor elbow procedure. That simply should not happen. But it does. Hundreds of times every day and tens of thousands of times per year across the country. And it’s only getting worse.
That’s why Waller teamed up with former California Congresswoman Mary Bono for this campaign. He has filmed a PSA along with Lifestyle content creator Dani Schaffer — who lost her little brother to an opioid overdose — which you can view at ReverseTheSilence.org.
The goals of the campaign are to make everyone aware of how much of a problem opioid overdoses are and that no one should feel ashamed or suffer in silence as Darren Waller did and others do every day.
This includes making people aware of a reversing agent called Naxolone which can be taken when an overdose happens to reverse the chemicals that cause the overdose. Simply put; it will save your life.
“It can be injected and there’s also a nasal spray that can be bought from a pharmacy,” Waller said of Naxolone. “We want people to be able to have it on hand because nobody knows it’s happening until it’s happening. And we want people to be prepared and aware.”
My friend didn’t have to die. Dani’s brother didn’t have to die. And others like Darren don’t need to suffer near-death experiences or have their lives destroyed from opioids. Head over to ReverseTheSilence.org to see learn more.