Monday, April 14, 2008

The foolproof way to avoid addiction

The sad case of Shawn Paul Bellicini came to a close in a Washington County courtroom last week. Bellicini, 33, was a teacher at Bethlehem-Center High school until his June 2007 arrest for selling 10 Oxycontin pills to a confidential police informant in Bentleyville. He entered an open plea in February to a charge of delivery of a controlled substance and was sentenced last week to 11-and-a-half to 23 months in the county jail. One would hope that a seller of illegal drugs such as Mr. Bellicini will never again be put in a position of teaching young people. He's already let down one group of youngsters who probably looked up to him. Of course, Bellicini blames his actions on his own drug addiction. That kind of excuse doesn't hold much sway with me. Anyone who is not a blithering idiot knows full well that if they take a drug such as Oxycontin, heroin, methamphetamine or crack cocaine, there's a pretty good chance they'll become addicted and that their life may well be ruined as a result. Some people have to take heavy-duty painkillers because of severe medical conditions, and one can understand that sometimes they become dependent on those drugs. But for the rest of society, it's very simple. Don't take the drug the first time. I'm pretty sure that's a guaranteed way to not become a junkie.



Blogger PRIguy said...

I've heard that when one smokes crack for the first time, the high is so powerful that one will go to all lengths to feel it again...hence the addiction. Having used my share of controlled substances, but never crack, I have to say that I cannot understand why anyone would try crack with the knowledge that they were almost certain to become addicted.

April 15, 2008 at 9:09 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

But isn't that the same thing as saying that solving the teen-pregnancy problem is as easy as just not having sex. It seems like the easy choice, but the abstenence-based education system hasn't failed to stem the problem.

Both are much to complicated issued to be solved by such an "easy" solution.

Just my two cents.

April 16, 2008 at 3:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Bellicini did become addicted to OxyCotin when it was prescribed to him for pain after he had an accident in a golf cart and messed up his elbow pretty badly. So it is good to see that you can understand how that could happen. This is a tragedy that has ruined a young man's life. Maybe you should come down off your high horse and give him a break. He did the crime and is prepared to do the time.

April 18, 2008 at 4:59 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I wish the young man nothing but the best, and I do sympathize with the struggle he's going through, but at the same time, pretty much everyone in America knows that Oxycontin is a highly addictive, potentially dangerous drug, and great care must be taken in its use. Also, I know people who take Oxycontin on a regular basis because of chronic, severe pain, and not one of them has tried to sell dope to someone else. I apologize if anyone thinks I was overly harsh on Mr. Bellicini, but I do hope his case will serve as a warning to others that drugs, even those prescribed to us by well-meaning doctors, can sometimes be too much for us to handle, and that we should get help as soon as we recognize a problem.

April 18, 2008 at 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can blame Mr. Bellicini all you want, but the bigger problem is not the person in this case, but our region as a whole.

I grew up with this guy and know his family well. He is the son of two teacher, did well in school, was active in sports, was never in trouble for a day in his life, and then became a teacher himself to give back to the community.

I honestly think his downfall was living in Washington County his entire lifetime. Let's face it, this region is dying. This is an area built on coal mines and steel mills which have closed their doors. Our region is one of only a handful in the country to be losing population along with Detroit and post-Katrina New Orleans.

People of this generation who stay here have little offered to them by his region and drug use is rampant as a form of entertainment.

June 10, 2008 at 5:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's hard to blame a person for being addicted to oxycontin when a doctor prescribed it to them.

If it is as addictive as we all seem to think it is, it should be pulled off the shelves and not prescribed.

My cousin was in a car accident at the age of 21. She was prescribed oxycontin to get over the pain of neck and back injuries.

Within a month she was severly addicted to this stuff, just by taking the prescribed dose.

After a while her prescription ran out and she began stealing money from her family to buy this stuff on the street. Finally her family broke down and sent her into rehab.

In rehab she met another person there that also had an oxycontin addiction. They said oxy was a "rich persons drug" and told her to try heroin or crack because they were cheaper.

When she got out of rehab and her urges came back, she took this guys advice and moved to cheaper and harder drugs.

All of this downward spiral was caused by a simple car accident and some idiot doctor prescribing a drug that should be off the market.

All I can say is I hope this guy gets a 2nd chance to clean up his life and move on. If a prescription by a doctor really led to his downfall then you have to hope he bounces back.

June 10, 2008 at 5:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who can blame a teacher for trying to supplement his income.

Teachers that are just starting out like him make what, 30-35k a year.

They typically have about 25k in student loans to pay back, 20k in car loans, an average house is like 180k, plus gas, bills, etc...

They are paid just above they poverty line if they are trying to support a family and pay back student loans.

Now tell that teacher that he can sell 10 of his prescription pills and make what he does in a week and you can see how he ended up in this situation.

June 10, 2008 at 6:02 PM  

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