My name is Alberta Sequeira of Rochester, Massachusetts, and I became a four-time award winning author, an Alcohol Abuse Awareness Coach and a Motivational Speaker all from tragedies; those which can turn our lives upside down forever or give us strength to help others. In 1985, I lost my husband, Richie, at forty-five years of age from his alcoholic addiction; a battle he fought since he was fourteen years old coming from a family of members who had tried fighting the disease of alcoholism. My precious daughter, Lori, followed the same destructive path as her father after three alcoholic rehabilitation stays and died in 2006 at thirty-nine years of age from the same heartless demon.
I somehow thought a protective bubble was all around me and the death of a child would never knock on my door. I took my pain and turned it into reaching out to other substance abuser and their families, publicly and privately with my speaking engagements. I wrote my heart out in my memoir Someone Stop This Merry-Go-Round; An Alcoholic Family in Crisis about my young marriage with two beautiful daughters, swallowed-up by confusion, fear and abuse, while we all suffered silently and my innocent enabling that only brought the alcoholic deeper into his addiction. The hardest writing was with the sequel about Lori’s struggles in Please, God, Not Two; This Killer Called Alcoholism.
I have since wanted more answers to see if other addicts locked themselves up to professional counselors and doctors with their fears to talk about the past. I have completed What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict; In Their Own Words written by thirty-four substance abuser from all walks of life. I wanted multiple writers from all different walks of life, so there would be a higher rate of readers finding that right story relating to them and say, “That’s me!” Having them tell their stories would be a most helpful addition to the literature on the subject of addiction and recovery. Hopefully, it will be out in the spring or summer.
Patient Privacy Act
This is a worldwide problem that is out-of-control and will not go away. My husband, Al, and I met with Steven Meunier, Policy Advisor to Senator John Kerry in Boston, Massachusetts, and Maria Connor, District Liaison to Massachusetts Senator Michael J. Rodrigues, to modify a change in the Patient Privacy Act, to allow immediate family (parents, and/or siblings), access to medical information which can be used to help a substance abuse patient get the proper treatment, primarily when a physician determines that the patient may be in a life-threatening situation because of their addiction. We believe that the patient should have the “right to privacy,” but as the law stands now, it can actually be detrimental to their health and well-being. We believe it defeats the purpose. In my opinion, the Patient Privacy Act is as much an enabler as family.
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