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Topic: Re: threads about addiction/treatment - the other side of the coin
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LaughingRaven

6/28/2018 8:45:43 AM
Member since:
Apr 2018
Total posts:8
Re: threads about addiction/treatment - the other side of the coin

Recently there have been threads concerning having treatment centers for addicts and the drug/alcohol problems in Brandon. Yes, there are problems, but the stance taken toward those causing them borders on disgusting. The comments written were about "the poor addict/alcoholic". First, anyone that ends up as an addict got there on their own, unless of course someone held a gun to their head. Choice - that's what it's about. Where is the accountability and responsibility? The missing part of these previous conversations was about who the REAL victims are: the children/spouses/families of those addicts and the abuse/neglect/harm that is inflicted on them by these selfish/self-serving individuals. The children especially become collateral damage and if they manage to survive the hell that an addict/alcoholic causes, they end up on a dark road from all the damage that was done. So, who should we build treatment centers for and put money into? - How about those who deserve a chance of repairing and having a decent life - those children/spouses/families of the one causing the harm. As usual in our society, the focus is on the wrong person. I can say with complete certainty that society needs to take a step back and realize that addicts have made their choice. Why are we trying to save/help those that are perpetual victims? Through work, I've seen some of the worst that addicts/alcoholics will do - including forcing their own kids into prostitution to get money for their fix. Imagine if we all behaved that way - not being accountable, responsible - there would be chaos. And for those holding the torch for their "poor Johnny or Sally" making them out to be a victim - shame on you! Try acknowledging those that your "poor Johnny or Sally" has harmed. Life is difficult, but most people get up everyday and get on with it - without harming others, without being selfish, without thinking everyone else is responsible to clean up their mess. If this post sounds harsh, good, I want it to. I want people to think a little further than "oh, the poor addict/alcoholic".  
Here is a scenario that may help you to understand how offensive it is to focus on addicts and ignore their victims: Imagine if a drunk driver hit and killed your child - and then everyone put focus on the poor drunk driver and ignored that your child had been killed. The judge decided the poor drunk hasn't been treated fairly and that society should make it up to them. Meanwhile, no one cares that your child is dead and you are swept aside as if you didn't even exist. How would that make you feel? When we treat addicts/alcoholics as if they are blameless it is the same thing.  
People say incarceration doesn't work - try something else like having the person do 6 hours of hard labor a day until they figure it out or drop. I'll bet if we had harsher penalties for this it would thin the herd. Our laws and legal system need a major overhaul and we need to stop this spoon-feeding, blame the victim and reward the perpetrator mentality.

puddles

6/28/2018 9:13:04 AM
Member since:
Aug 2009
Total posts:342
honestly

I am too overwhelmed to even know where to start to respond; so I would like to ask you this...  
 
Should we treat heart disease after a heart attack due to their poor lifestyle, or a co-occuring disorder?  
 
Should we allow dialysis for the patient that is in kidney failure due to their diabetes, and poor diet?  
 
Now ask yourself if we should treat an addict due to their mental illness?  
 
I could go on and on, however a group of us have started a family support group, and do our best to deal with the devastation of substance abuse. Does that mean we don't want to see our loved ones treated with care and compassion for a DISEASE?  
 
Treating addiction has nothing to do with being made "blameless", but everything to do with care and compassion that we as a society should strive to.  
 
I invite you to sit down with a family member whose loved one has a substance abuse disease, and discuss the trauma surrounding it.  
 
Finally, the "war on drugs" has not worked, nor will it. We will not arrest our way out of this. Education, erasing the stigma, and awareness, along with treatment and harm reduction will go along way however.

MrDobalina

6/28/2018 9:24:08 AM
Member since:
Jun 2017
Total posts:186
I'm just amazed how anyone thinks it's any of there business

I don't even have an opinion on addiction/treatment because it's none of my business how someone deals with their problems.  
 
If you're one of those people that opposes treatment facilities on the basis of "WITH MY TAX DOLLARS!!!" it's easy to dismiss your opinions because your view on everything is "WITH MY TAX DOLLARS!!" and just to add...the sooner you get a person to quit an addiction the more money you save the tax payer in the long run...everytime.

RC123

6/28/2018 9:32:16 AM
Member since:
Jan 2014
Total posts:270
addictions

This is a hard topic for me. I grew up in an alcoholic home. It was toxic. I was against drug use, marijuana i:ncluded. I felt similar to you towards addicts. They got themselves in it why feel sorry for them? Well fast forward to the past year or two when a family member became dependent on Oxy due to an injury. It was horrible, not overly a choice but a side affect of the need for pain relief, doctors pushing pills and the pill itself being highly addictive. Luckily this family member has sought out medical marijuana and now is completely off the Oxy although doctors are not happy about it and still want to push the pills. From this experience I have learned from many others close to me who also have had struggles. It’s not always a choice and I imagine that is where some (not all) who need these centres have started. Sometimes it takes a different perspective on things. I personally want to know if someone I love got into trouble there would be help out there because you just never know.

LaughingRaven

6/28/2018 9:35:08 AM
Member since:
Apr 2018
Total posts:8
I touched a nerve

  
puddles said "I am too overwhelmed to even know where to start to respond; so I would like to ask you this...  
 
Should we treat heart disease after a heart attack due to their poor lifestyle, or a co-occuring disorder?  
 
Should we allow dialysis for the patient that is in kidney failure due to their diabetes, and poor diet?  
 
Now ask yourself if we should treat an addict due to their mental illness?  
 
I could go on and on, however a group of us have started a family support group, and do our best to deal with the devastation of substance abuse. Does that mean we don't want to see our loved ones treated with care and compassion for a DISEASE?  
 
Treating addiction has nothing to do with being made "blameless", but everything to do with care and compassion that we as a society should strive to.  
 
I invite you to sit down with a family member whose loved one has a substance abuse disease, and discuss the trauma surrounding it.  
 
Finally, the "war on drugs" has not worked, nor will it. We will not arrest our way out of this. Education, erasing the stigma, and awareness, along with treatment and harm reduction will go along way however. "

"I invite you to sit down with a family member whose loved one has a substance abuse disease, and discuss the trauma surrounding it."  
 
I know all about the trauma these people inflict, I lived through it. Try re-reading my post. Hand-holding and spoon-feeding doesn't work. Is it too much to actually feel for those who have been harmed by these people? Try showing some care and compassion for those who have been harmed by addicts. Are you ever in denial about the issues. I can read from your post that you are an enabler.  
I laugh at how you compare medical disease to this to try to make a point. Should we simply assign mental illness to avoid accountability? Seems to work pretty good for some folks (terrorists) I would caution about deciding everyone with addiction is mentally ill. Soon everyone will be using this as their excuse.  
I'll say it again, there needs to be accountability and responsibility.

Residentof7thst.

6/28/2018 9:40:08 AM
Member since:
Jun 2018
Total posts:28
Horrible

  
LaughingRaven said "Recently there have been threads concerning having treatment centers for addicts and the drug/alcohol problems in Brandon. Yes, there are problems, but the stance taken toward those causing them borders on disgusting. The comments written were about "the poor addict/alcoholic". First, anyone that ends up as an addict got there on their own, unless of course someone held a gun to their head. Choice - that's what it's about. Where is the accountability and responsibility? The missing part of these previous conversations was about who the REAL victims are: the children/spouses/families of those addicts and the abuse/neglect/harm that is inflicted on them by these selfish/self-serving individuals. The children especially become collateral damage and if they manage to survive the hell that an addict/alcoholic causes, they end up on a dark road from all the damage that was done. So, who should we build treatment centers for and put money into? - How about those who deserve a chance of repairing and having a decent life - those children/spouses/families of the one causing the harm. As usual in our society, the focus is on the wrong person. I can say with complete certainty that society needs to take a step back and realize that addicts have made their choice. Why are we trying to save/help those that are perpetual victims? Through work, I've seen some of the worst that addicts/alcoholics will do - including forcing their own kids into prostitution to get money for their fix. Imagine if we all behaved that way - not being accountable, responsible - there would be chaos. And for those holding the torch for their "poor Johnny or Sally" making them out to be a victim - shame on you! Try acknowledging those that your "poor Johnny or Sally" has harmed. Life is difficult, but most people get up everyday and get on with it - without harming others, without being selfish, without thinking everyone else is responsible to clean up their mess. If this post sounds harsh, good, I want it to. I want people to think a little further than "oh, the poor addict/alcoholic".  
Here is a scenario that may help you to understand how offensive it is to focus on addicts and ignore their victims: Imagine if a drunk driver hit and killed your child - and then everyone put focus on the poor drunk driver and ignored that your child had been killed. The judge decided the poor drunk hasn't been treated fairly and that society should make it up to them. Meanwhile, no one cares that your child is dead and you are swept aside as if you didn't even exist. How would that make you feel? When we treat addicts/alcoholics as if they are blameless it is the same thing.  
People say incarceration doesn't work - try something else like having the person do 6 hours of hard labor a day until they figure it out or drop. I'll bet if we had harsher penalties for this it would thin the herd. Our laws and legal system need a major overhaul and we need to stop this spoon-feeding, blame the victim and reward the perpetrator mentality. "

Why would you take the time to write something like that. This really makes you look stupid and I hope you never have anything to do with people with addictions.

LaughingRaven

6/28/2018 9:46:23 AM
Member since:
Apr 2018
Total posts:8
Name calling?

Grow up. My post is about those who get harmed from addicts. You are the one who looks stupid.

Residentof7thst.

6/28/2018 10:00:39 AM
Member since:
Jun 2018
Total posts:28
I'm sorry you make yourself look stupid

  
LaughingRaven said "Grow up. My post is about those who get harmed from addicts. You are the one who looks stupid. "

Looking stupid and being a stupid person is kinda different. Do you really think your post is going to get you positive feedback...

LaughingRaven

6/28/2018 10:01:24 AM
Member since:
Apr 2018
Total posts:8
hot topic

I would suggest you re-read my post as it is for those who have been harmed - and I find that those are the people left behind in the equation. My post is harsh, but I have seen some brutal things over the years.  
 
I still stand on responsibility. If a person won't be accountable for themselves, no one else can be for them. If a person won't change, you can't make them. You can't make someone give something up, they have to want to.  
 
They also have to value human life - their own and other peoples.  
My heart goes out to the children that get caught in this.

1984FadedStar

6/28/2018 10:03:12 AM
Member since:
May 2012
Total posts:760
addiction

You’ve obviously never had an addiction. Yes. It starts out as a choice. But then the brain changes and needs it. Have you ever physically hurt because you’ve needed something? My husband is an alcoholic. I’ve lived through addiction myself. It is hard to go for help. Someone I know sat and begged for hospital staff to help her child who finally decided to Get help and was ignored. I’m glad you’ve never had to deal with this, but your approach is so sad.

LaughingRaven

6/28/2018 10:03:34 AM
Member since:
Apr 2018
Total posts:8
get help you need it

get help, you need it.

Residentof7thst.

6/28/2018 10:15:30 AM
Member since:
Jun 2018
Total posts:28
6 hours a day hard labour till they figure it out or drop???

You obviously haven't had an addiction or done hard labour either. Maybe I'm wrong but I doubt it.

blackswan81

6/28/2018 11:43:35 AM
Member since:
Sep 2011
Total posts:46
what about the cycle of addiction?

So I hear you saying that it's their choice and to look at who the real victims are: the children. Who are you to say the people who "choose addiction" haven't been victims their whole lives themselves and didn't know better or weren't given a childhood where other options seemed viable? Shame on you for blaming the addict when most are ALWAYS victims to begin with.

Spades!!

6/28/2018 11:47:53 AM
Member since:
May 2011
Total posts:733
this thread is so sad!!!!

So much reactivity about a very sensitive issue. I’d like to offer another side to the story here.  
First I have to say I agree with the OP on the damage done by people who suffer with addictions and that it is a choice people make. Where I differ in my opinion and from my experience with severe abusive family environment is that when you’ve suffered trauma sometimes you do not have the strength to heal and you turn to drugs/alcohol etc to deal with the emotional pain. It takes years of self work and healing to first develop the awareness of what made you make bad choices then you spend more years figuring out how to manage the damage done to you. IMO 99% of people who suffer with addictions have some sort of unhealed trauma in their background. These people need compassion not anger. I agree handholding and feeling sorry for them doesn’t help but showing compassion is a place to start. To give people the sense that they are worth loving so they can find the strength to stand up and heal their addictions and whatever got them there in the first place.  
 
Anger only adds to more trauma.

Brenda..

6/28/2018 11:53:37 AM
Member since:
Jul 2005
Total posts:9329
LaughingRaven

I find your thoughts very interesting, and it is a great post.  
 
We need to look at the affect on family and communities.  
 
Looks at the other side of the coin.  
 
Edited by Brenda.., 2018-06-28 11:59:33

SuzyS

6/28/2018 12:25:55 PM
Member since:
Oct 2013
Total posts:4
Opinions/facts/thoughts

Until you have walked in someone's shoes you have no idea what has brought them to where they are right now. As someone else pointed out, an addict could be the child of an addicted parent so they are an addict AND a victim so who decides? Accountability makes sense in all areas of our world.  
 
Through life I have always taken the position that unless I am willing to stand up and change something to make a difference, my opinions and thoughts are JUST THAT. My own.

JessieJay

6/28/2018 12:46:47 PM
Member since:
Mar 2016
Total posts:410
Totally

Agree with you laughing raven.  
If someone gets hooked on prescription drugs after an injury, that isn't entirely a choice, but it isn't genetic makeup that makes someone take that first shot of meth.

Abbysmum

6/28/2018 1:02:56 PM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3128
Mental Health

I doubt I will change the OP's mind, but I wanted to put this out there for other people's benefit...  
 
Yes, there is personal responsibility because they have chosen to take that first hit. They take it despite knowing the dangers and possibility of addiction.  
 
Often they don't care. They are escaping something.  
 
Pretty much everyone I've ever known that has struggled with addiction has been self-medicating for one reason or another. Sometimes it's physical. Usually it's mental/spiritual/psychic pain.  
 
Until you've witnessed it, I don't think you understand how it changes them. Or maybe it doesn't change them, but unleashes something deep within? I don't know really. But I've seen a gentle, mild-mannered young man with a wife and young family, with a good job and prospects of escaping the cycle of poverty that had afflicted his family tree for generations - land up in prison because he did stupid things to pay his dealer. Why did he even start meth? Because he couldn't cope? To escape the family legacy he was trying to leave (but it doggedly followed him)? I don't understand really. But it nearly destroyed his family, their saving grace was that he ended up in prison and they could rebuild their lives without him.  
 
I can undestand the concept of harm reduction, because had some of those processes be in place maybe he wouldn't have done what he did at the end. He would still be an addict, but maybe it wouldn't nearly have destroyed everyone he loved. I don't know.  
 
The people I've know that have managed to get clean do so because they take responsibility. That is part of the process I suppose. They realize it's not just about them, but about those around them they love. They resolve to stop hurting the people around them. But the underlying reason why they turned to these substances remain, and unless that is also treated it never resolves. Hard labour on a chain gang won't fix that.

Trapper85

6/28/2018 1:24:38 PM
Member since:
Feb 2016
Total posts:115
laughingraven

If I typed what I actually wanted to say to right now I’d never be able to post on here again, so I’m going to be diplomatic, I agree with previous posters, your making yourself look stupid, and yes I’m a recovering alcoholic, and proud that I’m in recovery, was it hard on my family yes it was, was it hard on me yes it was, did I ask to have mental health issues such as ptsd and Anxiety/ depression, nope sure didn’t, did I handle it the wrong way? Yes. I would never wish addiction on anyone, but in this case I hope you get one, so that you can actually get educated on what addiction is, or is it one of those things where you’re already perfect.

JustUs

6/28/2018 2:58:44 PM
Member since:
Jul 2017
Total posts:36
My thoughts

There are several people I am close to that are/have been addicts - some that still are, some that have recovered, and some that died because of their addiction. However, I have also had several people in my life that "should be" more prone to addiction (family history of addiction, mental health issues, necessary prescription drug use for injuries) that aren't. They chose to deal with their incredibly bad situations in different ways and to not take drugs or alcohol.  
 
I understand that once you are addicted, your brain changes and the addiction may and likely does overpower rational thought. However, no matter what, the choice to first take the drug or alcohol or whatever it is, is exactly that - a choice. In the very rare case where someone is physically forced into it, it wouldn't be a choice; however, by and large, the majority of first-time use is a choice.  
 
We can't absolve people of their responsibility in making choices. There are consequences for every decision. I spend too much money on my credit card, I'm responsible for paying that off and any other consequences that come with that - bad credit score, huge interest payments, unhappy family members, etc.  
 
I agree that there should be treatment available to those that want it. People may have made bad choices in the past and want to fix that and better their lives - that is absolutely wonderful.  
 
However, in my opinion, saying that it's not someone's choice that they got into that situation in the first place isn't right. Maybe that person thought it was the only solution and didn't want to find a better way to deal with life because they were in a bad place, fine, but it was still their choice, not anyone else's, to first take the drug or alcohol.

Brenda..

6/28/2018 3:29:48 PM
Member since:
Jul 2005
Total posts:9329
Mental Health

I for one have "treatment resistant depression"  
 
Did I turn to drugs - no.  
 
But I must say there are not enough resources for depression, anxiety, PTSD and if people are not willing to search out the help and try and hold on.....believe me, getting a psychiatrist takes months, I can see how they would take the wrong turn.  
 
But I searched out help to cope - family doctor, mental health resources at the Town Centre, got a Mental Health worker to keep me going until I finally got into a psychiatrist.  
 
I have been in CAP three times and did not leave the house for 6 months. So this was not just a case of the blues, it was very seriours.  
 
Instead of drugs, I searched and searched for other options. Although some people to this day, still tell me to get off medication and onto drugs.  
 
So, I guess I am trying to say - there are not enough resources for Mental Health and it all takes so long - some will not wait and try the drug avenue.

Leanne D.

6/28/2018 5:40:09 PM
Member since:
Aug 2008
Total posts:706
Wow

I guess ignorance truly is bliss. I'm not discounting anyone's opinion and I'm not saying you should agree with mine. LaughingRaven, you say "you know" and you've "seen" - but you haven't explained how you know or what you've seen. Some facts to back up what you're saying would go a long way. Your post gives the impression that all addicts are adults - not true. Younger and younger people are falling into the drug trap as deadly drugs become more readily available. Have you ever sat up 24/7 with a teenage meth addict while they detox? Have you ever helped an alcoholic try to figure out what made them start drinking in the first place? I'm just curious. You say that the people who have been hurt by the addicts actions should be helped and I can't disagree with that but here's something to consider, many times addicts reach out for help and there aren't any resources so they revert back to their addiction. Having help available for those that want it, those that want to turn their lives around is a win for everyone. Crime rates go down, people stop being hurt by the addicts actions, the load on RHA's is lessened, the recovering addict goes on to lead a healthy productive life, the list goes on. Anyone who says there are no mental health issues attached to addiction is fooling themselves. Most addicts I know don't want to be addicts, they want healthy productive, normal lives - we sadly lack the resources to help them do that. Not having resources to help people with addictions will only compound the problem and more people will be hurt. It starts with caring and compassion.

Pasquale

6/28/2018 6:21:35 PM
Member since:
Sep 2017
Total posts:102
This is what’s wrong

With today’s world. Trump mentality!! I feel sorry for the op.Very very sorry. Cold, heartless and no compassion. Karma my friend.. Karma

Trapper85

6/28/2018 7:58:24 PM
Member since:
Feb 2016
Total posts:115
excellent

Will you two want a suit together at the hotel on the corner of anti-addict drive, and I’m perfect boulevard?

Johnbisonbear

6/28/2018 8:26:15 PM
Member since:
Mar 2010
Total posts:3201
my family

lots of addicts, both alcohol and drugs. One just about died because of the addiction.  
 
Thankfully we were aware and thank God when offered a hit of heroin (from a family member) we had the brains to not partake. Alcohol was bad enough.

Adam

6/29/2018 10:29:27 AM
Member since:
Mar 2005
Total posts:15158
Discussion

This is a serious and complex topic that deserves so much more than black or white thinking. I think there’s some well meaning here in sharing so much concern for children, but humour me this OP:  
 
- are you saying that it isn't possible for there to be successful treatment of addiction?  
- its great that you express a caring for children, but given there is an addiction (no matter how any given person got there) are you saying that the best possible outcome in a case of addiction isn't the mother/father/sister/brother getting their child/spouse/sibling back in a case of successful treatment and having a restored family unit?  
- why is it only possible to care for one person/side effected in a case of addiction, and why must caring for one be seen as caring any less for another?  
 
I hope that another person or two with a story of struggling with or overcoming addiction considers sharing it in this thread. I can’t promise you won’t run into some OP-ish mindset but I can almost guarantee there are others like me that want to hear how your story puts this topic in context.

Spades!!

6/29/2018 11:40:34 AM
Member since:
May 2011
Total posts:733
it is easy to judge others.

I think we all fall into that trap every so often. Each person sees the world a little differently based on their life experiences. We all make choices based on how we relate to the world around us and how we see ourselves. If any of that has been jaded by negative experiences it can make it hard to know what the right choices are. That’s what makes us human.  
Before you judge others for their choices in life stop and look in a mirror. Take a close look at you first. The only person you have the right to judge is you.

..

6/29/2018 11:30:07 PM
Member since:
Sep 2013
Total posts:104
if getting mad at the addict worked

there wouldn’t be any addicts , it’s heart breaking when you are dealing with it first hand, even though there are some treatment programs and mental health programs , the addict has to access help themselves and follow through is their responsibility. Addiction is a disease, if they had Alzheimer’s disease would we get mad and let them hit rock bottom ? Would we kick them out and say come back when you’re ready to get better ? Would we let them be homeless and say “ it’s their choice” and “ they don’t want to get better” “Look at the choices they made since they got Alzheimer’s !” Should we deny people born with autism treatment until they hit rock bottom ? At the moment you need to be born with the mental illness to access the help and treatment needed but later onset mental illness is not acknowledged , thank you to the OP for being an example of the stigma attached to mental illness and addiction

Brenda..

6/30/2018 6:20:03 AM
Member since:
Jul 2005
Total posts:9329
at the moment

  
.. said "there wouldn’t be any addicts , it’s heart breaking when you are dealing with it first hand, even though there are some treatment programs and mental health programs , the addict has to access help themselves and follow through is their responsibility. Addiction is a disease, if they had Alzheimer’s disease would we get mad and let them hit rock bottom ? Would we kick them out and say come back when you’re ready to get better ? Would we let them be homeless and say “ it’s their choice” and “ they don’t want to get better” “Look at the choices they made since they got Alzheimer’s !” Should we deny people born with autism treatment until they hit rock bottom ? At the moment you need to be born with the mental illness to access the help and treatment needed but later onset mental illness is not acknowledged , thank you to the OP for being an example of the stigma attached to mental illness and addiction "

"You need to be born with a mental illness or it is not acknowledged" - so very wrong. Educate yourself.  
 
Alzheimer's, heart disease, cancer are all disease's that you can not say - yes, I think I will want this disease today.  
 
I can still look at both sides of the coin and addiction is terrible and a disease - but not one like mentioned above.

Abbysmum

6/30/2018 11:12:41 AM
Member since:
Mar 2009
Total posts:3128
bad analogy

  
.. said "there wouldn’t be any addicts , it’s heart breaking when you are dealing with it first hand, even though there are some treatment programs and mental health programs , the addict has to access help themselves and follow through is their responsibility. Addiction is a disease, if they had Alzheimer’s disease would we get mad and let them hit rock bottom ? Would we kick them out and say come back when you’re ready to get better ? Would we let them be homeless and say “ it’s their choice” and “ they don’t want to get better” “Look at the choices they made since they got Alzheimer’s !” Should we deny people born with autism treatment until they hit rock bottom ? At the moment you need to be born with the mental illness to access the help and treatment needed but later onset mental illness is not acknowledged , thank you to the OP for being an example of the stigma attached to mental illness and addiction "

That's a bad analogy. Things like Alzheimer's, Autism and other conditions are not caused by choices - they are genetic. While suceptibility to addiction can have a genetic component, the socio-economics of it have a much, much greater influence. An addiction-suceptible person can choose to not take addictive substances, and therefore neve become an addict. Ask my kid if she had a choice in becoming autistic.  
 
It's different too because things like autism and Alzheimer's have definate medical treatments, and early treatment can alter or slow the progression of the disease or condition. But with addiction, the "prevention" is largely social. So it fundamentally comes froma different "pot", when we're talking funding etc.  
 
But once someone becomes an addict (i.e. social interventions didn't work), then yes they often do need to hit "rock bottom" before getting help.

 
 
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