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Palmerton man warns against drug use

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    Devin Isabella of Palmerton holds this sign and a picture of his late friend, Michael Graham, while standing along South First Street in Lehighton Tuesday night. Scan this photo with the Prindeo app for a video. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

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    From left, Maren Schoenberger, Troy Schoenberger, Mia Schoenberger, Devin Isabella and Jessica Kemmerer proudly display signs while standing in Lehighton’s lower park. TERRY AHNER/TIMES NEWS

Published August 09. 2018 12:55PM

Devin Isabella is a man on a mission.

For the past three weeks, Isabella has been seen walking throughout sections of Lehighton and Weissport holding up a sign.

His message is clear: “Stop selling drugs to my friends.”

Isabella said he purposely picked Tuesdays to walk with his sign because it’s the day of the week that his friend, Michael Graham, passed away.

Several of his friends, including Troy Schoenberger and Jessica Kemmerer of Lehighton, have joined in the cause.

Dealing with the loss of a friend

Isabella said this past Tuesday marked a month that Graham, 34, of Lehighton, has been gone.

“From the pain I felt from it, it’s also helped me,” Isabella said. “Michael was in recovery.”

Isabella said he and Graham had forged a strong bond as friends.

“Mike Graham was really close to my heart,” he said. “I really wanted to help that guy.”

Schoenberger also spoke highly of Graham.

“He put everybody’s feelings before himself,” Schoenberger said. “Bad things happened to a good guy.”

Spreading their message

Kemmerer said the group joined together to spread the word.

“It’s just bringing awareness to the problem going on in Lehighton,” Kemmerer said. “There needs to be stiffer penalties for people who sell drugs.”

Since he began walking with his sign, Isabella said many a passer-by has come up to the group to tell them of their losses due to drugs.

“These signs hit home,” he said. “We have people coming up to us crying telling us their story.”

Isabella said the group has received plenty of support.

“We were smiling, it was so overwhelming,” he said. “This is something great.”

Isabella said the group is thinking about starting up its own Facebook page.

“Obviously, every town has a (drug) problem,” he said. “They have a voice now.”

Comments
What a vapid comment. I know Devin personally and can tell you that he often ran out in the middle of the night to drive friends to recovery houses. His good friend died recently, but for years Devin picked him up for meetings, spent time with him and many others. Another thing he's done is gone to all too many funerals, many of people in their early 20's. Lucky you if you or anyone you love has never suffered from an addiction problem. I'm 59 years old and have the sad experience of losing over 30 friends to one form of drug or another. Why do you have a problem with putting some of the blame on the drug dealers that are making money off other people's misery. Fentanyl is the current poison they are adding to heroin and our children are dying every day. I hope it doesn't hit your family or close friends, but if it does, then you will understand.
Dearest Homeowner, What makes you think he doesn't? Devin is an incredible guy with an astounding heart. The message he is carrying is very clear. Of course he wanted to help his friend, but unfortunately the demons of the disease were too strong. Devin's friends are fortunate to see how much he does care by his daily plea to all those selling on the streets....even to our younger generations. Those selling have no care in the world who they are hurting.
"Addiction does not meet the criteria specified for a core disease entity, namely the presence of a primary measurable deviation from physiologic or anatomical norm. Addiction is self-acquired and is not transmissible, contagious, autoimmune, hereditary, degenerative or traumatic. Treatment consists of little more than stopping a given behaviour. True diseases worsen if left untreated. A patient with cancer is not cured if locked in a cell, whereas an alcoholic is automatically cured. No access to alcohol means no alcoholism. A person with schizophrenia will not remit if secluded. Sepsis will spread and Parkinson disease will worsen if left untreated. Criminal courts do not hand down verdicts of “not guilty by virtue of mental illness” to drunk drivers who kill pedestrians." (2012-Tim Holden https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3314045/ )
Don't really know what point you're trying to make. Substance abuse / addiction is listed in the DSM-IV as a mental disorder. All mental disorders do not result in a level of "insanity" required for a not guilty plea.
The point is it's not a disease. I will agree it is a disorder. It is a physical or mental condition that is not normal or healthy. It is a self imposed condition. Our bodies don't decide to wake up one day and start abusing drugs. We don't catch addiction from other people. Sure it changes your brain function, but calling it a disease takes the blame off the addict and negates any type of self responsibility. Also, insurance companies and Big Pharma classify it as a disease so they can get paid and push other drugs.
It is a made up disease like ADD/ADHD and the Autism spectrum. When I was in school everyone was ADHD, now the kids are all Autistic. The research says 12 to 15 children out of 1000 are autistic. How come I don't know 1,000 kids but know at least 50 people that have children diagnosed somewhere on the spectrum? It's called being a child with @s5h0le parents that can't deal with their kids. Just like an addict is someone that self medicates when they can't deal with life.
Signed,
An Addict
Well now you do because I have 4 autistic children/adults in my family and all but one are severe enough for even someone like you to admit they have autism. Apparently there's a lot you don't understand. By your reasoning, Type II diabetes is not a disease. After all, people can just go on diets and self-cure. Lyme disease, fibromyalgia and Epstein Barr syndrome, not being contagious and most of the later symptoms being ones you just wouldn't be able to see at first glance, must also not be a disease.
Let me guess? You collect an SSI check for all 4 of them and yourself for some "disease" you have. The severe one is probably mentally retarded because of some mutation in his genetic makeup. (probably inbreeding; correct me if I'm wrong)
Type II diabetes is a disease because your body itself stops functioning properly. You don't have to be fat to have it, but a proper diet does help. Lyme disease is caused by bacteria carried by ticks. Your body cannot help that the tick gave it a disease. Epstein Barr is a virus, not a syndrome or disease. It can be associated and has been implicated with causing a disease but it in itself is not. And last but not least, Fibromyalgia is a "condition" or a disorder with multiple symptoms of an unknown cause. It cannot yet be classified as a disease and some of the suspected causes can be attributed to your lifestyle. It's given a name to make people think they are not crazy. Oh, and so insurance companies can get paid.
With the facts I have stated let me point out that addiction can't be a disease because addiction is not contagious, infectious, genetic, cellular or a general failure of the organs etc that can result in death if not treated or cured. Addiction can be treated and cured and if it's not you will not die. You will die from diabetes, you can die from Lyme disease. Although rare you could die from a disease caused or linked by EBV.
And let me point this fact out for you. Homosexuality was once regarded as a disease. While I believe it is largely attributed to genetics you're not going to die from it. You could end up with HIV/AIDS and die, but so can heterosexuals. Is being homo an abnormal function of your body? Only if your "God" says it is. Are either a disorder or a syndrome? Nope.
Apart from being scientifically baseless, the disease model undermines hope, fails to end stigma and doesn’t always get addicts the help they need. Do they need help? Some do. Still not a disease.
A cure for alcoholism? This is new!! Enlighten me. Then what is relapse and why is it so prevalent even after 5, 10, 15, 20 years of sobriety? Locking someone in a cell does not cure alcoholism. Please read more reliable sources and become more educated.
Then what do you say to the person with lung cancer from smoking...or esophageal cancer or rectal cancer or cervical cancers from HPV a Sexually Transmitted Disease, or heart disease and hypertension and diabetes from terrible eating habits and lack of exercise, or HIV and AIDS from promiscuous behaviors, or morbid obesity form massive caloric intake and sedentary lifestyles? These are all considered diseases....self acquired...choices.
I think you should become more educated. Cancer from poor lifestyle choices is still a disease because of abnormal cellular growth of the body. You could smoke a carton a day and live to be 100 and cancer free because your bodys cells were not dysfunctional. STD's caused by a virus (a foreign body) cannot be controlled. You don't have to be promiscuous to acquire STD's or HIV/AIDS. Babies are born with them. You could get an STD the first time you have sex. Diabetes is not caused from terrible eating habits. It is your pancreas not producing enough insulin or cells not responding to insulin. I know skinny people with diabetes that were never fat so you two uneducated fools need to stop saying only fat people have it. Morbid obesity is not a disease it is a condition. Poor lifestyle choice, yes. While you two jackholes are spewing nonsense and ill-informed beliefs, I looked up reliable sources if I did not know personally about the matter. Addiction, mental disorders, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity and HIV/AIDS are topics I am very educated in and have dealt with my entire life. I have read a lot of the research on Autism and my educated belief is the same as many Doctors and scientists around the world not being bought by Big Pharma.

Yours truly,
Gay, majorly depressed schizo affective, overweight addict/alcoholic with high blood pressure, a family history of heart disease and cancer and no STDs ever because I'm not an uneducated moron that thinks only fat people have diabetes.
Classy KRYSTAL METHOD, when you first spewed you tridd to argue that it is not a disease, it was a choice...cancer is a disease. New perspective for you. MOST of todays diseases are a DIRECT result of personal choices and behavior. I never once said all people diabetic were obese. What I said was a result of bad eating habits leads to Hypertension, obesity and diabetes. You do not watch you blood sugars and count your carbs and if continue to eat poorly a diet high in sugary snacks and fast food....metformin to insulin you go....and then people justify it by adjusting their insulin....not their diet. There are some true type 1 diabetics out there or juvenile onset diabetics....they are NOT the majority...not brought on by personal choices. Some cancers did not require that 2nd hit mutation....childrens cancers, gene carrying breast, etc. These are not the majority. Now you want to nit pick Hiv Aids....yes you can get it the first time you have sex, but where did the person spreading it get it from??...it is a disease caused by CHOICES is the point!! So for a friend with lung cancer...you would probably say 'suck it up buddy, it was your choice to put that chew/cigarette in your mouth, now deal'. Standing ovation in the friend dept. By your comments and keyboard demeanor You certainly leave us no choice but to be glad we are not friends....and pray you find peace for yourself and learn compassion that you so desperately lack. Have a great day. And keep up the great work Devin!
You know what they say about people that argue with idiots? I refuse to continue. You're saying you said things that you never did. And you cannot comprehend anything I posted. If a diabetic eats a healthy piece of fruit or some sweetened grains for breakfast and their glucose levels spikes it's a poor choice of food? Our brains need glucose to survive!!!! GTFO here......You are just plain dumb! You can go have some compassion for the addicts that choose to be reckless with their usage, put their families thru hell, steal from their family/friends/neighbors and drain the system of resources that other people deserve. Know that it is people like you enabling that sort of behavior when you place all the blame on their "disease". I have abused alcohol and certain drugs at times for almost 25 years and I can hold a job, I don't steal and the police or medical community don't need to come save me from my "disease". I have pending DUI charges. Do you think I should get off because I have a "disease"? Maybe all I need is compassion from the courts because it's the fault of my disease. Punishing me will only worsen my disease and that is unjust. I just may try that for my defense. I can't believe we even breathe the same air. Goodnight see ya bye.

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