The card is simple, in design, but that was one of the purposes behind them. While designing the card we noticed that addicts have been beat up by their addiction so much that their sense of self worth has been stripped away. Therefore, we wanted the addicts first impression of the card to speak life into them. The front of the card says Your Life Matters and there is a picture of two hands one helping the other. It is like when you are watching a football game or soccer game and one player gets knocked down, there is usually a teammate right there to reach out a hand to help them back on their feet. When you turn the card over there are direct telephone numbers to local treatment facilities. There is no more searching the internet for hours hoping to find someone to call, all they have to do is look at the back of the card and make the call! It is small enough to fit in their pocket but big enough to remind you that it's there. It is a simple card but it puts the power back into the addicts hands. Not only does it make it easy for an addict to take the next step, it inspires them to!
When someone calls 911 in Manatee County, Florida in regard to an overdose, they send a fire truck, an ambulance and at least 2 police cars.These responders are dedicated to saving that persons life!
After they are revived, they are handed a your life matters card. As they sit in the back of the ambulance they see your life matters, they make it to the hospital and into a room where they sit all by themselves. They see your life matters, they start to reflect on what just happened they see your life matters, and eventually they start to believe that their life does matter! Then they do something powerful, they turn the card over! It is the first decision they made on their own that was not controlled by their addiction, it may be a small decision but it’s forward progression. These addicts are being controlled by an addiction, their life is based on getting their fix so they don't have to feel the sickness of withdraw. Every thought, feeling and emotion is filtered trough that addiction. Until they make a decision to turn the card over.
It's a decision that's led by the thought maybe my life does matter. It’s a decision in the opposite direction, a decision not based on an addiction but a decision to get off an addiction! I don't know about you but to me that's powerful!
Now that the card is turned over, they see the numbers my hope and prayer is that they use Newtons Law of Motion and make another small decision to make a phone call. Which is followed by another decision to go to the treatment facility and so on. Not only did we inspire them to get help, we made it easy to do so!
When we designed this card we had no idea it would make the impact that is has. As of today there we have distributed over 65,000 Your Life Matters Cards, every first responder vehicle (fire truck, ambulance, police car etc.) has Your Life Matters Cards to hand out to anyone wanting information on treatment facilities in their area. The Your Life Matters Cards are also given to everyone discharged from jail incarcerated due to a drug charge.
When this journey began 2 years ago there was little to no wait to get into a treatment facility, almost 2 years ago we began to distribute the Your Life Matters Cards. Now our local treatment facilities are slammed full of addicts seeking treatment. I’m not saying that the your life matters cards are the only reason why but they are a huge part! With the success of the cards here in Manatee County is it possible it could be successful across the state of Florida or the United States? To my knowledge there isn't another program out there that inspires addicts to take the next step by physically putting live saving information into their hands! Is doesn't get any easier than that!
This all started with an idea for a simple card, but sometimes the simple things can have the greatest impact!
- Michael Dunn, Founder & President