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Last week, President Obama traveled to Charleston, West Virginia, for a candid conversation about substance abuse.

President Obama speaks at East End Family Resource Center in Charleston, West Virginia. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.


Before leading a panel discussion, the president talked about the startling toll that substance abuse has taken on the country and on the Mountain State in particular.

The problem has reached epidemic proportions as 44 people in the United States die each day from overdoses of prescription painkillers. West Virginia has the highest overdose death rate in the country with nearly 34 per 100,000 residents.

"The numbers are big," said Obama. "But behind those numbers are incredible pain for families."

Hours after watching the president's remarks on television, one man took a brave step to change his life.

He called 911, admitted he had a drug problem, and asked deputies to come to his home.

When they arrived, the man (whose name was not released) put his hands on the wall and directed the deputies to a cooler full of drugs and paraphernalia, including marijuana, ecstasy, pain pills, and a digital scale.


A photo of the items seized by the police. Photo by Kanawha County Sheriff's Office, used with permission.

And the officers did something equally impressive: They didn't arrest him.

Instead, the man was taken by ambulance to a treatment center, where he voluntarily entered a rehabilitation program. The sheriff's department declined to file charges and released a statement saying, "We applaud this person's self-initiated efforts and wish him well in his recovery."

Photo by iStock.

The complex problem of substance will require an innovative, all-hands-on-deck solution.

It's a multifaceted problem (affecting the health care industry, criminal justice system, border security, and schools) that will require a complex, dynamic solution.

And some are trying to find those solutions. In the town of Gloucester, Massachusetts, Police Chief Leonard Campanello announced this summer that his officers would no longer arrest drug users who came to them seeking help. In the first two months of the program, over 100 people entered treatment.


Paramedics take a man to the hospital after a possible overdose. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

But we don't have to wait for a silver bullet. We can take a cue from Gloucester and Kanawha County and start with one fewer arrest and one more person in treatment.

They're saving families communities from one more tragedy.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

Noe Hernandez and Maria Carrillo, the owners of Noel Barber Shop in Anaheim, California.

Jordyn Poulter was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s volleyball team, which took home the gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics last year. She was named the best setter at the Tokyo games and has been a member of the team since 2018.

Unfortunately, according to a report from ABC 7 News, her gold medal was stolen from her car in a parking garage in Anaheim, California, on May 25.

It was taken along with her passport, which she kept in her glove compartment. While storing a gold medal in your car probably isn’t the best idea, she did it to keep it by her side while fulfilling the hectic schedule of an Olympian.

"We live this crazy life of living so many different places. So many of us play overseas, then go home, then come out here and train,” Poulter said, according to ABC 7. "So I keep the medal on me (to show) friends and family I haven't seen in a while, or just people in the community who want to see the medal. Everyone feels connected to it when they meet an Olympian, and it's such a cool thing to share with people."

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Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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