The crisis in the United States concerning the opioid epidemic has been front and center since before the 2016 presidential election. 130 citizens in the U.S. die each and every day from this preventable illness with no end in sight. In 2017 over 61,000 of our brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers died in just one calendar year. It is estimated that upwards of 80% of all heroin addicts started on their descent into hell with prescription pills made here in the United States.

In 2017 there were over 88,000 alcohol related deaths in the U.S., included in that stat are 26,000 women. Of the 88,000, 10,000 where driving related. The sad part of the stats is that just 6.7% of people regardless of age receive any kind of treatment for their disorder, and just to be clear it has been labeled a disorder by the American Medical Association (A.M.A.) since 1958. Also inside that yearly fatality number are 1,800 college students. On our college campuses annually there are 696,000 reported assaults and 97,000 students of sexual assault. That’s our future people! In 2015 in the U.S., there were over 78,000 deaths due to liver disease. The A.M.A. says that the primary treatment for alcoholism is TO NOT DRINK! How complicated is that!

These stats might be new but I make up the topic is not. You would be hard pressed to live in the United States and not know about our addiction problem. Just driving around any urban center I see the poor soul under the freeway with the “will work for food” sign. There is also a direct connection between addiction and homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (P.T.S.D.) and trauma. Yet the co-ed who drinks too much doesn’t fit into any of those categories, YET… my point being that none of this is invisible or even off the social radar.

Last week I saw a little blurb in the Seattle Times local section that caught my eye. It had that outside the norm factor yet it only got less than two inches of type space. I needed to know more… so here is the skinny.

Woman Sentenced to 19 Years for Attacking Boyfriend With Samurai Sword: ‘She Was Obsessed With Him’

“On Monday, a Washington state woman was sentenced to 19 years in prison for the Samurai-sword attack on her live-in boyfriend, who she believed was cheating on her. The sentence came just over a month after Emily Javier, 31, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree domestic violence murder in Clark County Superior Court in connection with the March 3, 2018, attack of Alex Lovell, 29 her live in boyfriend of two years.

“He was severely injured,” Clark County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Anna Klein tells PEOPLE. “He was very lucky. He lost a great deal of blood. His father said he had 26 different stab wounds. He had exposed bone. His knee and elbows were almost severed. He had a couple of fingers that had to be reattached.”

Javier apologized during the sentencing and said she wished “every day I could go back and change what I’ve done,”. Javier allegedly told police that she decided to attack Lovell, because she believed he was cheating on her and spent all his time playing video games.

“She told police she felt he was cheating on her and that she was obsessed with him,” she says. “She felt she was working really hard at her job and paying all of the bills and he wasn’t contributing to the household and was spending all of his time playing video games.” Klein says Javier had plotted her boyfriend’s death for a week.

“She bought the sword about a week before and she had been researching on her phone how to kill somebody by slicing their throat,” Klein says. Javier placed the sword by her side of the bed and kept two knives taped to the headboard just in case she couldn’t reach the sword, Klein says.

Javier allegedly chose that evening to act because Lovell ignored her when she came home from work as a manager at a barber shop chain. Klein says she fed him alcohol and when he fell asleep, she pounced.

“Her first strike was the blunt edge of the sword to his throat, so luckily she had the sword turned the wrong way. Otherwise I think he would be dead,” Klein says.

Klein says Javier had originally planned to commit suicide after the attack, but Lovell convinced her to call 911: “He reported that as she was slicing him with the knife he was pleading for his life, telling him she was killing him and begging her to call 911, which she eventually did.”

Javier’s attorney, Chris Ramsay, said his client suffered from sexual trauma as a child and asked the judge to give her a lighter sentence. That childhood trauma, Ramsay tells PEOPLE, “went unaddressed and untreated her whole life.” “It is a tragic story,” he says. “She has been remorseful the whole time. She laid everything out for the detectives and gave a full confession.”

At the sentencing, Lovell’s father gave a victim’s impact statement to the court. “No human being deserves to be attacked in their sleep in this most vicious and barbaric way,” he said “Time does not always heal all wounds.”

Her boyfriend, Alex Lovell, survived the brutal attack, and now says the whole thing was a misunderstanding, telling BuzzFeed News he wasn’t cheating on Javier, he was just playing too many video games. “I was training too hard, it exhausted me,” Lovell said of his intensive video-game training regimen. “I felt bad because she needed the affection. I just couldn’t keep up.”

At the end of the day I wonder how many times this scenario plays out in our country, MINUS THE samurai sword. I can only guess because there are no stats and, there are no stats because this IS NOT A DISEASE, just check the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (D.S.M.-5). At the end of the day it’s just a blurb in a local newspaper.

So as Nancy Reagan was spouting “JUST SAY NO” about drugs to teach us about that topic, who teaches us about love and relationships? All I know is that Emily Javier would be free today and Alex would be physically intact if either one of them would have gotten help. Just a thought.

Another question I keep asking myself is who else saw the dysfunction, so who knew that something was not right with this couple or each one independently. Someone had to see it, kind of like if you were living with a drug addict or an alcoholic. How could you not see it? And I’m not talking about the sword.

If you see yourself on either side of this sad equation, you might benefit from some help. And just another thought, remember misery is optional. Call me.

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