The news media is abuzz today with news that a coalition of health care, consumer advocacy, and addiction treatment groups has banded together under the name FED UP! to protest Zohydro, a new opioid painkiller from pharmaceutical corporation Zogenix.
New York legislators are grappling with how to deal with the plague of heroin that has been devastating suburban and rural youths statewide.
The state, like so many others, has been struggling against heroin for years, but the most recent development seems to be a cruel irony; poorer families, so long the greatest victims of the drug trade, are actually in a better position to get treatment for addicted family members.
A Carnegie Mellon and University of Pittsburgh study, soon to be published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, indicates that the portion of the teenage population that is at the greatest risk of alcoholism is not the illicit partygoers, but rather those teenagers that drink alone.
I had to stop to cry several times while I was writing this; but hopefully it will help others who are having a hard time getting help for alcohol addiction see that there is hope. They say now, that relapse is part of recovery. If that's the case, then I was in recovery for about eight years. I was the kid who never wanted to stop partying, until one day I turned into the man who couldn't. My twenties were spent getting and losing dead-end jobs, taking advantage of my parents' generosity and ill-advised faith, and fooling myself into thinking the next day was going to be different.
That I am able to sit here and tell my story is nothing short of a miracle. I spent two years putting my body through hellish torture, forcing it to adjust to my addition and desperately operate on survival mode in order to stay alive. They say meth never leaves you; that it stays in everything it touches, including your body forever. Luckily for me, that doesn't appear to be the case. Only by the grace of God, the wisdom and compassion of family who got me help for drug addiction and the amazing skill of my treatment doctors and therapists was I able to find that out.
If you're going to better, you can't be afraid. Fear will weaken you right out of the gate and you will need all of your strength to defeat such a strong adversary as alcohol addiction. I spent six years running from a better life because I was afraid of what I had to do to get there. Drinking was easy; drinking was safe; drinking was familiar. If nobody liked me when I was drunk, what did I care. There was no reasoning with me. If I was going to stop it would have to be through divine intervention or much more likely profound tragedy.
By now it's clear to law enforcement officials, prevention advocates and regrettably the loved ones of overdose victims that synthetic drugs are posing an increasingly greater risk in the United States. Though fairly new to the consumers and distributors, authorities have already seized millions of doses of these drugs, as well as tens of millions of dollars in cash belonging to distributors. One of the new and more deadly synthetic recreational drugs flooding the landscape are called Spice.
Invincibility is a funny thing; just when you start to really need it, it fails you. I let my alcohol addiction rule my life for years, and never imagined the amount of damage it was would one day be responsible for in my life. The minute I let my drinking get out of control, I let alcohol win...and it kept winning; from college throughout the start of my career through the course of marriage and even through my relationship with my son, it just kept winning.
I had almost given up. After two years of trying to fight, it felt like I had nothing left. It seemed like the only thing to do was declare defeat and relinquish my life to painkillers. The whole thing just seemed completely unfair and unexpected—I had struggled my whole life to build something for myself and it was taken away from me by a car accident. During the last days leading up to my treatment, I literally spent all day racked with pain, and sick with the fear of having to ultimately face the prospect of losing everything that was important to me in my life.
Contact the National Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Information Center (NASAIC) anytime toll-free at (800) 784-6776 or through our online form, and we will recommend the leading drug and alcohol rehab centers for you or your loved one.