What's Wrong With Me?

I watch people around me drink the same way I do but they don’t get wasted like me. There must be a trick, some secret or learned way of drinking that I haven’t figured out yet, but I will. I’ll try beer instead of vodka. I’ll try eating more before I drink. I’ll find a way—there must be a way. It’s not like I’m a drunk or something! I’ve never lost a job, I’ve never gotten a DUI, I never drink in the morning. If I was an alcoholic, I wouldn’t be able to say that. This is simply a matter of getting a grip on drinking, figuring out the way to do it. Welcome to one of the many scripts that ran through my head before I got sober. They varied a bit here and there, but they all led to the same conclusion—I could not accept that I...
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Living With an Alcoholic

Living with an alcoholic was not in my dreams when I thought of getting married and living “happily ever after.” But that is where I found myself after a few years of marriage—in the middle of alcoholism.  First I thought there was something wrong with me.  If he loved me, he would stay home. I thought I could say something that would make him understand what he was doing to his family and his life. When words didn’t work I used tears and threats of leaving if he didn’t change.  All I could think about was “where was he, who was he with, how much money would he spend, would he kill someone while driving home, would he kill himself, what kind of mood would he be in when he came home?” Every time, he said, “I promise I won’t drink again.”  Or, “when  we move to our next home...
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My Sister, an Alcoholic

My younger sister and I are two years apart, and were very close growing up.  After high school I moved, and we lived on opposite coasts but talked all the time and saw each other on holidays with the family.  Then suddenly she stopped calling. I would call and leave messages, and rarely get a call back.  I knew she drank and smoked weed, but at the time had no idea she had started messing with dope. I called her job, only to find out she'd been fired months ago.  My parents went to her apartment to find her gone, unopened mail filling the mailbox.  Now we were really scared.  We all felt so powerless.  When the money ran out my sister showed up at my parent’s house and was sent to rehab.  But when she got out, she started to use again.  Like before, she disappeared. I felt worried,...
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Full-Time Junkie

It started with drinks before a night out, and it ended in a very small bathroom with a needle in my arm. Along the way many good friends said goodbye because they offered help and I refused it. I fell out of the usual circle of family birthdays and holidays. I promised attendance and didn’t show.  I lost my job and became a full-time junkie. I traded sex for money in order to get a fix. My life became very small and very scary, and I just let it happen. Homeless and out of money, one day I was offered help and I said yes. The moment I accepted help my world changed. There were challenges. I had to get honest. I had to be careful about falling into familiar patterns. But the truth is the challenges in recovery are easier than anything I had to do when I was...
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I Stopped Running

I reached a bottom, an awareness that this was not working enough to numb the pain and other difficult emotions I was being tormented with inside of my head and heart. One day, I awoke for the first time with a feeling I needed to make a change in my life around this pattern of drinking and drugging. So I went to a meeting. I met a young person who then introduced me to another person in my age group and I saw that this was working for them. I wanted what they had. I developed a support network of friends that helped me embrace a program of recovery, which has managed to keep me sober.  - Juan, 17
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Sweet Seventeen

I was 15 the first time I went through treatment. I had no idea what was going on and wasn’t ready to listen. I knew it all, and no one could tell me different. Drugs and alcohol were the only things that I thought made me happy. I was having fun. When I was 17, I came back to treatment beat up and ready to listen. I wasn’t having fun anymore. I was young and not sure if I was going to be able to stop drinking and drugging. I struggled, trying to decide if recovery is really what I wanted or if I wanted to continue to use. I was in treatment during the holidays and came up with an analogy that worked for me. I thought back to when I was a little girl and couldn’t wait to open up my Christmas presents to see what kind of toys...
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No Shoes

On June 15, 1998,  I entered a rehab facility. I was 18 years old, confused and abusing drugs.  Alcohol was my drug of choice but I smoked pot, popped pills, used acid, crack, cocaine--whatever I could get my hands on. It wasn’t about a particular drug. I just wanted to escape, get away from being me, so to speak. I started drinking when I was 14. I agreed to 30 days of treatment, ended up staying for 16 months. Today, I remain employed at this same place. Back then, I had heard crazy things about this rehab and what they made you do. I was scared, desperate and broke. I needed something to turn my life around. Treatment was the only option I had left before I killed myself from using drugs. I used drugs from the time I got up in the morning until I fell asleep, whatever time that was. Just before...
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Adderall -- A Personal Story

It was the toughest semester of my life. I was taking six classes, my grandmother had passed away just days before finals, and I was too emotionally and mentally shot to focus on anything. Hours slid by and nothing was getting done. My worst fear was coming true—I was going to fail my exams. After venting to my friend about my troubles, he responded by handing me a little blue tablet marked AD 10. Having never taken any prescription pill, I was a bit hesitant, but considering my desperate circumstances, I decided to down it. Subtle stimulation is one thing, such as a caffeine rush, but encephalic overdrive characterized by robotic like tunnel vision that allows you to scan hundreds of pages of bland text with no desire to stop, is literally a mind blowing sensation. An electric wave of euphoria pulsated through my body giving me a sense of...
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Facing Addiction and The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) are proud to announce the merger of our organizations – creating a national leader in turning the tide on the addiction epidemic.
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