The conversation with a parent concerning the overdose death of their child is one of the hardest things I have ever done or will ever do, and would hope to never do again, but if nothing changes, there will be far too many more.
Addiction is as old as humanity, as early as 3500 B.C. the Egyptians wrote about alcoholism, and stories of intoxication through the ages are legion. Since 1971 over a Trillion dollars has been spent on a War on Drugs, yet according to the Center for Disease Control deaths from drug overdoses continue to climb. In 2016 64,070 died, 175 per day, 1 every 8 minutes on average, and this does not reflect the 10’s of thousands dying of other addiction related causes and illness and since addiction typically kills quietly this epidemic continues to grow unabated and under reported.
The National Survey on Drug Use and Health reported 3.8 million people sought help for addiction in America in 2016 out of the 21 million (1 in 13 above the age of 12) who meet the criterion for Substance Use Disorder (SUD). Utilizing these numbers roughly 18% of those needing help received any. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act the Addiction Treatment Industry (which accounted for 2.2 million of the 3.8 million receiving help) has grown to over 14,000 treatment facilities nationwide treating alcohol and drug abuse, yet despite this growth today in America the #1 killer of adults under 55, according to the Department of Justice, is addiction. More are dying and suffering today than ever before despite billions spent on education, a failed trillion dollar+ war on drugs, new recovery modalities and the growth in the Addiction Treatment Industry.
Freedom from addiction is not one size fits all, and today, more paths of recovery are available than ever before. Decades of experience clearly demonstrates though that without immersion in a community of individuals intimately familiar with curious nature of addiction thinking who have personal experience dealing with life’s inevitable difficulties, challenges, and successes free of intoxicants and addictive behavior, openly and honestly sharing their triumphs and struggles, sustainable healthy long-term recovery, as the current death and relapse rates attest, is elusive.
Miracles Of Recovery is for everyone who suffers from addiction as well as those who love them. Participating in recovery from mobile devices, Smart Screen TV’s, computers, and Virtual Reality as that platform evolves is the future, some may say sadly so, but this is the world we live in, and to save lives, needs to be embraced.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes.
To effect change will take those with vision and resources to help shape it and make it reality. With the steady increase of young people seeking help who are being less than well served by the current recovery communities, treatment modalities which abruptly stop when Health Care insurance coverage ends, the current appallingly low long term sustained recovery rate, an unacceptably high relapse rate, the rising death rate from overdoses, and the increasing incidences of serious mental illness caused by the use of Synthetic Marijuana, Spice, Bath Salts and all manner of poisonous concoctions labeled Crystal Meth, it is time to act, to modernize the current recovery paradigm, to help all who suffer as well as those who love and care about them, to make sustainable long term healthy recovery real, affordable and available for the millions longing to be free of addiction. So please help to make this grow, become part of the new face of recovery and stand with me to remove the stigma of addiction and turn the increasing tide of tragedy, suffering and death.
I have been in recovery since September 1985 and my professional career began when I was asked to work pro bono with at risk students at Huntington Beach High School. At the time I had developed a reputation within the recovery community as an effective communicator and after the death of two students from prescription drugs I was asked to start working with at risk students, which I did for nearly 5 years. Word of mouth lead to offers of compensated freelance Facilitator positions with numerous local treatment facilities in the ensuing years, which in turn lead to accepting a full time position with Dr. Sayeh Beheshti when she opened Healing Path Recovery in 2011. Along with clinical duties, as a Director my responsibilities included addressing the day to day needs and struggles of clients from Case Management to Transportation to placement in and overseeing sober living residences, even going as far as recently living for 2 years in a residence with clients to truly grasp the day to day realities and challenges facing them in professional treatment setting and real-world recovery. Additionally, as a retired Building Contractor/Designer Healing Path asked me to create a program to design and build Treatment Centers, Sober Living Residences and Laboratories utilizing a workforce comprised almost exclusively of people new or returning to recovery, helping them to not only learn a trade but since many of them had relapsed numerous times, to begin truly building a foundation to live free of active addiction. This program changed many lives. In my 30+ years in recovery I have successfully worked with thousands of individuals from all walks of life, teenagers to the retired, famous to infamous, prosperous to those living hand to mouth, adamant atheists to convicted Christians, suffering from all manner of intoxicant and behavior-based addictions as well as those who love and care about them, both as a member in recovery Fellowships and as a treatment professional, laying out for them the tools of recovery, tailored to their needs.