Now Carson and Aaron's brother Brian are able to support each other. "It's really nice for me to have someone who understands what I'm going through, where I don't have to explain why I'm sad," she says.
By the time I acknowledged my defeat, I had two choices. I could continue on the road I was on, unwilling to accept help, eventually ending with death, or I could accept help, admitting I was powerless over alcohol and begin a road of recovery. I chose the latter.
Addiction is everywhere, help is more available, and you have friends and/or family who care about you. Take the first steps today to know your risks and find solutions for a better tomorrow.
Every now and again, you get a reminder that you are exactly where you should be. This happened to me just recently, and I am so grateful for that reminder.
We will only change our policies and our attitudes when we open ourselves up to the stories of those affected by addiction and recognize the true human cost of decades of failed strategy.
It was sad for me to see that the drug problem in Santa Cruz has reached a point where good people are so upset that they were pushing for backward policies that would not help people struggling with addiction or the Santa Cruz community as a whole.
Because when it comes to addiction, every day presents new challenges, and having a plan "just in case" offers a second chance to those struggling with drug abuse and peace of mind for the people who love them.
Methadone clinics are places that people with addiction to heroin and other opiates (pain medication) come to take methadone instead of heroin. All in all, it's a pretty darn good trade, and helps thousands of human beings break free of the shackles of heroin addiction and lead meaningful lives.
It seems to me that this tendency to excuse libertine excesses by talented people inverts our moral hierarchy, since it basically says that those whom we acclaim as best are excused for acting the worst.
Whether I was sad or happy or bored or lonely, it was there to comfort me and make me feel all better. We started off really happy together. But like most relationships that end, it had a tendency to get ugly. This particular relationship, the one with booze, became destructive, unhealthy and toxic.
It is astonishing to me that people still view heroin abuse and drug addiction as a "Hollywood problem" and that -- despite the overwhelming data -- everyone still refuses to believe that overdoses are occurring daily in our own backyards.
We can all agree that excess tobacco, alcohol and drugs are not healthy for the body, especially for developing children, but where we all disagree is the degree to which using these substances become unhealthy and whether using these substances is a criminal offense.
Most of us are capable of bargaining for a distant payoff -- a college diploma, for example -- but addicts are bad at this calculation. So if addicts are so bad at temporal discounting, is it possible that this cognitive bias might be a marker of treatment success -- even a target of intervention?
In a few weeks, a powerful new opioid painkiller called Zohydro is expected to hit the market. Zohydro's easily crushed capsules will contain up to 50 milligrams of pure hydrocodone, 10 times more hydrocodone than a regular Vicodin. One capsule will pack enough to kill a child.
Overdosing on heroin doesn't make you a scumbag. Having a drink after 20 years of sobriety doesn't make you weak. Having an addiction is not a moral choice. In fact, I think it is accurate to say that having an addiction is not a choice at all.
We were all kids at one time who had big dreams. None of us grew up thinking it would be fun to struggle with addiction. But the thing is, you don't see it coming. And by the time you do it's usually too late.