As I've seen how music has changed my life and that of others, I'm energized and want to do more. I believe music can build self-esteem and deal with problems relating to anxiety and depression - which often underlie substance abuse.
If I ever started abusing substances again it will be because I have an irresistible and distorted urge to enjoy illicit substances 'recreationally,' 'without harm.' The sad thing is River, Heath, DJ AM and Brittany probably thought the same.
Relapse is common when the alcoholic/addict has not had enough recovery under their belt through 12-step meetings, sponsorship, counseling or their own personal determination to rely on an arsenal of "tools" to ward off the relapse demon.
Have you heard a word about mental health in the deluge of discussions that populate health reform communications on TV, radio and newspapers? Have you seen any mention in Federal legislative offerings?
As a professional family substance abuse counselor, I encourage my clients to attend Al-anon and find out if it is something they wish to incorporate in their recovery. Some swear by it, others are shunned.
Having an entire department of Mental Health professionals pounding everyday to convince me that I was wrong and I was simply a hopeless addict actually hindered my recovery by years. It made the mountain so much harder to climb.
Everyone has varying degrees of trauma in their life. Similar to depression, trauma can lead to self medication (prescription or otherwise) to numb the pain in an attempt to dilute the reality of the occurrence; which in turn can lead to dependency and/or addiction.
Rather than spread the pain of a difficult budget year across the state budget, the Governor purposefully targeted vulnerable Illinoisans for more pain and suffering. They will pay a steep price, and so will everyone else.