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August 11, 2017 @ 7:18 AM by: Richard Steinecke

Many of our volunteers are open about their struggles with addiction. Over the last few weeks some of them have shared their experiences with our students and other volunteers. We were able to hear how the roots of their addiction originated with traumatic experiences as children and feelings of alienation as teenagers. While peer pressure was mentioned, it was not perceived by them as the true cause of their illness. We also heard how the urge to use was so strong that they did horrible things to strangers, friends and family alike in order to get their next fix. They felt like their brains had been altered so that they could not make rationale choices like people who had not experienced addiction (I am not sure how rationale “other people” truly are, but that is another story). They also shared that despite being on the road to recovery and appreciating the enormous benefits of not using, they still remained on the cusp of using again. The greatest benefit of these conversations is to see people with profound addictions as relatable colleagues, and not distant stereotypes.

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