One minute at a time.
Addiction is characterized as a chronic brain disease that causes people to seek out harmful substances despite the consequences to themselves and those around them. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calculates health and crime related cost exceeds $600 billion annually. According to the CDC, death from drug overdoses has risen over the past two decades by as much as 102%. The most recent was the talented actor, writer, and director Phillip Seymour Hoffman. There were many stories circulating about his roller coaster ride with addiction and recovery and no one can explain why some people make and some people do not. Some people suggest a lot of Hollywood drug deaths can be attributed to their desire to enhance the creative process. Substance abuse can often be triggered out of curiosity or some traumatic event that causes the individual to turn to drugs or alcohol to cope. In the case of Jeremy Holland, he came from a typical upper-middle class family and there was nothing in his family history to suggest he would turn to drugs and alcohol. However, the death of the love of his life in 2010 caused him to spiral into alcohol abuse. He quit his high-paying airline career and traded it for days and months of alcohol oblivion. During Jeremy’s addiction to alcohol, being unemployed caused him to go from couch to couch. Even without money, he found a way to feed his addiction by surrounding himself with people also in the throes of addiction. One such person was his former roommate Matthew Baldwin. Matthew stated that he and Jeremy abused drugs and alcohol together. Then one day, a friend reached out to them and offered them help out a dark situation. Matthew credits support from friends and family for he and Jeremy entering into recovery. There is no formula for recovery that fits every situation but Jeremy has found creative outlets that enable him to get through the day. Upon entering into recovery, a good friend offered him a job at a local flower shop. He said, “ I was able to let my artistic side out.” “On the good side I have gotten my natural work ability back because I was out of the workforce for eight or nine months.” His recovery has not been a fast one. He takes life one minute at a time. With the help of friends and family, Jeremy is still on his path of recovery. If you or someone you know has a substance abuse problem, contact the National Drug and Alcohol Treatment Referral Hotline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) website http://findtreatment.samhsa.gov/ for treatment options.