To our readers:
Normally, we try to keep this blog informative and objective, providing readers with facts, figures, current events, and the occasional light-hearted post about recovery. However, we feel that sometimes it’s appropriate to step out from “behind the curtain”, and provide a more personal view. This is one of those times.
Heroin: Cape Cod, USA
Last night, HBO aired a new documentary, “Heroin: Cape Cod, USA.” The gritty, unfiltered film follows 8 young heroin addicts in Cape Cod, Massachusetts- just one of innumerable small towns in America that is plagued by heroin addiction. The documentary is, in our opinion, very well done- it takes no prisoners, and sheds a harsh light on the realities of this drug. Heroin is everywhere, and killing people in record numbers across the country. It is heartbreaking, but this film should be seen by everyone- if anything, hopefully it will act as a deterrent to anyone considering abusing prescription opioids or heroin.
The film also serves as an excellent reminder of what heroin is capable of. We see bright, young lives, full of potential, that have been destroyed by addiction. We see parents and families, devastated and hopeless, stuck in that place between the parental instinct to provide for and protect, and the need to let go and stop enabling. Several of the film’s subjects have died of overdose since the making of it. Notably, a medical professional that was interviewed for the film discusses Narcan, and the fact that the opioid reversal medication is only a band-aid. The film’s subjects even admit to using just minutes after being brought back to life with the drug. And most importantly, what we took away from the documentary was a reminder about how hopeless it is when you are stuck in the vicious cycle of addiction. How difficult it is to imagine anything different for your life. To sacrifice every single moral, principle, and value, and do things that degrade not only your physical self, but your very soul, all for the sake of the next hit or drink.
Once again, we (your faithful blog authors) are reminded why we do this. Why we show up to work every day, determined to spread awareness and make even some small contribution to a facility founded in the idea that recovery is possible. Both in the recovery community and in treatment centers, people DO recover, every day. There is a whole community of people who care deeply about every sick and suffering addict and alcoholic, and are willing to share their own experiences, and walk the path with you until you can see it clearly for yourself. But the flip side is, we also see the losses, the heartbreak, and the sickness that comes along with addiction. It is truly amazing to see the lights come on in someone’s eyes as they take hold of a new life of sobriety and happiness, but it is equally as heartbreaking to see those lights dimmed and darkened when addiction is active. It’s the two-sided coin we live with every day, but if our words reach even a single person- if even one person gains a small seed of hope that with the right actions, their lives can be different- then we have succeeded.
As we enter into the new year, we hope for each of you that a bounty of promise, hope, and recovery awaits you. If you are in recovery, we hope you continue to take the right actions and work a program, and reap the benefits to live happy, joyous,and free. If you are sick and suffering, we hope that you reach out for help- that you quiet the voice inside telling you that it’s hopeless and no one understands. That you simply give this a chance- whether it be through a treatment center, or a twelve step fellowship– you have nothing to lose, and quite literally, everything to gain. Most importantly, that all of you understand that none of us can do this alone. There are always people who have been where you’ve been, so whatever you are struggling with, someone understands and can guide you through it. You just have to ask, and take some actions which may not make a lot of sense, but have worked for countless others before you.
We hope you have a safe and happy New Year, and may the amount of love you try to spread in the world be returned to you tenfold.
-Heather and Cara
If you are struggling, there are many meetings and sober events behind held on New Year’s Eve, and through the remainder of this holiday season. Check your local AA or NA website for information. And as always, feel free to call us at any time if you have questions about treatment or are ready to make a change- 1-800-203-2024.