Secondhand Pain

The following interview was conducted with an individual who hasn’t fully come to terms with the role addiction played in the struggles he’s been through. The dialogue was moving and helped someone become more aware of the struggles faced in their inner circle. As always please share with anyone who might be able to find strength in this piece.  This is what Open Discussion O.D. strives to achieve…

How do you feel about addiction?

I feel it provides a solution to another problem that people are trying to fix. Ironically, fix is the exact opposite effect that addiction has. Addiction and relying on a substance to stop your pain is never a positive thing. I have always viewed addiction as a person’s way of running from something

Could that be the key to healing from addiction?

Looking closer into a person’s life and finding what made them turn to their addiction could then give them the right tools to fix it. What if the missing component was the same in every person with substance abuse issues?

Have you had any experience with addiction?

Yes

Could you elaborate?

I watched my parents fight my entire childhood. After the fights I’d watch my dad go to the bar.  I can still hear him slamming the door and starting his truck. Looking back it doesn’t feel like he was really even in my life. We didn’t talk, ever. It hurt me, it still hurts me. I never had these kinds of realizations before, that maybe my own father had a problem.

Is it hard to admit that about your dad?

Yes, it’s hard to admit it to myself. I am actually having a difficult time right now.  Let me take a moment and tell you about a positive aspect to all of this. My dad found a few new hobbies as he aged, and thankfully drinking wasn’t one of them. My mom and him split up for a few years, but they got back together. Now they’ve developed hobbies together. It’s almost like he found himself, at almost 70 years old.  I wonder if everyone can have that. What if that’s the secret of healing addicts habits? Finding passions that don’t involve drugs or alcohol. It gives me hope that if my pops can do it, so can others.

How do you feel about the social stigma surrounding addiction?

If people don’t get past the stereotypes behind addiction they’ll never fully understand the sickness. The stereotype is just as destructive as addiction itself. If we stop having empathy for the people suffering, running from their pain and their problems then as a society I don’t think we will ever be able to stand up straight together.

How do we combat addiction/tackle the problem?

By trying to identify the root problems to the addiction. By trying to identify where they originated and why. There needs to be less shame put on the people who are struggling.

How do you feel about Open Discussion Apparel?

Addiction is a serious enough problem that any sort of attention and education on the issue is a step in the right direction.  I’d support it, and encourage others to do so.

Do you feel drug addiction has gotten better or worse?

Worse, I feel like it’s getting worse. I feel like I used to see more being done on the issue. I feel like people used to talk about addiction more, yet they have stopped for some reason and I don’t know why.

Do people who overdose deserve to die?

No, because they need help. They’ve lost themselves. There has to be people out there who are willing to fight to correct this epidemic.

Narcan is a potentially life saving antidote that can reverse the effects of overdose, our mission is to provide it to wherever there is a need.  How do you feel about this aspect of our mission?

It is a tool for saving lives, it sounds great.  How could we not want to raise more concern over this issue?

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