The opiate epidemic is making headline news around the country. You can do a quick Google search for opiate abuse and see hundreds of articles nationwide reporting the incredibly sad statistics and the painful grip that these drugs have on our country. More people die from opiate overdoses than in car accidents. Our youth is becoming addicted to powerful prescription painkillers and their future becomes dime. So many great lives and families are destroyed by such intense drug addictions. How are we supposed to make an impact on this great issue? The answer is that we can not sit back when we get clean and just move on.
I made a choice over 5 years ago that I was going to tell my story. I would come out of the comfortable shadow and shine light on my uncomfortable realities. I was a drug addict in recovery and although society loves to judge us, I didn't care. It came time for me to open up and try to help people that needed it. There are so many people out there that struggle with addiction and it controls their every move and thought. They are terrified because of the way society looks down on addiction. The social stigma is strong and it is just not worth it for some people seeking recovery to ask for help. They are too scared to be judged or face the repercussions of someone finding out that they have an issue. Legal troubles or the chance of losing employment can be terrifying.
I completely understand why people do not want to be open about their recovery. It is much harder to come out and let the world know the problems and mistakes you made. But something I realized immediately was as soon as I opened up, all of my secrets that became public empowered me. I saw that I didn't disintegrate when I spoke the truth and I wasn't shunned. The opposite actually happened. I felt empowered with the chance to help people in their own recovery. To use my life lessons to show people that a new life can be achieved.
Our country is losing lives every minute of the day to overdoses from opiates. These drugs strip a person of who they are and turn them into monsters. However you get hooked on these drugs does not matter to me. What matters to me is that people do not lose sight of reality. Opiates numb not only your body but your feelings and drive. You can not see a future for yourself because the drugs have taken away your ability to dream.
To make a real change in our society, more people who are in recovery need to be open and honest about what they went through. More of us have to open our arms and help others fighting for their lives. We need to take a stand and empower ourselves. Do not be afraid to tell your story, because your story may save someone's life. People tell me everyday that I saved their life and nothing in this world is better than that.