Days after the death of Prince, the news becomes more tragic with every new revelation. The singer was facing a “grave medical emergency “and was desperate for help for his addiction to pain medication. The “Purple Rain “singer eventually reached out to an addiction specialist, but when help arrived it was too late. CNN reported The day before Prince died, his team called a well-known opioid addiction specialist in California seeking urgent help for the singer. The specialist, Dr. Howard Kornfeld, wasn’t able to get there soon enough so he sent his son, Andrew Kronfeld. Andrew jumped on an overnight fight, the goal was to evaluate Princes health and encourage him to enter an addiction treatment center. By the time Andrew arrived, it was too late. The “let’s go crazy “singer was founded unresponsive in the elevator. Andrew was the one who called 911. Another great entertainer has been lost due to the drug epidemic sweeping the nation. Drug addiction can effect anyone, it does not care if you’re famous and rich or poor and homeless. Actress Jamie Lee Curtis discusses her own past addiction to prescriptions pills. “I Too, waited anxiously for a prescription to be filled for the opiate I was secretly addict to,” she writes in a moving essay for the Huffington Post. “I took, took too many at once. I too, sought to kill emotional and physical pain with pain killers. Kill it. Make it stop.” She also goes on to urge readers not to “enable” or “disable our loved ones who are ill.”
“Addiction won’t just go away, you won’t just wake up one day and it won’t be there. It’s always going to be there, and you need to do something about it. “
At the age of 17, I was awarded my Eagle Scout badge, and I was addicted to opioid painkillers and black tar heroin. Being a drug addict wasn’t something I intended to do. I wasn’t raising my hand in 2nd grade during career day, speaking about drug addiction. Few people knew the extend of my addiction, I constantly hide my drug addiction from my family. Dishonesty is what kept me in my addiction for so long, I lied to my parents when I was questioned about drug abuse. The dishonestly is what was killing me. I was unable to get honest with myself. There were days I wasn’t able to look in the mirror, for fear of facing the truth for what I had become. Nothing changed till I was able to get honest with myself. It took me along time to reach out for help. Although I’m not proud of where my addiction had taken me and the things I did, my experiences do help me relate to others for suffer from this disease. It’s not about the “War Stories “and what I did in my using days, I want to tell people everything that has happened since then. That there is a life after drug addiction, and people can recover and how absolutely cool my life is today.
Reach out before it’s too late.
Here are some tips.
Waiting for a drug addict to eventually see sense in his situation could last an eternity. It’s not always easy to help someone with a drug addiction or alcohol addiction. Their addiction will not simply go away by turning a blind eye to the situation and hoping that the person will get better. Involvement from loved ones, friends, family, and employers can make a difference in an intervention.
The unwilling and denial of a drug addict can make the approach to the invention difficult, you must come from a caring and understanding approach rather than a harsh one. Non-confrontational is usually a good way to go. Understanding that an intervention can be an emotionally draining and difficult process for the family and the drug addict, you must remain calm. Accusing the drug addict can cause confrontation, try using words like “ When You, I Feel “ and say “ I think you have a problem with drug addiction “
Express Concern & Offer Help
Having a plan for help after the intervention is always a good idea. Start with expressing your deepest concerns and follow it up with your commitment to help and support them in this difficult time.
Facts Not Opinions
Present the actual facts about their drinking or drug misuse and be specific about their behavior. Avoid moral judgements and opinions. Instead of “I think you drink too much”, say: “last night you were slurring your speech and shouting, you drove on the wrong side of the road, it was really frightening”.
Explain that they have an Illness.
Explain that a serious alcohol or drug problem is an illness, not a moral weakness or lack of willpower. Tell them that they are a decent human being with a very destructive illness, one which leads to a progressive decline and a potentially fatal outcome. Help them to recognize that the only way to deal with this illness is through abstinence. To achieve this help will be needed and you can support them.
Use Leverage where Possible
The more leverage/bargaining-power you have the better, and it helps to set healthy boundaries. But don’t confuse this with ‘threats’, you must intend to carry out anything you say. If you are an employer it may be necessary to offer a choice of treatment or risk one’s career. You are not forcing the person to get help, you are offering a choice. A sheriff or magistrate may decide that the person can have a choice between treatment or jail. Parents may decide that grandchildren are at risk unless their grandparent seeks help. Speak with deep concern but firmness.
Practice Tough Love
Place responsibility where it lies, with the addict. Do not take the burden of responsibility on yourself. Offer Hope Too often help and treatment are not offered because the outcome is seen to be hopeless. But 50% of addicts and alcoholic patients can and do recover and there are excellent results for early problem drinkers. Recommend a Self-Help Group Recommend the self-help groups of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) or Narcotics Anonymous (NA). Offer to take your friend to a meeting and go along with them. AA prescribes abstinence gently, one day at a time. AA provides hope, support, and exposure to stable recovery
Contact Al-Anon For YOU
Family members themselves will be greatly helped by attending Al-Anon, the self-help group for families and significant others, where through the experience of other family members you will be able to find some solutions for yourself and your loved one.
Consider Early Intervention
As with any illness, alcoholism responds best to early intervention and needs to be confronted at an early stage for the best outcomes. All too often the problem is ignored until there is a major crisis. Collusion at the workplace is also all too frequent and the underperforming colleague is tolerated until given a golden handshake or simply fired on a technicality. The longer we ignore the problem the greater the health risks: brain damage, liver damage and a poor prognosis