Choose Life

For the past six months, I have been a part of all sorts of conferences and on TV to discuss the opioid crisis. Dr. Drew and I were on a conference call with the White House. I was keynote speaker at a lunch with the lawyers representing the municipalities and hospitals suing Perdue pharmaceutical, the sellers of OxyContin. I met with Governor Kasich of Ohio. It’s ben fun and interesting to hear all the wacky solutions being proposed.

I of course believe in an old fashioned, outdated idea that people have the power to change their lives with the help and love and support of other who have gone through that same scary journey ahead of them.

I have always believed in people! But almost all of the proposals I heard for how they’re trying to combat this opioid tsunami of death reigned down on America is … medicine.

More medicine. Medicine will fix it! Medicine is what is causing it; so if we use simple logic, Medicine can’t be the solution to it. And there’s never any mention of the human component to all this. When I do my groups at Alo House, I ask the clients who has ever bought, sold, or traded their Suboxone to their drug dealers. Everyone puts up their hands, always. And never mind the fact that every time they’ve been on Suboxone in the past, they’ve all continued to use other drugs and alcohol.

Simultaneous to all this, one of my oldest friends has been trying to get sober. He has been to many detoxes and rehabs. I‘ve hung out with him a number of times, telling him I love him and that it’s gonna be alright. Just keep trying to get and stay sober, I tell him.

It takes a few missteps before the whole thing comes into focus. That’s how it was for me. After using for 20 years, and after 24 trips to rehab, I’ve been completely sober for over 20 years.

Recently, my friend has been on the Internet and talking with some idiot doctors who believe the same big pharma solution I’ve heard from the White House and from everyone all over the country. There is a shot that makes heroin addiction subside. He keeps texting me, wanting the shot. This is a smart man. A good man, a well intentioned man.

My friend truly believes, because of all these scumbag doctors and rigged internet propagandizers, that there is a once-a-month shot that makes you grow up and take responsibility for your life. A shot that helps you face your fears. A shot that loves and encourages you. A shot that goes to coffee and talks to you about your kids. A shot that removes your guilt. A shot that explains the universe … There is no such shot. If there was, I would want the shot morning, noon and night.

Unfortunately, our country has been brainwashed to believe the age old Mad Men ad agency propaganda from the 1960’s — Better Living Through Chemistry! I choose love and community over any medicine. But we don’t advertise love and community on television. That’s because there aren’t billions of dollars to be made promoting love and community.

Please, I urge all you addicts out there who are struggling. Choose life. Choose love. Choose community. And hang in there, it’s going to be okay.


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