How Addiction Affects Your Immune System

How Addiction Affects Your Immune System

People often think about how addiction impacts our brains, emotions and cognitive abilities. Though we all know that substance use has physical consequences, it’s tempting to think about addiction as solely a disease affecting the mind. However, once you truly understand how addiction affects your immune system, you begin to grasp how deeply substance use disorder impacts your body. A compromised immune system invites a host of disastrous medical conditions. A person struggling with an addiction isn’t just more likely to catch a cold; they’re potentially vulnerable to life-threatening chronic conditions. Before we address how substances impede our bodies from […]

How Jails Contribute to the Opioid Crisis

Jails and the Opioid Epidemic

As we’ve previously discussed on the blog, America’s opioid epidemic is a complex and multifaceted issue. Its origins lie in the deception of physicians by large pharmaceutical companies, and in the years since, countless factors have contributed to its out-of-control growth and devastation. Unsurprisingly, one major contributor to the crisis is America’s system of jails and prisons.   Jails and the American Prison System The prison-industrial complex has grown exponentially since the 1970s. With President Richard Nixon’s declaration of the “War on Drugs” in 1971 and the 1984 introduction of the Sentencing Reform Act (SRA), the number of incarcerated Americans […]

My Daughter Showed Me What It Means To Be Humble

What a journey we have taken over the past 7 years.  My firstborn daughter celebrated her 4th year of sobriety last April.  I can still remember the shock and total disbelief I felt when I was finally able to admit to myself that she was addicted to heroin.  I did not know what this looked like and worse I was in total denial for a long time.  At least I was.  My wife told me time and time again that something was wrong but I refused to see it, always thinking she was getting better and that she no longer […]

Finding Hope and Help in the Midst of Addiction: Healing Your Family

Deathiversary of my son’s death Yesterday was the fifth anniversary (deathiversary?) of my son’s death of a drug overdose. Brandon was one of those people who are larger than life. He was the life of the party. He had a loud voice, a lot of friends, an infectious smile, and he enveloped people with his bear hugs. He befriended the underdog and defended the helpless. He was intense; he loved and hated with his whole heart. He was the glue that held our family relationships together. He constantly reached out to each person in our family to spend time with […]

Making an Informed Decision About Drug Rehab

As hard as it can be to accept that someone you know is addicted, it can be even harder to accept they need to check in to a drug rehab. At this point you need to make all kinds of decisions. Where do you even start? How can you proceed, who is there for you to talk to? You may not even know what questions to ask. The process can leave you feeling overwhelmed and hopeless, and you are not even the one suffering from a chemical dependency. If this happens, remember your end goal: to have the person you […]

Prince and the Tragic Story of Mislabeled Drugs

Mislabeled Drugs Recently, you will recall, the music world suffered a great loss when it learned of the death of the musician Prince. Reports surfaced shortly thereafter that his death was caused by an overdose of the drug fentanyl. Reports of the cause of his death came as a shock, as Prince was known to live a healthy lifestyle and did not even drink alcohol. So it came as quite a surprise as stories broke about his possible addiction to painkillers. This week further reports have surfaced that pills found at the artist’s home that contained fentanyl were mislabeled as lower-potency painkillers. It remains unclear whether […]

Create the Fellowship You Crave

My struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction My struggle with alcoholism and drug addiction began at the age of twelve years old. I have experienced darkness that neither I nor my family were prepared to encounter.  From multiple hospital and psychiatric unit stays, to jails and twenty-five residential treatment centers it continued for what felt like an eternity.  I was the garden variety drunk who chronically relapsed.  Nothing could keep me sober and I tried everything that I thought possibly would, except the 12 Steps of course.  I reconciled that I would likely spend the rest of my life in […]

Coming Full Circle

BRC Recovery’s Bringing Real Change To some it may seem that moving back home to the Northeast in the midst of a heroin pandemic was completely irrational, but today I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been given the rare opportunity to carry the message of hope to those suffering from the disease of addiction in my community through BRC Recovery’s Bringing Real Change NE Citywide Meeting. Growing up in small town New England was everything out of a story book.  The fresh cut green grass, the vibrant colors of the autumn leaves and the cheering on the […]