Hi Sam,

You don’t know me and I don’t know you but I would like to say that I am genuinely proud of you.

I’m proud of you for being honest and open.
I’m proud of you for sharing your story.
I’m proud of you for standing your ground.
I’m proud of how you represent a culture who experience addiction.
I’m proud of you for working hard to stay clean.
I’m proud of you for recognizing you have a future, even if it is only for 24 hours at a time. Hey, that’s all it takes. I’m proud of you for getting through today.

I have experienced three generations of addiction in my lifetime. My mother died from opioids, my sister is a recovering heroin addict and now my own child is battling heroin abuse. We also lost two family members to heroin overdoses over Mother’s Day weekend, 18 hours and 1500 miles apart from one another. We are crushed. I wrote a story about it. I can share the link if you’d like to read it.

One of the most uneducated statements I hear from others is when they refer to someone as an “addict.” People aren’t addicts. People experience addiction. The key word is people. They are people. I 100% agree and support your statement that no one chooses to be an addict. Your description of your own cycle is what I have witnessed with my own eyes.

Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m grateful I stumbled upon it. Best wishes to you always.

Newspaper reporter in Eastern Iowa. The views expressed are mine alone.

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