Fringe star admits addiction issues

From my perspective any normal day in an Intensive Outpatient treatment facility would be a shock in the eyes of what we addicts like to call “normies” (non-addicts). With the over saturation of

addicts in South Florida, the amount of relapse in recovery communities is disheartening.  In even the best drug rehab centers or facilities it’s usually a weekly reoccurrence of seeing someone intoxicated, overdosed, or

being escorted off of the property. If this happens to often in a sober house or community it can give the facility the negative connotation of being a revolving door. I tend to ignore the impact of

these occurrences on me, the facility as a whole, and my fellow addicts trying to stay clean one day sometimes one second at a time. You would think that seeing someone completely overtaken by a

substance, somewhat like a demonic possession would instill fear of relapse and motivation to stay clean. But often it remind the addict of the “Good Times” using. This is because of selective

memory our disease instills in our brains. Selective memory is caused by the euphoric high of drug and alcohol abuse, which affects the area of the brain referred to as the pleasure or reward

center. This is the same part of the brain that manages a variety of important psychological functions such as emotional response, anxiety management, coping with stress, reinforcing behaviors, the

ability to resist impulse, and the formation and recollection of memory. With the disease of addiction being so cunning, baffling, and powerful the simple thought of using can cause the painful mind

consuming process of relapse. I believe maintaining healthy boundaries with your peers in your community is one of the many key factors in not letting the chaotic relapse of a close neighbor affect

you as much. Another important tool would be to develop healthy relationships outside of the community with people in twelve step programs, at work, or school. Preferably with people who are at

a point in their lives where you would hope to be one day. Having these people as a support network could help you through the emotions of having a close friend or neighbor relapsing. A lot of

people, especially the family and friends of the person who relapsed like to blame the facility their loves one was at for the relapse. Now even though the facility or community could be somewhat to

blame, most of the blame should be on the lack of effort or commitment that person has put into their maintaining sobriety. People like to focus on the accommodations of a facility, what

neighborhood it is located in, or the standard rehab success rate. According to the American Addiction Centers there is no standardized way to measure the success of a treatment center or sober

community. Many facilities base their success rate on unreliable metrics such as completion of program, sobriety rates immediately after program, client interviews, and internal studies. Rather I

believe it should be judged by the genuine love and compassion all of its staff shows its community, as a whole and individually. Also important is a strong ongoing community, who truly wants to be

clean and sober that can lift each other up in a time of need. I know too well that no community as a whole will be solid, but a strong group as a foundation can hopefully show other addicts on the

fence of being clean the joy and gifts of sobriety. All in all I believe the success of a recovering addicts depends on healthy communication, strong support and foundations, and the love of others.

-Julian Ciotti