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Substance Abuse

Veterans & Recovery


​“I first smoked and drank alcohol in the 1960’s while in elementary school. The cigarettes were a quick addiction, but my father found out and after a convincing talk with threat of force I didn’t smoke again till boot camp in the navy at age 21. Again, it was a quick addiction, I smoked 1 1/2 packs day for 26 years and at the urging of my youngest son and with the help of the veterans hospital I am smoke free 12 years now. Group therapy, nicotine patches and my family got me through 6 months. When I was on the verge of breaking  and on my way to buy cigarettes, I bought nicotine gum instead and chewed gum for 6 months. Then after 18 months total the addiction left my brain and today I rarely have thoughts of it and very much dislike the sight or smell of cigarettes. After 18 months of exercise and an understanding wife children and daughter-in-law and a sensible diet with a large amount of water sustained me. Alcohol was different, a much slower addiction but powerful and came to a climax and led to my downfall while in uniform. I found myself sitting on a barstool not a penny to my name and only two desires, a cigarette and a beer, I survived with neither, found out I had some serious problems and also found out some people didn’t believe I was worth saving. I also found out others did and realizing I had a problem, I wanted to do something about it and “AA” saved my worthless self. I got sober about 1980 or so, though I have not been perfect and have not fixed all the things that got me there, today I can drink a nonalcoholic beer, enjoy it, not want the real thing, and stop at one. I really enjoy coffee and more modern research says its not so bad for me and is supposedly good for my prostate.”

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