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  • Chabad Lifeline


I was supposed to travel home to see my family over winter break. I lied to get out of it, telling them I was sick. What I chose to do instead was, in retrospect, a pretty clear low point for me personally.

At the time, several close personal relationships were disintegrating due to my out-of-control drug and alcohol abuse. I would regularly wake up and remember the angry and hurtful things I had said the night before. Meanwhile, I kept my family at a distance. They knew I had a problem, but I invested just enough time and energy to manage their perception of my addiction.

Having freed myself from family obligations, I kicked off winter break by drinking a large bottle of over-the-counter codeine cough syrup and sleeping for the better part of two days. I honestly can’t say how much of an effect the codeine had on me; it was really more about indulging in the addictive behavior. Then, at 2:00 am the following night, I paid $40 to enter a nightclub where I knew I could find drugs. Once inside, I bought as much ketamine as I could afford and then left immediately to start using. Ketamine, which is basically horse tranquilizer, allowed me to feel as though I wasn’t there. I had already disconnected from those around me, now I was desperately trying to disconnect from myself.

This particular streak of ketamine abuse - coupled with way too much drinking - culminated one night at a bar when I entered a nightmarish state. I could see everything around me only as an endless and utterly dispiriting series of mechanical transactions. I was an object among objects.

Thankfully, there are places like Chabad Lifeline that emphasize connection as the key to recovery. If you happen to know someone who might be isolating themselves through this kind of behavior, I would urge you to let them know that there’s a place where they can speak to someone quickly and at no cost, and that what feels inescapable to them now really does have a solution.*

*Names and details have been changed to protect the anonymity of those involved. Additionally, we would note that the reason we were able to attend to Bob immediately is because we are regularly expanding our staff in order to meet the growing demand for our services. As Chabad Lifeline is sustained through private donations, this entails significant fundraising efforts. Making a donation can help ensure that we can continue to provide timely care that can ultimately save a life or set a family on a better course, creating a positive ripple effect on future generations.

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