As science disproves long held myths of addiction, more people, including celebrities like Jodie Sweetin, are being inspired to share their drug abuse success stories publicly. Sweetin, who played Stephanie Tanner in the popular television series “Full House” in the 1980’s shares her victory over addiction in her book titled “UnSweetined”. Her path into a substance abuse lifestyle, according to Sweetin, began when she drank almost two bottles of wine at co-star’s Candace Cameron Bure’s wedding. Sweetin was 14 at the time and alluded to the fact that she was also struggling with post-sitcom blues.
Unfortunately, the progression from experimenting with alcohol to full blown drug and alcohol addiction chronicles the story of many teenagers in America. In many surveys, data shows that the average age many teens begin using alcohol is between 11 and 13. Sadly, those who do continue with this practice, study outcomes indicate, are five times more likely to experience polydrug use and addiction.
It is also not uncommon for drinking to begin even earlier as it did for James. As he recounts in “My Story of Redemption” James says he took his first drink at nine years of age and until treatment never stopped. Before long drinking and heroin had become a way of life for James who remembered overdosing once, attempting suicide twice going to jail and getting into innumerable other dangerous situations.
Although James’s life of hardship differs from Sweetin’s affluent path that led down the road to addiction, there are many similarities in their addiction journey. According to James, drug addiction represents a life of lying, cheating, stealing and hurting yourself and others. “I realized I was incapable of putting a stop to my drinking and drug use on my own” James said. This realization is typically a pivotal moment for most people in addiction that often lead them into treatment and begin the journey back to sobriety.
Alcohol gave both James and Sweetin the confidence they believed they had been searching but a slew of unwelcomed experiences along with it. In her book, Sweetin talks candidly about her progressive use of alcohol and other drugs like cocaine, Ecstasy and crystal meth. According to Sweetin, after completing the Full House series, life changed significantly for her. Crippled by an identity crisis, it was not long before crystal meth became a daily habit for her. Even after marriage and giving birth, Sweetin’s addiction continued. Like James, Sweetin’s turning point came when she recognized that she needed help to overcome addiction.
Today, recovery is about staying sober and helping others to avoid the pitfall of addiction. According to Sweetin, she has been enjoying the last five years of sobriety. In addition to working as director of operations at a drug and alcohol treatment center, she shares her story and warns teens about the dangers of substance abuse at schools all across the country.
Sweetin and James are two of the lucky ones. Many people that have been down the alcohol and drug addiction path never make it to the other side of addiction. Jodie Sweetin has also been given another chance after twenty years to be a part of a remake of her old TV series titled “Fuller House” to be aired February 26th. Thanks to her decision to check into a drug rehab facility and her new found sobriety, Jodie was able say… “When I walked onto the set, it was like, oh my god, I never thought I would see this place again!”
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