The holidays can be the most difficult part of the year for those struggling with addiction. Many have lost family, friends and lifestyles that once made holidays like Christmas meaningful. One Bel Air family dealing with addiction has a special tradition that they are using to honor a member of the family who is currently in recovery.
According to Jim and Helen Kurtz, their twenty-three year old daughter Caroline, has been fighting a four-year heroin addiction that began with prescription drugs. Jim Kurtz told reporters his daughter has spent the past year working on her recovery and will continue to do so through the Christmas holidays. Referencing Caroline’s brother, a 28 year old sibling and the impact of addiction on the family dynamics he said… “You really have to work hard to maintain a sense of normalcy, and you just have to support each other.
Addiction can change the entire way that you live, and it can affect other relationships that you have with the rest of your children and your spouse.” Like Caroline Kurtz, prescription pills have become a gateway drug for many Americans. At least 52 million Americans have engaged in non-medical use of prescription drug within their lifetime, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
In 2010, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health also (NSDUH) reported that at least 2.4 million people in the United States engaged in non-medical use of prescription drugs for the first time. More than 50% of these users were women and a third were between 12 and 17 years of age.
Prescription painkillers like Vicodin and OxyContin are the most commonly prescribed and abused drugs plaguing the nation. But whether addiction occurs through legitimate use or non-medical use, those who fall prey to prescription drug abuse are all at risk of transitioning to heroin as a cheaper more accessible alternative. And, while prescription drugs have the propensity to kill as easily as any illicit drug, new trends in heroin blends have increased the potential for a fast and fatal drug overdose to occur.
The Kurtz family are keenly aware of the important step their daughter has taken in pursuing recovery from heroin addiction. By utilizing the five year Christmas light display as a tribute to their daughter, they have not only chosen to support her efforts, but also to recognize those battling addiction in Bel Air, Maryland, Delray Beach, Florida, Lamont, Illinois, Moscow, Pennsylvania, and the millions of others across the nation.
What’s unique about the Christmas light festivities this year, according to Jim Kurtz, is the music that has been selected to accompany the 16,000 light display tribute. According to a video that has been posted on YouTube, the “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten will follow a recorded message to recognize Caroline as well as everyone in America suffering from the horror of addiction. The song was chosen because the lyrics really speaks to the issue of taking back control of your life. Or, as Kurtz says, “It kind of pumps you up.” Kurtz also said that he and his wife Helen discussed at length whether to go public about the addiction in their family and did so only after getting Caroline’s approval.
Many people struggling with addiction this Christmas can feel supported by the message intended in this heartfelt tribute to a young girl on her way out of addiction. Many others may be inspired to find other ways to reach out to their loved one battling this disease during this critical time for addicts. Jim Kurtz reminds us that addiction is not selective but can happen to anybody because it is not selective, based on gender or your social status. All the hard work that goes into creating the Christmas light display, Apart from honoring his daughter, Kurtz says the Christmas light display is also specifically meant to help bring awareness to the problem of addiction for parents. The tribute to Caroline Kurtz and other addicts across the nation is scheduled to go live from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 Sunday through Thursday and from 5:00 to 10:00 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, taking place every night through Dec. 31, 2015.
If you or someone you care about is struggling with an addiction to prescription drugs or heroin, there is hope. Begin the journey of recovery this holiday season by calling the addiction professionals at Rehab Detox Treatment. Dial [phone] to speak to someone who will help you find the treatment program that best suits your individual needs.
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