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Addiction is a Lifelong Battle
DAYTON -- When it comes to addiction it can be a difficult road to recovery.
For Robin Williams, he battled his addiction to cocaine and alcohol most of his life.
At one point Williams was sober for 20 years, until recently when he started to battle his addiction to alcohol yet again.
And it's a battle that every recovering addict faces every day of their life.
"Addiction is a disease," said John Carroll, a chemical dependency therapist.
Addiction takes many forms: alcohol, prescriptions, heroin, gambling, the list goes on.
"It's a chronic disease; there's no cure for it. As a result of that, people who have addiction not only do they need to go to rehab initially, but it's a lifelong condition," said Carroll.
It's a lifelong condition that Williams often spoke openly about.
He was addicted to cocaine and alcohol. However, when his son was born he decided to live a clean life.
He did so for 20 years, until recently.
"It says to me that somewhere along the way he stopped treating his addiction," said Carroll.
Carroll is a chemical dependency therapist at Evergreen Counseling Associates in Dayton.
"I think everyone involved in this whole addictions field can look at his situation and understand," said Carroll.
He says drug addiction and depression often become an entangled web that is difficult to recover from.
"There are people who, who have depression who use drugs and alcohol to medicate the symptoms, and eventually that gets out of control," he said.
But more often, Carroll treats people who are depressed because of the sometimes dark situations their addiction has led them to.
"I've often said to my clients if you walked through my door I can probably diagnose you with depression," said Carroll.
Treating the addiction isn't easy, and staying sober is something recovering addicts must always work toward.
"Just as a diabetic might have to take insulin or some other medicine for the rest of their life, addicts and alcoholics have to do things to treat their disease," Carroll said.
Carroll said alcoholism is by far what he treats the most; however, he says he's seeing more and more recovering heroin addicts.
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