All posts tagged: Addiction

tuenight stream brian diedrick

I Broke Up with Binge-Watching and I’ve Never Been Happier

My name is Brian, and I’m an episodic TV addict. I’ve been clean for over 100 days now. That’s right. Clean. No Piper and Alex. No Phillip and Elizabeth. No Starks. No Lannisters. No Netflix. No Amazon Prime Instant. No HBO GO on my friend’s account. By last fall, my “denial” cover story about my nasty habit was collapsing. I could no longer fool myself that I merely enjoyed the golden era of prestige TV in the age of genius showrunners like Gilligan, Simon and Chase My viewing habits had broken bad. Really, really bad. Paying full Prime retail for an all-night binge on USA’s mediocre law firm procedural Suits bad. Bad as in hearing not voices but rather an insane mash-up track, starting with the opening violin theme from The Americans, adding in The Sopranos bass line, layering over the House of Cards theme (because it’s the basically the same song ) and then topping it off with the Game of Thrones cello bad. Terrible. But things are better now. Much better. Subtracting episodic …

tuenight drugs dionne ford kids

The Drug Talk I Never Needed to Have

I’ve never had the drug talk with my twelve and fifteen year old daughters because I’ve never felt like I had to. So many people in our lives have died from alcohol and drug addiction that discussing the point seems moot. Death has been talking loud and clear. My daughters’ first life and death lesson with addiction came when they were eight and eleven. I was picking up the youngest, Dev, from an after school activity one early fall afternoon. A bunch of us parents were waiting in the school parking lot for the kids to be dismissed, when a young girl ran up to me. “Excuse me, Dezi’s mom,” she said, tears about to spill out of her eyes. “My dad drove me here to pick up my brother, but he was driving weird.” Her dad was drunk, she said, and she didn’t want her or her brother to have to get back in the car with him. Stacy was a sixth grader like my daughter, Dezi. Her brother and my youngest daughter were …

How a Community of Drug-Users Saved Us From Violence

In the mid-1990s, I worked for Philadelphia’s needle exchange program, Prevention Point. Twenty-plus years later, I cherish the community that the needle exchange created — that odd and random assortment of people of all ages, races, economic strati and degrees of addiction. The ties that bound us seemed so tenuous. Hundreds of people would line up at the sites — street corners in Kensington or Germantown known for open-air drug markets, sex work and gun violence. And we, the “helpers,” would arrive in a van to distribute supplies that would prevent the spread of HIV, Hepatitis C and other infectious diseases. I didn’t know then that I would be helped at least as much as I helped others. Many of the exchangers (people who used the needle exchange) were extremely tense when they arrived at a site because they were jonesing and had been waiting for a clean needle. To an outsider, our safety may have seemed at risk though those of us who volunteered or worked at the needle exchange rarely gave it a …

In the Army, Out with PTSD: One Vet’s Story of Survival

  Jennifer Crane’s resume should truly read, “been to hell and back.” Enlisting in the army at 17, Crane’s first day of basic training happened to be on September 11, 2001. After deployment to Afghanistan — and suffering through a severe period of depression and dehydration — Crane returned to her hometown of Downingtown, PA in 2003 to a life she didn’t recognize. She battled nightmares, confusion and PTSD. Ultimately drugs beckoned and she distanced herself from family, friends, and began living out of her car. Fast forward 11 years, and Jennifer’s life has drastically changed — for the better. She’s a mom to two kids, works as a nurse, spends much of her time helping other veterans, and even met the First Lady just last month. But her journey was a rough one … How did you spend Memorial Day? I spent it with my family at the park. We just enjoyed the sun and good company. I try not to focus too much on the sadness I feel, but instead honor my brothers …

6 Movies That Don’t Shy Away From Addiction

Unlike our fabulous Piers Marchant, a seasoned movie reviewer I am not. However, I have seen my fair share of films about alcoholism and drug abuse (three stints in rehab, where weekly “Movie Nights” consist solely of anti-addiction flicks, will leave you with a vast viewing history). And obviously, I now have an honest interest in the subject matter myself. The following rundown are films that I feel address the disease of addiction in a way that’s both entertaining and realistic. (Or at least do a hell of a good job trying, as far as Hollywood will allow). They are the antithesis of 28 Days, the Sandra-Bullock-goes-to-rehab vehicle that, despite some good performances, pretty much wraps everything up into a nice, neat bow by the time the credits roll. These movies don’t let the disease get off so easy. While there’s hope (and why shouldn’t there be? we have to have hope to stay sober), there is also no bullshit. We know that the protagonists’ problems will not magically disappear once the final reel has …

Remembering Philip Seymour Hoffman

I met Philip Seymour Hoffman in 2007, at an after party for one of his films. He was the nicest, most gentle man I met that evening. I told him I loved his performance in 25th Hour, and he gave me the warmest “thank you” accompanied by an enormous smile. I felt blessed that I was able to tell an extraordinary actor how extraordinary I thought he was. And that he appreciated what I shared with him. At that time, from what I have researched and know via (reliable) word of mouth, he had been sober for around 18 years. “I got sober when I was 22 years old,” Hoffman told 60 Minutes in 2006. “You get panicked … and I got panicked for my life.” And by all accounts, he remained sober for 23 years, before relapsing in 2012. At which point he promptly checked himself into a rehab. Since then, I have no idea what his state of sobriety was until his death. And I don’t plan to read the sensationalized  “news” coverage that’s …