By Nick's dad, Jim
On May 29th, 2010, we lost our 26-year-old son, Nick, after a 14 year struggle to find long-term, affordable, quality recovery and care for his addiction and mental illness. Care that is clinically informed and medically sound, or in the words of a well-known cancer treatment facility, “Care That Never Quits.”
During his shortened life, Nick spent time in more than twenty five inpatient treatment facilities (some at great expense), as well as numerous sober living homes in addition to multiple visits to local emergency rooms.
Although he struggled courageously to find long-term recovery, Nick would relapse time and time again. Those of us who loved him came to respect this “cunning, powerful and baffling” disease and it’s ability to destroy and steal everything from everyone in its path.
Due to the desperation that addiction brings, Nick was incarcerated for a total of more than three years. If only a portion of what our society spent on keeping Nick behind bars had been allocated to finding long-term, affordable care, I believe he would be alive today. Sadly, this is not so. Instead we live in a time where hundreds of thousands of “other Nicks” struggle daily to find their own recovery in a society where this medical problem continues to be stigmatized and criminalized. May we who have survived live to see a Better Day for these “other Nicks” and for those who love them. Thank You.