The Seduction of Addiction Can Take Anyone Out

Including addiction therapists like me

Russ W


Photo by em&theo on Unsplash; Addiction can obscure the beautiful reality sitting right in front of us.

The line between addiction and recovery can be tenuous and fragile.

Though I have years of hard-fought sobriety, I walked right up to the edge of substance use the other week. I stood at the edge of that yawning abyss of nothingness and reveled in a moment of thrill-seeking defiance.

My addiction seduced me with a nostalgic promise of escape. It told me it would be okay to just check out for a bit. It served up a spoonful of dopamine and promised to tuck me in a soft, warm blanket of dissociating bliss.

Alcohol is my preferred brand of poison, but I’ve dabbled in many pharmacological wonders. For many years, I dosed myself with THC. I rolled into serotonin depletion with ecstasy. I snorted my way to the moon with coke, Adderall and crystal. I disconnected from my ego with mushrooms and LSD.

As they say “in the rooms,” I’m an alcoholic and an addict.

But many substances exist in the magical netherworld of gray.

The What

There is a special danger lurking in smoke shops everywhere. It called my name and whispered euphoria into my ear.

“Hello, my name is Kratom. I’ll grant you plausible deniability. I’m not technically a ‘drug.’ Buy me over the counter, and you can blend up some tea. Take just enough, and I’ll stimulate your body and mind. Take a little more and you can bliss out like you downed a bottle of codeine.”

One of the challenges of working in the recovery field is that you learn things that can test your sobriety. As clients and recovering addicts share their stories in the rooms, you hear about ways to get high you never would have known.

Kratom is one of those. It’s a dangerous substance that’s taken many of us out. It gifted my rehab roommate another tour of detox and residential treatment. It’s left clients in my recovery center dope sick. It’s taken a sledgehammer to the sobriety and emotional stability of addicts everywhere.

And I, knowing all of this, walked into a smoke shop and bought a three-ounce bag.



Russ W

Addiction therapist with an alphabet soup of degrees. Writer. Creative. Human. Hit me up: