Long­time ad­dict seeks to end downward spi­ral of his life

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - YOUR DAILY BREAK - Dear Abby is writ­ten by Abi­gail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Con­tact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los An­ge­les, CA 90069.

DEAR ABBY >> I am a 46-yearold drug user. I have been ad­dicted for more than 20 years. I know it’s wrong. I know I can be a bet­ter per­son. I got hooked when a sup­posed friend in­tro­duced me to crack in 1992. If I could only go back to that day, I’d kick the you-know-what out of him. I was all set to make some­thing of my life.

In 2010, my dad was di­ag­nosed with lung can­cer. It only got worse. I have hurt the peo­ple I care about the most. I have stolen from my mom. I have writ­ten checks on her bank ac­count and pawned her jew­elry. I don’t know what to do.

I know I’m de­pressed since Dad died. I’m also dis­abled and on dis­abil­ity. I pretty much kept ev­ery­thing in check un­til 2001 when I lost the job I’d held for 17 years. I have drifted from job to job ever since.

So there it is. I have de­vel­oped COPD. I’m on oxy­gen full time and can’t work. I ask my­self why I’m sud­denly do­ing three and four times more than I’ve ever done. Do you think I’m that de­pressed? That I’m try­ing to speed my own death? I’m at a loss and need some guid­ance. I con­tem­plate sui­cide daily, but I guess I’m too much of a coward. Can you help me? — End of my rope in Florida

DEAR END OF YOUR ROPE >> At this point, the only per­son who can help you is your­self. The prob­lem with us­ing drugs is that after a pe­riod of time, the body builds up a tol­er­ance, and it takes more and more of them to achieve a high. This may be why your use has in­creased the way it has.

Be­cause pro­grams to help peo­ple break their drug habit usu­ally cost money — which you don’t have — go to www. na.org to find the lo­ca­tion of the near­est Nar­cotics Anony­mous meet­ing. As you may al­ready know, NA is a fel­low­ship in which ad­dicts help each other to get off and stay off drugs. Please give it a try be­cause it could save your life.

DEAR ABBY >> My friend Bryan and I were at a sports bar watch­ing a foot­ball game. We had or­dered a large pizza, but had time for only one slice be­fore we had to leave. I wanted to of­fer the re­main­ing pizza to a group of col­lege-age stu­dents sit­ting at a nearby ta­ble. Bryan was hor­ri­fied and in­sisted we just leave. He said to of­fer the pizza would be in­sult­ing.

When I pointed out that an­other cou­ple had once given us a half-filled bot­tle of cham­pagne (they were head­ing to the theater), we ac­cepted and ap­pre­ci­ated it. He said that was dif­fer­ent. What do you think? — Try­ing to be nice in L.A.

DEAR TRY­ING TO BE NICE >> I think you’re a nicer per­son than your friend Bryan. If the crowd at the next ta­ble was in­sulted, they could have re­fused your gen­er­ous of­fer. Bryan may have nixed the idea be­cause he didn’t think of it first.

DEAR VET­ER­ANS >> I salute you for your ser­vice to this coun­try. My thanks to each of you, as well as to the brave men and women who are still on ac­tive duty. You are the per­son­i­fi­ca­tion of pa­tri­o­tism and self-sac­ri­fice for your ded­i­ca­tion to our coun­try. — Abby

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and get­ting along with peers and par­ents is in “What Ev­ery Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mail­ing ad­dress, plus check or money or­der for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Book­let, P.O. Box 447, Mount Mor­ris, IL 61054-0447. (Ship­ping and han­dling are in­cluded in the price.)

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