Tragedy or Redemption: Where Will Your Path Lead?

A woman holds a syringe

One of the most tragic circumstances of the current COVID-19 pandemic is that people are unable to be with their loved ones who are succumbing to the virus during their final hours. It’s undeniably heartbreaking to see stories of people who have lost a loved one but were unable to be with them, give them comfort, or say a final goodbye. The finality must be shocking and surreal without that opportunity. It’s not all that different from what a parent or family member must feel like when they get the call their child or loved one has succumbed to an overdose, oftentimes alone and scared and without the comfort of the people they love by their side.

Drug addiction often comes with a different kind of alienation than a quarantine, but the loneliness and helplessness probably aren’t all that different when the end is near, and the shock of someone being gone suddenly and all too soon is no less tragic for everyone involved. Like many of you, the current pandemic and all that are being affected by it have been on my mind. Because of my history and the field that I now work in, addiction and how I can best use my experiences and perspective to help people struggling is close to my heart daily. Tragedy and heartbreak are closely associated with both the current pandemic and addiction, so it isn’t all that difficult for me to draw similarities on how each continues to affect our country and the world at large.

I’m a big believer that there are life lessons to be learned through all experiences, and that includes both the good and the bad. Adversity, learning how to handle things and, perhaps more importantly, how not to handle things, has been my life’s greatest teacher. If you are reading this and sitting in a quarantine, wondering how you are going to get through the day or get a hold of your dealer, how your life got to the point where you always feel alone, how each day has become a constant struggle to secure the next high, or why you continue living in a prison of your own fear and doubt, I have a question. Where do you want your story to end?

For the people who contract COVID-19 and develop life-threatening symptoms, they are left with little choice but to rely on medical professionals doing their best under overwhelming circumstances and hope they get better while their families do the same from a distance. However, if you are struggling with addiction right now and wondering any of those things I mentioned above, you do have a choice. A choice to pursue an inevitable tragedy for you and everyone that loves and cares about you, or a different choice. A choice to pursue redemption, a chance to write a story that invokes hope, an opportunity to be truly reunited with the people who love and care about you for the rest of all your lives.

Do you look around at what’s going on around the world and find motivation to make a choice that others who are less fortunate in the world are not given? There is a crossroad in every person’s life who suffers from addiction in which they must choose which path to take. If that time for you happens to be now and you are struggling, I want to encourage you not to choose the path that leads towards tragedy, but instead, find hope and strength in the face of adversity and go towards the path of redemption, choose the way towards a new life free from addiction. If you or anyone you know is seeking help, please reach out.



Justin has been working in the field of addiction and recovery for over 1 year. Justin earned his Bachelors's Degree in Finance from Florida State University. Having been an addict himself, he brings real-world experience to the table when helping addicts and their families, while also offering a first-person perspective to the current drug crisis. Justin is passionate about educating the public about what’s currently going on in our society, and thankfully, offers practical solutions.