By Barbara Thompson, NCADD Sacramento Executive Director

Another celebrity death has caught the attention of the nation this week with the overdose of Philip Seymour Hoffman. When public figures die suddenly from their addiction, it sinks in that untreated addiction to alcohol and drugs is often fatal.

Regardless of how much money you make, or how successful you are, the disease of alcoholism and drug dependence can take it all away in an instant.
Hoffman had been in recovery for over 20 years, but he relapsed, as often happens with this illness. Recovery is a life-long process, attention must be paid to activities and relationships that sustain it. I think Seymour Hoffman’s death is especially surprising, given his decades or successful long-term recovery – years in which he flourished as an actor and father. Until the day he didn’t. It’s easier to comprehend the sudden impact of addiction when someone has only a month or two of sobriety, as was the case with Corey Montieth. The end-result is staggering just the same.

At NCADD, we work closely with families who are living with active addiction. We teach what steps to take to protect the family unit, and do what is in the best interest of all concerned. To learn more, visit our Families in Recovery page, or call (916) 922-5122.

New on the scene is the use of Naloxone to revive comatose heroin users. Legislation that took effect this year, makes this drug more available in the event of a heroin overdose. We are in favor of families and first-responders having this life-saving medication on hand. View the video below that highlights successful use of this product, also known as Narcan. We will provide more information in a subsequent message. 

This spring, NCADD Sacramento offers a class in relapse prevention for those with long-term recovery. Those of us who have been on the path often see the signs and symptoms of relapse with our friends and loved ones long before the onset of relapse occurs. Delita Alvarado CADCII, FACT, our Director of Treatment Services, is teaching the course.