My Almost Fatal Cocktail Mix of Benzos and Alcohol

When we were little kids growing up in Jacksonville, Florida I remember how my grandpa would come visit us and always tell us we didn’t know how lucky we were compared to when he grew up. He would rant on to me and my siblings how he grew up so poor and had to struggle for everything and no one ever gave him anything in life. In the conversations he would have with us about life he would frequently say that kids nowadays are given too much and as a result don’t appreciate things anymore. He would often finish up by warning all of us that you can’t go through life just partying and drinking and drugging, cause one day you’ll wind up dead in the gutter or even broker than he was growing up. I only wished he lived long enough for me to be able to tell him how right he was about everything.

Growing up in a rural and wholesome community did indeed provide me with a very happy childhood, and it wasn’t until high school that I started experimenting with marijuana & alcohol. I would look forward every weekend to partying with my friends and at least by my 16 year old standards I don’t believe I was seriously abusing alcohol or drugs at that point in my life. Then I stated to get curious about some of the other easily accessible drugs that were very popular like Percocet and Oxycodone. They very quickly became my new favorite drugs, and I continued to keep using them recreationally throughout my college years too. It was all fun and “under control” until a series of misfortunes hit me in near simultaneous succession soon after I graduated. I recently had started working in my first entry-level corporate job when unexpectedly my grandpa died of a heart attack. I was really close with my grandpa and his sudden death filled me with grief. Then the next day at work I was let go when the company President announced they needed to downsize the dept I worked in because of the bad economy. A few weeks later, the hat trick was completed when my girlfriend broke up with me! She told me that she thought I was bringing her down with me in my self-made downward spiral that I allowed myself to fall deeper and deeper into every day.

I started to drink more heavily everyday after that, but that still wasn’t enough for me to drown away my sorrows. As my drinking and drug use became a daily affair, my tolerance skyrocketed while my financial situation took an even steeper nosedive. My grief, self-pity, anger, and depression all got much worse to the point that I just couldn’t stand being sober. Then I started adding lots of benzos to my substance abuse mix and eventually had an overdose and almost died. Fortunately, my family offered to pay for me to go to a rehab called Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches in Florida. They told me that this place specialized in multiple addiction cases involving more than one substance being abused at the same time, as I was doing with benzos and alcohol. They also said the thing they liked best about them was that they used a holistic behavioral based approach to treatment and that would really help with all the severe emotional problems I was having too.

The place turned out to be all that my family said it would be. They provided treatment for both my drug and alcohol dependency while simultaneously addressing all the underlying causes that led to my substance abuse problem. Their addiction treatment philosophy that ‘recovery starts from the root’ forms the basis of everything they do. Everyone there really helped me in so many different ways both physically and mentally. My own personal biggest breakthrough came when I finally could see how stress and conflict were what triggered my behavioral response to escape through drugs and alcohol.

I consider myself very fortunate for attending their facility and for the exceptional treatment I received from everyone there. I remember the great feeling I had when I left their facility knowing I had successfully graduated from their program. I remember looking up to heaven and hoping my grandpa was proud of me for finally listening to his advice and remaining clean and sober everyday since I left BHOPB.

Albert V.
Jacksonville, FL