In late October, presidential candidate Chris Christie spoke out about how addiction is treated in America and why it’s a mounting problem.
In an emotional video recorded at Shooter’s Tavern in Belmont, New Hampshire, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie shared two stories of addiction and connected them using an interesting parallel.
“My mother was a smoker,” he began. “She knew smoking was bad for her. […] She had the gum, the patches. And she tried everything. Then she couldn’t quit.” He went on to explain that age 71, his mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. “No one came to me and said ‘Don’t treat her, because she got what she deserved.’… No one said that. Yet somehow, if it’s heroin or cocaine or alcohol, we say: ‘Ah, they decided – they’re getting what they deserve.’”
He then went on to tell a heartbreaking story about a friend from college. Christie and this friend were in the same first year study group in law school. His friend was the smartest of the group, an editor of the law review, first one to get a job, first one to become a partner. He married a beautiful woman – a doctor, and they had three beautiful daughters. One day, the friend, an avid runner, injured himself. He hurt his back and after visiting a doctor, received a prescription for Percocet.
A year later
Christie received a call from his friend’s wife: he was addicted. She had kicked him out of their house and pleaded with Christie to hold an intervention and convince him to go to rehab. Christie, along with a few close friends, obliged and his troubled friend tried rehab but he didn’t find lasting recovery. He was in and out of rehab programs for the next 10 years and continued to battle addiction. His wife ultimately divorced him.
“He lost his right to see his girls. He lost his license to practice law. When he lost his driver’s license. He lost his home,” Christie recounted. “He lost and spent all the money he had saved and spent through most of his retirement.” A year and a half ago, Chris Christie’s friend died, alone in a motel room with an empty bottle of Percocet and an empty bottle of vodka.
His speech with a poignant, powerful call to action. “We need to start treating people in this country, not jailing them. Also We need to give them the tools they need to recover, because every life is precious. We have to stop judging and start giving them the tools they need to get better. “
Are you struggling with an addiction to painkillers, heroin, alcohol or other substance? Are you looking for answers to find care for a loved one? The current system may be flawed, and more addicts might end up in jail than should, but you can get help before it gets to that point. The Watershed has an open phone line 24/7 and we’re ready to talk any time. Don’t wait another day. Get help now. 1-800-861-1768.Tags: 2016 presidency, chris christie, Presidential Polls, War On Drugs