All Articles Tagged "drug abuse"
Seeing or hearing your mother being abused by her significant other can be disheartening for a girl of any age. This is certainly the case for New Yorker Regina*, 37, and LA native Raveen Battee, 30, whose experiences growing up in a violent household made them vow to never end up like their mothers.
“The reality is any person that is in an intimate relationship can be at risk of domestic violence,” said Courtney Howard, MD, a psychiatry resident at Montefiore Medical Center. “But it is most frequently found in relationships where substance abuse, particularly alcohol and cocaine, are involved or in relationships where a person was abused as a child or witnessed domestic violence growing up.”
The latter explanation is what has caused women like Regina and Raveen to be independent and single — not for lack of dating so much as leaving men at the first signs of controlling, jealous, or angry behavior, heavy drinking, or any other abuse red flags.
“I’m like hawk eyes. If you even look at me funny I’m like ‘no’,” said Raveen who saw her mother physically abused as a teenager. She also turned down an otherwise ideal guy over his drinking. “Although, he’s the sweetest guy I ever met, and I don’t believe he would hit me I just couldn’t take that risk because he drank so much alcohol.” Her mother’s abuser was an alcoholic, and witnessing her abuse changed their relationship and the way she viewed her mom forever.
One evening while sitting in the living room watching television, Raveen heard her mom arguing in the bedroom with her boyfriend. The next thing she heard was a slap, and a loud noise from her mother.
“I will never forget the moment I realized it,” Raveen said. Up until that point she had revered her mother as a strong, independent woman who didn’t take anything from anybody. It had always been the two of them since she was younger, but the abuse caused a huge strain on their relationship, leaving Raveen confused.
“I loved my mother, but [the abuse] quickly got to a [point] where I didn’t understand her and why she would allow it to continue.”
Regina experienced her mother’s abuse at the hands of her father at the young age of six. Her father was an alcoholic with anger issues, and he would always be upset with her mother about what or how she cooked, along with other domestic tasks like cleaning up.
“I remember them fighting a lot,” Regina said. “I never saw it, but I would see her call the cops on him and things like that when I was younger.”
Seeing her dad throw a whole turkey on the floor like a “bowling ball” because it wasn’t seasoned correctly made it clear to Regina that she wanted to be an independent career woman. And she’s become exactly the woman she dreamed of being — independent, working in corporate America, and taking care of herself without relying on a man.
“These women come to understand their self worth and their value in a way that their mothers may not have been fortunate enough to fully understand and appreciate,” Howard explained about what distinguishes women who don’t follow in their mother’s footsteps of abuse from those who do. “This understanding of their value helps propel them to go on and become self-sufficient independent women.”
Still, this self-awareness doesn’t stop such women from attracting men with abusive qualities. Regina has a pattern of attracting men who are angry and jealous, including the father of her son.
During their short-lived romance his anger and jealousy slowly became evident. Two months into their relationship his true colors began to show, he was angry, arguing with his mother, and often playing the victim. Then his jealousy crept in and before she knew it she was newly pregnant and walking away from the relationship.
“When I was pregnant we were arguing and I said I was done because I realized he wasn’t going to change,” said Regina of the moment she decided to be a single parent.
Raveen, on the other hand, finds herself closed off to dating at times after experiencing her own emotionally abusive relationship. She remembers it beginning like a typical romance-turned-thriller. The guy did everything to make her feel special, went out of his way to see her, and made her feel like the only girl in the room until she felt secure in the relationship.
“Once we got into the relationship he turned into this whole other person that I didn’t get into the relationship with,” Raveen said, admitting her self- esteem was low at the time at that’s how the man got his in.
“Many abusers are charming in the beginning and know just what to say to satisfy the longings of women’s hearts,” Howard said. “Believing that they are entering into a relationship with a man that is loving and treats them well, the relationship progresses but the woman slowly but surely starts to recognize very vividly things that are reminiscent of the behaviors she witnessed from her mom’s abuser as a child.”
Both ladies remain hopeful despite their dating challenges and mishaps. They believe in love and that they will have healthy, meaningful relationships with men.
“I need understanding, love, lots of laughter, and spontaneity,” said Regina about her ideal man and relationship.
Raveen has similar needs, “easy on the eyes, intelligent, with a good sense of humor that doesn’t want to hit people.”
Regardless of the details, they’re both clear about one thing when it comes to love: it doesn’t hurt or make you feel bad.
Self-love lesson: How do you love someone with an addiction?
Over the holidays I ran into a former classmate who I always admired. Kayla (not her real name) was smart, funny, and had it going on. This woman was beautiful and outgoing and it was easy to see, even as a young woman, that she was going places.
Now a successful bank manager, Kayla was almost recognizable. Her beauty was still there but her effervescence had dimmed. She told me that her husband of the past 10 years was an addict. She scolded me a little, saying that she was a fan of my work but she had never seen me address addiction. Being the on point and whip smart Kayla that she always was, she pointed out that over 20 million Americans are addicted to alcohol and drugs. She confided that she and her husband were addicts together, but she was able to get help. “My man is a junkie,” she said. “And nobody knows.” Kayla insisted that I write something for families like hers; families where everything looks great from the outside, but they are self-imploding.
This is for Kayla, her family, and all of the families out there silently suffering not only with addiction, but with the stigmas surrounding addiction. The more we can bring taboo topics into the light, the sooner you can find healing and recovery.
First, what exactly is addiction? Psychology Today defines addiction as the condition that results when a substance or behavior that could be pleasurable becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life. The addict may or may not be aware of how their destructive addiction is affecting themselves and those around them.
It is generally recognized that the addiction is usually the symptom of very real emotional issues. Addictions are often a means to numb or avoid dealing with issues, challenges, and circumstances. People can become addicted to almost anything — and we do. We live in culture of addiction. The National Institute of Drug Abuse claims that addiction costs the country $600 billion a year in costs related to lost wages, emergency healthcare and crime.
Everyone knows that you can be addicted to drugs and alcohol but people can be addicted to food, shopping, tobacco, gambling, gaming, television, watching porn, work, and other activities. There are 12-step programs and support groups to address almost all of these issues but today we are specifically talking about drugs and alcohol. In a previous column, popular media personality Alexyss K. Tylor shared how her son’s addiction led to a difficult incarceration. In a future column, I will address healing your own addictions. Let’s talk about partner addiction.
If your intimate partner is an addict, here are the do’s and don’ts.
DO be clear about where your partner is in his addiction.
If he is actively using and abusing you will not be able to have a rational relationship, plain and simple. You cannot have a healthy relationship with an unhealthy person. A relationship with an addict will leave you feeling depleted because it is mentally, emotionally, and spiritually broken. Relationships with vampires only work in the movies.
DO realize that every member of your family needs help, support, and rehabilitation.
The addicted person may be the “identified patient” but just like you probably can’t live with someone with measles and be healthy, the same is true of addiction. The secrets, lies, shame, and blame surrounding addiction can poison your family unit.
DO be honest with your children about what is happening cognizant of their level of understanding.
Our children are very smart and intuitive. If one partner is falling apart, the other one has to still make the kids feel safe in the chaos. Lying teaches the kids that they can’t trust you either.
DO have a system of faith, whatever that may be.
Trying to go it alone in such dire circumstances is mentally abusive to yourself. If there is some kind of slight light of belief that you have, this is the time to hold on to it. If you are a religious person you may find solace in your place of worship. If you are spiritual, allow your prayer, meditation and other practices to be your foundation. You may also find solace or relief in “alternative” healing practices like reiki and EFT, emotional freedom technique.
DON’T avoid the situation.
Addiction will not just go away. You can’t pretend that everything is fine. In NYC we say, if you see something say something. The same is true here. If you see something, do something. Your family will not survive otherwise.
DON’T be in denial.
Denial is detrimental. You can be a little addicted only like you can be a little pregnant. You will have to make some tough decisions. You may need to take your kids and go in the same way that a sick limb has to be amputated to save the whole body. Tough love and honesty with yourself is required.
DON’T try to go it alone.
I can’t stress this enough. You need support. Find yourself a good therapist and/or support group immediately. You can find AlAnon Family Groups online or in your city.
DON’T enable your partner’s addiction.
Addicts lie, steal, and cheat. Your partner is married to their addiction, when it is active, not to you. Be aware of that and make moves to keep yourself and your family safe.
DON’T skip the self-care.
You have to take care of you in order to be able to care for everyone else. Self-care is not an optional step. Love up on yourself for the sake of your children and family.
DON’T stay in a place of shame, blame, secrets, and lies.
Let us shine a light on our broken places because none of us suffers alone. Our challenges may look different, but we all have them. Be honest with the people who you love about what you are going through. We are only as sick as our secrets.
Your loved one is not just a drunk, druggie, cokehead, crackhead, pillpopper, heroin addict, tweaker, stoner, speed freak, or junkie. Your partner is not a loser, even though they may have temporarily lost their mind. They are an ill version of the person you love. If they get the help they need, you may not get back to your previous normal. But a “new normal” of love, health, healing, and wellbeing can be reached.
Abiola Abrams is the author of the award-winning guide The Sacred Bombshell Handbook of Self-Love and founder of , where she offers empowerment coaching.
Stevie J Reportedly Ordered To Spend 30 Days In Rehab After Failing 10 Drug Tests Due To Cocaine And Weed In His System
Even when the cameras aren’t rolling, Stevie J consistently finds himself in some drama.
According to the New York Post and the AP, he’s been ordered to spend 30 days in rehab after failing not just a few drug tests, but 10 since he was initially arrested for his failure to pay $1.1 million in back child support for two of his kids, who reside in Pennsylvania. Stevie J has been out on bail trying to get that situation taken care of.
Stevie J, born Steven Jordan, was ordered to submit to random drug tests as part of the terms of his release, and in 10 urine samples taken from June up until this month, Jordan was caught with weed and cocaine in his system. Judge Andrew Peck just ordered Jordan to rehab to deal with his 0bvious drug habit, which his lawyer tried to argue against. According to attorney Michael Bellinger, if Jordan was sent to rehab, he wouldn’t be able to pay down his debts because he wouldn’t be able to work (Jordan is still out here making music when he’s not filming “LHHATL”). But Judge Peck said in court that at this point, Jordan is pretty lucky that he hasn’t been put in jail for violating the terms of his $25,000 bond agreement.
It’s clear that it’s time for him to sit down somewhere and deal with his drug abuse problems before things get any worse than they already are.
For the past few months, we’ve been hearing about all of the family drama surrounding Master P, his estranged wife, Sonya Miller and their children. In case you missed it, Sonya recently filed for divorce from the hip hop mogul, although they’ve been living separate lives for nearly seven years. Since her filing, a slew of accusations have been hurled from each party. According to Sonya, P left her destitute and kidnapped their children. According to P, Sonya is battling a drug addiction and needs to step up to become a better mother to their children.
“I think people don’t realize that she put us in this position when she put her business out in the public. So we just gotta deal with it,” he told TMZ earlier this month. “One thing I will say it that drugs destroy a lot of families and I’m not going to let it destroy my family.
“We ain’t hiding no more because I think this situation is affecting a lot of families, not just my family,” he continued. “I think that, you know, drugs destroy families. I’m not gonna let it destroy mine. I’m going to fight for it. Whatever I can do for her, I’m gonna do it.”
Not only has he decided to stop “hiding” his family woes, if recent reports are correct, then he’s actually looking to draw more attention to the turmoil that’s currently plaguing his family. According to TMZ, P has already begun shooting a new reality show highlighting his family problems. The show is already reportedly being pitched to BET, Oxygen and VH1.
Bill de Blasio’s 19-year-old daughter, Chiara de Blasio, is talking candidly about her struggles with drugs and depression, just days before her father’s inauguration. Up until now her father’s campaign team had worked hard to suppress the details about Chiara’s problems, so as not to distract from the image of a happy and tight-knit family from Brooklyn, reports The New York Times. But she’s coming clean in a new video that has been posted for the public.
In the five-minute clip, Chiara speaks candidly about her adolescent battle with depression, which led to drinking and drug use. These habits heightened when she was attending college in California last year.
In the video, Chiara, dressed in a colorful headband and a taupe T-shirt, speaks in typical teenage cadences, saying her effort to become sober has been “the hardest thing I’ve ever done.”
She also described a sense of “physical insecurity” after leaving her parents’ home in Brooklyn for Santa Clara University in 2012. It was during this period she grew dependent on marijuana and alcohol.
Chiara’s video announcement was met with a statement from the director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy at the White House, who praised her “tremendous bravery in speaking out about her recovery.”
According to the de Blasio team, the video is an effort to help those who might be suffering from similar issues during the holiday season. Others says that Chiara’s substance abuse has long a subject of speculation in the New York political world and the video allows the family to approach the subject on their own terms. Still others say the timing was important, with many people choosing to “dump” unfavorable news during the holidays when the public are more concerned with holiday festivities.
“She speaks to it with incredible courage and clarity and, you know, with a voice that really suggests an incredible wisdom for someone who’s only 19 years old,” the mayor-elect said.
According to an individual familiar with the situation, Chiara had wanted to speak out about her substance abuse during the mayoral campaign, but her parents were concerned about how that might affect her recovery.
New Yorkers responded positively to the personal nature of de Blasio’s campaign — from talk of Bill de Blasio’s family problems growing up (his dad committed suicide), to his wife’s changing sexuality — and might do so as well to Chiara’s video.
“Now, every one of those members of that family is part of our lives, and will continue to be for as long as Bill de Blasio is in office,” Hank Sheinkopf, a political consultant, said. “They will be part of our daily New York drama, whether they like it or not, and whether we like it or not.”
“They tried to make me go to rehab, I said, “No, no, no” Yes, I’ve been black, but when I come back you’ll know, know, know.” These lyrics by Amy Winehouse ring eerily true for many who have abused drugs and alcohol. From prescription drug abuse to extreme alcoholism, we’ve had to say goodbye to so many legends as a result of their addictions. They say success comes with a price and, unfortunately, these celebs paid with their lives.
In the 1980s, the crack epidemic swept through cities across America and made people fearful. Another part of the conversation was the threat of crack babies, children born as addicts who would have a slew of health problems, taxing the health care system and other public services. The New York Time’s Retro Report looked back on the decades-old panic and found that those fears weren’t realized. In fact, they were drastically overstated to begin with.
Dr. Ira Chasnoff’s study, the one that started the crack baby panic, observed just 23 infants, making it shaky, at best, as foundation for the scrutiny. Faulty extrapolation led to major news outlets reporting on a coming epidemic that was never to arrive. Crack babies were said to be born at low birth weights, experienced tremors and were at an increased risk of SIDS, but research from Dr. Claire Coles found those are symptoms are common in premature babies regardless of the substances mothers may have consumed during pregnancy. She told Retro Report, “I think that people got very focused on cocaine is the cause of this, rather than thinking substance abuse is the cause of this, maternal lifestyle is the cause, of this social issues is the cause of this.” The research she led found that fetal alcohol syndrome was a much more serious—and common—problem.
Unfortunately, her research was ignored. Chasnoff’s study was later used to justify rulings that charged addicted pregnant women as child abusers and murders rather than getting them into the appropriate treatment programs. The cases became sensationalized, with black women the faces of a scourge on American life. Though there were other things and other mothers harming children with substance use during pregnant, crack became the focus of media attention because it was a black, poor problem.
The Times report is eye-opening. But the most moving part of the report, however, is the testimony of Devin Stone who was the subject of early research on crack babies. She’s married and has a healthy child of her own; moreover, she was the first person in her family to graduate from college. Stone is living proof of what longterm research later found: children exposed to crack or cocaine in the womb had only slight mental disadvantages than their drug-free counterparts.
Dr. Coles says it’s ultimately a matter of stereotypes. “I think if you say something three times out loud, people take it as fact. And also I think there’s certain ideas people want to believe that really fit in with cultural stereotypes and it’s hard to get rid of those.”
Sad: Footage Surfaces Of A Seemingly Drug-Influenced Chris ‘Mac Daddy’ Kelly Only Hours Before His Death
Last week the hip-hop world stood still when news broke that Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly of 90’s group Kris Kross passed away. The circumstances surrounding his death were initially uncertain, as rumors that Chris suffered from a rare form of cancer had been circulating for years. Within 24 hours of his passing, a representative on behalf of the Fulton County Police Department expressed that the rapper’s death was likely the cause of an overdose. A friend of Kelly also told authorities that he’d been indulging in a combination of heroine and coke the night before.
Now, new evidence has surfaced. A video acquired by TMZ, which is said to have been taken only hours before his death, depicts Kelly with a group of friends, attempting to rap. Kelly appears to be under the influence of some sort of drug and is eerily rapping along to a song with lyrics about “a room full of dead bodies.” It’s really sad and difficult to watch, considering the seemingly drug-induced state that he’s in.
According to The Jasmine Brand, a public viewing for Kelly will be held Wednesday, May 8th throughout the afternoon and evening. Funeral services will be held Thursday, May 9th at Jackson Memorial Baptist Church. Kelly’s mother also released this statement regarding his passing:
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that our beloved Chris Kellyhas passed away on May 1. To millions of fans worldwide, he was the trendsetting, backwards pants-wearing one-half of Kris Kross who loved making music. But to us, he was just Chris – the kind, generous and fun-loving life of the party. Though he was only with us a short time, we feel blessed to have been able to share some incredible moments with him. His legacy will live on through his music, and we will forever love him.”
The video can be found on the next page.
Kim Porter Scandal Unfolds: Sources Say Disgruntled Nanny Is A Deceitful Criminal With A Record To Prove It
Yesterday we reported that a woman by the name of Dawn Drago was suing actress and mother of three of entrepreneur P.Diddy’s children, Kim Porter. Drago’s suit, which was filed by attorney Patrick Reider, accuses Kim of violently and verbally abusing her during her period of employment as Porter’s nanny. Drago also claims that Porter is an avid drug user who is not above getting high in front of her twin daughters. The lawsuit implies that Porter’s drug of choice is marijuana and goes on to suggest that she also indulges in coc*ine and pill-popping.
Since the explosive claims made headlines yesterday, a source close to Kim has reached out to TMZ, stating that the former nanny is a liar and that she’s bitter because Kim fired her. The source went on to say that Drago is a convicted shoplifter, which is something that she failed to mention on her employment application. The insider also revealed that Kim is not allowing the claims to move her and that the allegations made about her being a drug abuser are completely false. Since Diddy has taken no action (at least not that we see) against Kim in an effort to remove the twins from her home, some are taking that as proof that he does not believe the allegations either.
In response to the source’s shoplifting revelation, the firm representing Drago released a statement to TMZ, saying that her prior conviction is irrelevant” because she was not working at a shop.”
Yeah, allow that to settle for a moment.
Should a plaintiff’s prior convictions be considered in civil lawsuits?
What a way to wake up on a Thursday. Hit maker and platinum producer P. Diddy won’t like the recent news that is circulating around fashion model Kim Porter, the mother of his twins D’Lila Star and Jesse James.
A former nanny alleges that Kim Porter’s behavior was less than stellar when it came to their children.
According to TMZ:
Nanny Dawn Drago says she worked for Diddy’s ex, Kim Porter, from 2011 to 2012. Drago claims in the lawsuit — obtained by TMZ — Porter chain-smoked pot in the house while the young girls were home. But Drago claims marijuana was not Kim’s only drug of choice. She alleges she found cocaine as well, and on one occasion she says she was driving the kids to school and noticed they were covered “in a white powdery substance.” Drago claims the kids had gotten into “a bag containing the powder, along with clear capsules, filled with another powdery substance in a bag in the back seat.”
Not that drug abuse is uncommon in Hollywood, but around the kids? We hope the allegations aren’t true….but you never know when it comes to folks with power + wealth.