I Am Adam MelleThis is My Story
Addiction does not discriminate and I AM part of an epidemic.
I AM Adam
I AM Adam Melle, born the day after Christmas in 1990 in Fargo, ND where December temperatures are typically in the single digits. Just a day old, I give my family quite the scare – a code blue. I’ve stopped breathing, but doctors save me. I AM born into a family that loves me. I AM normal, I have many friends, I love my animals, I gobble down cookies, and I do magic tricks. I AM an invincible super hero.
I know one day, I AM going to be a salesman like my dad – it’ll be a tough decision. Early in life, I AM diagnosed with anxiety disorder and ADHD. I AM treated with pills. As a teenager, I self medicate with alcohol and later with marijuana. I try things I find at a party, in a medicine cabinet. Some level of substance experimentation is normal, right? It must be, since I still have a lot of friends. I laugh, I play sports, I go to church, and I AM loved.
Eventually, I get high and drink alone. I begin to unravel and I need help. I get psychiatric care and somehow make it through high school. I AM just a teenager and I have time to change.
My Story Continues…
I get a chance to start over with a move to Arizona. I AM new to the area and I AM anxious, so I look for marijuana, but instead I AM offered heroin. I try it. I like it. Still, I have aspirations. I want a better job. I want to travel. I want expensive toys. So, for a while, I attend a local community college and I get a better job.
My family is worried and there’s an intervention. I go through treatment, but I AM a good liar and I AM convincing. I easily order drugs online and have them shipped to the house. I do a better job at hiding my addiction. I AM fooling everyone, but I AM afraid and I AM ashamed. I give in – this is just the way I AM. I AM helpless and I AM hopeless.
My friends die because of drugs, but I don’t care. I AM sorry I keep hurting my family, but I AM enslaved by my addiction. It dictates my every action, regardless of the potentially dire repercussions. I AM not what seems to be the obvious image of an addict.
I don’t live on the streets and I don’t have a needle hanging from my arm. I AM a functional member of society, I have a job, I come from a good family, I have friends, I AM intelligent, I was raised well. Addiction does not discriminate and I AM part of an epidemic. I AM found dead in my car, the day I AM released after a month of inpatient treatment. I AM a memory.
What Is Addiction?
Addiction is the most severe form of substance use disorder, associated with compulsive or uncontrolled use of one or more substances. It is a chronic brain disease that causes individuals to use substances despite negative consequences” (Facing Addiction with NCADD, About Addiction) For more information on addiction, as well as resources and links for at home assessments click here.
What Is An Opioid?
Opioids include legally prescribed drugs used for pain relief, such as oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and many others. They can also include illegal drugs such as heroin and fentanyl. They interact with nerve cells in the brain and body. Because they produce euphoria in addition to pain relief, they are prone to misuse. For more information on opioids, click here.