Vai's View: Vai Sikahema: No one is immune from the dangers of drug addiction

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  • RockOn Spanish Fork, UT
    July 12, 2012 10:33 p.m.

    Yes, you can be immune from drugs and "addictions." Don't start. If you do start, stop. I just attended the funeral of a dear friend, age 45. At age 13 she got into smoking, drinking, and marijuana. And that is a gateway drug, she said. By 15 she was on cocaine and then heroin. By 16 she was in prostitution to pay for her habit. By age 25, she'd married a fellow crackhead, who tried to beat her but she knocked him cold. He left and was soon arrested for a minor offense, and they found he was a serial child rapist and killer. That day she looked in the mirror and realized she had a hateful life. So, that day, that very day, she said, "enough is enough." She quit all of the above cold turkey and never looked back. When she would hear people whining about "addiction" in her quiet way (never complained, never bragged), she would just say, "If you want to, you will. If you don't want to, you won't. Your choice."

  • Life Woodland Hills, CA
    July 11, 2012 5:36 p.m.

    As always a very good article by Vai on the subject of addiction. However, well written it misses the point that addiction is a brain disorder brought on by changes in the brain as a result of use of alcohol or drugs. As such changes in the brain affects peoples behavior. While the LDS recovery program is as effective as AA, it is only a one of the tools that help in recovery. As a professional and administrator in one of the largest cities in the country and seeing first hand the difficulty of maintaining recovery it takes time for the brain to heal and patience for people to rebuild their lives.

  • 787 Dreamliner American Fork/Utah, UT
    July 11, 2012 5:11 p.m.

    Rob Martin is another great player that gave his all to the game and the team. Unfortunately, his drive was not big enough to overcome addiction.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 2:46 p.m.

    I retract my last statement. While Garrick was very tragic, I just googled Norberg and found that he was essentially murdered by the jail guards who beat him to death for really no reason. Had that wrongful death case gone to trial, Norberg's family would have gotten way more than $8.5 million. I used to be a supporter of Sheriff Joe. No more. As a former Correctional Officer and Cop here in Salt Lake, Norberg's case made me ill to read. It was such an abuse of power that all of the officers involved should have been charged with murder. The only time I got sued as a cop was when I was a Correctional Officer working in SL County Jail. I got sued because I found an inmate that had hung himself and I went in and cut him down. He sued because I saved his life. The case got tossed.

  • Alipate SAN BRUNO, CA
    Feb. 20, 2012 1:27 p.m.

    malo Pisope, your blog always paints a vivid picture for us readers. ofa atu kihe Sikahema Ohana. Pate sii

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 12:37 p.m.

    I hadn't heard about Scott Norberg. He was one of my favorite BYU players. Sad what happened to him. Vai forgot about the very tragic story of Craig Garrick. The most tragic drug dependency story ever to come out of BYU. Read Doug Robinson's story about it from about 9 or 10 years go.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2012 10:03 a.m.

    The answer is to never start in the first place!

    Do yourself a favor and Do The Right Thing. How is doing drugs or having pre-marital sex going to make your life better? They both undermine the path to true happiness.

    Vai, Keep spreading the message. You are doing great.

  • Curt Conklin Provo, UT
    Feb. 18, 2012 3:44 p.m.

    Great article Vai, as an aside I would question the notion that "studying" gospel principles does better for behavior that "talking" about behavior." Packer's quote belittles the study of human behavior. There are many fine programs for people that actually incorporate the gospel principles of positivity, setting boundaries, etc., etc. The Australian "Triple P" program is just one of them. (Positive Parenting Program) Such programs are not "talk," they are serious, intensive programs designed to change behavior, and whats more, they totally square with and use gospel principles. If participants are serious about changing their behavior, they work. Some LDS counselors use them precisely because they incorporate gospel principles.

    Feb. 18, 2012 9:51 a.m.

    I am a therapist at an outpatient clinic for adults. Among them are a few former BYU football players - all of them wonderful people. I also recommend the LDS 12 step program as often as the patients will be open to it. But as with any emotional/behvioral problem, addiction recovery doesn't happen unless the patient wants it first. Unfortunately, some lose way more than they have to get to that point. I see addiction as the plague of our generation and I'm happy to see an article like Vai's. We desperately need more openness like this to help destigmatize addiction and help others understand it for what it is - a pernicious disease with lots of hope for recovery!

  • LiberalEastCoastMember Parkesburg, PA
    Feb. 18, 2012 3:29 a.m.

    Help, I'm addicted to Vai's weekly column. Should I tell my bishop?

  • Otis Spurlock Ogden, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 9:46 p.m.

    Great article, Vai. Thanks for having the courage to point out that this is a problem at BYU.

  • AZJazzFan Gold Canyon, az
    Feb. 17, 2012 9:25 p.m.

    I am a mental health counselor and counsel youth with addictions. The key is replacing unhealthy destructive behaviors with healthy ones, and the Gospel provides those tools.

  • IDblue&white Rigby, ID
    Feb. 17, 2012 7:07 p.m.

    Powerful and helpful, Vai. It is stunning and sobering (all puns intended) to hear Ferrell's description... Great insight to share with youth, thanks for my next FHE minute.

    Thank you for being bold enough talk about the LDS version of 12 Steps. My own father has used it to get sober and stay clean from his narcotics addiction. FWIW, I love Elder Oaks' "He Heals the Heavy Laden" general conference talk because he includes the letters of several who are addicts and how they have applied their faith in Christ to overcome their compulsion.

  • t702 Las Vegas, NV
    Feb. 17, 2012 6:30 p.m.

    Thanks Vai for shedding light on this difficult problem. Another example that prevention is better than cure. Stay the heck out, try it once or twice, but if hooked, you may never find a cure until it's too late!

    I bet those who advocate legalizing pot and such drugs never thought about the consequences of being addicted...

  • MoJules Florissant, MO
    Feb. 17, 2012 5:18 p.m.

    I have always lived a very sheltered life and never have dealt with anyone during an addiction phase of drugs. After over 40 years I finally found my childhood best friend. I had thought of her throughout the years, she was the sweetest person, very shy. The couple of years since we have found each other, she has revealed to me a story of great addiction and horrific things that she went through. Bless her heart, she quit on her own and has been clean for 17 years, she suffers some health issues that probably are intensified due to the former drug abuse. But I am proud of what she overcame, most people can't do it on their own and should get the help. I wish that we had not gone in separate towns and lives and I could have been there for her during those hard years.

  • chase SL Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 4:56 p.m.

    Vai has done it again, Masterpiece!

  • aghast SYRACUSE, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 4:22 p.m.

    Awesome,Awesome, Awesome article. I can't say enough good about this column and Vai.

  • katamb Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 4:19 p.m.

    Having grown up around alcoholics and drug addicts, and strugglng with food addictions of my own, I know there is truth in Vai's column. Thank you for this. It's articles like this that give me strength.

  • opinion 47 SOUTH JORDAN, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 4:17 p.m.

    Vai, telling it like it is... LOVE IT.

  • danaslc Kearns, UT
    Feb. 17, 2012 4:08 p.m.

    The fact that Utah cares more about who drinks booze then Drug Cartels selling drugs in Utah by bringing children into there realm, with promises of money and grandur and the fact that killings and addiction now rule Utah, I welcome this article to shed light on what is really killing our kids.