Alema Harrington finds strength and his mission in helping other addicts

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  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 15, 2015 2:34 p.m.

    Uncle Rico Coug

    I think many of us have been touched with your story. God Bless Brother. Mormons don't talk about Grace enough, IMHO, but I certainly believe in it and ask for it in my life on a daily basis. May the enabling power of grace continue to bless your family.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 15, 2015 12:39 p.m.

    Uncle Rico Coug:
    Thank you so much for sharing that. I'm so sorry for the loss of your son but am glad you've had experiences and tender mercies to see you and your family through it.

    I would echo what you said about avoiding narcotic medications and their harder street drug cousins like heroine. But I would also implore those who have already been ensnared and caught in the webs of addiction to recognize it and don't be ashamed in seeking the help and support of friends and family. Have the courage to face your addiction and be honest about it with those closest to you, and then have the fortitude to work your plan for recovery. You can see your way out of the darkness and you can have peace...don't ever give up.

  • patriot Cedar Hills, UT
    June 15, 2015 12:30 p.m.

    lots of athletes get addicted to hard drugs because they first got addicted to pain killers due to some injury. The pressure to play hurt is so great many athletes will do whatever it takes to play. Brett Farve had an addition to pain killers for a time. I think the culture in both college and pro football needs to change and make sure athletes are not allowed to play hurt. It's not the athletes fault - it is the owners and NCAA big wigs who want a great product on the field no matter what.

  • Uncle Rico Coug AMERICAN FORK, UT
    June 15, 2015 10:18 a.m.

    To: golfrUte

    Thanks for your well wishes.

    To you and others, my son's passing crushed us. He was a popular kid who was so friendly, loving, outgoing and humorous. Our Heavenly Father has blessed us with a couple of experiences to comfort us, to let us know that it was his time to go and that he is in good hands in the next life. That hasn't reduced the tears because we miss him. But, it has still given great comfort to know we will see him again.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 15, 2015 8:41 a.m.

    @ Uncle Rico Coug

    I am so sorry for your loss. It's hard to think of something as painful as watching a family member battle the tremendous demons of addiction.

    Wishing you and your family much peace and comfort.

    God bless.

  • golfrUte SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    June 15, 2015 8:40 a.m.

    @ Uncle Rico Coug

    I am so sorry for your loss. It's hard to think of something as painful as watching a family member battle the tremendous demons of addiction.

    Wishing you and your family much peace and comfort.

    God bless.

  • emb Pleasant Grove, UT
    June 15, 2015 5:27 a.m.

    Alema is just great as is his father. Continued success to him and his family. emb

  • Uncle Rico Coug AMERICAN FORK, UT
    June 14, 2015 9:25 p.m.

    Very good article! I have always had so much respect for Alema! I was almost as disappointed as he was when he wasn't named the replacement for Craig Bolerjack! I always have wondered what happened to Alema.

    This article has GREAT meaning to me and my family and we identify with it so much. My son was an up and coming elite athlete on his local high school team in Utah County who also had back pain from a football injury and went down the same road--and did it for the same reasons. (Starting with his back pain and adding in the loss of a college football future due to injuries and being told he couldn't serve a mission due to things he had done.) The only problem is unfortunately he lost his battle in early 2014 in his early 20's.

    It is SO difficult to kick the addiction once you get started so I am so happy for Alema! I would advise all who read this to never abuse prescription drugs or try the hard drugs like Heroin or Meth--even once. Or it could be the beginning of the end for them.

  • Douglas Harding Orem, UT
    June 14, 2015 9:15 p.m.

    What an amazing journey and what a wonderful story. My wife and I are serving a mission in Invercargill New Zealand and Durant served with us here for several weeks. He was certainly a great missionary. We loved his enthusiasm and energy. You can be proud of your son and I am sure he is proud of you. We send our love.

  • Rblundg Faiview, UT
    June 14, 2015 7:51 p.m.

    I would love to give Alema a huge hug and a personal thank you. You helped to bring my son back to someone I am very proud of today and living the gospel. because of Alemas story and help he is such an awesome man with great talents and is on a very important mission thanks Alema

  • Paul B. South Jordan, UT
    June 14, 2015 5:17 p.m.

    To Doug, your character profile articles continue to be impressive, touching and inspirational. I appreciate your ongoing efforts to help us better understand (and learn from ) local personalities. Many thanks also for the wonderful "Driven" (bio of Larry Hl. Miller) Thanks for your exceptional work!

    To Alema; keep up the good work and thank you for the life lesson. Cougars do hard things - you should feel great joy in your progress.

    To The D News: thanks for sharing and promoting quality journalism like this. Excellent stuff!

  • Nintendo Sandy, UT
    June 14, 2015 4:22 p.m.

    I've been there done that! I quit cold turkey back in 1995. It's the best decision you can make if you have a problem and the hardest thing is knowing / recognizing you have the problem in the first place then doing something about it. Glad he is helping some people.

  • USAlover Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2015 3:01 p.m.

    In the silent chambers of each of us is a struggle the eyes of others rarely see. It's a reminder that judgment is not only wrong, it's so often inaccurate.

    By the grace of God, go I. Best wishes to Alema and all of his family.

  • bullet56 Olympia, WA
    June 14, 2015 1:35 p.m.

    What I hope is learned from this testimony is that addition recovery is very tough. It is expensive; in terms of money, time, ambition, and relationships. Even with the resources of excellent insurance coverage, family support, church support, the help of the Almighty, he struggled many times to get the sobriety he has today. Imagine how much harder recovery is when you sleep in the alleys, use public restrooms, soup kitchens, have no valid ID, no insurance coverage, and no family support. If we have any compassion for the journey that Mr. Aleema has taken, then we must have more, for those with so much less to support the recovery we all want.
    Addiction is a cancer, a disease that takes a team effort to defeat, and even then, it often returns. Pray for the addict who will die tonight, and the children who have no choice.

  • mtbiker62 Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2015 1:19 p.m.

    To be clear, 12th Step "work" has nothing at all to do with being paid to do it, to counsel others who have addiction. NOTHING! Read any 12-Step program material, and it will always make specific reference to "we give freely that which we have been given." "Having had a spiritual awakening as THE result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs." The specific reference to "principles" eliminates taking money or any other remuneration for doing 12-Step work. According to the 12-Step program, the only reason that a recovered/recovering alcoholic does the 12th Step, is to maintain their sobriety. The concept was conceived on June 10, 1935, the "birthday" of AA, when Bill W. went to Towns Hospital in N.Y. to meet with Dr. Bob S. at the suggestion of Henrietta Seiberling in order to maintain his sobriety, as he called Henrietta when he was at risk of drinking. He "freely gave of himself" in order to not drink, and that was before there was a 12-Step published program. At that time, Bill had been sober since November 1934.

  • Red Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2015 11:22 a.m.

    Great story. Great Battle. I'm so glad that Alema didn't give up. Life is a battle for all of us.

    We need to help each other and love each other. Our connections are so important.

    Be real. Be Kind. Let's make life great.

  • BPositive South Jordan, UT
    June 14, 2015 10:45 a.m.

    @ dreese its Alema
    @cbstlyle Its Alema

    @Tim F ; weird post

    Congrats Alema and thanks for be willing to share your story.

  • Jillian West Jordan, UT
    June 14, 2015 10:30 a.m.

    Powerful! I will use this lesson in my own life.

  • Cbad Style Carlsbad, CA
    June 14, 2015 8:42 a.m.

    The difficult part of the article is that Aleema, like most of us, do not feel adequate in front of The Lord due to our shortcomings. We all have them but in various forms. It is critical to remember that it is always through the grace of Christ that we can be healed just like President Uchdorf spoke about in the April conference. We don't need to be perfect for Him but rather become perfected in Him. This is such a myth in our faith and causes people to abandon it because they feel as though they cannot ever measure up.

    We will never be perfect as mortals but there is not an expectation of that either. We just have to keep our hearts pointed towards His direction regardless of our imperfections. The Grace of Christ will not make up some of the difference of our imperfections. It makes up all of the difference!

    Keep fighting Aleema!

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    June 14, 2015 8:38 a.m.

    I had no idea that Mr. Harrington was having these problems. I'm very pleased to learn that he's made such tremendous progress after such a long trial and that he's using his experience and generosity to do what he can to help other through their own difficulties.

    The longer I live the more clear it is that everyone has their own personal challenges, some of them overwhelming. And, that trying to make comparisons between either the various challenges we all face or the relative success in encountering them is pointless. But, it's always good to see people continue their fight for life.

  • monsvallis ,
    June 14, 2015 8:35 a.m.

    Worked at KSL-TV from '96 - '98 as a studio technician. Alema was/is a classy guy. Stay strong Alema, you affect more people than you may imagine. I am inspired by your experiences.

  • dreese Holladay, UT
    June 14, 2015 6:45 a.m.

    I have always had great respect for you, and the fantastic job that you do. Keep up the good work! There are many that pray for your continued well-being and happiness. You are an example of great strength to all of us. I am glad you would
    share your reliance on the Lord, and ability to overcome challenges in your life. A motivator for all of us! Best wished going forward. Thanks again for your example!

  • FanOfTheSith Vernal, UT
    June 14, 2015 12:58 a.m.

    What an incredible story. Thank you Alema for sharing your story.

  • Austin Coug Pflugerville, TX
    June 13, 2015 10:28 p.m.

    Followed Alema for years and had no idea. Wow!

    Keep it up Alema!

  • jpc53 Cottonwood Heights, UT
    June 13, 2015 9:40 p.m.

    Excellent story. I've known of Alema's problems for many years and am glad to see that he is finally getting on top of them. Just remember "one day at a time" and "it works if you work it".
    I'm pulling for you Alema.

  • Cougsndawgs West Point , UT
    June 13, 2015 9:20 p.m.

    Great story. Thank you Doug Robinson and thank you Alema for your willingness to share your experience. We all have our own struggles in life and it can often be discouraging but I've found that serving and connecting with others has blessed me and helped me have the courage to face my own demons. And I especially enjoyed your testimony of how doing it God's way is the only way to recovery and finding peace and happiness. Thank you again for sharing your inspirational story. God bless.

  • k56sportsfan Draper, UT
    June 13, 2015 9:14 p.m.

    Great article Doug.
    I've known Alema + Tau for nearly 35 years - in fact my cousin went to high school with the two of them. A couple of years ago we reached out to Tau after my family heard him speak at a LDS Fireside specific to Addiction. One of my 3 daughters has struggled with addiction for over 10 years. Alema was very helpful - connected us to Renissance Ranch, but Drug Court wouldn't allow my daughter to use that great facility... But Alema stayed interested + mindful of her.
    I'm so grateful that he's found his calling - he has a gift and he's using to bless others.
    Thanks Doug for the positive article and a thanks Alema for fighting the good fight.

  • Captain L Provo, UT
    June 13, 2015 8:31 p.m.

    God bless you Alema and keep up the good work!!!! Stay strong.

  • Florwood American Fork, UT
    June 13, 2015 8:29 p.m.

    Well written, in depth article. Addiction is such an unforgiving monster.

    Doug, whatever they're paying you to exercise your craft, it isn't enough. Fine job!

  • River Coug Fort Mohave, AZ
    June 13, 2015 8:23 p.m.

    Thank you, Doug and Alema. God bless you both.

  • MarkMAN West Columbia, TX
    June 13, 2015 8:08 p.m.

    Wow!!!! What else can be said.