Addiction often runs in the family, so it’s not a surprise when the son of an alcoholic or an addict becomes an addict themselves. Now a father and son who both thankfully survived addiction are looking back on their struggles and their eventual sobriety and survival.
Rick Dyer, who is currently a criminal attorney, has been sober for over forty years. As he tells Men’s Health, he was a heroin addict who had to go through a horrible withdrawal in jail before he finally got sober. He spoke to his son Eric candidly about his past tribulations, hoping it would keep him on the straight and narrow. “He had never seen me drink or do drugs. He had seen nothing but the promises, hopes, and aspirations of recovery.”
Dyer didn’t think his son would become an addict, but Eric eventually became hooked on opioids. Eric started smoking weed in high school, progressing to drinking, cocaine and painkillers. He was finally hooked on opioids when he was a junior in college. “The entire day revolved around one thing. Was I going to have enough milligrams of oxycodone to not get sick?”
Eric described going through withdrawal as similar to “the flu, a stomach bug, leg cramps, and back problems because you pulled your back out doing squats, all combined into one, and times that by a thousand. It’s the most uncomfortable feeling you could ever have, and the worst part is knowing that the only thing that can fix it is more of what’s making you sick.”
Eventually, Eric got on Vivitrol, an opiate blocker, which he said “catapulted me into this world of recovery that I didn’t anticipate being in.” His father also told him, “If he hung in there, every day was going to get better. I kept promising him, ‘It will change.’” Eric is now a lawyer, like his father, and married. To others suffering from addiction, Eric says, “Ask for help and get help. Help is usually in the form of treatment. If you get treatment, you can live a life beyond your wildest dreams.”