Jennifer Matesa

When Aging and Addiction Collide

Carol Aronberg’s drunkalogue is common: she grew up outside New York City in a privileged family full of drinkers; both her parents were alcoholics, and her father was a mean drunk whose verbal abuse damaged her self-esteem. Still, she went to college, got married, had kids and started a successful business. And then, eight years ago, her mother died, and Carol’s drinking blossomed, and she expanded her repertoire to include drugs. Finally, after three overdoses on booze and benzodiazepines and a pharmacopeia of other pills (“the 'Cets,” she calls them—Percocet, Fioricet, the combinations of painkiller or sedative with acetaminophen), she checked into rehab. Now she has 18 months clean and sober.

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A Radical New Definition of Addiction Creates a Big Storm

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