In his work helping countless opiate addiction sufferers heal and recover, Fairwinds Treatment Center's founder, Dr. M.K. (Khal) El-Yousef, has seen firsthand that no one is immune to drug dependency. In fact, sometimes those who seem to be on the top of the world are teetering on the edge of a great abyss. Consider, for example, Jeff Allison. At just 19 years old, he had a $1.85 million baseball contract with the Florida Marlins. He also had a secret — the young star was an opiate addict.
Allison began abusing OxyContin as a teen and later turned to heroin. The Boston Globe profiled the struggling young man's efforts to get clean in 2004. He suffered relapse after relapse until December 4, 2006, a date that Allison now has tattooed on his arm. According to a recent follow-up report by the New England newspaper, he has been sober ever since.
"I had a disease and it was a terrible addiction,'' he tells The Globe. "It almost cost me my life twice and it cost me my family a number of times.''
Allison will likely never enjoy the life of the star major league player that he once seemed destined to become, but he is a winner nonetheless. In the darkest days of his addiction, his parents told the newspaper that they didn't care about their son's baseball career — they just wanted him to survive, and — eventually — to thrive. It appears that they got their wish. Allison has returned to his childhood home in Lawrence, Mass., where he helps run a local baseball and softball program and speaks to high schoolers about the dangers of addiction.
Recovery is not easy, but with the right treatment it is possible. At Fairwinds Treatment Center, one of the best drug addiction treatment centers in the country, we use our dual diagnosis methodology to address each patient's physical dependency as well as any underlying psychological, mental or emotional issues that may have caused or worsened it. This unique approach promotes healing inside and out, paving the way for a lasting recovery.