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Ray Charles Heroin Addiction

Ray Charles had many challenges to overcome in the music industry. He was an African American trying to break into a world dominated by white men. He was blind, growing up in poverty, and struggling to make his way in the world. There were many challenges that he faced growing up that few people could even fathom and yet he appeared to do so with style, elegance, and grace.

 
Ray Charles Drug Addiction
Ray Charles
 

Yet Ray Charles also succumbed to the powerful temptations of drugs when he became addicted to heroin. It is commonly reported that he developed this powerful, and dangerous, addiction shortly after the death of his beloved mother in 1946.

Ray Charles's story of addiction is somewhat different than the average drug addict's. The reason for this is that, while he seemed to attempt to rehab from time to time, he didn't make any major concerted effort until his third drug bust for possession, which took place in Boston in 1964, led him to finally decide to quit.

Heroin is one of the most powerfully addictive drugs

What makes his story so much different than most others who have become addicted to heroin is that the drug itself alters the neural pathways in the brain. In other words, the drug itself causes a physical change in the brain, which usually means that the body actually needs to the drug to function. In some of today's rehab clinics, heroin addicts are prescribed methadone in order to stay away from the more devastating and dangerous drug heroin.

Ray Charles, however, entered a drug clinic in L.A. in 1964 and walked out clean and sober. He didn't require any follow up and basically quit the most dangerous and addictive drug cold turkey. He once stated that quitting smoking for him was much harder than quitting heroin.

Not without his staples

Of course, Ray Charles did have one minor addiction that remained with him long after his heroin using days were over and that was coffee with a splash of gin added, daily. Considering the life that Ray Charles led from early childhood, and then comparing that upbringing and the struggles that he endured to musicians and other celebrities today who live a charmed life for the most part from their childhood through adult life, it is remarkable that someone with so many obstacles, pain, and sacrifice laid out before him could quit so readily after so many years.

This leads us back to the principle that a person must want to quit using drugs or alcohol before any type of rehab will be effective. If there is no desire to improve or to better one's life, then there will be no chance at living that kind of dream.

Ray Charles in life stands as a testimony to the power of will over substance abuse. He is one of the leaders in famous celebrity recoveries. It is a mystery why some people can stop cold turkey and just walk away from drug and alcohol addiction the rest of their lives while others are in and out of rehab until the day they die.

Ray Charles, in overcoming his addiction, provides an inspiring story of hope to millions who suffer with similar substance abuse problems.

 
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