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Addiction Grabs Another Young Soul

Marion Charatan

Posted on June 13, 2022 13:57

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The 27-year-old son of actor Jack Wagner has died from drug addiction, leaving his family and friends devastated.

Addiction is egalitarian. It is insidious. And it continues to stamp out people from all walks of life. It seems particularly cruel when the victim is young, with a whole life ahead.

Such is the case with Harrison Wagner, 27, who was the son of General Hospital and Melrose Place actor Jack Wagner. The younger Wagner had struggled with addiction for years. Harrison's body was found in a Los Angeles parking lot on June 6. Nothing could be done to revive him.

Why people become addicted is a complicated question to answer. They might have demons they try to squelch, succumb to peer pressure, or not realize they are susceptible to becoming addicts. Some don't realize that one hit, even experimental, can lead to a lifetime of misery. One high leads to a trip down the road to hell, in and out of rehab, and ultimately tangles up family and friends' lives. Worst-case scenarios lead to death.

Addiction is a disease of relapse. And that is what happened to Harrison Wagner. Looking at pictures of the young man, one might think he had it all; great looks, a career as a musician and DJ, and he came from a family of means. He had a lovely actress girlfriend for 7 years. So what went wrong?

There is no simple answer. From my understanding, addicts have to take ownership of their illness. That's very tough. After that, they must fully commit to battling the dragons. But even when they own it--it is not easy to overcome. The only way to beat addiction is to abstain from any drug that is taking you down. Over the years, I have witnessed friends getting a grip on and conquering addiction. I credit them. It is an excruciating thing to do. Those who can overcome it have often tried and tried again and were unsuccessful 99 times, yet on the 100th time, they beat it. 

There is no judgment here. I cannot be inside someone else's psyche and feel their pain. With the dedication and help of a skilled therapist, plus groups like AA and NA, plus determination and commitment on the part of an addict, there is hope. But too many people fall through the crevices and do not have access to the resources out there. And the efforts of the addicted may not be enough. They might cave into complete despair. 

It is impossible to say why a young man with so much promise is gone. There are too many stories just like this. My deep condolences go out to his family. I am sure he did the best he could with whatever demons kept swirling around in his head. 

Jack Wagner and his former wife Kristina Wagner started a scholarship fund created in Harrison's memory at the New Life House Recovery Community, a sober living facility for men. If you're an addict, visit drugabuse.com. Keep fighting. It is a lifetime battle that will be worth it.

 

 

Marion Charatan

Posted on June 13, 2022 13:57

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Source: BBC

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