Addiction on the High Seas

Addiction on the High Seas

It’s never easy to watch a family member struggle with addiction. You feel helpless and angry while attempting to protect them from societal judgments. I recently caught up on the “Deadliest Catch” series on the Discovery Channel. I watched an episode titled ‘Revelation,’ in which crew members Jake Anderson and Edgar Hansen from the F/V Northwestern crew talked about their personal experiences with addiction. Jake Anderson’s father disappeared two years ago (although his remains were found only this year) and on this episode, he revealed what happened. Anderson said that his dad was addicted to painkillers and was killed during a drug deal. Before this happened, Anderson was on the phone with his sisters trying to coordinate an intervention for his father to get drug addiction treatment. I bet many of us have stories just like this one, watching family members end up in jails or institutions or dead. It was painful to watch Anderson talk about losing his father to this disease. Edgar Hansen said he was a binge user who got help about two years ago. He is married with two daughters and he would still disappear for a week at a time to use drugs. In his last binge, he reported that he barricaded himself in a hotel room because of his drug-induced paranoid thoughts. At the end of the week, he called his wife and admitted he needed help. She came to the hotel and got him the help he so desperately needed. Today he is clean, which has improved his life at work and at home as a father and husband. Did you see this story? What thoughts did it provoke in you?