A conversation with Denise Krochta of Addicts Family Lifeline, a resource center and community outreach for those affected by addicts and alcoholics. Ms. Krochta is an author, radio show host and a loved one of addicts and alcoholics.
BAKES: What made you decide to relocate to Carlsbad?
KROCHTA: Although I authored a book and started a radio show in Florida, because of a life change, I decided to move to Carlsbad to continue my work. One of my sons lives in Encinitas and so it was my desire to be close to him. Also, after numerous visits to Encinitas to spend time with my son, over time I fell in love with the beautiful coastal towns of Southern California.
BAKES: What makes your business unique? What distinguishes what you do from other professionals in this industry?
KROCHTA: My book and my radio show were designed to support loved ones and family members of addicts and alcoholics. Numerous books that have been written about addicts and alcoholics are “story” based. My work focuses on tools, strategies and resources for those coping with the chaos and drama associated with loving an addict. My book, entitled “Sweat: A Practical Plan For Keeping Your Heart Intact While Loving An Addict” is just that, a practical plan for coping with a loved one’s addiction. My book is based on personal experience as a mother whose family was permanently altered by a loved one’s addiction. Generally, support does exist for addicts and alcoholics, but it is the loved ones and family members that keep this secret to themselves, and therefore feel completely alone. Statistics show that between 4-10 people, on average, are affected by each addict/alcoholic throughout their lives.
BAKES: What are some of the things you would like San Diego residents to know about your business?
KROCHTA: Access to my radio show is world-wide and available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. At present, my radio show covers over 100 topics and can be listened to via podcast (anonymously) at www.webtalkradio.net, under “Addicted to Addicts: Survival 101” or from iTunes. I speak regularly to schools, businesses, civic organizations, and anyone interested in discussing this topic.
BAKES: What is your opinion on how local communities are dealing with this problem?
KROCHTA: The population of loved ones and family members afflicted by addicts/alcoholics has increased dramatically over the past 10-15 years because the face of addiction has changed. This is no longer a problem facing only the inner cities, it now affects families anywhere. An addict or alcoholic can be a grandmother, father, sibling, child, friend or co-worker. Due to the prevalence of prescription drug abuse, overdose has surpassed traffic related fatalities as the #1 cause of accidental death in the United States. Because prescription drugs are not illegal (as prescribed), the dangers associated with the abuse of these drugs is much less apparent to the general public. Education and awareness are critical to addressing and preventing this epidemic.
Now that local communities are acknowledging this epidemic, there has been more growth in awareness and resources. Law enforcement officials and schools are beginning to discuss this topic in more earnest in their local communities, but it is still support for families and loved ones that is lacking.
BAKES: Do you have any closing comments?
KROCHTA: My goal is not only to make people more aware and educate them, but most importantly, to encourage dialogue. If people keep this secret to themselves, we will never even have a chance of solving this epidemic unless people begin to acknowledge that this is everyone’s problem. It is important that family members and loved ones recognized that they are not alone…that there is support. Educate. Let’s save lives.
The author, George Bakes, is a real estate broker in the Del Mar office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, 2651 Via De La Valle, Del Mar, CA 92014, email@example.com, (858) 602-2799, www.georgebakes.net.