Pubdate: Thu, 24 Mar 2005
Source: Register, The (MA)
Copyright: 2005, Tri-Town Transcript
Author: Joe Burns
Bookmark: (Cannabis)
Bookmark: (Methadone)
Bookmark: (Oxycontin/Oxycodone)


Christina Maccarone wished she had a young adult to talk to her about drugs 
when she was a pre-teen. But she didn't, and so the 21 year-old Lowell 
woman spent her teen years descending deeper and deeper into addiction.

Six months clean and sober, Maccarone now tries to impart her hard-earned 
lessons to middle school students facing the same choices and pressures 
that she once succumbed to,

On Tuesday afternoon, Maccarone was one of three speakers that came to Camp 
Lyndon in Sandwich to talk to the kids enrolled in the camp's All Stars 
Program about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. The free after-school 
program is for youngsters who may be in need of some guidance. The program 
has, at maximum, 15 youngsters, but only three were on hand for the talk. 
All were from the Dennis-Yarmouth area.

While none of the youngsters used drugs or alcohol, all had some 
familiarity with the subject. "Alcoholism runs in my family," confessed one 

The talk was presented by the National Library of Addictions (NLA), a 
non-profit organization founded in 1993 by Dr. Punyamurtula S. Kishore to 
support work in addictions treatment.

Maccarone credits Dr. Kishore with weaning her away from drugs and giving 
her her life back.

"I wanted to come off of methadone. I was on 90 milligrams," said 
Maccarone, whose dark journey took her from marijuana to cocaine to 
OxyContin. "The only doctor who would take me off methadone was Dr. 
Kishore. I went to him and he detoxed me from 90 milligrams to zero in 
three days."

David Rudnicky, community relations manager for Preventative Medicine 
Associates, and Pam Smith, a nurse practitioner with NLA also spoke. But 
Maccarone, who is still involved in the treatment program, that because of 
her youth and her personal experience had the strongest impact.

Speaking with unflinching directness, Maccarone told her audience how she 
began smoking marijuana when she was 12.

"I said I'd never try another drug," Maccarone said. But of course she did, 
and it cost her nearly everything.

"I wanted to be a dancer, but I stopped dancing when I started using 
drugs," she said. But her dream of dancing was not all she lost.

"I lost friends. I lost loved ones. I lost my self respect," Maccarone said.

She went through more money then she could ever earn honestly to pay for 
her addiction. "I did terrible things to get money," she said. " I have 
nothing to show for the money except bad experiences."

She also told how she was hospitalized 20 times, jailed and nearly died of 
an overdose.

"I buried six of my friends," Maccarone said.

Her talk didn't fall on deaf ears. One boy, who earlier had said that he 
made a vow not to take drugs because he wanted to become a carpenter and 
was afraid he'd have an accident, said he was given further resolve by 
Maccarone's words. All agreed that the picture she painted was worse than 
they'd imagined.

"It shows you what it can do," was one comment. "It's kind of scary."
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