This is a very special episode as the Discussion welcomes our first international guest. We’re joined by The Phoenix Man, an online blogger from Macedonia, in our Discussion. In the episode Phoenix discusses his experiences, shares on the addiction culture of his country, and talks about his vision.
Phoenix calls addiction, “the greatest delusion that occurs in someone’s mind,” and I was shocked by some of the things he brought up. He estimates that 80% of the Macedonian population drinks alcohol. Unlike in America, where addiction is stigmatized, substance abuse is expected and almost encouraged. In his mind addiction was normal, and not drinking meant you had reached a low point in life. Basically, addiction’s seen as positive.
Phoenix’s story with alcohol started at 13. At eighteen his father passed away and, as a result he became lost, and soon after hooked on cocaine. His cocaine addiction lasted eight years. Phoenix talks about what it was like to go to rehab in Bulgaria, a country different than where he lived. He decided to go to rehab after his wife gave him an ultimatum, “clean up your act or we’re getting a divorce”.
There’s no recovery community in the country. Phoenix tells me there is absolutely no education on the topic and programs like AA and NA are nonexistent. He shares on what it’s like not having an in-person community of people to talk with and stresses the importance online communities have had on his sobriety. In September Phoenix and his wife started a nonprofit for drug and alcohol awareness, but they’ve had trouble gaining the resources to do much implementation.
In Macedonia the entire country turns a blind eye to addiction and substance abuse. Phoenix talks about the drug laws and tells me how there’s not only a lack of enforcement. There’s also widespread corruption. According to Phoenix when overdoses happen people refuse to recognize them for what they are and the government controls the drugs in the country.
What We Discuss with The Phoenix Man:
- Phoenix shares on how his culture views addiction and substance abuse.
- He talks about how his country turns a blind eye to addiction and substance abuse.
- Phoenix opens up about his story explaining the impact his father’s death had on his addiction.
Be sure to check out The Phoenix Man on Instagram for inspirational videos and other recovery based content. Please send our message along to anyone who might be able to find benefit, and if you enjoy the show we’d greatly appreciate if you share the episode on social media as it really helps to build our following. Also can join our discussion on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at ODMovement.