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Veteran fights another battle, helping others with addiction

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --  We hear it all the time, the horrible stories of the addiction: the overdoses, the pain, and the suffering.

It's just one aspect ABC57 News has shown you during "Addicted America" series."

One local veteran wants to change the way these stories are told. 

"When I came back from my tours, I ended up having a back surgery. The VA put me on a number of different medications, one of those being prescription pain pills," Brandon Adolf says. "My life kind of spiraled out of control for awhile, taking pills in combination with alcohol."

Adolf spent two tours overseas, in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting for our country. 

But when he came back, he had a different kind of battle: addiction.

"I ended up going to treatment myself," he explains. "[And then] I saw what people did for me to turn my life back around, and it inspired me to want to rededicate my life to helping others."

Now, he's the Executive Director of Choices Recovery Center in South Bend, and sits on the other side of the table.

He's helping others find some hope.

"We see a ton of veterans. A ton of veterans. Whether it be pain pills or them self-medicating with alcohol or anxiety medications. We see it very often," Adolf says.

Way too often, he emphasizes. 

He knows personally one of the victims of one of the causes of the crisis. 

"Our country has been so revolved around, write a prescription, here's a bottle of pills, take two and you'll feel better," Adolf explains. "The solution shouldn't be just writing a prescription and throwing a bottle of pills at them."

But the first step, he says, is taking that first step, and changing the narrative. 

"All you hear about is how many overdoses there are, all of the terrible things that happen, and how many people are addicted," he says. "I wanted to bring some light positive news. That there is an option here."

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