Life-gripping addictions knocked them down, but they’re back on their feet again

Published 11:12 am Thursday, September 5, 2019

After the arrest, he left and spent two years out of college, working in the insurance industry. He went to Itawamba Community College online, then got a job making decent money, which probably would have allowed him to pay for school without debt.

He enrolled at Ole Miss in spring 2015 as a philosophy major after the two-year period of working and not taking classes was through.

He worked over the summer and saved enough to cover a semester of tuition and other costs.

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“I blew it all in one weekend for my 21st birthday, not intending to do it,” Aron said. “I got blackout drunk and then got back home and checked my bank account. There are several thousand dollars I have no accounting for.”

A blur

His college experience was a blur of alcohol, marijuana and pills, such as Xanax and the ADHD medication Vyvanse. Winters were particularly hard on his emotional state. His depression worsens during the cold months, though he hasn’t actually been diagnosed with seasonal affective disorder, he said.

The Vyvanse raised his spirits, as it’s a strong stimulant, but when he came off it, things would get rough.

“It is like four to five days of immeasurable sadness, and you have nothing you can do to fix it,” Aron said. “You drink or get high to fix it, but really you are just super-tired. Every bit of serotonin or dopamine in your brain is just depleted, and so you can’t fix that and that goes on until spring.”

Cumberland Heights

In the spring of 2016, Aron was at his low point. He finally listened to the people around him and decided to leave Oxford and enter rehab at Cumberland Heights, just outside Nashville.

“I left town and I took pretty much all of the advice that was given to me,” Aron said. “I was really, really desperate when I left here. They told me about the cliche of new playground, new friends being important in recovery. I took that to heart.”