Man In Recovery Reacts To Opioid Emergency - NECN
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Man In Recovery Reacts To Opioid Emergency

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    Man In Recovery Reacts To Opioid Emergency

    Justin Clancy discusses his battle with addiciton

    (Published Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017)

    The president's declaration Thursday that the opioid crisis is a national emergency has a lot of people, including a former addict in Massachusetts.

    Justin Clancy of Peabody doesn't characterize himself as a recovered addict, but an artist first. He's been featured on the cover of Dig Boston and has sold out local shows. He's a rapper and singer with big dreams.

    "Crazy to think about where I was to where I am," said Clancy.

    Three years ago, Clancy wasn't sure if he'd live to get this far.

    "I wasn't using to get high, I was using to die," Clancy said. "I was sick and tired of being sick and tired as cliche as that sounds."

    At 12 years old, Clancy said he started self-medicating for depression. He said it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. Also, he had been given Adderall, among other drugs, from doctors. He said taking drugs was a way to feel normal.

    "One thing led to another, and I found my drug of choice which was opiates," Clancy said. "Next think you know, I'm 18 years old, kicking heroin in Middleton."

    Clancy said he needed help long before he got it at 19 years old. He knew he needed help in middle school when a pamphlet with survey questions got him thinking.

    "Another question was, 'Are you terrified of running out of drugs?'" Clancy recalled. "The 14-year-old me laughed, like, 'terrified?' And then in the back of my head I was like ... 'I am terrified if I run out.'"

    But he didn't have health insurance, which made getting help impossible. That's one of the reasons he helps addicts for Banyan Treatment Center and owns non profit organization New England Addiction Outreach.

    "I remember being 18 years old, on the phone with Mass. Health, crying because I needed to go somewhere and they weren't allowing it to happen," said Clancy.

    Clancy takes Trump's announcement declaring a health crisis for opioid addiction with a grain of salt.

    "In Massachusetts, as of 2016, he's about 2,107 people late," Clancy said.

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