Breaking Alcohol & Drug Addiction with Richard Kaufman


Manage episode 222767626 series 1396253
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Richard Kaufman's first couple of years in the military were so turbulent that he fell into a spiral of alcoholism and drug use, earning him a one-way trip out of the Army after just two years on active duty. Ultimately though he retired from the National Guard after a 24 year career. Drinking heavily isn’t exactly unheard of in the Army, but Kaufman took it to another level. He's an alcoholic. He also took a liking to lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as acid or LSD. Kaufman, 49, first enlisted in the Army in 1986 and signed up to be a tanker, but shortly reclassified to a cavalry scout. Kaufman says he began drinking at 12-years-old, but it was at Fort Hood, Texas, his first duty station, where he says he "learned to drink professionally" and "get hooked on acid.” After an Other-Than-Honorable Discharge for Non-Conforming, Richard was in trouble with the law and it was either go to jail or go to meetings. He choose the meetings. By the early 90’s, he had been sober for a few years and had his life on track. That’s when he decided that he didn’t get enough of what the Army had to offer and enlisted as an infantryman, this time in the National Guard. He served in the New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina state Guards until 2012 when a freak accident ended his military career for good. Kaufman was helping one of his friends park an up-armored Humvee as a ground guide, a task nearly every soldier performs. But in this case, the driver thought he was stepping on the breaks when he actually slammed his foot on the gas, running over Kaufman’s entire right side of his body. The accident left him blind in his left eye, but he survived, a detail Kaufman says was possible because he was wearing a Kevlar helmet.

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