By Derrick D. Billingslea.
Dennis Quaid is back on the big screen with “A Dog’s Purpose” and leading a great example of what recovery looks like. However in the early 80′ Quaid drug use was out of control and he did not realize it. He told The Times,”Cocaine, back then, was part of the budget. Everyone was doing it, it was everywhere, and it was fun. And then it was fun with problems”.
In a 2002 interview with Larry King and asked Quaid about his motives for using drugs, Quaid responded, “Well, you got to put it in context. Back in the late ’60s, early ’70s. That was back during the time where, you know, drugs were going to expand our minds and everybody was experimenting and everything. We were really getting high, we didn’t know it. And cocaine at that time was considered harmless. You know. I remember magazine articles in ‘People’ Magazine of doctors saying, it is not addicting. It is just—alcohol is worse. So I think we all fell into that. But that’s not the way it was.” When asked if he believed he had ever been addicted to the drugs, he responded, “It was a gradual thing. But it got to the point where I couldn’t have any fun unless I had it. Which is a bad place to be.” He also said, “Being addicted to cocaine is God’s way of saying you’re making too much money.”
Quaid said,”I had one of those bright light experiences where I either saw myself ending up dead or losing everything I had worked for.” That’s when Quaid checked himself into a 30 day treatment center and has not touched cocaine since.
Quaid recovery has lead him to do some awesome things that many may not be aware of. In 2007, the hospital staff mistakenly gave Quaid’s ten-day-old twins a dosage of heparin 1,000 times the common dosage for infants. Quaid was told the new borns would be fine, but Quaid filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer, Baxter Healthcare, claiming that the packaging for the two doses of heparin were not different enough.
The incident with his twins led Quaid to become a patient-safety advocate, producing a string of documentaries on preventable medical errors and co-authoring a medical journal article addressing the positive influence of patient stories in motivating change in healthcare. His first documentary, Chasing Zero: Winning the War on Healthcare Harm, aired on the Discovery Channel in 2010, and the second documentary, Surfing the Healthcare Tsunami: Bring Your Best Board, aired on the Discovery Channel in 2012.
A Dog’s Purpose, is based on the lovely international bestselling novel by W. Bruce Cameron will be on the big screen January 27, 2017. Cameron is a screenwriter for the new film. The family friendly Amblin Entertainment and Walden Media movie is being released by Universal Pictures and has some heavy hitting stars like Dennis Quaid, Josh Gad, Peggy Lipton, Britt Robertson and K.J. Apa, and is directed by the Academy Award-nominated director Lasse Halstrom.
Photo Credit: WhatsApp Images
Derrick D. Billingslea is an alcoholism and addictions treatment professional with over two decades in recovery himself and he is the Founder and CEO of HUGS Recovery Centers, located in Atlanta, Georgia.