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Author Topic: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic  (Read 1359 times)

lawness

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Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« on: October 31, 2007, 08:54:13 PM »
Hey guys. I have been sober for over four years and by the time I apply it will be five and some change. Do I use this in my personal statement as an obstacle in my life that I overcame? Does it make me diverse? Or is it whinny and pathetic..I certainly do not think it is pathetic but it helps to explain my DUI and poor performance during freshman year. Has anyone written a personal statement to that effect? Is anyone going through the same process? I come from a middle class white family and I moved when I was 14 which was right between middle school and highschool. I think this move jump started my career with drugs, not to mention I enjoyed traveling around the country seeing music. So, what do you think? Would this subject make a good personal statement? Do I just touch on it and move in a different direction or make it an obstacle.

Thanks!

lawness

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2007, 09:05:44 PM »
After reading my post again, I would like to add something. I am basically looking for advice as to how to use this part of my life. Should it be in a personal statement or not.

MHLM

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2007, 09:11:59 PM »
After reading my post again, I would like to add something. I am basically looking for advice as to how to use this part of my life. Should it be in a personal statement or not.

I believe an essay on this topic--or one similar--was used as a successful PS example in Richard Montauk's book "How To Get Into The Top Law Schools." You might want to check that out...perhaps it is available at a library? If not, it might be worth the investment. I have found some of the advice useful. So essentially yes, I think the issue can be crafted into a good admissions essay...just depends on how you work with it I suppose.

lawness

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2007, 09:14:29 PM »
Wonderful. Thanks for the response. I will check out the book. I am hesitant to say that being a recovering alcoholic and drug addict makes me diverse. What do you think?

MHLM

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2007, 09:18:31 PM »
Actually, I recall that whoever wrote about it in his book used different variations for both a PS and DS....or maybe it was just a DS...? You'll have to look it up to be certain, but for some reason I remember that it was mentioned as a clever "spin" on how the candidate could contribute to diversity. Maybe my memory is failing me.. ::)

lawness

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2007, 09:23:50 PM »
Do you have any idea if the book you are refering to is the 2004 edition or the 2006 edition?

MHLM

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2007, 09:35:17 PM »
I just looked it up...it's the 2006 (3rd) edition and you're really in luck! Both a PS and a DS are included that discuss someone's experience in AA. There is also another PS describing someone's relationship with a brother who was a drug addict. All of these examples could probably be pretty helpful to you.

lawness

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2007, 09:41:28 PM »
Great. Thanks for your help. Do you have the book? It is reassuring to know that there is some guidance out there. I think I am going to write the PS and DS first and then compare. I do not want to be tempted to take ideas from the book.

MHLM

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2007, 09:46:41 PM »
Yes, I do have the book. As for writing first and buying later or vice versa, it's up to you...it might be useful to know what Montauk thought worked well about those particular essays, as I'm guessing this topic could easily "go south" if not handled appropriately.

ghil04

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Re: Recovering drug addict and alcoholic
« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2007, 10:29:37 PM »
Certainly, I think your addiction and eventual recovery will be an uncommon perspective that will add diversity to any  law school.  It probably won't carry as much weight if you were a rich suburban kid who's friends coaxed you into trying cocaine (a la Soderberg's Traffic), but I still think it's a refreshing story they probably haven't heard very often.

While not exactly the same subject, one of the absolute best PS' I've ever read was about a person who almost became a drug dealer to deal with his financial problems.  So yes, don't be afraid of venturing onto a somewhat controversial subject. More than likely, you'll be glad you took the risk.