Addiction is a brain disorder characterized by compulsive engagement in rewarding stimuli despite adverse consequences. In most cases, stigma prevents many people from opening up about their struggles and seeking help.
Triathlete, Constantinos Carastavrakis was addicted to drugs and alcohol and has been sober for over a decade. He is now on a mission to fight the stigma around addiction, proving it’s possible to turn your life around.
Carastavrakis grew up in a happy home but his schooling was punctuated by pain. He was bullied for being too small, Greek, and gay. He started drinking at the age of 12 and eventually spiralled into heavy drug addiction.
After 24 years of using alcohol and narcotics, Carastavrakis decided to get clean and decided to take up exercising to kill time. Since then, he has participated in several marathons and competed in triathlons.“I want people to know that these kinds of miracles are possible,” he said.
To inspire and encourage others, Carastavrakis released a book titled I Am Costa: From Meth to Marathons. Through this book, he is challenging misconceptions about addiction.“Addiction is a mental health problem, and we should all be talking about it. I want to rid myself and others from the shame,” said Carastavrakis.