Comic: How one artist confronted his alcoholism

Illustration of the author surrounded by objects like gloves, a mask and a martini.
(Julio Salgado / For De Los)

Talking about addiction in the Latino communities can sometimes be taboo. But many push past the stigma in order to heal.

It was the end of 2020. While the whole world was reeling from the pandemic, I was forced to confront my alcoholism.
I always saw myself as a social drinker. But with the nightlife shut down, I could no longer excuse my weekend blackouts.
Alone in my Boyle Heights apartment, my ex-boyfriend told me over the phone that I needed help.
I first started drinking at 18. Like many teens, pregaming before going out became a ritual.
By the time I turned 21, it was the only way to relax and forget about my inferiority complex.
As I entered my 30s, drinking became an integral part of a good time. I always figured everything was under control.
But then 2020 happened. After the pandemic and many vodka bottles later, I reached out for help.
While AA works for others, Zoom meetings felt chaotic to me. I opted for addiction-based therapy.
The journey has not been easy. But it's so nice to enjoy Sunday mornings again.

Julio Salgado (@juliosalgado83) is a digital illustrator based in Long Beach.