COLUMBUS, Ohio — Late last year, Manny Delaveris fell into a rut. He couldn’t shake his pessimism or stop worrying. His brain felt dark, all the time. It wasn’t that different from how he felt back when he was still using painkillers and heroin: empty.

Delaveris had been sober for a year following several stints in rehab, and he was on his way to making the dean’s list at Ohio State University. Yet he found himself tuning out at support group meetings and going out back to smoke cigarettes.

Then he ran into a friend he used to get high with.

“I said, ‘Fxxx it. Let’s do it,’” Delaveris, 27, recalled. “I just felt so shitty. And I really thought it was going to be this quick, little, like, I’ll just do this, get it out of my system” — he snapped his fingers — “and get sober again right away. And it just was not that easy.”

For the next six months, Delaveris woke up nearly every day planning to stay sober. But after heading to classes in the morning, he’d find himself unable to think of anything else — until, finally, he would drive off-campus to buy painkillers from an acquaintance, and, because he couldn’t wait, use them on his way home. Then he’d spend the rest of the day in his room alone, watching YouTube videos on astrophysics or listening to One Direction.

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