Crack kills! This is your brain on drugs! Drugs will destroy your life! These are some of the slogans we have heard throughout our generation in mainstream society. Sadly however addiction is not just limited to 'drugs' like cocaine or heroin. Being addicted to food and sugar can create a diabetic coma which can also take your life. Bouncing off a guard rail at 130 mph while chasing that adrenaline rush will take you out just as quick if not quicker than using heroin. Continued infidelity, sleeping with married people, using prostitutes, and having sex in risky places can ruin your life just as easily as being labeled 'a druggie'. And of course those that are constantly driven to "bet the farm" are also no stranger to great loss nor detrimental labels.
I would remind the gentle reader, the person in recovery, the counselor, the doctor, and the media that the 'addiction' people suffer from is actually a symptom of a much deeper issue, or issues. Think of treating a rash; do you treat the red skin or the issue causing the rash, to be most effective? If you said both, you would be correct. Addiction is the same way. You must allow for detox, as well as address the driving cause.
Everyone involved … especially those trying to recover … needs to learn, or relearn that much like the great debate over gun control; it's not really about the guns, it's about the people using them. Because if truth be told, pain killers are used by millions every day and are amazingly done so with no adverse issues. There is even a higher number of people who use alcohol responsible and do so without incident or injury. So is it really the drugs and alcohol that are the issue? Or might the answer lay within the person, rather than the substance?
Now please don't get me wrong. First off I'm definitely no huge fan of big pharma, and second I fully agree that drug addiction is indeed becoming even more rampant, as it is reaching epidemic stages in many places around the world. However, obesity both in children and adults is ALREADY an epidemic! And I promise you, MANY people that I talk to in group rooms continue to use, because of their non-existent self-esteem and very poor self-image. Not addressing childhood obesity IS ALREADY leading to more drug addictions and therefore to more addiction deaths!
We must learn to break the mentality in addiction recovery that "because I've used more, or differently, or longer, or harder drugs" or whatever, that they are beyond help. That they are somehow different from everyone else, because of what they used. It is because of this thinking that they believe that treatments used for others won't have any impact on them. We need to change that paradigm and instead understand that what was used, and how long it was used is only a minor factor in the recovery process. We need to break away from the 'what' of addiction and learn to focus more on the 'why'.
We need to somehow impart into everyone in the recovery process that the drugs have become the chemical dependence, but not the real driving issue. There are way too many people out there who believe that 'detox' is actually 'recovery'. Detox, on the grand scale of the recovery process is just the beginning. Therefore if more people actually understood this, it could help all those involved understand that it doesn't really matter what drugs people used to use, as much as how willing the person is to do the 'inner' work needed, for true recovery.
Who am I?
I have been called "Sirthinkalot" and "The mender of souls." I am an addiction specialist and a full-time psychology student on the way to Dr. Davis in clinical psychology. I am currently crusading for the expedited paradigm shift in addiction recovery!