Recently, I got into a discussion with a friend of mine about addiction-in all its forms. Substances, food, sex, etc. I have a great respect for addicts in recovery because addiction is so much more than just saying goodbye to a substance. It’s saying goodbye to a safety net, a family and a guaranteed escape from things you don’t believe you can face alone. It may not be healthy or even safe but it’s an escape none the less, one that the addict knows well and that’s what I believe to be the reason why it takes so long to kick a habit. Addiction is not a criminal activity, as the infamous “War on Drugs” would have us believe. It’s a public-and personal-health issue. A mental affliction with a cure, a silver lining of sorts in all this. Recovery is not something to be ashamed of. It is something to be proud of. Something to do for yourself and yourself alone. Recovery in American society today is obnoxiously expensive and unfortunately, frowned upon quite often. This stigma of getting help for a deadly illness can be detrimental for several addicts-sending them into an even deeper spiral of self destruction. But like in everything, there is hope. Recovery is a never-ending process, often a daily struggle for many addicts today. There are unforeseen triggers, mindless comments, a circle of friends that are toxic and often become family in the process and there are memories most often avoided thru substance. More often than not, addicts go to rehab thru mandated court sentences or forced into such facilities by family members or friends as a sort of intervention. So what can we do to change this? It’s easier said than done. It’s a whole bunch of ideas right now that need implementing. But it really starts with medical assistance and access to quality care. Making rehabilitation services more readily available as well as less expensive would be a great first step. Having more public centers could possibly be effective as well. Making these services less frowned upon would not only help addicts feel safer getting help but also decrease the fear and confusion surrounding addiction from an outside perspective. Involving loved ones, health professionals and social professionals such as teachers or pastors could be increasingly helpful as well. Making the addict feel as though they’re not alone is incredibly importation. Putting a face to addiction could help people understand why people get hooked on substances could aid the media understand what can be done to win “the war on drugs” as well. .
August 19, 2013