No one says they want to grow up to be an addict. Addiction is a disease with a beginning that is hard to pinpoint. For some, it is part of their genetic predisposition, lying dormant until they tried alcohol or drugs for the first time. For others, recreational usage became a way to escape until it became a habit they could not quit. Regardless of how it started, those who are suffering from the grips of it, struggle in unimaginable ways. Sadly, the misconceptions about addiction keep many from telling others about what they’re going through. Here are a few things that may bring awareness:
- Addiction can happen to anyone at any time for any reason. Addiction does not understand or care about age, background, social or financial status. It is an equal opportunity disease that affect all types of people around the world.
- Addicts do not become addicts to hurt you. Often, it is just the opposite; many people suffer from other emotional and mental conditions that cause them a great deal of stress and anxiety. They start to use drugs or alcohol to “help” them fit in better or function easier. It is not uncommon for those who go into treatment for their disease also to be diagnosed and treated for a co-occurring mental condition, such as depression.
- Addicts still need your love and support, but not your criticism and judgement. Keep in mind, this is a pervasive illness like cancer or diabetes, which puts the users body and mind through the ringer, changing them from the inside out. Like other diseases, addiction needs constant vigilance and self work from the recovering addict to keep in check. Be patient and listen to your loved one without trying to fix the problem or them.
- Forget the past, focus on the future. If your loved one has decided to go into a rehab, recognize they have made a very tough and important decision for their well being. Give them credit for it because this takes an unbelievable amount of strength to do this. While in recovery, bringing up the past only destabilizes them in their efforts to rebuild and be healthy going forward. If you feel like you have anger, frustrations or resentments from their behaviors, consider your own self work and going to your own recovery group such as Al-anon. Forgiveness is key for both you and the addict if there is any future at all.
- Change your perspective from one of disgrace to one of opportunity for growth. Those who have successfully recovered from an addiction worked incredibly hard to understand what led them to substance abuse, as well as strategies for how to deal with their daily environmental and emotional triggers. The amount of self awareness and self care that the addict has to go through is commendable and hopefully, will be inspirational to family and friends to do the same. Change is not necessarily a bad thing.
If you or someone you know is suffering from an addiction, it’s time to get the help you need. If you need help getting through to an addict, contact us today. We can provide you with quality treatment for drug and alcohol addiction. Don’t wait. Call now.