How can we begin to deal with the substance abuse without some knowledge of what it is to those addicted and those affected? Right from the beginning two completely opposite emotions surface. The one suffering from addiction is stripped of the ability to reason good or bad from the using disorder. The drug or drugs of choice have become a necessity and as such a priority in the mind of the addict to do whatever to satisfy that need. “Whatever” encompasses a host of divisive actions with one thought in mind, to satisfy that need. These actions are executed without regard to consequences. The freedom of choice quickly disappeared after introduction of drugs and alcohol in the system. All the physical, emotional, spiritual and mental attributes that make us healthy are put aside while under the influence of substance abuse.
On the opposite side where caring and hope reign prominent, there is misunderstanding and confusion on how someone you’ve known and loved has become a total stranger. At what point did you misread the signs that your loved one was become actively addicted? You find yourself searching for answers and known make any sense. You consider your own actions over the years and how did they contribute to downfall of someone you love dearly. Those in active recovery in many cases rejoin the family or loved ones. They are also quick to say that the fault for their substance abuse in no way related to how they were brought up. They accept that the blame falls on their shoulders and the inability to reach out. They can with our understanding and support realize it is a disease and as such requires a host of steps to regain quality of life once more.
Our part as parents or those caring have an immense task in the journey to recovery. We need to provide love and support but from a different level. The challenge is to see clearly when the active addict is truly ready to seek help and needs more than the next fix. Relapse is a common result on the journey to recovery and as such you need to see earnest acceptance on the addict’s part that there is a process for success which will require steps that may involve, detox, a lengthy rehab, in patient/outpatient programs, possible medically assisted treatment, regular meetings, a sponsor and a total change in behavior. In many cases this acceptance only results after a serious event or what we like to call “rock bottom”.
Once we come to an understanding of what substance abuse is and how it destroys the ability to seek help on the part of the active addict as well as those caring, then we can move forward. When we are first confronted with the realization that someone, we care for dearly has fallen victim, we are faced with little knowledge or ability of what one can do.
Social media, news stories, TV and personal knowledge of someone you know has fallen victim only increases the fear of what waits ahead. One sees only doom and gloom. If we seek help through group meetings, researching the mass number of topics on the subject and most importantly realize the victim will need all the love and understanding possible to overcome this dreaded disease, we can hopefully move forward. Failures and relapse are common during recovery but there are many recovery stories to give strength to us to avoid becoming a statistic but rather a success story. Reading successful recovery stories helps guide us in the journey to save our addict and ourselves.