How do you view alcoholics and drug addicts?
People who are addicted to any substance, in your opinion -- are they truly sick and suffering? Do they lack willpower? Are they consciously and sanely making a destructive choice? Are they deserving of empathy, or disgust, scorn, derision, etc.? I'd love to hear some personal opinions.
I feel sad for them. People don't do it because they're happy and leading fulfilling lives. Usually I think it's because there's something missing.
I have worked in a Treatment Center Prison for 16 years and known that for these people it is a devastating illness which takes more than just yourself to succeed in recovery. This involves much more than to stop USING it involves changing many aspects in their lives as well as gaining understanding of how their lives became so unmanageable. To not use does not address these many issues. They then become sober but stuck. It involves growth as this process stops at the age of addiction. It is a so very complicated issue. Many times it seems they aren't trying to the general public, but they need to come to a point they feel there is no refuge from themselves, nowhere to hide . Then finally they are ready to seek help.Treatment works best when those of common problems help each other working as a group , which we call families, confronting the issues that lead them here, using feed back, encounters, being brothers keepers. This is just a small part of the very successful program I have the privilege to be a part of. Without this type of in-depth help it is sadly a very hard, long ,and many times unsuccessful recover for an addict.
I think it starts with pleasure seeking. Drugs and alcohol give instant highs or happiness. That's probably why so many people use them. But the down side is, it can become a habit or a need. Then it becomes dangerous. If you took away all drugs and alcohol, this country would be outraged. They would immediately turn to blackmarket or illegal sales. Even the casual user wants it. Is that a problem? You bet it is. So those who go overboard with it cannot be stopped. For the escape of pain, boredom or the daily grind or bouts of anger or depression or just to be happy instantly, that will keep the problem active forever.
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