Posts Tagged drug addict
If you or someone close to you is currently recovering from drug and alcohol addiction, this is the perfect time to make your voices heard and make the public aware of the struggles of recovery.
September is celebrated all around the U.S. as the National Recovery Month, which provides an opportune time to highlight the importance of early intervention and preventive measures to rescue people from their addictions. This year marks the 25th time that the campaign is being held, with the advocacy stretching to the awareness of mental disorders as well.
The theme for this year is “Join the Voices for Recovery: Speak Up, Reach Out,” which gives recovering addicts the chance to have their voices heard and express their struggles in recovering from drug and alcohol abuse. The campaign hopes to put a positive spin on the issue by emphasizing the significance of a person’s behavior to overall well-being, as well as the benefits of prevention and immediate treatment.
Several organizations are putting their full support on the campaign, including the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, Inc. (NCADD), the Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
If you want to support the campaign through a monetary donation, you may send them through this page at drugfree.org. You may also find more information about National Recovery Month from the SAMHSA website.
The social stigma attached to the label “drug addict” is a highly discriminatory one. However detestable an activity it is for the majority of people who choose to live their lives the right way, knowing how and why drug addiction persists within society is important in order to curb it and possibly eliminate it at its roots. There are definite reasons as to why drug addiction begins, and you will probably be surprised why it happens.
Those that most of us call “drug addicts” are stuck using drugs not only because they want it, but because their bodies start to become dependent on drugs. A large number, if not all drug addicts like to believe that they can stop drug use by their will alone, and these same people also choose not to undergo rehabilitation. But the likelihood of escaping the trap of drug usage is slim, especially if used in the long-term. There are mental changes associated with long-term drug use, and this can affect and alter the way people behave, leaving them unable to control some actions – including their strengthening craving for more drugs.
So why do some people choose to use drugs? The reasons for this phenomenon can actually be quite logical – most drug addicts choose to use drugs because of the strong desire to escape from the stresses of their daily lives. These include psychological stress from work, home, or in school. The desire to escape reality becomes one of the most fundamental reasons of prolonged drug addiction.
With this mindset to guide our line of thinking, understanding drug addiction becomes a lot less difficult. The labeling and stereotyping of drug addicts prevents us from looking at the reality of drug addicts – that they are persons trapped within the cycle of drug use. Analyzing the reasons for their habit is a pressing task, and should not be taken lightly.
In one of my previous blogs I wrote about the effects of parents’ alcoholism on their children. But it is not just children who suffer. Parents, spouses, siblings of the drug user also suffer equally. As a result of living in a problematic environment, struggling to cope with addiction, they unconsciously develop a certain behavioral pattern referred to as Co-dependency.
Co-dependency is a pathological condition which is characterized by extreme preoccupation and emotional dependence on a person which eventually affects the co-dependent in all other relationships. It is a faulty pattern of living, coping and problem solving governed by a set of rules created and maintained by the family. Such rules interfere with healthy growth and make constructive change very difficult, if not impossible. In their effort to control the chemical dependent the family members lose control over their own behavior. Ultimately life becomes unmanageable.
Co-dependency is characterized by the following traits:
- Loss of daily structure
- Neglect of personal care
- Physical problems
- Getting involved in unproductive activities
- The ‘whatever I do is right’ attitude
- Blaming others
- Inability to plan and prioritize.
The co-dependent finds it difficult to identify and express his feelings accurately. Difficulty in maintaining close relationships, taking decisions, and anxiety in making changes are common. They have an exaggerated need for others’ approval and a fear of abandonment keeps them away from conflict. Taking responsibility for others’ behavior, unrealistic expectations from others, a sense of shame and low self esteem are other characteristics.
The co-dependent often acts an enabler helping the addict to continue with his addiction. But he must realize that addiction has affected the family physically and psychologically and some of their behavior patterns have, over the course of time, become inappropriate. A change in their attitude and behavior will help in supporting the addict in his recovery.