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©2018 BY LISA SHARF - PSYCHIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER. 

Addiction, Is it the Plague of the Our Time?

April 12, 2018

Addiction is Killing Our Children, Our Friends, Our Loved Ones…Do We Realize That it Is in Our Back Yard?

Today our children from ages 9 through 12 are afflicted with the plight of drug addiction. How can I make such a bold statement? I work in a center that treats alcoholics and drug addicted individuals. During my initial visit with my clients I ask them what was the age they started using a particular drug? I can tell you that the answers of initial drug or alcohol use range from 11 to 17, but I almost fell off my seat when a 19 y/o client told me that their parent, a drug addict, smoked marijuana with them at age 8. I held my breath to not react, and just listened. I needed to remind myself that addiction is a disease, and an illness. I couldn’t show my reaction how this young child was exposed to drugs. (I too am only human) My main goal is to help the addicted individual understand the disease process, develop a desire to stop using, and seek recovery. This is a life long process.

 

Common reactions in the community have been; “Not in my town! This happens in the inner city, where there is poverty or a lack of opportunity, or poor education.” I am here to tell you it happens in your city, town, and even right next door. It could be happening right in your home.

 

HOW DOES ADDICTION HAPPEN?

Dependency to alcohol or a drug is an insidious process. Not everyone has an addictive personality, or a genetic predisposition. When it comes to street drugs such as heroin or flacka or methyl-amphetamine, it is just a matter of use. It can happen immediately once the drug hits your vein. Or it may take several times. The reality is it doesn’t take much… It is an affliction that lasts a lifetime, and can creep back slowly if the individual doesn’t follow a rigorous path of recovery.

 

WHAT ABOUT YOU?

If the person in your life will not get help, then you seek resources for yourself! Speak to a professional, call Al-anon, or Family’s Anonymous. You are not alone, and although you are not actively involved in using drugs or alcohol, these behaviors can change you, the person living with the addict or alcoholic. The end result is that the spouse or family member becomes affected, and may not understand that they need help also.

 

When life presents overwhelming and unrelenting challenges, or “roadblocks”, it becomes a rigorous path towards healing and self discovery. There are many people have no other way but to choose this path, and it is through spirituality and commitment that will lead them toward the light at the end of the tunnel.

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