Addiction is one of the most challenging facets that anyone can face. Recently I found that someone that I knew was struggling with an addiction. I’m unsure what kind of drugs are in question. Still, I do know that the behaviors which he’s exhibiting are causing a disastrous effect. I saw photos of him and his heyday. He was doing very well financially, and the pictures online show a ragged man, worn out and emotionally void of responsibility. To see the photos of him from 11 years ago is strong is striking. He looked so robust and full of life, and now he looks frail and nothing like his former self.
Addiction doesn’t care what race you are or color, sex, how tall, how, short, skinny, fat, healthy weight, or even what language you speak. It is its form of a demon. When you are addicted to something, you think that you can control the addiction. It’s only when reality slaps you in the face that you see the weight of the problem you’re facing. I know I had a problem dealing with drug and alcohol abuse with a man I truly loved with all my heart. The alcohol consumed him to the point that he would have fits of rage and jealousy. There were so many times he accused me of sleeping with other men when I wasn’t. One night he got so drunk that he raped me repeatedly to ensure that I wouldn’t be with another man. I was so numb. I was in a lot of pain; the repeated acts hurt. I think the thing that hurt the most was losing my trust and faith in him. Our relationship didn’t survive. One day I got up the nerve to look him up on Facebook to see what he was doing now. He married a woman who looked just like me and had a son. He became a doctor and the world of finance and is doing very well for himself. He’s traveled the world, and it looks like he’s happy. Hopefully, he got help for his issues.
What do you do with someone you love is fighting an addiction or perhaps even yourself? There’s no one size fits all plan for addiction. If addiction was easy to fix, people could snap their fingers, but it’s not, and there are different types of addiction. There are addictions to sex, alcohol, drugs, money, and many more types of addiction. People become addicted to things for various reasons. Most of the time, it’s because they feel pleasure when their basic needs like hunger, thirst, and sex are satisfied. There’s a particular high that’s in the brain that people get from their addiction. Sometimes the addiction causes people to lose a sense of reality. Other times, they think it will solve their problems by giving them a sense of peace or calmness. When people on drugs do irrational behavior, they have chemical imbalances so far off whack they lack control of their actions.
The man I first spoke about recently stole property dealing with a severe addiction to drugs. I know his former business partner pretty well and understand that this man was nowhere near the same type of person-years ago. When I found out he had a criminal record, I was utterly floored. Never in a million years would I have suspected this man to do the crimes he did. I’ve heard arguments on all sides. Some people think that people can control themselves without taking drugs or other substances. It’s incredible what we do in life when we are not thinking clearly. Sometimes we are hurting so much that aids help nullify the pain. I’m not excusing the actions. I am saying that when a person reaches rock bottom, they don’t always think clearly, and when a person is hurting, they don’t tend to make good decisions.
There will always be excuses why people use or think they need certain things. Here are some actions you can use that might help you with others. The following information is taken directly from the MayoClinic.
- “Make a plan. A family member or friend proposes an intervention and forms a planning group. It’s best to consult with a qualified professional counselor, an addiction professional, a psychologist, a mental health counselor, a social worker, or an interventionist to help you organize an effective intervention. An intervention is a highly charged situation with the potential to cause anger, resentment, or a sense of betrayal.
- Gather information. The group members find out about the extent of your loved one’s problem and research the condition and treatment programs. The group may initiate arrangements to enroll your loved one in a specific treatment program.
- Form the intervention team. The planning group forms a team that will personally participate in the intervention. Team members set a date and location and work together to present a consistent, rehearsed message and a structured plan. Often, nonfamily members of the team help keep the discussion focused on the facts of the problem and shared solutions rather than strong emotional responses. Don’t let your loved one know what you’re doing until the day of the intervention.
- Decide on specific consequences. If your loved one doesn’t accept treatment, each person on the team needs to decide what action they will take. For example, you may choose to ask your loved one to move out.
- Make notes on what to say. Each team member describes specific incidents where the addiction caused problems, such as emotional or financial issues. Discuss the toll of your loved one’s behavior while still expressing care and the expectation that they can change. Your loved one can’t argue with facts or with your emotional response to the problem. For example, begin by saying, “I was upset and hurt when you drank ….”
- Hold the intervention meeting. Without revealing the reason, your loved one with the addiction asks for the intervention site. Members of the team then take turns expressing their concerns and feelings. Your loved one is presented with a treatment option and asked to accept that option on the spot. Each team member will say what specific changes they will make if their loved one doesn’t accept the plan. Don’t threaten a consequence unless you’re ready to follow through with it.
- Follow up. Be sure to involve a spouse, family, or others is critical to help someone with an addiction stay in treatment and avoid relapsing. This action can include changing patterns of everyday living to make it easier to avoid destructive behavior, offering to participate in counseling with your loved one, seeking your therapist and recovery support, and knowing what to do if relapse occurs.”
I hope that none of you faces addiction. If you do, I’m begging you to get help. Addiction affects everyone. There’s nothing wrong with getting addiction treatment. It might help save your life or those you love. Have a great day, everyone.