There’s no exact recipe that results in someone becoming an alcoholic or drug addict. We may start using drugs or drinking with friends as teenagers or young adults, or we drank socially and we like the results. After a period of time our drug or alcohol use becomes habitual and we can’t stop. What used to be fun now becomes something we can’t imagine living without.
Despite the different consequences that come our way, we continue to use. Other things that used to be important to us such as work, family, school, or hobbies aren’t priorities anymore. We become addicted, and the thought of stopping seems impossible — drugs and alcohol become all consuming. What used to be enjoyable for us eventually stops working, and feelings of hopelessness and despair take over. Friends and family suffer watching us slowly kill ourselves with drugs and alcohol. We keep using, trying to escape our feelings at any cost, further perpetuating the cycle. The effects our drug use has on our families are endless until we embrace addiction recovery.
Many people do not understand why or how we become addicted, and have very little knowledge of addiction as a disease. Symptoms of the disease include tolerance, withdrawal, using a lot of whatever we’re addicted to for a long period of time, persistent desire to continue using, unsuccessful efforts to stop using, neglecting other priorities in our lives because of our addiction, and spending inordinate amounts of time, money, and efforts in using or recovering from the effects of drugs despite consequences. The destructive patterns that we act out in confuse the people we are close to. They assume that addicts lack moral principles, willpower, and even a desire to get better. There isn’t the understanding that despite consequences we can’t stop without help.
Parents are often left wondering where they went wrong, what they could have done differently and even if they’re the cause of their son or daughter’s addiction. We continue to push away the people who love us. If we don’t get in to recovery we know that we will either end up in jail, an institution of some sort, or die of untreated addiction. Just like other chronic diseases, with the proper guidance and direction, addiction can be successfully managed.
Similar to addiction, recovery is possible for anyone regardless of gender, race or religion. Support is necessary in order to sustain meaningful long-term recovery from addiction. If you or a loved one is battling with addiction, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are here to help in any way we can.