The concept of the disease of addiction is one that baffles and frustrates anyone and everyone involved. Assumingly, since man has discovered the powers of smashed grapes and medicinal properties of plants, the effects of addiction have torn apart families and isolated those who suffer from the disease. In the end, when you pull back the curtain - there lies a whole other world that resides in the mind of an addict, that doesn’t by any means make the actions okay - but it does help to explain why they act the way they do.
Although it is unclear why, studies show that the numbers of addiction have been rising in the past few decades. Some people blame the drugs that are on the street, but I wonder if we have just gotten more open and willing to discussing and treating the disease, so more people are speaking up. Sure, we also have more people dying on a daily rate due to the potency of the heroin in this country, but I believe that there have always been people who suffer from one addiction or another, suffering silently and alone.
Today we live in an age, and I thank the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous in large part for this, where we can come together with other addicts and try to find a better way to live.
The Tell Tale Signs
According to the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous - there are only two requirements to be considered an alcoholic. The first being that the person has no control over taking the first drink or drug. The second is that once the person starts, they have no power over when they will stop. Not how much the have done, or how many times they have been arrested. Those two requirements are the only ones needed to qualify a person as an alcoholic. Obviously, the handcuffs, the financial burden, and the family dissipation follow suit, but some people manage to keep all of those things in check. This is also called a functioning alcoholic or addict.
It is Not just a Failed Moral Compass
Contrary to popular belief, addiction is a disease, not a choice. While no, no one forces a needle into someone's arm or holds a vodka bottle to their mouth, the person who suffers from addiction wishes, until they get sober, that they could just be normal and party like everyone else. The disease of addiction centers in the mind and the body, but unlike other diseases, this one acts more like a catch- 22, where the only thing that will make us feel better is the thing that will eventually destroy us. Addicts never believe that their behavior will turn on them and potentially lead them to do terrible and harmful things. For the most part, they always believe that they have their using under control, especially in the beginning.
And that, we think, is really the root of our problem, a lack of power. The strangest part of it all is that we destroy our lives and the lives of those who love us simply because we want to feel in control. It seems strange, I’m sure, for those on the outside looking in, to imagine how we can possibly feel in control while drugs and alcohol bring about the exact opposite reaction. However, for those who suffer from the disease of addiction, controlling our substances is the only thing we feel like we can control.
Many people who suffer from addiction also suffer from a dual diagnosis, meaning they also suffer from another sort of mental disorder such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders, panic, insomnia, etc. All of these mental disorders also deal with some sort of issue with power and control. For example, eating disorders are an obsessive addiction where a person uses food instead of drugs - either overeating, under eating, purging, etc. It is extremely common for many women who suffer from substance abuse to also suffer from an eating disorder.
It Isn’t That We Don’t Care, It Is That We Care Too Much
Despite all evidence leading to the contrary, addicts really do care about the people around them, at least before everything is completely lost. But in the beginning, before they really lose control, when they are lying about everything, and sneaking around, it is a combination of two things. The first, being that yes, they care about their substances and being able to continue using them, but on the other hand, they know, deep down, that what they are doing will hurt the ones they love.
You see, despite the delusional reality that drug addiction creates, underneath the secrets and the fights, there is a world of fear, shame, and regret. No child grows up with the hope that they will one day become an empty shell. So they go on pretending like everything is fine, like they have it “under control.” This facade is meant to not only protect themselves but to protect their loved ones from knowing the truth. For me, this was why I just never went home. I somehow figured that if my parents never saw my eyes, that they wouldn’t know what I was up to. Even though I was constantly asking for money for… pizza and gas.
Turns out the families usually know before the addict does.
The most interesting aspect, in my own opinion, is how the disease of addiction can literally affect any person, of any background, any ethnicity, sexual preference, financial status, or religion. The only real remedy that has been found to bring recovery to people who suffer is to live a spiritual, not religious, lifestyle that focuses on being of service to others. By taking some simple steps, a person who was once considered a hopeless alcoholic or addict can undergo a complete psychic change. This psychic change, this abandoning of our old ideals and beliefs, is what will relieve us of our addiction and allow us to live healty and normal lives.
Finding the Right Treatment Center For You
If you believe you have a problem with drugs or alcohol and want to seek help, then call the professionals at Evolutions Treatment Center today at 1-800-795-8527. We can help you find the right treatment you need in order to finally overcome your addiction and get you on the path to recovery. Our trained staff knows exactly what you are going through and can give you the tools you need in order to finally overcome your addiction. So don’t delay, call us today.