Thinking About Addiction
A blog about anything related to addiction, treatment, or recovery, all the way from prevention to building recovery-friendly communities. We also welcome guest bloggers here!
Like many rural areas, Taos County sees high rates of shockingly young students taking to heroin and alcohol. And like most of New Mexico, infrastructure and resources are stretched thin.
If we could reach them now, the process might well be interrupted. Preventing a host of more serious problems — some of them fatal to other people, or the user himself.
It may help in understanding how the problems that plague some of us throughout life may have come about. And hopefully, in doing so, remove a bit the shame and stigma that often accompanies such problems.
Diabetics and heart patients are asked to make changes in lifestyle to reduce the risk of future crisis. Therapy is sometimes used to support those changes.
Imagine a student sitting in the school auditorium listening to a teacher or police officer insist that marijuana makes you less intelligent. Meanwhile, he knows that the kid in front of him, an honor student, smokes pot every weekend.
Suffering victim and destructive asshole, all wound up in the same person. That’s the “alcoholic/addictive” personality. But who is the “real person” underneath the disease?
Kids like to bring up the fact that alcohol kills many times more Americans than marijuana (or heroin, or cocaine). So why are those drugs illegal, their use subject to harsh punishment, when alcohol isn’t?
Medication may help, and we shouldn’t automatically rule it out because it’s “taking pills.” Some pills are okay, if we take them under supervision and according to directions.
Calling these diseases “behavioral illnesses” and calling our systems of care “behavioral health programs” promotes two destructive, harmful beliefs.