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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Addicts and choices

Intervention (TV series)Image via Wikipedia

The popular television show, Intervention took a look recently at the story of Suzon and uncovered a supermom turned crack addict. Through out the show we saw Suzon struggle with addiction, and with different family members. In one segment of the show Suzon's mother made a statement that needs taking a look at, where she confronts Suzon by telling her she is "choosing" drugs over her mother, and her family.

An addict chooses?
To clarify for those who do not understand addiction, an addict, only makes one bad choice deliberately, and that was the first time they chose to do drugs. Once addicted there is no choice. The definition of addiction: a compulsive physiological and psychological need for a habit-forming substance. Notice there is no mention of choices. It does not define addiction as: when a user chooses drugs instead of all things. To have a choice is to have control. Addiction strips the user of the control.  To have a choice, is to not be addicted. Addiction in itself eliminates options like "choices" and this is what family and friends must understand. Their addicted loved one made one bad choice, the addiction took over  from that point and now the addict can no longer have control over the impulse, the physical craving.

Guilt strengthens addiction
Making the addict feel guilty by telling them they are choosing drugs over their family is likely only to make the addict feel worse which then in turn makes them crave the drug more so that they can escape the bad feelings they have over the guilt. It is more important at this stage for the family to make the choices that must be made, and that is Intervention. Once an addict is clean they will naturally feel all the guilt and hurt they hid from. It is far better they deal with it sober than still under the addiction's grasp. If you need to, take the most drastic steps necessary. This may include having your addict arrested.

The choice is yours
If you love your addicted family member there is the ability to control what happens in your life and the life of the addict if you are prepared to make the changes that might have to come about. This means choosing an intervention, offering consequences for the addicts refusal and taking control over your own issues. Suzon's mother was a clear case of co-dependency and seeking help for herself was the best choice she could have made.  If you, as the family or friend of the addict is willing to make these choices, you have the control to shape what happens in the future for all concerned. Seek help, get support, become informed about what addiction really is, and understand that addiction is not addiction until the ability to choose has been taken away from the user. Drugs are like that jealous, abusive, selfish lover, promising all things wonderful in the beginning, but in reality, they isolate, numb, demand exclusivity, ruin outside relationships and kill both the spirit and the soul of the other person.

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