Drug addiction can come from 2 different places
The medical profession
It can come from the trust in a prescription that leads to a physical addiction. Someone who “would never!” finds themselves facing a fight from their own body when the usage stops. It is not limited to pain medications. That’s just the ones we watch for, and when they happen, we look down on the patient. Sometimes with pity, other times with disgust.
You doubt their word if they insist “this is not who I am! I didn’t think it could happen to me.” The damage has been done and carries on. They don’t want help because they fight it in their mind without acceptance of the truth. To be given help requires vulnerability and the acceptance that they are powerless to stop it on their own. That requires trust in others and it’s hard to have a rational mind in the middle of it. The further into it, the harder it is to see from the inside. Sometimes the very doctor that got you there won’t admit it, never mind be able to help you. It is beyond their ability to give you a corrective course of action.
Escape from the wounds
The second side of it is experimentation for escape. What they often don’t realize is who they are trying to escape from – it is themselves. The voices inside one’s head can be relentlessly cruel. If they were a person in the room, they would need to leave it. But no matter where they go, this one follows. Sometimes it’s started as echoes from others. It replayed in their head until their own inner voice started repeating it. It becomes their agreement with themselves and their actions become proof of it’s truth to them.
They search for self medication that will dull the senses and quiet the voice. If they use it enough, get inebriated enough, they don’t have to care what it says anymore. By the time they realize they’ve made the words come true, they have no idea how to climb back up out of the darkness. And their body fights against even trying.
Thoughts become things
To deny an addiction is to deny the wound – whether physical or emotional. Just once more is to delay an action your soul is asking you to take. Healing starts with the thoughts of wanting better than this life. Healing starts with the courage to decide to walk the tough road of recovery for what could be waiting on the other side. Knowing they don’t want anymore of this life. It’s a fight that requires everything from you. It requires mind, body and spirit.
The mind because mindset is everything. Without a belief that you have what it takes, you are heavily disadvantaged. Thoughts become things. Feed your mind with what it needs to succeed. “You can do this!” is one of them. Be painfully honest about everything you need to heal.
The body will fight you tooth and nail. It doesn’t know how to cope on it’s own anymore. It will take all it has to readjust and become fully functional once more. Be kind, treat it gentle and believe it can do it with your help. Withdrawal is a journey through hell, often at a level of pain that is inhumane. If you don’t give up, time is on your side. Do what you can for your immune system to show your support for your body.
The spirit will be the hardest work. You will need to really look up and within. The scars on your soul and the raw open wounds that have never healed will need to be examined and understood. You’ll never fully heal the body if you can’t heal your soul. But it is work you can and must do. It becomes part of your strength and your character. Faith can take you through the impossible. Courage grows each day you do. You can win the fight – but it’s all up to you and no one can do it for you, no matter how much they want to.
Understanding doesn’t come from pity or coddling. Understanding comes from the human side. Compassion comes from seeing it and looking for an answer. We’ve got to change our minds about about demonizing them, because right now, with what people are going through, more and more people are trying to escape. There are those, including some of the most incredible people, that are choosing to give up and leave this world. Our homeless and suffering population is growing.
Can you honestly say, if you were forced to live on the street, you would never try to dull the pain? If you can jump to say you would not, then you truly don’t understand the pain of living on the streets. It hits all three parts of you – body, mind and soul, and you feel alone in it. Asking for help doesn’t always mean it’s there to receive.
Judgement of them
But these are the people we look down on. We don’t want to see or hear from them. We don’t trust them or want them in our neighborhoods. We decide that before we even know their story. If we are to judge them (and we do), how do we do that without knowing their story? And when you hear it, could you be sure you wouldn’t have landed there too? Remember, we can’t cast the stone if we can relate.
Asking the question “what did they go through?” is important and necessary. Not to excuse, but to understand and stop it from continuing on for them and others that otherwise will come next. The why of everything is key. You cannot solve a problem without understanding the why of it first. Compassion not contempt.