Addictionland - Addiction Recover Blog
Dr. Barbara Sinor is a retired Psychotherapist living in northern California. Sinor is the author of five inspirational books including her most recent, Tales of Addiction and Inspiration for Recovery. Sinor can be contacted through her web site: www.DrSinor.com
What Can You Do?
Did you know that using cocaine and falling in love have something in common? Scientists have concluded cocaine use stimulates the same brain centers as when we have feelings of being in love. Emotional love and using coke produce very similar neuro-activity in the brain. No wonder so many find it difficult to break an addiction habit. How many?
Statistics seem to bring us to a point of non-reality when it comes to the numbers surrounding drug and alcohol abuse. It is difficult for us to bring statistical figures into an understandable frame of reference. The following figures are from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The survey provides statistical breakdowns for many types of substances including marijuana, prescription drugs, cocaine, methamphetamines, alcohol, and heroin. The survey reveals that an estimated 22.3 million persons over the age of twelve had either a substance abuse or dependency problem in that year--almost ten percent of our nation’s adults are addicted to some form of illicit substance and/or alcohol. This is a staggering fact.
Why are there so many people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol? Of course, it is a very individual choice-point; however, I believe no one takes that first pill, drink, snort, inhale, or injection thinking they will become addicted. Perhaps a trauma or pain in their life which was not addressed or healed guided them to the self-destructive behavior. How should we view a person with an addiction? As a low-life, or as someone who is less than ourselves? That choice is yours. I choose to view those with an addiction as “missing their mark.” They have wandered off their original path of life onto a side-street called self-hatred. I believe it is our responsibility to help them envision a new pathway, a new direction filled with self-esteem, self-worth, and self-love.
The following parable by Portia Nelson can help us check our own life-saboteurs. It is called “Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.”
I walk down the street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk and I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. It is not my fault. It takes me forever to find a way out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I do not see it. I fall in again. I cannot believe I am in the same place, but it is not my fault. It still takes me a long time to get out.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it. I still fall in. It is a habit, but my eyes are open and I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out quickly.
I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.
I walk down a different street.
What can you do to help those addicted to drugs or alcohol? Guide and direct them toward a different street.