No two addicts are the same. Each has their own history, with their own moment when drugs changed their life forever. We cannot lump them all together thinking they are all the same. Though their stories will have similarities, the bottom line of their addiction is uniquely their own.
While one may find themselves addicted after a painful and difficult recovery from major surgery, another will have suffered from years of undiagnosed mental illness and has self-medicated to relieve the internal pain. Yet another may have innocently partied their way into addiction. Never mind those who look to drugs to cover the pain and shame of abuses off all kinds, or a loss that they just can’t seem to recover from.
Each of our addicts are different and we need to understand that detoxing and staying clean of drug use for a period of time will never give any of them the life of true freedom they need to remain so, until they do the hard work of getting to the very bottom of the reason they started. Even for those who say ‘I just like getting high”… I would counter with “you need to figure out why you don’t like being sober”. Only until they each can uncover this area of their life will they truly be free from the NEED to use. Never mind the chemical NEED the drug itself produces in the body.
I say know your addict, because no one knows what it will take to help them heal. I remember being in a meeting with a parent who REEFUSED to go to a family counseling time because she believed that by going she would have to take on the responsibility for her daughters addiction. She was a hardline “I didn’t CAUSE it, can’t CURE it, can’t CONTROL it” kinda gal. And though I agree with that, I know we may just hold a key that can unlock a door or two in the healing process.
Once we can begin to KNOW our addict, we can look for ways to help the healing process. And it may be as simple as listening to them empty some of the pain they have experienced by going to a family counseling session. You don’t have to take responsibility for the pain, but maybe by allowing them to empty themselves of it you may have just given them the courage to move a step closer to a life of freedom.
Be willing to KNOW your addict.