As I have said in previous blogs about addiction, it is a struggle at times to convince people who have a strong anti-medication mentality to reconsider their views and allow themselves to be educated about the truth on addiction and medication. Since our current drug war and attempts to curb illicit drug use is such a failure, what is the solution? It is not an easy answer, and the reality is that the war will never be won completely, though we can hopefully do the best we can to try to battle the root causes of addiction.
It takes a multi-disciplinary approach with doctors, counselors/therapists, parents, 12-step groups, rehab centers, sober living communities and addiction specialists all working together to help one individual at a time. All of the various aspects of addiction need to be addressed, including the acute physical addiction of the substance as well as the underlying chemical imbalances of the nervous system that drive the addiction to begin with. It is also important to address the psychological components and underlying stressors that drive addiction. It is very important for those struggling with addiction to have a good support system, whether it be church groups, 12-step groups, sponsors, parents, family and friends, and the support of the community.
Parents and others close to them need to make sure that they are not enabling them but rather empowering them. They need direction and love, with “tough love” when needed. Addiction is a difficult and challenging problem that there is no easy answer to, but if we remain hopeful and positive, we can tackle it together, and with love, patience and commitment, the drug war can be won.
Next week, I will conclude this subject with a rebuttal that I sent to the Orange County Register about the article that was written a couple weeks ago about teens with addiction that have overdosed and lost their lives. Bye for now.