Drug and Alcohol addictions continue to affect people from all walks of life. Many people believe that all drug and alcohol abusers are criminals or are morally weak. But, that simply is not the case. Whether one is a doctor, stay-at-home mom, lawyer, teacher, preacher, mill worker, teenager or even a child, drug and alcohol addictions respect no one.
Addiction is a physiological dependence on something, meaning it is both physical and psychological in nature. Therefore, when one is addicted one literally needs whatever it is that feeds that addiction.
Education remains a key factor in fighting drug and alcohol dependencies. When people understand drug and alcohol abuse prevention becomes visible and effective. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) notes, a tremendous opportunity exists to effectively change the ways in which the public understands drug abuse and addiction because of the wealth of scientific data NIDA has amassed. NIDA further states that overcoming misconceptions and replacing ideology with scientific knowledge is the best hope for bridging the Great Disconnect. (The gap between the public perception of drug abuse and addiction and the scientific facts).
In the meantime, it is necessary to facilitate assistance for the current drug and alcohol abusers. There are perse options in treatment and rehabilitation programs. Those options include:
- 12-step programs
- 12-step alternatives; programs
- Wilderness camps
- Schools for troubled teens with addictions
- Inpatient residential; day treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Faith-based facilities Holistic treatment
The 12-step program is one of the most popular rehabilitation programs, originated for Alcoholics Anonymous, but later versions were adapted for other addictions. The synopsis of the 12-step programs consists of:
- Admitting that we are powerless over drugs or alcohol and that our lives have become unmanageable.
- Come to believe that a Power greater than ourselves can restore us to sanity.
- Turn our will and our lives over to the care of a Higher Power.
- Make a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admit to a Higher Power, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Be entirely ready to have a Higher Power remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly ask a Higher Power to remove our shortcomings.
- Make a list of all persons we have harmed, and be willing to make amends to them all.
- Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continue to take personal inventory and when we are wrong promptly admit it.
- Seek through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with a Higher Power, praying only for knowledge of the Higher Power's will for us, and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, try to carry this message to other drug addicts or alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.
The Comeback Treatment Center of California states several facts regarding drug and alcohol rehabilitation:
- Drug addiction and alcoholism is a highly treatable disease (continued suffering is optional)
- No drug addict really likes the way he or she has to use drugs and alcohol
- Drug addiction can be outgrown in an honest, responsible, character-building environment
- Personal growth feels better and lasts longer than any drug
The hardest part about drug rehab recovery is getting started, the rest is reward, and once earned, sobriety becomes a precious gift of spirit and mind that overcomes negative emotions and mental blocks that could keep one from continuing in a responsible direction towards self-fulfillment.
In conclusion, drug and alcohol abuse will be around as long as there are people, drugs and alcohol. One must make a proactive choice to educate and understand these addictions so that early intervention can be made as soon as abusers are identified. Ideally, education and training would decline the statistics on addictive behavior, but personal pleasure and the masking of personal problems through addiction remain prevalent today.
- ALCOHOLICS ANONYMOUS: The Story of How many Thousands of Men and Women Have Recovered from Alcoholism (Second Edition), New York City, NY: Alcoholics Anonymous Publishing, Inc., 1955,