Three Ways of Dealing with the Addiction Problem

dealing with addictionThree Ways of Dealing with the Addiction Problem
There are mainly three ways of dealing with the addiction problem:

  • Doing what is best for society
  • Doing what is best for the addict/alcoholic
  • Doing what is best for the addict/alcoholic and society

It would seem that the best option is to do what is best for the addict/alcoholic and society. That might be the goal of every addiction solution but in practice that is not the case.Some may disagree with my observations and conclusions, but after years of working with alcoholics and addicts this is what I have seen,  (I acknowledge ahead of time I am making some generalizations and there are certainly exceptions.) I will also state some of my perspectives are controversial and not ‘politically correct’. I just ask the reader to read everything I have written before coming up with conclusions. Truth is not always welcomed in a society that is driven to be politically correct.

Doing What is Best for Society
It appears at times that certain programs/solutions to addiction is mainly based upon what is best for society, not necessarily what is best for addicts. Those who support these type of programs most likely do have concern for the addict, so I am not questioning motives, I am questioning methods. In reality, some programs are very good for society in the sense of what looks good for society. (However, I would argue that whatever is done for society that does not overall help people to become, and stay addiction free, is ultimately not good for society.)

Some programs under this category is Methadone Treatment-it helps to keep opiate addicts off the street doing illicit drugs and committing crime to pay for their drug addiction. Suboxone Treatment also falls under this category,

Supervised Injection Sites (‘Shooting Galleries’)-This helps society by reducing the potential of the spread of Hep C and HIV. These programs in theory reduce the public being exposed to drug use and reduce the amount of used needles and syringes in public places.

Narcan-The administration of Narcan for an opiate overdose helps society because the person can be treated ‘in the field’ and not have to be transported or hospitalized.

Antabuse-This is used for those who are alcoholics. It causes side effects from drinking alcohol, thus reduces the abuse of drinking alcohol, thus reducing drunk driving.

But what about all the problems for society with all the other types of addicts? None of these programs help them. Also, how effective are these methods in changing addictive behavior? How effective are they in helping the alcoholic and addict?

We will address this in detail in another article.
Doing What is Best for the Addict/Alcoholic
Methadone/Suboxone/Narcan/Antabuse many would argue are great solutions for the opiate addict and alcoholic. They can help reduce having criminal records, they can save lives, they can help reduce addiction abuse. All of this is true. BUT none of these items overall stop addiction. Yes, some can stop active abusing of alcohol and drugs, but they do not address the root causes and many of the symptoms of addiction. Yes, some address the physical realm of addiction, but none whatsoever address the psychological, emotional, mental, relational, or spiritual aspects of addiction. Thus none of them do good overall in helping the addict/alcoholic to be addiction free forever.

When everything is done to lessen the consequences of having an addiction, it is not helpful for most who have addictions. Knowing ‘I can just overdose and get revived’ does not reduce opiate drug use. (We will speak more on this  in another article.)

When any solution to addiction only looks at addiction as a disease, it will be limited in effect. In fact many times all that happens is a person becomes a ‘zombie’ (will explain this in later article) or a ‘dry drunk’. That does not help the person to live a fruitful, victorious life.

Doing What is Best for the Addict/Alcoholic and Society
The best option for dealing with addiction is to have solutions that are best for the person with an addiction and what is best for society. This can be a very challenging goal but should be a goal that we as society have as our focus. A society that looks for solutions to ‘help protect society’, or to help ‘lessen the appearance of addiction problems in a community’, solutions that are not very effective, or not effective at all, in helping an addict/alcoholic to fully overcome addiction and have a victorious life, is a self-centered society.

Well meaning intentions that are not effective, are just that-ineffective, well meaning intentions. If programs are implemented that do not reduce addiction, then they are not solutions to the addiction problem in society. They may be part of the solution but they certainly are not the solution.

When measures are taken to do whatever possible to help an addict/alcoholic to be totally set free and to change their entire life, then society is helped. These individuals become productive citizens of society. These individuals become an asset to society. These individuals give hope to others struggling with an addiction. Thus when dealing with the addiction problem, the main focus should be to help individuals with addictions to be totally transformed, not just stop doing their addiction. Too many current programs are trying to stop addictions, not totally transform a life.

There are methods that help a person to be addiction free forever. Society needs to take a deeper look at these programs.

I will write more on this later.

Conclusion
So what way do you think we as a society should do to deal with the addiction problem in our communities? Sadly, there is those who say ‘who cares about the person who chooses to be an addict, we just need to take care of society’.  There are others who only listen to talking heads who have agendas and then believe whatever they say, I buy into ineffective solutions to the addiction problem.  There are others out of their compassion for the addict, in reality are not truly helping the addict. Then there are those who want to sincerely explore this topic and are open to look at ALL options and want to see the implementation of effective solutions, realizing it most likely is a combination of several concepts. What about you?

More to come.

If you disagree, have a different perspective, have questions, etc. feel free to post comments or post your own article. Just be respectful. Click Here, to learn all about using the blog on this site. Your feedback is welcomed.

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