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Some Critical Advice on DrugsFolks, I am begging you to listen to what I am about to tell you! If you care about your family, friends, co-workers, etc. the following is critical:
We are continuing to see an increasing number of deaths due to drug overdose. It is not getting any better! We care about these people who have addiction problems! If you are one of the people who don’t care, who believes that addicts are “a waste of air”, or they are “bad people”, then just wait until it impacts someone that you love and care about. And, if you are someone who has never had to deal with this horrible problem within your family, please try and refrain from giving advice that is consistent with “taking a hard line” (“kick them out”, “don’t put up with it”, etc) to those who are dealing with it. Although I realize that this advice is well-meaning, it only makes it more difficult for the families who are desperately seeking answers to their problems.
When you are dealing with a drug addiction in your family it is going to destroy you until the problem is safely overcome. I recently heard the following from a father who had recently lost his son to an overdose regarding how to deal with an addict that you love and care about:
“there are no right or wrong answers. You deal with the problem in a way that you feel is best for your loved one and your family”.
I wholeheartedly agree with this! No one, especially those who have not gone through the problem, can provide you with advice that is certain to solve the problem. Especially when someone is telling you to simply “cut your son/daughter/mother/father out of your life, take away every resource from them and make them suffer until they submit to the problem and get help” in an effort to assist in creating a “rock-bottom” for the addict. We don’t have any clue what one’s rock-bottom is going to be nor do we know that they are going to react the way that we are hoping that they will react to hitting their “rock-bottom”. Personally, the last thing that I would want would be to have my loved one no longer care whether they live or die because they have nothing and no one left to care about them! This is a very challenging problem that may be one of the worst things that you will ever face in life.
Try everything that you are comfortable with trying to help them. One thing to remember – forcing someone to rehabilitate will rarely work. The addict has to want to quit for their own personal reasons. Every addict is different and, as a result, will react differently to various stimuli. There are no hard, straight-forward answers. Many times it will take numerous attempts, using different strategies.
Talk to as many people who have gone through it or are currently going through it for help and support. This is critical:
Many are embarrassed by the problem and, as a result, attempt to deal with it secretly and within a very small circle. This can be very dangerous. Please don’t fail to react appropriately because you are embarrassed or ashamed! The best of people to include are falling victim to this disease and your personal efforts in their lives don’t always have a direct impact on the outcome. You will need help to save your loved ones life. Get it! This disease, and it is a disease, is no different than finding out your loved one has any other disease. Again, this is a disease that, these days, is impacting everyone! Even those considered the very best and most honorable! Save your loved ones life! Don’t be concerned about embarrassment!
Learn about the signs of drug abuse! Many people just don’t have a clue as to what drug abuse looks like. They don’t see the signs. Even if you have no reason to believe that you have someone within your family or circle of friends may have a problem, get training on the signs. Like I said earlier, “if it hasn’t yet affected your family or circle of friends, it likely will”. In fact, it likely is already; you probably just don’t realize it. When we teach our Drug Recognition and Workplace Violence Course, I tell everyone in attendance that they likely know someone who has a drug addiction problem. Everyone! Whether they realize it or not, and it could be addiction to legally obtained prescription pills, they likely know someone. That’s how widespread the problem is.
Another thing for those who think that addicts are “ a waste or air” or “worthless”:
I hope that you aren’t addicted to anything! Because if you are, you are absolutely no different than those you consider to be “a waste of air”! Think about it, an addict is an addict! Outside of the legality issue of obtaining and using narcotics and unprescribed pills, from a pure addiction standpoint, there is no difference! Except one major thing:
heroin is far more difficult to beat than ANY other addiction. So if you cant quit smoking or eating or playing video games etc, think about how much more difficult the task is when heroin or other opiates are your problem. Trust me, your task of quitting almost anything else is hundreds of times easier.
The one thing that I would ask you to focus on without having any additional training in the signs of drug abuse is CHANGE! In order to save someone from addiction you MUST intervene as quickly as possible. To do this you must recognize CHANGE! To recognize CHANGE you must intimately know them and their lifestyle. And watch their friends! I can’t tell you how many times just one single person has destroyed a life. One wrong friend! Please monitor your children’s friends and do not allow them to be around those that you have a bad feeling about. If your kids get upset with you for playing an active role in choosing their friends, “To bad”! This is a regular statement from addicts that we talk with and deal with “I was a good person with no problems until I met ________________________”. I hear this over-and-over again.
As we approach the new year I am asking you to educate yourself on this extremely widespread and epidemic problem. Even if you don’t currently have any concerns, the chances are that you will at some point. Prepare yourselves for this in advance. It may save a life. We will be providing numerous courses and services to those with drug addiction problems whether it be an addict or a loved one of an addict. These types of courses are growing throughout the state, region, and nationally. Please, if you see one, attend it. And if you need assistance with resources, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I have a large network of them that I can direct you towards.
Lt Terry L Choate Jr
Blue-U Corporate Resources
Published Dec 23, 2014
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