There’s no simple way to fight addiction. It’s a multi-faceted issue, and on an individual level, there are even more specific complications depending on an enormous number of factors. But because addiction can cause so much pain and chaos if untreated, that just means that the fight against it must be more comprehensive.
Five important topics that people must understand when taking on addiction include what the use of medication means, how habits in general work, why addiction is a health and not a criminal issue, where support groups fit in, and why addiction is a ‘forever’ problem and not a temporary one.
Use of Medication
It’s not safe for an addict to go cold turkey on his or her drug habit. So understanding chemical withdrawal and why the use of medication is important to cleaning out a person’s system is of utmost importance. It is possible to kill or permanently injure or damage a person’s brain or body if care is not taken to slowly bring someone away from the substance they are addicted to. Lack of information on this topic is literally deadly.
How Habits Work
At the core of many addictive situations are habits. An addict may not even want the drug that they’re addicted to, rationally. But the habit has become ingrained in an essential part of their brain, and the compulsion becomes so strong that without outside help, it’s not possible to beat the behavior out. By understanding what makes up habits, and then understanding how to change habits, an addict has a much better chance of getting clean and then staying clean.
Why It’s a Health and Not a Criminal Issue
Addiction, when it deals with illegal drugs specifically, is solidly a health issue. Countries that treat it as a health issue move to make people better, to help them improve their lives, and to improve society as a whole. Addiction, when treated as a criminal issue, makes people worse, ruins their lives, and creates dynamic social unrest forever. This is not a hidden fact, but understanding it will help to bridge an important social gap.
Where Support Groups Fit In
Groups like Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous have saved millions of people from themselves and offered nonjudgmental help to the people who need it the most. If you want to understand addicts and addiction, go to a meeting sometime and listen to the stories they tell.
Why It’s a Forever Problem
Addiction is often associated with personality type, which means that even if you beat out addictive behaviors, the personality drive that created the problem will be there for life. It’s a constant, daily battle for addicts to make sure they stay clean, sober, and away from their destructive behaviors, so it’s vital for non-addicts to know that’s what they’re going through.