Your Family: Addiction’s Greatest Casualty
A few weeks ago, as I drove home from a football match, a woman turned her car in front of mine. I didn’t see her until the front end of my car crunched like an accordion into hers. She made a choice, and I paid for it.
In a perfect world, only our good choices would have an effect on the people around us. But, unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect, and neither are you — we all make bad choices.
A Good Family – Destroyed By Drugs
Place yourself with me into an imaginary situation. You have a good family. In fact, you couldn’t wish for a better or more loving family. When you come home at night, you can’t wait to see them. You can’t wait to laugh with them and talk with them. To tell them about your day, and ask about theirs.
You love them. And you would do anything for them.
On your way out of the office after a tiring day of work, a co-worker cautiously approaches you. You notice dark half-circles under his eyes, and he seems nervous about something. With trembling hands, he tries to smile at you. He shows you a small white pill. He tells you he chews one tablet after work every day and it makes him feel refreshed and energised.
He asks you if you’d like to try one. You think for a second and accept his offer. You don’t take the pill immediately. But after he leaves, you slowly place the tablet on your tongue and chew. After a few minutes, you realise he was right. You feel so much better!
You get home, and your family asks you if everything is all right. You tell them, yes, but they don’t seem convinced. After work the next day, your search for the same co-worker. When you find him, you ask him where you can get pills for yourself. He gives you an address and two more pills.
Excited, you rush to the address and find a quiet man that seems to be expecting you. He names his price. You give him the money and take a small bag of pills that he hands to you.
Over time, you become obsessed with the pills. You can’t wait till the end of the day when you can take more of them. You love what they do – they make you feel energetic and very happy.
Your family becomes nervous about your behaviour. All the talking and laughing that used to greet you at the door has stopped. The conversation that you looked forward to is replaced with eerie silence when you come home.
Your family begins to make you angry and frustrated. So you take more pills.
You love the pills. And when you run out, you do anything to get more of them.
You are addicted to OxyContin. And your family knows it, but they are scared to do anything about it. You know it too, but you would never call it an addiction – more like, just something I do to keep me going – you think to yourself.
What you don’t realize is that your family is falling apart, your respiratory system is slowly deteriorating, your bank account is waining, and your boss is thinking about replacing you. This is what addiction can do to you, and your family.
A Destroyed Family – Saved By Recovery
In the above illustration, you can see how a simple addiction can destroy many facets of life. The effect of drug abuse often extends far beyond the addict. And the people most directly affected are the family of the addict. Because of this reality, many rehabilitation centres have formed custom family treatment plans.
Hope Trust, our exclusive Indian sponsor, is a fantastic example of a centre dedicated to treating not only the addiction but all members of the family. They present a unique opportunity for family recovery while their loved one is being treated for addiction. The family program includes some of the following aspects:
- Educating the family about addiction.
- Counselling for personal issues and conflict resolution.
- Communication exercises between the client and family members.
- Participation in the client’s relapse prevention plan.
The Automobile Accident
When my car smashed into the woman that turned in front of me, we both got hurt. I wasn’t expecting the accident. I didn’t know she was going to pull in front of me – but when she did, I couldn’t avoid her.
People don’t anticipate addiction. But when addiction “hits”, everyone involved is hurt.
Further reading on Family Recovery: