Growing up in the 80’s, when every school had huge “Just Say NO” posters plastering the hallways, it was easy to think “I’ll never do drugs!” or “No one I know does drugs!”, but those posters just provided us with a false sense of security, a ridiculously naïve point of view that would one day become a lot more clear and a lot more real.
I can’t tell you the number of people I know, people that I went to school with, people I grew up admiring, people I love, who I have watched struggle with drug and alcohol addiction. Growing up in such a small town, you get to know everyone and as in most small towns, you also usually get to know everyone else’s business too. It’s hard to keep secrets around here, everyone knows who has problems with drugs, everyone knows who has been to the various drug rehab centers in neighboring towns, and everyone knows when someone has slipped up and used and it’s a horrible feeling to know any of those things.
I’ve seen friends fight (and thankfully win) the battle with heroin addiction, I’ve seen family members destroy their lives and become homeless because of various drugs and sadly, I’ve seen more people than I care to admit, overdose and die because they couldn’t beat their demons. Addiction is a disease that slowly, overtime, destroys families, faith and friendships, but thankfully, there is help out there, people just have to be willing to admit that they have a problem and seek that help! If you suspect a friend or loved one of having a drug or alcohol problem, don’t be afraid to try to help, all the other person can do is refuse it. There are a number of drug and alcohol treatment centers all over the country who specialize in getting addicts the treatment and counseling that they need to stop using and lead a happy, productive, drug-free life, you can find many of them online, Advanced Health and Education in New Jersey is one that offers treatment for all types of addictions and they also have a lot of resources on their website if you’re in need of more information on a specific type of addiction or treatment options.
Recently I ran into the family member I mentioned above, I hadn’t seen him in several months despite him being a very close family member, I was shocked at the state of his health and how badly and with no mercy his addiction had taken over every single moment of his life…it was heartbreaking! Honestly, I don’t know if he’ll ever seek help for his addiction, all I can do is hope that one day he realizes what his life has become and want better, but in the meantime, I won’t stop trying to help him come to that realization and if you know someone who is going through similar issues, I hope you don’t stop trying either!
Until next time…