addiction helpChances are that you or someone you know has struggled with an addiction at some point. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), about 24 million people, that's 1 of every 10 Americans over the age of 12, is addicted to alcohol or other drugs. Nationwide, there are roughly as many people with substance abuse problems as there are people living in Texas. Sadly, only 11% of them seek treatment.

If you or anyone has ever struggled with an addiction, then you know what a heartbreaking ordeal it can be. Seeing the struggle of a person you love when he or she cannot seem to let go of something that is harming him or her is almost impossible to watch. You want nothing more than for him or her to get better and overcome the addiction. Unfortunately, as you probably already know, it is not that simple.

Addiction has a way of grabbing hold of people, and it isn't a grasp that is easily broken. That being said, it is possible to overcome the worst of addictions. There are people who are able to overcome their alcohol, drug, pornography, and eating disorder addictions every day.

It's important for you and the person battling the addiction to not give up hope, and that is harder to do than it sounds. It's very common for someone in recovery to revert back to old habits. It's easy to take this personally since you are putting in your own time, work, and patience to help this person. As a close friend or family member, there are some things you can do to help encourage your loved one to seek help, as well as keep you from blaming yourself.

Face the Fact**


It is often hard for someone to admit they are addicted to something. Sometimes, they don't even realize it. What's sad is that many who are close with the addicts don't see it at first either. An alcoholic's family may notice that he or she is drinking a lot more at holiday parties, perhaps relying on alcohol to get through hard times. It doesn't seem like too much of an issue until a family gathering is missed, or the addict loses his or her job.

It's obviously important for the addict to realize the problem, but others around him or her need to see it too. Oftentimes, it's interventions with the loved ones that help open the addict's eyes.

Find a Good Balance

help Being close with an addict is a dangerous thing. Even if you aren't at risk for becoming an addict yourself, you can become a slave to what the addict wants if you aren't careful. He or she may be asking you for money, asking you for a place to crash, or even ask you to lie for him or her.

Since you don't want to enable a person's addiction, it's important to know where to draw the line. If you offer a place to stay, set some expectations. Don't lie for a person if it has to do with his or her addiction. People often begin abusive behaviors because they lack an adequate support system in the first place. While you don't want to enable the addiction, you want to be there for your loved one so he or she doesn't feel abandoned.

There are a few different ways you can do this:

  • Offer to be someone to talk to

  • Encourage him or her to enter a rehab program

  • Give him or her someplace to stay if you are comfortable with it

  • Invite him or her to church or another community of accountability like a support group

Don't Try to Fix Him or Her

While you want to do everything you can to help your addicted loved one to get better, there is nothing you can do to "fix" him or her. A person has to be willing to overcome the addiction in order for it to happen. Detoxing from alcohol and other drugs in particular can be a very difficult thing. It will be a physically painful and emotionally challenging battle, so he or she needs to have the right mindset. It is not your responsibility to cure him or her. Realizing that this isn't your responsibility will hopefully lift a burden off of you.

The Serenity Prayer often recited at meetings of the support group Alcoholics Anonymous not only describes a helpful mindset for those struggling with addiction, but also to friends and family that are assisting them.

"God, Give us the grace to accept with serenity
the things that cannot be changed, Courage
to change the things which should be changed,
And the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."

Remember People Are More Than Their Addiction

You probably knew this person before addiction drew him or her in. Hopefully, you remember that people are more than their addiction. This can help you when things get really hard. There are times when addicts are very unlikable. They may say things they don't mean, they may try to manipulate you, and they may shut you out when you refuse to enable them. It's a very difficult thing, but hopefully you can understand it's the addiction talking and not the person. Try to hold out hope that there will be a time when your loved one will once again be him or herself again.

Going through addiction is very difficult, but it can be equally hard on close friends and family members. While you can't change anyone, try to hold out hope that the addict in your life will seek help and overcome the addiction.


  1. Rick's Avatar Rick

    Shockingly, a pretty good article.

  1. James Williams's Avatar James Williams

    Gambling addiction was not mentioned and can be one of the MOST terrible kinds if addictions!

    1. Marc's Avatar Marc

      I believe that was covered although it wasn't specifically mentioned...

  1. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

    Sadly, another kind of addiction is the one who has been abused during their formative years and so, finds a source of love...of comfort. That can be in a destructive lifestyle or it can be trying to find that "one" person who will provide comfort. Unfortunately, many of the people that are chosen to be that "one" also have addiction issues, which the hurting person turns a blind eye to. They literally are enabling themselves because they need to have that fix of their own cared for. They hate feeling left out, they hate feeling as if they don't matter, all the while being abused by another's words/actions/deeds. I know this for a fact because I lived that life for 42 years! I tried so hard to be lovable that I ignored my own need and lost that sense of who I was. I did the most depraved things just to BE loved....and in the end, when I was left alone, in my vulnerability, I realized that to become strong, I had to give up being needy for guys who only had their own selfish desires at heart. I told myself that I did not need, nor did I want a man to feel validated...I could give myself kudos! I was strong...I was woman and hear me roar! Whew! How freeing was that? It was magnificent! and it was after I finally accepted MYSELF that I found someone who could love me for strings attached. I didn't have to be anyone's slave...buying them alcohol, doing depraved sex acts or anything else....and I learned that I could say "no" and mean it and not take it personally if another walked away. I had value. I had worth. Today I am happier than I have ever been. It is in our struggles that we can be set free....we can become that proverbial butterfly...but it takes that recognition of finally hitting bottom, no matter what the addiction is...and realizing that now you truly have nowhere to go--but UP.

    1. HeidiAnne Leon's Avatar HeidiAnne Leon

      Good for you! You wrote so honestly from the heart. I used to drink, but stopped drinking Dec 31. 1998. i had a lot of hard times since then, but going back to drinking won't happen. I love the Lord, myself, my kids, and my fiance too much to throw this gift away. God bless. Hug hug

      1. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

        Congratulations to you on your sobriety. We all have only one day- today--so make the most of it by being the best that you can be to yourself as well as towards others!!

    2. Gaia's Avatar Gaia

      How courageous of you Diane! May your life filled with love and light always!

    3. Dane Millanta's Avatar Dane Millanta

      Diane You are one very very special beautiful, strong person. May you be blessed with all things good & the happiness you deserve. Thank you for sharing!

  1. hsw's Avatar hsw

    A good article except that intervention was treated a bit too casually. Intervention shouldn't be attempted without the support of a professional, and some serious preparation. Those doing the intervention need to be prepared for any outcome, including the possibility that the addict may choose to break all ties with them and continue down the self-destructive road he or she is on. It's a very effective tool, just not something to be taken lightly or entered into casually.

  1. Dawn Bradbury's Avatar Dawn Bradbury

    It is like you knew I needed this! My partner is an alcoholic and I am at the end of the road with him. After 15 years, it is time to look after me.

    1. Gaia's Avatar Gaia

      It is very wise of you. Yes, it is time to look after you and I trust that you will make it! If you login to Derek O'Neill has several books from get a grip. One of them is "Addiction". It is a pocket size and full of practical wisdom. Good luck in your healing journey.

      1. janeforrest's Avatar janeforrest

        Gaia al anon will help you greatly. Its just for you and you can work a 12 step programme which will help you recover from being addicted to an addict

    2. Minister Julian's Avatar Minister Julian

      Hi Dawn. This is indeed an interesting article. I was an alcoholic and quit four years ago. I first wrote a book called 'I Don't Drink' to help others quit and so far many thousands have copied my example. But I realised there are countless others who enjoy alcohol far too much to want to quit. I was the same before things mounted up and I decided enough was enough. My new book called 'One Less for the Road' is aimed at the drinker who doesn't want to quit. It breaks life down into all the components parts work, relationships, etc and talks about the positives of living drink free rather than focusing on the negative health issues that alcoholics don't want to hear. This may well be worth pointing him at if he won't listen to you. I am also someone who KNOWS that quitting alcohol does not mean a life of denial or having to go to meetings to stay sober. If you create the right mind-set you will never want a drink again, just like when you quit smoking you wouldn't want to go back to that either. No-one walks around with the ex-smoker label so why should drinkers? All the best, Julian

    3. GINGER H's Avatar GINGER H

      The Alanon Family Groups offer support and a path to renewed self-esteem. It is a great way to learn healthy self care.

  1. Maria Fire's Avatar Maria Fire

    I love many people suffering with the mental illness of addiction (usually combined with other diagnoses). I am particularly sad that society, for the most part, still views addicts as immoral people rather than people suffering with a genuine illness. (The film "Than Anonymous People" produced by Faces and Voices of Recovery is an excellent documentary of the history of how our country has failed to invest enough in research and treatment in this realm.) The diagnosis of addiction only recently became expanded and more definitely defined: DSM is the manual used by clinicians and researchers to diagnose and classify mental disorders; and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) published DSM-5 in 2013, culminating a 14-year revision process. For more information, go to

    All mental illnesses can cause shame and denial in sufferers and loathing in non-sufferers because of the severe stigma it carries. It is often hard to separate the person from hurtful acts towards one self and others generated by their disease process. However, what is so terribly sad is that our country has not invested in research (as it did 40 years ago for cancer) to create a reliable social net of support and treatment that is widely accepted, available and affordable. This is a political issue, to develop the will to do so. Otherwise, most often the illness and it's repercussions for patients, family and society will continue to cause unremitting suffering and financial drain for all of us.

  1. Reverend Robert's Avatar Reverend Robert

    Like you, Maria, I Love and have loved people suffering with the physical illness of addiction. The underlying cause of a persons illness may be a mental condition, but I disagree that addiction is a mental illness. It is also, in my opinion, not a political issue, a financial issue, a legal issue or cultural issue. This happens to people of all walks of life, rich, poor, educated, privileged, healthy or sick. The problem we have is trying to eradicate the symptoms instead of the cause of the addition. What is it that drives someone to drink to excess? Why does use drugs? Can't you just stop gambling? It is much deeper and very difficult to uncover in the addict. They are in denial, like their addiction and believe it is the only way to lift themselves out of their drab and bleak daily life.
    As young teens our children lost their mother to alcoholism. She died at age 40. My 23 year old son abuses drugs, and in an effort to help him reserved a place in a treatment center. He said "would you take a tiger out of the jungle, put him in a cage and tell him it was because you cared for him?" He no longer speaks to me, but I have hope and prayers.

  1. Falula's Avatar Falula

    Thank You for mentioning AA (Alcoholic Anonymous). I am a grateful member of Al-Anon. Al-Anon is an anonymous support group that offers help to families and friends of alcoholics to recover from the effects of living with the problem drinking of a relative or friend. No one has to do it alone and we are not alone.

    1. Satori's Avatar Satori

      Thank you! I was going to mention Al-Anon as well. I was addicted TO someone with drug, alcohol and sex addiction. I tried for nearly four years on my own to leave him. I'm an intelligent, professional, attractive woman. And yet, I couldn't do it. I came to believe his image of me and I felt I didn't deserve better. For a lot of the time, I didn't feel I even deserved him!

      "Seeing the struggle of a person you love when he or she cannot seem to let go of something that is harming him or her is almost impossible to watch." My mother, co-workers and friends outside of Al-Anon would certainly echo those words in regards to me.

      For me, Al-Anon saved my life... Well, it helped ME to save my own life. With the help of my sponsor and others in the group, I found my self-esteem and began to build a world, a structure, a life of my own outside of him. By working the program and gulp learning to ask others for help when I needed it, I was able to get out of that relationship alive and stop a life-long cycle of abuse.

  1. Maria Fire's Avatar Maria Fire

    I am so frustrated that I just hit "post reply" and it deleted my comment, which was LONG. Will try again.

    I actually think we are in agreement with one another. With my comment I only wanted to expand the view of this illness to include the components of needed medical research for treatment and the social stigma that causes shame and blame to inhibit addicts from getting help. Bill Moyers's son Cope wrote a memoir of being an addict called "Broken." In his prologue, he talks about his father hunting him down in his late 30's in a slum house. As they leave in the car together, Bill Moyers says to Cope that he hates him. Cope Moyers writes that he remembers looking in his fathers eyes and "speaking my deepest truth" which was: "I hate me, too." My favorite book because of it's incredible comprehensive overview is "In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts" written by Gabor Mate, MD.

    I referred to cancer treatment because there was a recent NPR program that said addiction treatment is 40 years behind cancer treatment because we haven't invested in necessary research and treatment. Forty years ago there was very little available for cancer in general. Today it is recognized that cancer is not a single disease, but 437 different diseases (like the categories of viruses and bacteria.) Studies are in progress for specific medications for addicts to aid in their recoveries/maintenance. My neuroscientist friend and I hope that in the not too distant future there will be individualized medical treatment plans available for addicts as there are now for so many cancer patients.

    Both my parents were addicts and died young. One sibling went to treatment and got into recovery at 28. Another is lost in her illness. My brother is homeless on the streets at 63. My multiple relapsing son went to treatment twice and has tried various medications. He has struggled mightily. He overdosed and later attempted suicide in his early 30's. My middle son spent a year in prison due to actions taken while in black out. He was clean and sober for 4 years before dying of cancer at 35. My youngest son became sober at 21 and is now 34 (no relapses.) I was diligent with my sons at puberty and discerned that they were all 3 starting to use. My husband and I relentlessly required family counseling and held boundaries by giving the repercussions we could; so all my children were well-informed about what was known about it and what kind of assistance was available.

    My youngest son and I both believe, from all that we have witnessed and experienced, that the idea of a continuum of illness makes total sense. It holds true in all illnesses. My youngest son believes the pain he suffered and suffers that led him to seek relief in substances was not at the level of his brothers. I am an agitated depressive. When I was a teenager, if any substance had given me relief from my internal neurological disturbances, I would certainly have used at that point. I tried, but nothing "medicated" my pain. Through neurological brain testing I was told my brain looked/acted like an addicts brain, and yet I never found relief with anything I tried. Genetics and what other myriad factors?!

    I don't believe I can ever truly know understand the depth of physical suffering any addict experiences. I don't believe any of them want to be addicts at their core. I believe, from my own life experiences, observations and research that folks who fail to recover with the help of community resources, including 12-step programs, SMART and suffer so mightily with the discomfort of the disease that they are driven back to the only relief they can find--the use of the substance that works with their specific neurology to ease their chronic suffering. I also make a story that those who resist all forms of help are shamed and terrified to the point that both their physical and emotional suffering overpowers their ability to seek help. (Also, research has shown that young humans do not have fully connected and mature brains until around 25 years of age. This means they have weaker impulse control and are propelled into poorer choice-making in general. One example is that adult males must be 25 to rent a car because of the greater risk of them having accidents.)

    Thanks for your on-target essay! We need so much more public discussion about how to deal with this complex illness.

    1. Patrick Dieter's Avatar Patrick Dieter

      In reply to Maria Fire: Well said! As a retired addictions counselor, AND a cancer survivor, I see your point.Actually, the research is not so far behind, it's just not being put into practice. I believe I know WHY the industry is so far behind. First, there are still many people who sincerely and deeply believe that addiction is a moral or personal failing or weakness, rather than a disease. These are the same people who believe that Asthma, allergies, chronic pain, fibromyalgia, etc. are all "hypochondria" and if people just had the will power, they'd just "snap out of it."

      The second reason is far more ominous. Addiction treatment and criminal justice are hopelessly enmeshed at this point, due to the wrong-headed War on Drugs. This heavily underlines the false concept that drug use is a criminal or moral issue. Yes, there is a lot of crime associated with the drug trade. There was a lot of crime associated with alcohol as well. AFTER prohibition. Before that, crime wasn't an organized corporation like it became during the 20's. Today's drug cartels are no different. They are CREATED by our drug laws, and history shows that the War on Drugs has been extremely effective ... at throwing gasoline on the fire.

      When I worked in the treatment industry, my hands were often tied by the fact that much of our work was either funded by, or dictated by the criminal justice system. Thus, much of the most effective treatment methods were not acceptable. The government was enamored of a very limited version of CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) which assumes that healing can occur merely by changing one's thinking. This is sometimes true, but NOT particularly for addiction, since the brain is hijacked at a level far deeper than the level of conscious thought.

      Finally, things are vastly complicated by the stranglehold of the 12-step community. While it can be helpful, it's NOT the only way to do things. Many people are directly harmed by adopting such self-loathing mantras as "I am Powerless" or "I am constitutionally incapable of rigorous honesty" or the worst one of all "I must inventory my character flaws." Until the industry expands beyond the limits of the 12-step philosophy and the criminal justice system, we are unlikely to see the ACTUAL proven technology put into regular practice.

  1. Gerri's Avatar Gerri

    Help them back to the path of life ! Sometimes it's by example & sometimes it's tough love..always with kindness & caring

  1. Patrick Dieter's Avatar Patrick Dieter

    As a retired Addictions Therapist, I support MOST of what you shared here. I especially appreciate that you didn't offer 12 step as the only way to do things. True, it can be great for some, despite being laced through with self-shaming affirmation.

    I am a bit concerned, however, that you suggest that interventions "open their eyes." Yes, it MIGHT work, but I can assure you that it almost always causes severe complications in a person's recovery, sometimes resulting in many multiple treatment episodes. No matter how "professionally" it's done, it cannot help but boil down to a hard PUSH, negating the addict's need to make the decision internally. It's tempting, I know. Families want so badly to take decisive action, and vent their frustrations. Based on my experience, and also on science, interventions are usually counterproductive, trading long term success for the surface appearance of short term success. Addicts have a brain disorder that causes them to feel like not using will kill them. This occurs on a very primitive level, triggering desperation and "fight or flight" responses. Desperate people lie easily, and addicts do it well. Faced with intervention, the addicted brain will do what it takes to placate the people involved, until they can resume using in peace.

    YES, people can recover. NO, they cannot be hurried. I once had a patient come to see me for over 10 months before finally starting the conversation about cutting down or quitting. That person is now 12 years sober. Why did the visits continue? Because I never once judged, pushed, pulled, or initiated the change talk.

  1. Mark's Avatar Mark

    I have been working full time as a paramedic for the past 20 years. Over the course of those years I have witnessed first hand the toll that drug and alcohol abuse can have in the abuser, their families, and friends. I feel a tremendous calling to obtain the knowledge, education, and certification to be in the position to counsel and minister to those who need help. A fear that I have is since I have not have walked in the shoes of the addicted, except for a nephew who for a little while walked that path, will the folks I sincerely want to help will want to listen to me since my experience consists of the desire to help, education, and paramedic experience? I know you don't have to have cancer to become an oncologist. I am hoping that same thought process is true within the substance abuse treatment community. Thank you in advance for any comments and suggestions!!! Mark

  1. Laurence's Avatar Laurence

    Awesome talk. Talking about addiction is not easy and there is a world of ignorance and misunderstanding around addiction especially when it comes to lack of love and tolerance. Addiction/Alcoholism is an illness rooted in Lack of Power not lack of knowledge or morality. What does that mean? For an abnormal drinker and or drug user or gambling addict or sex addict or even a co-dependent etc. There is an affect produced from the substance or juice from a person or gambling, that offers a type of relief that is only found by that thing to that person. Often addicted persons are able friendly intelligent people so it is tragically baffling as we watch this phenomenon occur in anyone but more so with a loved one we know. Addiction is an illness of the Body (cravings, abnormal reaction to the substance, loss of control, mal-nutrition, etc.), the Mind (obsession, illusions, delusions, compulsive behavior, peculiar mental twists, etc. And the least understood of all this Spiritual or Internal Lack of Power (disconnection from normalcy, inability to control ones emotional nature, discontentment no matter how much love or material wealth or how many accomplishments one has, pray to misery and depression, irritability, restlessness, and so on). So once an understanding of this is in place and a solution is offered that treats the whole person, then wellness can begin. Its like any other illness a thorough diagnosis must be taken before a solution can be offered. The difficulty with addiction is that the dependence is so strong, you either have to wait for a desperate cry for help by the person suffering, or provide an effective intervention that as someone else mentioned can backfire or pray that the individual gets to a place where he or she is willing to honestly admit they have a problem they cant solve? Addiction is a deadly illness and more and more becoming an epidemic in oir society. Treatment programs merely treat the symptoms, the spiritual aspect is hardly touched on and regulations and capital gains goals often interefere with proper care and concern for the suffering person as well. So what is the solution? Love, proper education, understanding, tolerance, willingness to be more concerned with helping to save the life of the person suffering and find a solution that treats the whole person than we are to be resentfully concerned with the symptoms that may disturb us. We all have some form of shortcoming, sin, defective aspect of our character, but when it comes to addiction it is a particular illness that has to be treated from the inside out and if Lack of Power is the root, then loving someone beyond their shortcomings and helping to introduce the person to a Power greater than themselves which will solve that problem must be at least part of the solution? Its definitely a great starting point. Its going to take all of us to work together and be an attraction to those who suffer. Conventional methods only seem to make the problem worse. As a minister and a recovered ex-problem drinker/drug user of 16 years myself, I am humbly aware of the fact that I alone will only ever be able to reach a small number, but if we can somehow all come together "Where 2 or more are gathered together in His Name hopefully There He will be in the midst and eventually we will make an effective difference". We offer help gor anyone at and I Minister Laurence can be reached there 24/7 to support encourage and offer referral services prayer counseling support etc. Altruistically to anyone who wants it. Peace and Blessings to all and May that which has all Power Bless and Love and Save us All, that we may pass it on!

    1. Jimi Pearsall's Avatar Jimi Pearsall

      Wow that makes the most sense out of all I have read on this page. I am an alcoholic addict. I did not have a alcohol or drug problem I had a drug and alcohol solution. I had a hole in me the size of God. Finding my spirituality has healed that hole I no longer drink or use drugs. And I no longer want to. The alcohol and drugs are only a symptom of the real problem. The real problem for me was lack of spirituality. God helps those who ask.

  1. Gwendolyn Lord's Avatar Gwendolyn Lord

    The child of parents who drank, the partner for 15 years of a person who smoked pot and moved on to crack at the end....and friend to many over the years with substance abuse issues. Myself in recovery for food issues (binge and purge, secret eating, over eating, obsessed with food. Used to weigh 321 at my heaviest...lost 90 lbs to try to get a grip, and by the Grace of Spirit, did so.) Abuse, addiction, so inter-woven and culturally acceptable to some degree. Smoking is chic and sophisticated, getting drunk is fun, pot is cool, other drugs are okay to play with, look at Keith Richards, he is still alive, and food---Pushed via very TV commercial and super-sized while stuffed with sugar, salt and chemicals. We are all victims of this to some degree. However, the key IS to fight back, take it one day at a time, and at least try to overcome. Family/friends/lovers/partners....You cannot cure the person. It is truly a disease on some levels (neurotransmitters in the brain seek relief and stimulus) as well as most self-medicating for pain, depression, anxiety, or undiagnosed issues such as bi-polar, autism spectrum, and other mental health problems. Read "Chasing the Scream" about the unsuccessful war on drugs, and the motivating factors in addictive processes. All that said...We are each responsible for our OWN SOULS journey. We cannot heal, save or salvage other people. It is too easy to become enmeshed and codependent with those that are afflicted. Be kind, offer advice when asked, offer support in seeking counseling or medical intervention, but lock up the valuables, and put yourself first! Healing, recovery, freedom, must be sought by the person themselves. It cannot be forced, wished for, or demanded. It is that souls journey to seek wellness. Sad, but true. Sometimes one has to go to the abyss, and realize that there has to be self imposed behaviors and changes to reach up and out, towards the light.

  1. Paul's Avatar Paul

    It is a very sad thing when we have doctors that do not understand addiction treating people in pain management. There is a big difference as pointed out in the article about what addiction is, yet those of us that need pain medications to function, and also need them so we can feel things other than pain is just not understood.

    I really would like it if someone would fix my problems and so would everyone else that lives with Chronic pain. I don't like taking pills, and never have. It comes to a choice do you take a pill that somewhat dulls the senses, or try to make do when you are hurting so bad that you can barely move, it feels much like getting hold of live wires and at the same time you have a knife in your back.

    Only reasons that I see that myself and many others are in this situation is that it is not possible to fix, or the most likely thing is that those in medical care would prefer that people be in so much pain that death looks to be a much preferable alternative to going on with the pain, and that none of us are worth the money to help.

    This comes to mind as in may cases it is nearly impossible these days to sue a doctor for misdiagnosis, even when they are so poor of a doctor that they do not know the difference between asthma and pneumonia as many doctors with Kaiser. The only thing I have found is that they are good for taking our hard earned income and using it to build fantastic monuments to their greed, and the people that they are treating really do not matter.

    Myself and many millions of others know that we are not addicts, but users of medications so that we can be a part of society. Typically from my personal experience in dealing with people with addictions, they do it because it is a form of escape from the world so they can exist in a place away from others. I have to admit pain is far more of an addiction from the standpoint of an addiction, as pain takes people away from the things that they enjoy in life. Also there are some people that seek out pain from dangerous things, just like any addict with drugs trying to find their high.

    It would be great to have a body again where I could do things such as run and jump, be able to be close to someone that I love without feeling as I had been kicked in the back from a horse. Yet some think I'm an addict, just because I can't stand the pain any longer.

    The hoops that we are now asked to jump though keep getting higher, and it is difficult at best when a person is worn down and has less income as a result of the pain. I'm just hoping that I can outlive my elderly parents, and my ageing wife.

  1. St's Avatar St

    Thankyou.. All the comments and stories.. Good grist for the mill!

  1. Brother John's Avatar Brother John

    Alongside alcohol and illicit drug addiction are the legal, prescribed and socially acceptable drugs. In most instances, the "intervention" has been professional, prescribed and encouraged by friends and family. The statistics are astounding, particularly those involving youth…

    Reading through the potential side effects of a commonly prescribed drug, Prozac, you can find the following… restlessness, anxiety, confusion, mood or behaviour changes, suicidal thoughts, hyperactive behaviour and abnormal dreams to name but a few. It is one of the antidepressants approved for use by children. Ritalin has similar warnings. Ambien warnings include somnambulant (while sleeping) activities including driving and sex. Incredibly you are told to report any activities that you can't remember to your physician immediately.

    Here are some of the results of psychotropic drugs. As you scroll down, notice the drugs they'd been prescribed. Who is to blame for these tragedies?

    1. Paul's Avatar Paul

      Interesting that you point out one of the problems with many medications, remembering to tell your doctor about them. That is when the medications basically function to cause people to not remember, and not be able to think about what they are doing.

      This reminds me of celibrex, since I have chronic pain this was prescribed for me, and I was stoned beyond belief with just one at the lowest dosage. I refuse to take anymore of these medications where they are basically designed to mess with the mind. I can't meditate, concentrate, or do anything else productive without a clear mind.

      I have to agree many of the so called good drugs are designed to mess up peoples mind and are far more dangerous than schedule 2 and in many cases schedule 1 medications, as they remove the ability of people to think clearly. This means a clear and present danger, and with the mind not working correct people do loose the ability to make the best choices and have little in the way of inhibitions. Where we see what happens to people when they take too much speed, and I've known many that used speed (some have even passed on from abusing it). All of the others from looking at them none would know, no skin damage or anything else. Most things that are regulated that I have read in the PDR and other sources is done so because if someone has a weak mind they can easily get abuse them or become addicted. Quite often profit is also behind it, as profit is more important to many than the lives of other people.

      If anyone has read the papers and online about Kaiser psychology patients committing suicide, this is because the people with psychological problems need one on one help. Not group and put on psychoactive medications with little monitoring. If the dosage is low there usually is little problems from what I have seen from people that I know, but at the higher dosages we need to be vigilant and watch out for our loved ones and others. They will not know necessarily that they are having problems, and will need our help.

      The only drug that I have ever had an addiction to and withdrawal problems is Caffeine. The same as many others all over the world. I don't want things that make me worse off in my life, and that is what anyone can get by having a doctor and insurance in this country (as your best interests are not the same their main interests). They are interested in cutting costs, and selling drugs much like any drug dealer. Also many doctors in the USA get tuition and fee assistance from the pharmaceutical companies, and other things as well to get them to prescribe medications that are expensive and have more problems than the older medications that the patents have expired on.

      This was also a problem thousands of years ago, as is obvious from scripture. Matthew 19, in reference to a camel going through the eye of a needle.

      23 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven.

      24 And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.

      It is not the wealth or the money that weighs people down, but the evil that people will do to others to earn it. Keep in mind, the medical industry is much bigger than our military budget, including all the black project costs (that have been made public).

  1. Jon's Avatar Jon

    Decent and informative article. Only one thing to add: anyone who is working with or living with an addict absolutely MUST get into an "anon" program, of which the prototype is Al-Anon. I absolutely have to attend since I am dealing more now with my addict son. His mother, however, as an Adult Child of Alcoholics, is as resistant to 12 step as is he. Denial is one the hardest things to break through so that one can just simply accept the help that is the offered, the help that works.

    1. Paul's Avatar Paul

      12 step and similar are trading one addiction for another in the basic sense.

      1. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

        I know people who have been sober who have done just that; they have traded addiction towards a substance or alcohol with something healthier. Is that a bad thing? One person I know became a motorcycle freak. He works on them, rides them and attends cycle shows. Another became an equine specialist and works with horses as well as people who have addiction issues. Yet another has become very active in the music industry, writing and recording songs to raise money towards awareness of sex trafficking in Pakistan. Still others become very active in the church. They need a focus, a reason to wake up each day and not hit the source that caused their downfall. If it is a 12 step program or something else...what is the harm in that?

        1. Paul's Avatar Paul

          Sorry for the misunderstanding, I was just pointing out something that people should be aware of that they are doing (good or bad). Th key component with an addiction is psychological, and if it is a vice. That the vice is doing them harm. It took my dad multiple doctors to tell him any more beer and it will kill him. That was because of the liver damage over many decades of drinking. He did go to AA and other programs none of them helped. He was one of the few that I know that has not died yet from his addiction to a vice. Also addiction is why some are so annoying when it comes to faith, they are so into their own faith that they are not able to accept that others with a different faith is works for them. All comes down to a matter of perspective, and knowing what you are actually doing vs what they believe what they are doing.

        2. hsw's Avatar hsw

          Addiction/compulsion takes many forms - the things you speak of indeed channel that energy into positive forms, and that's not a bad thing, ever. The archetype of the "wounded healer" is legend - those who recovered choosing to help others in recovery. It's how they stay sober.

          Whether that "replacement" is a meeting or a healthy activity, it's necessary to maintaining sobriety.

          Even those who say they "found Jesus" and now lead others to faith are replacing one compulsion with another.

    2. Patrick Dieter's Avatar Patrick Dieter

      Words like "must" "should" and "shouldn't" are classic examples of black-and-white thinking that is so common among those who suffer from addiction. As I mentioned earlier, I have seen the 12 step process do real harm to SOME. Saying it is a must is a setup for toxic shame. I am living proof that you don't need the steps to get sober. Having provided addiction treatment to thousands of people, I strongly suggest that "the program" is directly responsible for many relapses, and has played a part in a number of suicides; decent people despairing over their "character flaws." If it works for you, then God bless, but don't be shoving it down people's throats. You're liable to hurt someone.

  1. Kingsley chimtuwa luke's Avatar Kingsley chimtuwa luke

    When have some one who is addited of some act of the world, he or she should be brought closer to us, for we to be able to discuss and help us to know what normally takes him or her to that act, he or she should not be molised or insult in anyway, with this we may be able to solve or handle the case by handling it totally out of the persons live,

  1. Dennis E. Loucks's Avatar Dennis E. Loucks

    Sometimes in order to help an addict you have to step back and care for yourself. They may fall hard at this point but if you haven't taken care of yourself and readied yourself to make hard choices you'll not be of any help and can fall into the role of enabler. I had to take an 8 month "break" from my partner to get myself in shape mentally to support him emotionally. The first and hardest step you will face is deep anger and attempted guilt trips from your loved one. You will need the strength to let these kinds of behavior slide off you with out letting go of your loved one. One outburst after I re-engaged with my partner I remember holding him as he smashed his phone cursing me. I held him tight to my chest and assured him that no matter if he hated me, I would always love him and do my best to keep him from throwing his life away. He's been clean 3 years thanks to his own hard work. I am very proud of him and happy that my support was allowed. Never quit loving.

    1. Diane Baum's Avatar Diane Baum

      this is a beautiful testimony! I wrote a book ("There but for the Grace of God (plus a few good friends & family) Go I") in which I pointed out this same thing: we cannot just toss our loved ones to the curb when they have addiction issues. I know, many would say that goes against the grain of common sense, but if you do cast that person aside, what have you accomplished? It is better to try and face this head on rather than step aside and watch that person crash. This in NO way means that if that person is being abusive towards others, is driving under the influence or stealing to support a habit do you stick around to see what happens next! In that case, intervention is needed and necessary.

    2. Deborah's Avatar Deborah

      Amen Denise! I really is hard! I agree. I have an addict boyfriend of 7 years. I just had to let him go. He said he would go into rehab but who knows if he really is or not. I haven't had any contact with him since he didn't pay his phone bill. I pray for all the addicts to have strength to over come this spirit of bondage. If only they could see.

  1. earl's Avatar earl

    I replaced my addiction with Jesus, I was a gang leader, now I'm a brother in Christ Jesus . I put Jesus at the center of my life, and mentally through out my addiction, I read the scriptures everyday and night, addictions can be a firm of spiritual warfare that many don't want to talk about or admit or say. I mean who wants to admit that theirs a demon in that bottle, or one in that gambling table or slot machine, or in that needle wanting to get in your arm, or that pipe to suck up that demon in the smoke, its all destructive my brothers and sisters, destroys your family and yourself. Spiritual warfare. Pray to Jesus to be healed and he will heal you. Ask and you shall be healed

    1. Deborah's Avatar Deborah

      I am so happy for you! Now you can help others. You're light for a dying world. Thank you for fighting for the "right" side.

      God Bless You Deb

  1. eliud colbath's Avatar eliud colbath

    Christ said it best. The things of Caesar to Caesar.the things of god to god. If you believe in the bibles words which is gods.then there is no other answer.Gods word is the ultimate .

  1. Renaldo Graves's Avatar Renaldo Graves

    Greater is he that is within me than he that is in the world. All things are possible through the knowing power of Christ. Once I got my want to saved it became easy for me to give up drugs. I was bound for 30 years. God pulled me out of my mess and through prayer I have developed a relationship with him. Now I witness to others what God has done for me and let them know that they can change their lives as well.

  1. Deborah's Avatar Deborah

    Addiction is a very negative action on ones body, mind and spirit and because addiction and all that goes with it is very negative in the actions an addict takes whether it is lying, stealing, controlling, manipulating, etc...It draws spirits of the same negative sort. I have a friend that was the best con-man ever because of his addiction. As time went on he drifted into things that I found horrible that others that were on that level complimented him for. One instance a woman was in a car accident and he ran over to her. You would think it would be to help her but no, it was to act as if he was going to help her but instead he stole her wallet. He was called very slick but this path drew to him negative spirits, which we started seeing and paranormal things started to happen. It was at this point that I explained to him what was happening to him and he needed to really change his life and the karma he was drawing needed to be reversed also. He stole a whole lot of money from me and pawned my things, he stole my car and sold it for parts. Now I believe he is in a rehab and I pray he is. I hope anyone who is in an addiction thinks about what you draw to yourself. Please start believing in yourself! You are more than your addiction You are a spark of light. Don't let addiction put out that light!

  1. Minister Julian's Avatar Minister Julian

    In developing more material for the workshop which builds on my book ‘I Don’t Drink!’, I have been discussing habits and have concluded that excessive drinking is actually a habit. As far as habits go something you love doing is called an addiction and something you hate doing is called a phobia. In my view alcoholism is not a disease, and the alcohol monster isn’t something that lurks mysteriously behind you waiting to swoop once you have quit, and consequently you have to spend the rest of your life avoiding going anywhere near the stuff as AA would have you believe. Instead, the habit that is drinking can be replaced by the habit of not drinking, which is what I have very effectively managed to do.

    I thought about this (and the reason for the awful picture is there to support the fact), and when I was about sixteen years old, I would go to the local pub every night (I never did homework), drink three pints of Worthington E (a beer I loved the taste of), stagger home about ten o’ clock and go to bed. As I lay down in bed the room would start to spin, I would come out in a muck sweat, and lay there in misery for at least two hours. I would then summon the willpower to go and throw up in the toilet, after which I felt well enough to fall asleep and the spinning would slow down.

    Why did I do this every single night? I have no idea. Was I escaping from being at home and having to do homework? Was I doing it because I could get away with it as my parents were always away on business and so I effectively lived alone? I certainly loved the taste of the beer although I couldn’t afford to buy it so had to steal the money from Mum’s hoard of cash. Was it because I had nothing else constructive to do and so it became a habit? I had no friends where I lived as my school was two hours away by train, I didn’t belong to any clubs or anything, so maybe I was seeking solace with the old guys who would play darts with me. Maybe I was just lonely. Whatever the reason, why did I always drink too much knowing that I would be sick later – I hated being sick.

    I know I have been a heavy drinker ever since those days (until I quit in 2012) although I gave up on the Worthington E, and looking back on it I suppose drinking just became something I did because I had always done it. Just like I always smoked back then as well, but then everyone seemed to in the 1970’s.

    I can certainly relate to the fact that if something else had been there to replace the drinking back then, that could have become a habit instead. That could have been sport, a more local school that offered evening activities and local friends, or even a girlfriend but that was only in my wildest dreams.

    I can also see now that in quitting drinking and without really thinking about it I have adopted a host of new habits. These include always having a large glass of water with my meal, always writing at least 1000 words per day of whatever book I have on the go, swimming every day unless it is karate night, and going for a walk late in the evening regardless of the weather. I am not obsessive about any of these to the extent they have become addictions but they are certainly habits that get due consideration every day. I can also easily relate to my not drinking being a habit, and certainly not one I want to break.

  1. kratom free shipping's Avatar kratom free shipping

    thanks for posting this it is a great read. My son was a bad heroin addict for many years..Its so hard to watch someone destroy themselves and you can't do anything about it. He eventually found kratom tea and that helped him through a bad detox. there is hope out there!

    1. hsw's Avatar hsw

      As I understand it, kratom is on the way to being a Schedule 1 drug. While I don't necessarily agree with that, it's going to be law, and promoting it at this point is somewhat irresponsible IMHO. In addition, based on your screen name, you are promoting something you seem to have a financial interest in, and this just isn't the place to do that. If I'm wrong, and you just like the words "free shipping," my apologies in advance.

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