Addiction has no boundaries; it swarms in like swat and gets the job done. In this case, the drug or behavior gets you hooked. The first thing that is stolen is your mind: your reward center in your brain essentially tells you “forget your boring past, I want me some more XYZ.” Then you get more XYZ and the rest is history.
This is followed by your body: it often feels relaxed while using a drug or participating in an addicting activity. This good feeling is provided by your brain; you can’t complain, especially while on opioids. The last thing that is stolen is your soul. By this time, the drug or addicting activity has changed who you are as a person; you have been transformed into a new character.
Parents of addicted loved ones are experiencing a living nightmare. Can you imagine how difficult it is for them to see their son or daughter transformed into an addict? They were once that little boy or girl who was running around in the playground or being tucked into bed for a comfy afternoon nap, looking back into their eyes saying, “I love you mommy!”
But this is what addiction does: it not only destroys the user but the family unit. It is often very difficult for parents to ever accept their addicted loved one back into their life. The great pain which they have experienced has led them to create a barrier from their addicted loved ones, in order to prevent any more suffering.
Addiction is a very difficult mental disease to live with for everybody involved: the addict is clearly suffering but so is the family. Many would argue that the family suffers more because they have to bear the pain and frustration of seeing their addicted loved one collapsing into pieces. At least the addict reaps spurts of joy here and there from their pleasure of choice.
At this point in time, the fight to treat addiction has not been successful by relying just on medications and therapy. This calls for a new action plan: the bringing together of humanity and holding open discussions about how we can help one another stay sober and free of addiction; an international shift in mentality. The DSM Ready Movement is that platform!
Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)