It may be valid to say that we always have a choice. We have a choice in what time we wake up in the morning, what we have for breakfast, or whether to take the bus or train to work. Life is full of choices. But when it comes to drugs and substance use, sometimes this freedom of choice escapes us. The drugs take over and impair judgement and rational thought.
Blog: News & Views from the Field
Addiction affects everybody. Never is that more apparent than when we hear about the downfall of a talented, well-liked public figure – like your favorite MLB player, for instance. The sports world can be challenging in many ways, and the culture of drugs and alcohol often becomes a slippery slope for many promising players.
We've talked about the impact of addiction in terms of lifestyle changes, mental health concerns and family strain. What’s left? When people think of addiction leaving lives in shambles, we think of the families, the physical and mental health of the addict, the environment associated with addiction. In last week’s episode of Airing Addiction, Donna Pellegrino and her guest Rich Carr of Carr Financial Group and host of WTAG’s “Financial Freedom” talked about the financial strain of addiction.
Addiction, or a substance use disorder, is a long term chronic illness of the brain that is much like having asthma or diabetes. It is characterized by a compulsive use of a substance accompanied by negative consequences, and it can affect anyone: rich or poor, male or female, employed or unemployed, young or old, and any race or ethnicity.
When someone you love says no to drug and/or alcohol treatment, feelings of hopelessness, frustration and worry are common and understandable. This type of situation can be extremely scary for friends and family of an individual suffering from a drug or alcohol problem.
To enable is to give (someone or something) the authority or means to do something, usually out of love or to be helpful. While an enabler means well with their actions in most cases, when it comes to substance abuse, being an enabler can prolong a loved one’s addiction and allow them to push recovery further away. Most enablers don’t realize their actions could be hurting someone they love who is struggling with addiction, rather, they may feel that their actions are out of love, concern and protection.
Dr. John Renner, a Spectrum Health Systems' board member and associate chief of psychiatry for the VA Boston Healthcare System, sits down for a Q&A
Veterans returning home from combat are at an increased risk for substance abuse. Many turn to substance misuse (drinking, drugs, or smoking) as a way to cope with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, about 1 in 10 returning soldiers seen in the Veteran’s Administration (VA) have a problem with alcohol or other drugs.