Addiction to alcohol/drugs is one of the oldest ailments known to mankind as intoxicating substances have always been around since time immemorial used for recreation, celebration, religious, ritualistic shamanic practices etc.
There was a time when people were ostracized for being part of a particular race, caste, creed or disease across the world.
Addiction to alcohol/drugs is such a disease that the person afflicted is ostracized by immediate family apart from society at large.
A client’s daughter shared that friends were not invited home as she was ashamed of her drunken daddy. Most times the alcoholic in a blackout says and does things that he has no memory of the next day … he realizes this by the look on his wife’s face. The addict at least has the excuse that he is under the influence of the substance. What is the excuse of the families who shout, scream and treat them as though they were lepers / untouchables?
People avoid family members of addicts as they do not want to “get involved”. There are sniggers behind their backs and bullying and insults to their faces.
Till even the first part of the 20th century those addicted to substances were relegated to “mad” houses. Today too they land up at psychiatric offices wherein they are given medication for behavioral issues resultant to substance use- further damaging the individual, as many consume both, the substance and the medication.
Social invitations decline once an alcoholic gets repeatedly drunk and creates ruckus at functions…. the employee is sidelined for promotions and loses his job over a drinking problem.
The family hides the addiction even from doctors resulting in progression of the illness and sure death.
The person is looked upon in disgust disdain and as a discard… hastening his journey to the grave.
Do we treat someone with any other illness like this – would we treat a family member or friend who is a diabetic or hypertensive like this? Or do we look at treatment options for them? Would we not help a family who has a member suffering from any of these illnesses with knowledge of doctors we know or Treatment facilities we are aware of?
Why this ostracism? Just as anyone with any illness does not ask for it, neither is addiction a disease that is asked for- the substance controls and consumes the person afflicted… if left untreated will be 100% fatal and result in Death.. like any other systemic disease.
As a society, let us wake up to the awareness of this disease and realize there is help available… let us arm ourselves with the knowledge of the same. Treatment that is seen to work the best is Residential, Non medical, Voluntary, using Counseling and alternative healing methods like Meditation ,Yoga etc.
We at AH facilitate this process to enable the individuals afflicted /affected by Addiction to alcohol/ drugs go beyond them and towards a fulfilling life!
Share the solution- the problem is known to all- awareness of the solution is what is required- be socially responsible- someone somewhere might find help and You might be instrumental in saving Lives..