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Dear Addict Haters

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  • Dear Addict Haters

    Dear Addict Haters:

    Hello, you don’t know me but I am an addict. I am one of the “junkies” you love to bash whenever someone mentions addiction on social media or hear it in conversation. I know it’s hard to forgive the things we sometimes do because of our addiction, but I have a question for you. What is the worst thing you have ever done? Obviously, I won’t get an answer to this question but think about it. The thing that you hate that you did. You know, that one thing that not too many people even know about. Well, what if everyone knew about it? What if for the rest of your life you were labeled by that one act that you would erase in a second if you had the chance? That is what being an addict is like, kind of. Now, I don’t feel like being an addict is the worst thing a person can be or do. You, however, feel like it’s a terrible thing. Don’t get me wrong: If I could erase it from my life, I would. In an instant, it would be gone, but I don’t have that option. I can’t even do what you do and pretend that this thing I did didn’t happen. In order for me to ensure it never happens again, I have to work hard on making sure it doesn’t. If I don’t, my disease will tell me I can have a drink or do a line and not fall back into full-blown addiction, but I will.

    Do you work hard to make sure your worst thing never happens again? Let me guess... you are thinking, Addiction is not a disease. It’s a choice. Right?
    Yes, all addiction starts with a choice.

    The same damn choice you made when you were young and hanging out with friends. You drank the same beer I drank. The same pot I smoked. You even tried the same line of white stuff someone put in front of you at a party. You were able to walk away and not take it to the extreme.

    Since I have the disease, I will spend the rest of my life either struggling to stay high or fighting to stay clean.
    As children, we don’t decide we would rather be an addict instead of a cop.

    You don’t see children pretending that their dolls and stuffed animals are dope sick.

    When is the last time you talked to a little girl who told you she couldn’t wait to grow up so she could turn tricks to feed the insatiable hunger of her drug addiction?

    My sister didn’t tell me about her exciting plans to become homeless.

    My dad, not one time, told my mother to think twice before marrying him because he had high hopes of becoming an angry drunk.

    I damn sure didn’t blow out my candles as a child wishing for a substance abuse disorder because I couldn’t wait for the day my beautiful daughters were taken from me by CPS.

    Nobody wants to have substance use disorder.

    Some of us just do.

    So always remember:

    You made those same choices, too.

    You just got lucky that it was me and not you.

    If you still have doubts, you can take those up with the Center for Disease Control or the United States Surgeon General. They have classified addiction as a disease, but then again... I am sure you know more about it than they do, right?

    I pray that you don’t have to reevaluate these opinions because you find out your child or parent is an addict. If you do, just know that we will accept you into our community. We will help your loved one. Do you know why we would do that? Because we are good people who just want the chance to live like everyone else.
    So please, before you write another post bashing people who are suffering, think about it. Not only are you hurting the people who have the disease, you could be hurting everyone that loves them. You have people on your friends list or might overhear you at work who have children who are suffering right this moment from addiction. What did they do to deserve the awful things you put out into the universe that do nothing but perpetuate hate and judgment?

    You have a right to your opinion. But no matter what, hurting people is wrong.

    Author: Unknown feel free to copy and paste
    Publisher of Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers.

    Find a Prescreened Addiction Treatment Center & Drug Rehab Facility

    Visit our Heroin Addiction & Recovery Blog for daily articles.

    I do my best to educate myself regarding addiction and recovery related issue, treatment options, etc. however, I am not a medical professional. All opinions are my own and any advice you take from me is at your own risk and discretion

  • #2
    That was a really great piece! I have to argue that addiction always starts with a choice. In my case, my introduction to opiates was after a near fatal horseback riding accident that left me unconscious and on a ventilator for over a month. I broke my back, shattered my pelvis and broke 10 ribs.

    I didn't choose to take opiates...they were being given to me while I was lingering somewhere between life and death. They used them to treat pain and to keep me sedated enough to not fight the ventilator.

    When I woke up, I was already physically adddicted and through the next year and a half, I was given opiates as I learned to walk again and I was given even more meds when I had surgery on my back and pelvis. Even though didn't have a choice when it came to receiving opiates in my unconscious state, by the time I woke up, my addiction was ignited.

    There are many, many opiate addicts like me that first used opiates due to catastophic injury or illness. However, it doesn't make me "better" than someone who first took drugs recreationally. The disease of addictio just happens to people. Some people get type 2 diabetes because they are obese, sedentary and eat a diet high in fat and sugar. Then there are people who run marathons, eat a purely plant-based diet and watch their weight and get type 2 diabetes anyway. It is the luck of the draw in the randomness of the universe, my friends. Nothing more, nothing less.

    Only when all this labeling and stigma become a thing of the past will we make any headway with addiction. Every time a person refers to someone with substance use disorder as "junkie" they exacerbate the problem further.

    Close minds, especially in the medical and polictical arena, make it harder to increase treatment and fund addiction studies. For those that continue to judge, re-read the above post...it speaks volumes.

    In a way, addiction is very much like obesity. The obese know what they should do (eat less, move more etc) but they find the cravings for food to be unsurmountable and then they find themselves eating more to help squelch the guilt of not having control over their appetite. Yet, even though the obese face discrimination, you never hear someone call them a "dirty pound cake eater!" or say "we should throw them in jail and throw away the key..then they will lose weight!".

    We need to change this judgemental attitude that permeates our country. ALL problems of health, such as opiate misuse, alcoholism, obesity, depression etc. need to be met with compassion and care. Hopefully, more people will educate themselves with the science of addiction and then will support scientific ways to combat the problem.

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