Guest Post: Treatment Network

*Please read thoroughly. I rarely take guest posts, but I believe whole-heartedly with what this article states. “Addiction is a disease, dependency is not a choice.”

This article is written by Camille Mitchell for http://treatmentnetwork.com/

Myths about Addiction

The “War on Drugs” has been raging for over 40 years. Yet, one in twelve American’s is still addicted. Many of them are your friends and family. You know them. In a phrase, “the system has failed.” Prevention measures are largely ineffective. Treatment efforts have failed to meet expectations. The numbers are staggering in terms of price and victims. We sit and wonder why our health care costs are skyrocketing but just have to look across the room at a son or daughter that contributes to the billions spent every year on medical cures for addicts. The American taxpayer shoulders these costs because these addicts cannot pay the bill for themselves. They are a pervasive social burden that comes with a price tag. The number $600 billion is bandied about as the combined costs of medical, economic, criminal, and social costs that are borne by “the system” every year. How many schools would that build in rural Appalachia for a population that is undereducated and underprivileged? How much national debt would that retire so we do not burden our future generations with our bad judgment and poor decision-making?

We have been making too many excuses for too long and investing money in theories and processes that do not work. The money drain has to be stopped and the social problem has to be cleaned up. The prisons of this country are filled with drug addicts that are slapped on the wrist and returned to society to continue to be addicts. We build more jails, create more judges, and build more courthouses to accommodate our social failures every year. We fail because we do not understand. We fail because we choose to lock away the problem with the hope that the few months or years they are out of the mainstream will cure them. Yet, they still get their drugs while they are incarcerated and we return them to society with the same problem as when they went in but fit for society because we “rehabilitated” them. Hogwash.

Only bad children use drugs … then why do 80% of our children use drugs at one time or another? We invoke social morality to soothe our egos and alienate our won children in the process. Health and safety is the social issue, not good and bad.

Stress, inability to cope and trauma are the root causes of drug use. Yet, our social focus is on “Just Say No”. You prevent drug use by your daughter by dealing with her ability to handle the social pressures of life. It is possible to prevent drug use. It is impossible to stop drug use for those that are hell bent on doing it. The difference between the two is like night and day.

Addiction is a disease. It is chronic and progressive. Dependence is real, not a choice. Children who become addicted are not weak and without morals. They are ill. They need help.

We need to wake up and smell the roses. If we insist on throwing money at the problem to solve it, then we had better find a lot more money. The problem will not be solved by spending money on the things we do now. Attack the causes of the problem, not the symptoms.

~ by Camille Mitchell

Guest post by http://treatmentnetwork.com/

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8 thoughts on “Guest Post: Treatment Network

  1. From my experience, the 12 step approach can be effective, if the person is motivated to stick with it. It gets to the root of the “spiritual malady,” but often the addicted person has to hit an incredibly painful bottom before starting the healing process.

  2. part of the problem is that many of the children who are on drugs have other issues such as bipolar and instead of staying on the medication to help treat that instead self medicate themselves by using other drugs. I am speaking from experience having one of my children battle with this for most of his adult life.

  3. Ellen, yes the 12 step approach may help some. But I disagree with with your theory on “Rock Bottom” & “Motivated”. I know of no addict as motivated as my son,,,and he did hit rock bottom on several occasions. My son wanted to live more than anyone….but the DISEASE won.. That’s the Ultimate “Rock Bottom” RIP Aaron

  4. A lot of the maladaptive influence of anger has to do with confusion on how to handle a social pressure. We don’t educate our kids on the complexity of relationships and emotional triggers when they are starting out in schools, nor in early family life. We largely assume each child will grow into an a correct understanding of rejection (which is part of life) or the threat of it.

    I agree with Camille.

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