I’ve completed and released a book that should change the world. I called it, 49 Tips and Insights for Understanding Addiction, and my hope is that thousands will read it and that it builds an understanding of the horrific disease that is Addiction. Why is understanding addiction so important? For me, there are two things that drive all behavior associated with Addiction: 1) Shame; and worse, 2) Fear. In understanding the mechanics and processes within Addiction, I believe that shame and fear will be reduced to, at minimum, to a manageable level.
Over the years of treating addiction, I’ve learned that it is something that can be conquered. But, as long as people are ashamed of addiction, or worse, afraid of it, then things cannot change. I tend to repeat myself, again and again, and the 49 Tips and Insights are at the core of what I believe and teach and I do think that it can go a long way towards healing individuals and families who struggle against a seemingly unbeatable foe.
But, one of the undercurrents in the book is something that believe is at the core of fighting addiction: The need to accept death as an outcome of untreated substance addiction. As horrifying as it is, once someone makes peace with the fact that untreated Addiction to substances such as alcohol, opiates, or benzodiazepines will lead to death, then there is nothing left to fear. Think about it: If you love someone who is addicted to say, heroin, then I’m certain that every time she leaves your presence, you instantly cycle through worry that it could be the last time you see her. And that fear probably led you to giving her money, even though down deep you know she’s going to use the money to fix. But, you want to believe that the forty bucks really is for food and gas and so you give it to her, in spite of the reality she presents.
But, if you can make peace with the fact that, unless she gets some form of treatment, she is going to die, then it may prevent you from handing over anything. Here’s the thing: As long as the addicted person in your life knows you’re afraid for her life, she can use that fear against you and manipulate you into doing whatever she wants you to do. But, the reality is that if you know that death is imminent, you can let go of the addict and begin to cherish the person the addiction holds. Think about it…
At any rate, the book is $2.99 in Kindle format. I think it’s a small price to pay for the valuable information it presents. But, even if you don’t buy it, keep in mind that if you love someone who’s addicted to substances, accept death and you can cherish every moment and become a real resource for that person. If you continue to let fear drive you, then you will be part of the downward spiral.