An open letter to an Addict from a Treatment Provider — PLEASE SHARE

Dear Person struggling with an Addiction:

Hello. I am a substance abuse and addiction treatment provider and I wanted to get a message to you. This message has both bad news and good news, so I do hope you continue reading.

First the bad news: If left untreated, your drug and/or alcohol Addiction, regardless of your substance of choice, has two (2) outcomes: 1) Prison; and/or, 2) Death. Those are the only possibilities your future holds without treatment. Along the way, not only will you suffer but people whom you love and who love you will also suffer. I do hesitate to talk about other people with you, as your whole cycle or orbit revolves around your drug and/or your booze. However, though you may not know it, people do love you. They might stay away from you because they’re terrified of what your life has become and that fear drives them to anger and hate. But, THEY DO LOVE YOU! They’re mad at your Addiction and scared for your life, but their anger and fear derives from a well of deep love. Think about it: If they didn’t love you, would they have any reason to be afraid and angry?

More bad news: Addiction is taking your entire life from you, probably without you even being aware of it. Since no one can disrupt your Addiction for you, you have to wake the hell up and realize that if you don’t seek treatment, there will be no more tomorrows to which you can awake. You will die, cold and probably alone. As your health deteriorates, you won’t care to recognize the potential your life once held and there’s a strong chance that you’ll have to get used to cops and probation officers while your body decays. Drug and alcohol Addiction includes (more often than not) legal problems. You might want to get used to confined spaces, as your addiction will probably lead to a jail cell. If you haven’t been to jail yet, it’s really only a matter of time. Again, untreated drug and alcohol Addiction leads to PRISON and/or DEATH.

You’re probably aware of all this bad news and I might be wasting words. But, I KNOW there’s a child of God inside of you that wants life and health and love. You may think you’ve destroyed that child of God but, here’s some GOOD NEWS: Your Addiction, as much as it has taken, CANNOT TAKE YOUR LIGHT unless you give it!

See, people aren’t supposed to suffer, but we’ve ALL been taught to be afraid of having good things. It’s like we all live with this unearned guilt for being alive and for wanting to have a good life. But the truth is that WE’RE SUPPOSED TO HAVE GOOD LIVES!

More good news: Recovery from your Addiction is real and possible. You don’t even have to want recovery forever; you just need to want recovery RIGHT NOW. As long as you stay focused on recovery RIGHT NOW, you can become healthy, you can earn back your self-respect, and you can LIVE and not participate in a process of chronic suicide.

I’ll even GIVE YOU A ROADMAP to get you started: First: BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR ADDICTION. If you can find the courage to be transparent about your Addiction to at least one person, you will stop the shame from growing. It’s shame that drives your isolation and self-hate and it’s the first thing you need to reduce. Second: GET MEDICAL HELP. The truth is that you will probably detox and that detox can either be painful (as with opiates) or deadly (as with alcohol or benzodiazepines) and you want that detox to be as safe as possible. You will feel anxious as you detox and maybe depressed, but if you have a doc to help get you through it, you will be OK. Third: GET PROFESSIONAL COUNSELING. Believe it or not, there are counselors who can treat your Addiction who really care about you. See, treatment providers feel your suffering and want to alleviate it by any means necessary. Plus, if you can’t afford it, most states have treatment voucher programs that can help pay for treatment. Do these three things and want recovery RIGHT NOW and you can end your suffering. (keep in mind that RIGHT NOW keeps happening)

So, I do hope you’re still reading because your suffering impacts all of us. Your Addiction does not make you a bad person; but it is interfering with your ability to love and be loved. Being clean and sober really is a better to negotiate life. Being addicted means to suffer and as long as you suffer, I suffer.

I pray that God shines His love and light on you.


Juan Blea, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor.



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