I think it’s hard to argue that we in some trouble.  Hundreds of people each month are succumbing to drug and alcohol addiction.  Needless deaths.  I write this column in hopes that someone reads it and guides either himself or herself or someone they love in to treatment.  The goal of what I write is to create a Culture of Recovery.

A culture is like a large pot; the way a person sees himself largely depends upon the soup in which he swims.  For the person mired in a drug and/or alcohol addiction, life is a big pot of dirty water and in it he swims alone.  His addiction has cut him off from everything that makes him human.  He’s probably lost his job, his family, and his own sense of who he is in the world.  There’s probably someone in his life that still prays that he comes back intact.  But, down deep, that person struggles with the fear that maybe the addiction has won.

I challenge all people to reach into their hearts and judge those who struggle with drug and alcohol from a place of love and compassion.  Try to understand that when a heroin user picks up her needle, she probably doesn’t have a choice.  The sickness she faces without the drug is a pain that no one should have to face alone.  So, she injects herself with a low-grade chemical just to feel as normal as is possible.

We can win the war against the insidious disease that is addiction.  It will take patience and compassion and hope, but if we come together to create a pot of soup to which we can all contribute and enjoy, we can stop the needless deaths our world endures.  It will take a Culture of Recovery.