I once met a woman who lost her son to drugs. She sobbed in my office telling me how her son just couldn’t shake what was tormenting him.
Even in my own family, I have seen what drug and alcohol abuse can do. I’ve had relatives die from it.
Addiction (whether it’s drugs and/or alcohol) is not a new problem. Addiction is a terrible thing. It ruins people’s finances. It endangers schools. It threatens families and communities. It kills.
And it affects people of all ages. Men and women. Young and old. Rich and poor. Black and white.
Addiction is a public health crisis and needs to be treated as such.
One of the biggest issues stems from how we treat addicts in our society. Denying that there is a problem only allows for it to exist in the dark, away from a support structure that could possible pull addicted individuals away from the grips of drugs and/or alcohol.
Whispering about addiction and stigmatizing it causes those who are affected to hide from the very people who could possibly help them through it.
Fortunately there is help available. There are numerous social service programs that can help addicts achieve long-term recovery. There’s individual treatment, group therapy, family therapy, and education opportunities available. The goal is simple – to help the addict get clean.
But it’s not easy. Breaking from the grip of addiction is hard. There are past pains that may be difficult to address. There are relationships that may be broken. There are labels that need to be overcome.
But it is possible.
If you or someone you know is suffering from addiction, get help. Search for resources that are available. Pick up the phone. Do it for yourself. Do it for your family. Do it before it’s too late.
There is help out there. You can beat this.
Catholic Charities offers help, hope and support to thousands of individuals and families, providing social services to people of all faiths. Our mission is rooted in our commitment to support families and children in need, regardless of faith. Please contact us at 717-657-4804.