The world of the drug addict is cold, lonely and empty and one where those
who are not addicted would never want to step into. And there remains much
ignorance amongst the so-called normal members of society and professionals
as to what they can do to help.
The pros and cons of a moral model versus
the disease model of addiction have been debated around the world for
decades. The battle has been long and hard. At the end of the day, it is
clear that no country has been able to honestly claim total victory. What is
clear is that this battle cannot be fought alone. The addict needs his
family, his community and all the spiritual strength that he can muster to
start and guide him along the path to recovery. The task is too big for any
one individual, family community or country.
Medical science and technology have done much to produce new medications
and treatments to address the physiological changes in the brains of
patients with addiction. However, medicine does not have the monopoly over
the recovery process. At most, it can only be a complementary partner to a
healing and reconciliation process that must involve man and his Creator.
Regardless what our individual stand is on the various issues concerning
causes and treatment o drug addiction, the facilitator of this healing
process must begin with the re-establishment of contact and effective
communication between those who are lost in addiction and those around him.
This essence is what compassionate engagement in addiction is all about.
With compassionate engagement, the door is open to deliver hope and guidance
to those who are hopelessly lost.
For the uninitiated wanting to embark on this mission, to read and to be
able to feel this message, will provide him with the right essence. To be
effective, we should seek to reach out early to those who need help, be it
the addict, his friends or his family.
Early intervention and prevention is the only strategy that will work to
break the chain of transmission of this disease. For this strategy to work,
we need to mobilize a whole nation of people sensitized to the fact that the
individual effort of each and every one of us can make that difference.
Often you have been told or have heard that a loved one has an "addictive
personality". Is there such a thing as an addictive personality ?
The dictionary defines "addictive personality" as one which is
"characterized by or susceptible to addiction."
What makes one susceptible to addiction ? data from Alcohol Anonymous and
Narcotic Anonymous have dispelled the myth of the addictive personality.
There is however, a proven genetic predisposition towards chemical
dependency. Children of alcoholics are twice as prone to addiction as other
unaffected people. In spite of an inherited tendency towards addiction, the
majority of people with addicted parents do not become addicts themselves.
In would be reasonable to say that there is no such thing as an addictive
personality that is someone destined to be an addict. There must be other
factors acting on the probabilities and vulnerabilities.
When an addict is on drugs for say, eight to 10 years, the disease
profoundly alters his personality. the addict has detached himself from
others and has more explicit trust and relationship with an inanimate object
or event. this relationship is of short-term pleasure with long term pain
and is pathological.
Meeting his spiritual, mental, emotional and physical needs via a
relationship with an object is a sickness. The calling is for instant
gratification -- the need to delay cannot be heeded. The disease of
addiction now leaves a deformed personality.