That's Nasty Word — Addiction
Facing Addiction and Stigma
Addiction... how can one nine letter word carry such power with it? There is no middle ground with addiction. You either love it or hate it. You either understand it or loathe it. You either avoid it or... go all in.
Why are there so many sides to one word? It only has one meaning, but there are so many divided opinions about it. So many branches and levels to that ever stretching tree. Some totally disregard it as a existing. People are not addicted, they just don’t “want” to stop. They “choose” to live the way they live. Others sympathize and try to understand to the best of their ability what it must be like to succumb to something so powerful. Something that has the power to pull the life from you. Then there are people who just the mere mention of the word sends them running for the hills because they respect the sheer brutality of that word. They know the army it brings with it, and its soldiers go for the throat. Then of course you have its zombies. The mindless drones that chase the word around day after day. Those who bend and bow to its every whim and fancy, Yes, Master. Then you have the worst people of all - the facilitators, the money hounds, the people who know all too well what they are doing to people but, hey, people have to make a living, right?
How... does one word provoke so many responses? Attract so many flies to its sticky sweet aroma? And why haven’t we found a way to overcome out differences and start saving our friends, family, neighbors, and children? Why do we bicker and fight while addiction continues to extend its claws and pull more into its grasp? While we are trying to prove our opinions as right, addiction is behind us slaughtering families. While we are bickering about the politics of recovery clinics being near churches, it is sucking the life out of good people who made a bad choice. While we are burying our heads in the sand because “it’s not my problem”, it’s stalking our children. Addiction does not discriminate ... we do.
If there was ever a word worse than addiction, it’s his good buddy stigma. Addiction loves stigma because it allows him the freedom to walk around naked and unchallenged. Nobody is going to stop and ask him just what he thinks he is doing. Stigma has made sure of that. If a white knight does try to ride to the rescue and carry the town to redemption, Stigma makes sure he doesn’t stay long. See, Stigma has a way of twisting the truth. It leaves you blaming the zombies because ... it’s really not addiction’s fault guys! Stigma loves when we turn on the zombies because it gives addiction more time to play.
Do you understand yet? Are we getting the point? Addiction is not going away until we stand up and fight against it. Everyone is talking about the Corona pandemic. It’s in the news, it’s online, and you cannot go into public without hearing mention of this pandemic. What about the pandemic that has plagued this world for far longer? Nobody talks about that. You don’t see those statistics on the news every night. Why not? Because nobody wants to talk about it. Why? Addiction is dirty and avoidable, right?
Can you imagine if we lived in a world where everyone took responsibility? If less people blamed and shied away from unsavory issues? If people cared about each other instead of damning them to a life of shame and humiliation. We have a responsibility. We can fix this. Why can’t we figure out how?