There is no cause or one solution for addiction. It is not black and white. Some addicts suffer from mental illness. Some addicts are genetically predisposed to addiction. Some addicts are products of trauma or just bad luck. Every addict and every form of addiction is different. What works for some addicts doesn't work for others. Some nicotine addicts can stop cold turkey, others suffer through a myriad of potential solutions. In the big scheme of things does it really matter what the cause is? When you are potentially facing a life or death situation, the immediate solution is to get help. That help comes in all shapes and sizes and depends essentially on what the situation at hand is. Are we dealing with a long time heroin user who is homeless, seriously dope sick and is able to get themselves to an ER? Or are we dealing with a young adult diagnosed with Bipolar Disease who refuses to take her medication and is suffering from a manic episode which has involved the use of anything which makes her feel good? She may not be at death's doorstep but were she to continue she may find herself jobless and possibly standing on the edge of a 14 story building with her mind telling her she can fly. I could go on and on. We all have a story and most likely very few of those stories are the same. New evidence is found everyday as to the cause of addiction. But the problem is no two people are identical which makes finding a cause all the more fruitless. The same can be said of finding a solution. The bottom line is it really doesn't matter. What matters is awareness... getting rid of the stigma attached to addiction...knowing that you are not alone... Recognizing that mental illness is a disease just like diabetes or COPD... Until society recognizes that addiction is not a word to be whispered at the Thanksgiving table no amount of research is going to mean squat because addicts will continue to be shamed. I challenge all of you as we approach the season of giving to find one person and ask them to tell you their story. You have offered an ear and they have been given a voice. It isn't a solution but it is a start.
Richmond, Virginia USA
I am a proud mother...a vintage junkie...fascinated with the number 8...and believe there truly is beauty in transformation. Check out my FB page Finding Eight, LLC