Did you know that addiction is classified in the DSM-5? It’s a mental illness that lives in the brain stem: the same brain stem that serves a critical role in regulating certain involuntary actions of the body, including heartbeat and breathing. Addicts feel that they need their drug of choice (DOC) the same way they feel they need to breathe.
Did you know that our society treats addiction as a moral issue and pawns it off on law enforcement to “control”? The average stay in jail being 365 days or less. Where addicts are left to detox alone ?
Did you know the detox process can be violent and result in death if not monitored by medical professionals?
Did you know the addict is many times released, and at that time, their serotonin levels are at their lowest, leading to a high crime rate and a higher chance in relapse. It’s a pun to say that this is criminal but that’s exactly what this really is ….criminal.
It takes an average of 14-16 months of sobriety for an addict’s brain to balance serotonin levels to that of a neuro-typical brain. Did you know that?
Did you know that most insurances will only pay for 30 days of treatment for an addict? Please get mad about that. I’m begging you …get mad about that.
Did you know that 136 people die everyday from opioid overdose? That’s one person every 10.58 minutes. By the time you’re done reading and processing this post, someone will have died from an opioid overdose.
Let that sink in.
Did you know that the two biggest factors that “make” an addict are
(1) Genetic Predisposition and (2) Childhood trauma. There’s not that “one hit” or that “one decision” that will make an addict. You never really know who is or is not an addict before they ever even pick up. It’s NOT a moral problem. I repeat, addiction is NOT A MORAL PROBLEM.
Just for a minute let’s take this in a little bit of a different direction. Did you know that the BRCA gene for breast cancer has a 5-10% genetic predisposition rate? People every day undergo testing and life changing surgeries to avoid it but addiction genetic predisposition is over 50%.
O V E R 5 0 %. Let that sink in.
You still think addiction is a moral problem? A parenting problem?
Too bad there isn’t a surgery to remove addiction huh ?
If there’s one thing an addict would say….it’s that they’re still in there. (I know because I’ve asked.) The person that you knew and loved is still in there.
They are not their disease.
THEY ARE NOT THEIR DISEASE.
Addiction is a disease. Much like diabetes. It has to be monitored everyday. For the rest of their lives. And it’s HARD. It takes support and unrelenting diligence. Like cancer in that it can always reoccur.
The blaming needs to stop. We need to do better. The paradigm needs to change.
Insurance benefits needs to change.
Public awareness needs to change.
The next time you hear someone say “ they have a choice “ or you hear others refer to addicts as “ a junkie“ start by educating them because that really is how this works.
You can make a difference you can change things. It starts with educating yourself and then spreading that knowledge one person at a time.