Sometimes, when we want to avoid talking about a difficult subject, we try to pretend it does not exist or is unimportant. This is especially true of substance abuse. It is quite common for people in the midst of their addiction to be in a state of denial. They cannot comprehend how bad things are for themselves and their friends and family members. Denial is a symptom of the disease. The addicted person usually thinks they have control over their use. It is very hard for them to see the reality of their life, until the consequences become overwhelming, sometimes homelessness, legal charges, and medical emergencies or finally a therapeutic intervention happens. Not everyone needs to hit rock bottom to get help, so it is important to continue to educate people.
The more we discuss the risks associated with substance abuse within our family and friend circles, our neighborhoods and our schools, the more aware we will all become of the consequences of drug and alcohol addiction, particularly among young people. Al-Anon and Nar-Anon are great support groups for families.
There is a common misconception that trying a drug once or twice can’t hurt and won’t lead to addiction. This often leads vulnerable populations—particularly young people—to succumb to peer pressure and put themselves in situations where they may not understand the harm in their actions. Drug awareness and education should focus on teaching people what substance abuse looks like, how it can start, and the real effects it can have. Education should also tackle the recovery process, so people who are already struggling with addiction understand how to find a support group, AA, NA, OA, a qualified therapist specializing in addiction, or a well-established, licensed treatment center that can help them find recovery.
There is always new research being published about breakthroughs in combating and preventing substance abuse. Familiarize yourself with these new insights and look for local resources to help supplement your education. The more you know about substance abuse, the more you can help a family member or loved one in need.
Don’t Believe The Media
The media often glamorizes drug use or misrepresents its dangers, so it’s particularly important that high-risk populations, like young adults, receive real education about the actual risks associated with drug and alcohol abuse. Without it, their primary source of education may come from what they see in television shows and movies.
Turning Point of Tampa’s goal is to always provide a safe environment and a solid foundation in 12-Step recovery, in tandem with quality individual therapy and groups. We have been offering Licensed Residential Treatment for Substance Abuse, Eating Disorders and Dual Diagnosis in Tampa since 1987.