Drug incidents have grown in number across time. We hear of family, friends and acquaintances who have become recreational if not hardline users. Along with drugs, we also hear of people who have turned to alcohol for various reasons. Others would rather puff the stress away.
After a few years struggling with their addiction, a handful of substance abusers find the courage to turn their lives around. Though we give them all our praises and encourage them as much as we can, the truth is that recovering from substance abuse is a work in progress. More often than not, it's a shot to the moon. Many may have gone to battle, but not everyone will come out victorious. Some fall back into the habit while others become depressed all their lives.
Why is this so?
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One of the hardest battles a person has to overcome is that battle with himself. How many of us here can actually say what we mean or do what we intend to do? How many of us here have successfully gotten rid of bad habits and never looked back? If an ordinary person is having difficulties fighting his own iniquities and shortcomings, how much more a substance abuser whose reason may have already been taken away by excessive drug or alcohol intake?
It's sad because people are so apt to condemn these days. Imagine the stigma they must feel. Many people forget that substance abusers are human beings too. The only thing that separates them from non-substance abusers is this particular mistake. Other than that, they are no different from every other human being who gets hurts and wants to be forgiven. Deep down inside, they too seek acceptance, love and understanding. If only we give them the chance to be better.
To those of us who have family, friends, acquaintances and distant relatives coping with drug addiction, may we learn to value them and see their worth instead of condemning and ostracizing them. Taking drugs may be a grave error but, sinners as we all are, who are we to judge them? They are at a point in their lives where they need affection and support the most. Real family and friends will never abandon loved ones who have gone astray.
Helping a loved one is not synonymous with condoning, however. Help means taking the initiative to send your friend or family member to rehab or encouraging him to join a support group. Standing idly by, watching him fall deeply into the abyss is not the way to go. As philosopher Edmund Burke would have said, "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."
Show your support not just through words but also through concrete actions. Love should have no boundaries, right?