Not everyone who comes into this programme is concerned about the use of drugs. However, in today’s world, all of us need to confront this issue. Also, those with an emotional problem often turn to drugs in search of a solution to their problems.
We have learned that drug abuse, drug dependence, or addiction, is a matter of illness, not a moral issue. For the purposes of this programme the label is not important.
Dependence on drugs can be psychological, or physical, or both. The compulsive use of drugs or alcohol does not indicate a lack of affection for the family; even when he knows what will happen when he takes that first pill, drink or fix, the drug dependent person may still do so. This is the “insanity” we speak of in regard to this illness.
Using drugs as a means of escaping reality is a symptom of emotional problems. However, little emotional growth is likely to take place until the individual stops using chemicals to try to solve his problems of living. Switching from one mind-altering substance to any other, including alcohol, is only likely to prolong the illness, not arrest the problem.
There is nothing that we as individuals can do to prevent another person’s abuse of drugs, but we have learned there is much we can do to avoid standing in the way of his recovery. We have found that the most constructive approach is to deal with our own reactions and to learn new ways of coping with our problems. When we accept drug dependence as an illness and understand there is something we can do to help both ourselves and the situation, we become ready to learn a better way to live.