When drugs meet alcohol, the results are crippling. It’s called poly-addiction. The effects cannot even be calculated, they are so far-reaching. It’s only when disaster hits that the situation is finally flushed out and exposed. By then, it’s so late that there is often collateral damage. It is time to huddle up and figure out a way to reach out to those who know they in trouble but have no idea how to stop.
Fear of withdrawal is the primary reason for not stopping once a user knows he or she is in the grips of addiction. By that time, it has taken over like an unwanted guest that can’t be evicted. The addiction is calling the shots and the user is at its evil mercy. Little compassion and rare understanding usually meet the person in trouble.
If we as a people do not figure out how to reach out a branch of hope, the cummulative losses will equal that of any war to date. The ripple effect is startling as these dual addictions impact family, friends and employers.
In many AA meetings, stories of the horrible after-effects of mixing alcohol with meds-both prescribed and illicit. They are both heartbreaking and unbelievable. Law enforcement clearly does not have the resources to meet the needs of those in the grip of this double-duty addiction that grabs soccer moms and juveniles, businessmen and bums.
For the sake of the kids whose lives are affected, educations undermined, and lives thrown so far off course that it often takes the miracle of forgiveness to allow the participants in this macabre experience back into the fold of humanity, it is time to seek new approaches. Churches help, but again, they don’t have the resources to address the situation head-on. The best they can do is offer help with utilities and food-which quite a few do.
There are people and places to go for help in maintaining a steady life while one tries to regain balance from multiple addictions. Going into rehab is simply not an option for many of America’s poor, single parents or heads of households. It is often the stress of those situations that led to the multiple use of substances to ease the pressure of the terminal workload required to maintain a standard of living today.
Recessions aren’t necessarily bad, they are just very taxing. It does make us bunk up, join forces and learn humility. It also gives us a small taste of what it was like during the Great Depression where so many simply did without. It’s amazing how little one can live on when the situation calls for it.
Portugal tried a new approach by offering drug users therapy and counseling in lieu of jail. This places the addict in a new light. The person is now a patient to be healed rather than an inmate to be caged.
Grapevine, Texas, is one city that is experimenting with this tactic. Arrestees are offered a trip to a rehabilitation clinic instead of lock-up. Jail generates criminal populations, not healing. Results are pending but finally there is hope for a different outcome than jails, institutions or cemeteries.
With one in ten of the population currently suffering a chemical-use disorder, the numbers are staggering. Entire towns are being wiped out by addiction. One bad batch of heroin can wipe out dozens in just a few days.
Once we look at the addict as sick instead of morally wrong, we can save thousands with millions of lives being spared the fall-out. It is time and America must heed the call to forgive the user and treat instead of blaming and ostracizing.
Poly-Addictions Are On the Rise