This article is not about uneducated, uninformed, and passionate outbursts from any side of the issue of addiction: This is about facts.
I know, it’s crazy to think that there are sometimes hard-line facts out there that support one side of an argument these days, but it’s all-too-apparent in this case. I feel most compelled to publish this particular sentiment not only because I have a lost a number of family members to addiction, but because, frankly, a lot of people are letting misinformation propagate on social media (surprise, surprise) and I think it’s of the utmost importance to set the record straight for anyone keeping tabs. So, here it is:
Addiction is a Disorder.
In fact, the DSM-V, you know, that manual that the psychological world uses to evaluate mental disorders, includes Substance Use Disorder as a valid disorder that affects thousands of Americans. Here, have a look…
But let’s not stop there. Anyone who has taken a psychology class once in their life or even bothered to look into the facts or neurological evaluations of those suffering from addiction knows that addiction doesn’t just come out of nowhere. Those at a higher risk of falling victim to addiction usually come from unstable homes where one of the parents are missing, abusive households, and often suffer from other mental afflictions such as clinical depression or generalized anxiety before becoming addicted to a substance.
Furthermore, a number of America’s incredibly unethical pharmaceutical companies knowingly gave out addicting painkillers and then lied about it. This meant that those prone to addictive personality ran the risk of becoming addicted to the likes of prescriptions such as Oxycontin if only due to the fact that they had a painful surgery that came with a long recovery period. Even when there were non-addictive alternatives for pain relief, they continued to pump these opiates into our country. From this, addiction has spread to all walks of life.
I understand that many out there become frustrated by drug users and their reckless decisions. I myself have had a number of valuable and priceless items stolen from me by the addicted and lost a friend to a driver who was high on heroin. It’s sometimes difficult to have sympathy. I get that. What I’m saying, though, is that sometimes you have to look at the root of the problem rather than the problem that stares you in the face. The world doesn’t need more anger and hatred. It needs more compassion and understanding. We must try harder to understand and encourage others to educate themselves so that we may remove the stigma of addiction from our country. It’s the first step in reducing the number of people addicted and further increase the quality of life for families all across our country.