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Substance Abuse & Addiction Problems

Addiction and substance abuse exact a tremendous toll on our economy, criminal justice system, but most of all on the lives wasted and the heartbreak brought to those who love individuals afflicted with this problem. It is important to remember that while it is not easy to successfully address abuse and addiction, is not impossible. Among the people I find myself admiring most are those individuals who have fought this battle and have come out on the other side. They are not merely “dry” in that they are no longer using substances or engaging in dysfunctional behaviors, rather they are truly “sober”. By sober I am referring to the genuine display of insight, honesty and directness that characterizes a person who is not pulling any punches. Some people describe these individuals as being “real”. The sense of responsibility and forthrightness displayed by sober people makes encounters with them always a refreshing experience.

In order to recover from compulsive disorders or substance abuse and addiction, a person must stop their counter-productive or otherwise dysfunctional behavior. While recovery may be that simple, it is certainly not easy. Substance abuse or dependence is at least a psychological habit and may also be a physiological one as well. As is the case with all compulsive behaviors, there is usually an emotional investment in the compulsion. People often use and abuse substances in an attempt to address an internal disturbance or upset, and mask feelings of inadequacy or other issues of which they may be only dimly aware. Nevertheless, with a commitment to the process of recovery, and a willingness to take an honest look at oneself, it is amazing the progress people can make. Many who have sustained a stretch of recovery time speak of feeling as if they have a new lease on life. It is not an easy process, but it is simple provided a person allows him or herself to be willing.

“The important thing is this – to be able at any moment to sacrifice what we are for
what we could become.” — Charles Dubois

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