(A MUST READ if you have a substance abuser in the family)
“NO WAY”! That would obviously be the resounding reply of 99.9% of current drug users. So would families of loved ones who have relapsed after rehab. But let us truly understand what rehab does to HELP your loved ones!
While it is true there are substance abusers who have managed to successfully quit on their own, that is probably 1 out of every 1000 and this depends also on the severity of the addiction. Those who quit on their own remain very vulnerable to relapse and they do not have a ‘support group’ who will help them abstain from relapse. Only a handful succeeded long-term. Many become recidivists.
Let us first showcase the danger of a current drug user:
- The substance abuser is continuously in self-destructive mode. Physically the body and mind deteriorates until multiple drug-related ailments will manifest. For some, an ailment or two. While others suffer many ailments occurring at the same time ranging from sexually transmitted disease (due to multiple sex partners), lung, liver, kidney, heart, skin, brain, reproductive organs and prostate ailments caused by the unhealthy lifestyle and induced poisons.
If you reason out that rehab is “expensive”, wait till you see the medical bills, doctor’s fees and arrest warrants!
Then there is death by violence, accidents and overdose!
- Psychologically, substance-induced psychosis will happen because each time a person uses drugs, he is poisoning his brain cells with powerful toxic chemicals. If they are lucky, the “transient” psychosis is treatable. For those “predisposed”, psychosis could become PERMANENT as it is triggered by the drugs.
Again, it will be very expensive to treat as it could mean a lifetime of medication as well as an endless trip to the psychiatrist. Imagine caring for a psychotic loved one for life! Imagine the pain and stress the family would undergo all because they were enablers or just waited till the problem would go away. IT WON’T!!!
- The criminal liability and danger to life: the once caring and responsible person transforms into becoming a law-breaker with severe anti-social behavior. Disregarding their families’ and their own safety, becoming “criminals” and endangering lives of others.
In the world of drugs, a user will associate with other criminals who are most likely under surveillance and wanted by the law. They eventually become targets themselves and will bring the trouble to your doorstep! Once the user is arrested, then the REAL problem begins when you deal with the police, lawyers and judges. Once convicted, it could mean a lifetime in jail where it could be accurately described as “hell on earth”. Can you bear the pain of seeing your son or daughter or family member in a dirty, congested, smelly, disease-ridden prison…possibly for life?
Their lives and the lives of their families are at constant risk. Remember users deal with pushers and meet other criminals. Users most likely also indulge in selling drugs to augment the expensive cost of drugs and to use for free. This is where the life-threatening danger begins when they betray the trust of pushers and their “protectors”, when they cannot fulfill their promises to pay for drug-debts or are suspected of being a police asset who can identify them. This is where the “killings” begin! Remember they are dealing with very paranoid people and hardened criminals! And trust me, if they can’t get to the user, they can very well go for their loved ones.
If you are an enabler and continue to support and protect the addict the wrong way…you are effectively telling them “Anak…Go ahead! It is OK to continue committing a crime and endanger yourself and everyone you love”!
TRUE! There is no rehab in the world, (no matter how expensive or “superior” they claim their program is), who can guarantee 100% that the addict will be cured. It will still be a choice whether to relapse or remain clean. This is case to case. Like me, some reformed after their first rehab. Others took much longer. I have a good friend who underwent rehab 18 times! But when he finally reformed, he put up 7 rehabs of his own!
But at least rehab gives the addict a fighting chance to be saved from enslavement. Just like going to school where a student is being educated and trained for a career-life in the real world, it will still depend on the student whether to use the training and education or not, and to choose which path to take. Same with rehab. Rehab is a “school of life”. And rehab gives the addict a chance by showing them the right path to take, the right tools to use. Rehab does not just REFORM THE HABITS, it helps TRANSFORM THE CHARACTER!
- Rehab will temporarily “safe keep” your loved one from imminent danger. You will also have the peace of mind you have longed for.
- Rehab will help RESTORE the broken family relationships. An addict affects the entire family and interpersonal conflicts will need to be addressed.
- Bring back their spiritual relationship with their “higher power”. Whether it be the God of Abraham or Allah.
- Immediately removes them from the toxic environment and access to drugs and drug friends, and at the same time, prepare for a contingency to relocate them after the program if possible.
- The addict will be in a controlled environment and will have the time and “training” to reflect on what truly matters in their lives without distraction.
- Rehabs provide medical and psychological care as well. An accredited addiction psychiatrist will oversee the treatment of the addict if they have temporary psychosis. While prior to confinement they will be thoroughly checked for any existing ailment/contagious diseases that may need immediate attention, knowing that most addicts would never have a physical examination while being an active user.
- Restoring family relationships are a priority. And family members/ guardians will also undergo seminars on how best to handle the recovery of their loved one and to be aware that they may be contributing to the problem without them knowing it. A strategy will be planned for a productive aftercare, either schooling or work. An idle mind attracts temptation!
The treatment doesn’t end there.
- After the program there is a lifetime support group system, a “family” of recovering addicts that will help and support each other instead of destroy each other. Without an aftercare program, relapse is inevitable and this is where many families put the blame on the program.
I believe that, like me, most addicts are good people who made the wrong choices. They are not the criminals people hate and see in the news. They are not murderers or rapists! This is why they should be given a chance to reform. And rehabs can offer that chance.
Private rehabs charge a fee because they are not subsidized by the government. To be able to continue to operate and help, salaries and overhead must be paid. Government rehabs offer the lowest cost because they are subsidized. But not all government rehabs are “quality” rehabs. And many private rehabs prioritize profit over heart!
REHAB: A bridge towards a better life. A place for second chances.
So which is more “expensive”? TRAGEDY OR CHANCE?
THE CHOICE IS YOURS!
*Please share this with someone who has a loved one, relative, schoolmate, officemate or friend who is suffering from substance abuse!