Shifting Paradigms about Addiction
It’s high time we confront our collective denial about addictions. It’s time to stop thinking that addicts are screwed up people and start focusing on our culture of addiction. It’s time that we stop fantasizing that addicts are shooting up in dark hallways and smoking pot in high school yards and realize that our friends and families have a vast array of substances they abuse ready and available in their bathroom medicine cabinet, some of which have been prescribed by their doctors. It’s time to take note of our own addictive tendencies in the way we “use” salt, sugar, coffee, wine, and other foods as well as tobacco, searching the Internet, watching television, and even exercising. It’s time to stop projecting the problem on some young, dark-skinned, back alley, television hoodlum and take a good look in the mirror.
David Bedrick, is a speaker, counselor, attorney, and teacher. He has spent eight years on the faculty of the University of Phoenix and has taught, for the U.S. Navy, the American Society of Training and Development, the Process Work Institute and small groups focusing on personal growth. He has received notable awards for teaching, employee development, and legal service to the community
Editor: Arman Ahmed
What Is an Intervention?
But the problem doesn’t stop there. We are not only in denial about substance use and addiction, we have been fooled by television therapists, country club treatment program advertisements, and wishful but immature thinking that people can end their addictions by going through drug treatment. Alas, the data is in and overwhelming clear. Consider the following:
Here is video by Dr. Sadaqat on drug addiction in Pakistan
Dr Sadaqat Ali talks about drug addiction in Pakistan
Myth 1: Addicts fail to abstain from drugs because they don’t work their programs.
The myth defying truth is this: many addicts fail because treatment programs don’t work. Research suggests that the effectiveness of treatment for addictions is not only limited, with even the best treatment programs reducing people’s substance use only by about 50 percent, but that motivating people to remain abstinent or in treatment has been a major hurdle.1 According to Nora D. Volkow, M.D.,, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, about 75 to 80 percent of people who try to quit smoking relapse within six months. In their study on relapse rates, B.T. Jones and J. McMahon found that after people had been discharged from a ten-day residential alcohol detoxification unit 72 percent relapsed by the end of three months. Further, while Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) has done much to help people get off of drugs and alcohol, its ability to motivate people to sustain their efforts is also limited, reflected by the fact that of 100 individuals referred to AA, about 50 attend initially, about 25 still attend after three months, and only about 10 are still attending by the end of the second year.