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By Bobbie See

Addiction affects more than just the addict

What is addiction? An addiction is when someone is dependent on something to get them through the day – and night. There are a wide range of addictions ranging from shopping to coffee, and then there is drug addiction. While being addicted to and consuming too much of anything is not healthy, the biggest problem we are seeing in this country is drug addiction.

What makes an addict

Unless you have been living under a rock, I am sure that you have heard or seen the spike in drug use and overdose in America. According to an article from the American Society Of Medicine titled Opiod Addiction 2016 facts and figures, 21.5 million Americans ranging from 12 years and up suffer from drug addiction. Roughly one million are addicted to prescription painkillers, and half of the people who are addicted to painkillers are also addicted to heroin. According to the article, drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in America.

People do not start out with the intention of becoming an addict. Many people who are addicts started out using the painkiller because they were injured. After they were injured they were prescribed pain medicine, and then became hooked. They get to the point that they can't make it through the day without them. Some addicts continue on using painkillers and don't move on to anything else. However, sometimes the doctors quit prescribing them and or their tolerance gets too high and so some will turn to other drugs to get the feeling they were getting from the painkillers.

Family coping skills

A lot of people do not realize that addictions affect more than the addict themselves. Addictions tear apart families. Addicts will essentially do whatever it takes for their next fix, including stealing from loves ones. As family and friends of addicts it is our responsibility to show to show tough love, no matter how mad they get. If an addict is happy with you chances are you are enabling them.

As loved ones we will feel the need to fix an addict. We will do anything and everything it takes to try and make them get help. What you need to know is that you can not force and addict to get help. They must want to get help, if not even if you force them into rehab they will go right back using once they are out. The hardest thing to do is watch a loved one struggle but we have to step back until they ask for help. When they decide that they want help family should be there to give them all the love and support they can, without throwing their mistakes in their face. If their mistakes are thrown in their faces constantly than they may relapse. Just love and support them when they are ready.

You may be struggling and you may feel worthless, but you are not. You are so much more than your addiction and your struggles. You have your whole life ahead of you. You can do anything and be anything you set your mind to.

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