Unfortunately most help comes in the form of medication which often leads to more problems and not enough cash is put into therapies to find the root causes.
Since 2001 deaths from alcohol related issues have risen sharply and unfortunately Middlesbrough is at the top!
I was watching a programme on TV about this problem and was shocked at the man interviewed (who drinks around 100 units a week), actually ‘chinked’ his glass and toasted ‘good health!!!
Then said, “I’m addicted to it without being an alcoholic”.
Is that is even possible?
Adrian Chiles (making the program) said “I think WE are the problem” meaning those who drink most days after work etc,. As most stigma is that it’s the ‘wino’ on the park bench that’s the main cost to the NHS, which it isn’t by the way.
It was brave of Adrian to do the programme on highlighting the problems we have now, especially when he was having an internal fight to stop or cut down his own intake.
As for the media telling us there isn’t a stigma, that’s a joke.
If someone gets taken to the hospital with cancer, they get compassion along with their care. However, it isn’t always the case if someone is taken to the hospital with an addiction.
So, what can be done for someone needing help? I say needing help, as wanting help is a whole different ball game. The person usually doesn’t think they need help, convinced they can stop their harmful habit whenever they choose. Most of the work in place isn’t working, at least here in Middlesbrough, or we wouldn’t have so many addictions ruining and taking people’s lives.
Personally, I believe we need a healthy mindset to be able to heal the body, so if it’s the mind that’s broken how can you get better? That’s where other people play a huge part, but of course, that isn’t easy either. The person under the influence of the drug (including alcohol) doesn’t always want your help and will often fight you all the way, saying they can do it alone. So surely, it’s time to stop the constant Mantra of it being ‘a lifestyle choice’. It’s an illness and thankfully many professionals now recognise it is.
When asked ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ no one answers with: ‘an alcoholic, or, a drug addict’ and I can’t understand how those in charge of helping people off their addiction can say keep saying “They have to want to change”. Their mind is often so broken they don’t have a choice.
This is where early intervention plays an important role! Spotting someone who’s having emotional problems and using alcohol/drugs to ‘escape’ their feelings. It is vital to the outcome.
Thankfully services have stopped the game of ping pong, sending the person to other services to get help before they can do their part. Dual Diagnosis is finally in place here in Middlesbrough and are all now starting to recognise they need to form a safety net, so people aren’t slipping through the holes.
I’m proud of my part in bringing it about, but it took many days of going home after a meeting or workshop and crying most of the night wishing things had been changed earlier.
Mental health is affected by alcohol we all know that now. It’s estimated that half the people drinking excessively are doing so to alleviate depression, life circumstances, loneliness etc.
If you’ve read the root cause of an illness in the Louise Hay book ‘You Can Heal Your Life’ she states Probably root causes of:
Addictions: running from the self. Fear. Not knowing how to love the self.
New thought pattern: “I now discover how wonderful I am. I choose to love and enjoy myself.”
*But anyone who struggles with addiction will probably tell you that those words are the furthest from their mind and possibly trying to say them is far too much to hope for.
Alcoholism: Feelings of what’s the use? futility, guilt, inadequacy and self-rejection.
New thought pattern: “I live in the now. Each moment is new. I choose to see my self-worth. I love and approve of myself.”
Again, I repeat my sentence above*
In an ideal world yes of course, the person addicted would just read the book and say the words till change comes.
Of course not! The person needing help probably wouldn’t pick up such a book, let alone read and follow all the exercises in it.
Don’t get me wrong it’s an amazing book and the information in it is spot on, but it took me years to read it properly and I didn’t have an addiction, just low self-worth!
So, before I finish this, I ask that if you see someone struggling with life, just send a loving thought out to them rather than a judgement and remember they are probably in a dark place, stumbling about wondering how, when, and where life is going to become light again.
My wish for 2019 is that more help is out there for people struggling with their emotions and I’m pleased to say I for one will keep on making the courses I run available to anyone who needs them.