Just a snippet about me. Who I (think I) am, what I do, and why I am the way I am.
I’ve been a Clinical Addictions Counselor working at two different methadone clinics since 2008. Let’s just say I’ve seen a few things. And let me thank God right now for my sense of humor, because without it, I wouldn’t have made it this far! I’m currently a Clinical Supervisor at a methadone clinic, which means I’ve been doing this long enough to know what I’m doing, to know sh…poop from Shinola, and to have been promoted.
So…I’m gonna get on my soapbox for a minute… People suffering from addiction …argghhh… I mean, Substance Use Disorder (thanks for the mouthful, DSM 5, I truly appreciate that) deserve the same dignity and respect as everyone else. In general they consist of good people suffering from a bad disease. Yes, addiction IS a disease. (Even the medical community has realized this and affirmed it now. Check out the updated ASAM definition of addiction. Go ahead, google it. I’ll wait.) It is a disease that is chronic, progressive, and FATAL IF LEFT UNTREATED! There are many reasons someone may become addicted. Yes, those people choose the behaviors that lead to their addiction, but once they become addicted, there is no going back. There is no cure, only management. And it doesn’t take very much effort to go from using drugs recreationally to becoming addicted. If something makes us feel good, we humans want more of it, and want it more often. It seems that we’re almost wired for addiction…whether it’s to drugs and alcohol, or something else, like food, technology, sex…The difference is, drug addicts and alcoholics can’t as easily HIDE their addictions as can those addicted to those other things. And for some odd reason those people addicted to those other things don’t get the same bad rap as those addicted to drugs or alcohol. So maybe our instant judgement of those we so casually label “junkie” warrants reconsideration. People who suffer from addiction (sorry dsm 5, it’s an easier term to use) need help and support to get their lives together, not criticism and judgment.
Okay, I’m done. I’ll get off my soapbox now. For a short while anyway.