Over 24 million Americans 12 and older suffer from alcohol or substance abuse, or both. Triple this number (at least) if you consider their loved ones who suffer right along with us. Of this 24 million, only about 2 million are admitted into treatment each year. This means there are over 20 million untreated people with a substance abuse disorder in the United States now. Many of those untreated are incarcerated, and the remainder are dying. There is no other option besides recovery, jail, or death. There seriously is no other option, as there is no such thing as a “functioning addict.” It is significantly easier for an addict to get a bag of dope than to get help. We are at a critical point in our history as a country, and treatment and recovery is going to be determined by our collective voices or our collective silence. Those that have found a solution need to use their voice and speak up. Although it is considered progress that substance abuse is recognized as a treatable medical disease, it also made the field of addiction treatment a “business.” When this happened, managed health care recognized the profits of this new “industry” and the business of recovery and treatment fell into their hands. And they have no idea how to treat us, so people continue to use, continue to die, and the stigma emerges that we do not comply with treatment and do not want the help they are providing. The recovering community is their only resource for a viable solution. Unlike other diseases, they must go to the ones with the problem to find their solution. If we remain silent, we are contributing to the problem. De-stigmatizing and reducing the shame of addiction is possible by showing our faces and using our voices. Those that are ignorant and judge the addict are justified if they do not see that there are millions living a life of recovery and productivity alongside them.Read More
My name is Mary, I am a drug addict and a alcoholic. I was the third oldest out of eight children. I had a great childhood our family was very close I don't ever remember anything bad happening, I do remember feeling different I never felt like I fit I I never felt a part of
I was painfully shy. I had my first drink at age 12 on my way to our 7th grade dance I remember feeling pretty I remember feeling like I fit in I remember feeling a part of!! I felt great! I also got so sick!! As I was throwing up, I looked up at my friend and I said I can't wait to do this again! I also remember the look on her face like I was crazy. But I really could not wait to feel like that again. I started experimenting with other drugs and drinking on the weekend then whenever I could I wanted to be high all the time I never wanted to be me I hated being me.Read More
I grew up in an alcoholic home; both of my parents are alcoholic. Moved around a lot, was always the new girl. Was abused in all forms. But that's not what makes me an alcoholic. Its the fact that I have a disease of the mind and body. A mind that very literally obsesses over drinking "normally", and a body that can never do so.
I had big dreams as a child. Did very well all throughout highschool. But I always felt so alone, so anxious and so so afraid unless I was intoxicated. So from age 15-22 I made it my only priority to stay intoxicated in one form or another 24/7.
I did things you couldn't imagine. Hurt and crushed the ones who loved me. Got arrested more times than I can remember. Shed all my morals, values and ethics for just ONE more. I did things that make me feel like it was quite literally a whole other person's life. I was miserable. I wasn't even a shell of a person. I was hopeless. I should've been a girl you saw in the newspaper for overdosing. I've tried to kill myself on 3 separate occasions.
And now? As of April 30th, 2013? I am happy, not suicidal. I am free, not addicted. I am honest, not a lying theif. I am dependable, not unreliable. I am loving, not hateful. I have integrity, not secrets. I am strong, not afraid. I am a woman who has survived literal hell on Earth who is not ashamed of what she did or who she was. Because I am who I am today because of that glorious journey. And it's the most beautiful, colorful, vibrant life.
How? Pain. Enough pain for me to humble myself enough to accept help. Enough pain to make me realise that I WILL die unless I change. Enough pain for me to accept A.A. as a solution.