Friday, October 13, 2006
Drugs and the family
Why won't a parent let go of their substance abuse using child when letting go is the best thing for them? This is something that truly perplexes me? I guess it puzzles me because it is not my child. If my child was an alcoholic or drug addict I may act the same as other parents who are called enablers. An enabler is one who provides the opportunity or means to achieve an end. I believe that parents think they are helping when they are actually causing the disease to progress.I have one substance abuser in my family and he is the youngest boy and the youngest child. He is loved by all even though he is a drug addict. My immediate families, cousins, neighbors, his neighbors, community folks all love him. Why? Because when he is not feening, he is helpful and will do anything to help others, but when he wants his drugs, he finds a way to get them. Most of the time it is by these means:
1. Stealing from our mother and his fiancé;
2. Getting drugs on credit
I say let him go, good riddance. But I look at my brother and I soften the same as she does. She loves her child and believes that she is helping him. I love him too but know that she is enabling him and he is getting worse. Even though I am angry with him, it subsides when I see him.
His beautiful behavior includes:
* daily cooking dinner for my mother and nieces and nephews
* daily cleaning the house
* keep my mothers' yard maintained
*runs his fiancé' bathwater and rubs her feet when she comes home from work and cooks dinner everyday for her
* Keeps his child until fiancé returns home from work then he goes and tends to his landscaping business
*looks out for the family
*lies*exaggerates so that you will not figure him out
*enrolls in treatment to satisfies others, dropout before time
So you see even though I try to explain to my mother how she has becomes his enabler, I do see why it is so hard for her to let go. You see when I see him washing cars, cleaning and cooking and tending gently to my mother and his girlfriends' needs it is easy to forget that he is sick. You want to believe that he is better but he's not. So we struggle and keep trying to encourage him to get help.
Sadly drugs are everywhere. An estimated 22 million Americans suffered from substance dependence or abuse due to drugs, alcohol or both. Based on results of the Household Survey released by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there were 19.5 million Americans, 8.3 percent of the population ages 12 or older, who currently used illicit drugs, 54 million who participated in binge drinking in the previous 30 days, and 15.9 million who were heavy drinkers.The report highlights that 7.7 million people, 3.3 percent of the total population ages 12 and older, needed treatment for a diagnosable drug problem and 18.6 million, 7.9 per cent of the population, needed treatment for a serious alcohol problem.
Will we ever see an end to this drug problem that robs families of their loves one, break down neighborhoods and communities and steals the dreams of our young? I hope so, though it doesn't seem that things are getting better, they are actually getting worse.