In some form or another many people have been impacted upon by alcohol or drugs, either through personal use or knowing someone who has used substances. This is true of myself both professionally and personally where I have witnessed the impact of compulsive behaviour towards alcohol and drug use wreck peoples lives and caused significant harm to those around them. Having said this, I believe people can emerge from the wreckage and move forward in their lives and rebuild fractured relationships with family and friends. The first step is usually accepting that there is a problem and taking responsibility. The next step for most people is seeking support whether that’s AA, NA (narcotics anonymous), counselling or some other form support.
From my experience in working with people with substance use challenges the reasons it becomes problematic are wide and varied. One common factor for the use of alcohol and drugs is to help cope with life’s challenges, particularly emotional and psychological difficulties. The parlance used to describe this is ‘self medicating’ which we all do to varying degrees. For example, if I’ve had a really bad day then I might indulge in too much chocolate, junk food etc, watch too much tv and go to bed late and regret the whole thing the next day! Obviously this is a relatively tame example but for some people the extreme is when self medication with alcohol and drugs to cope with life morphs into full blown addiction where the substance controls their life rather than the other way round.
I don’t particularly have a judgement about this as I believe that we adjust to circumstances in the best way we can and for some people alcohol and drugs is the only outlet from feeling absolutely horrible. I also believe, from working with people with problematic alcohol and drug use, that they want more from life and don’t like being dependant on alcohol or drugs or both. This belief is founded on my truth that there are other ways to cope with life’s challenges through understanding ourselves more deeply with increased awareness, seeking alternate skills to help us cope with life’s trials and tribulations and aligning ourselves to our purpose and goals.
If alcohol or drugs have unfortunately impacted on your life in some form or another and you wish to seek support then please give one of us a call.
May this day find you well