The Other Side Of Addiction

There is the other side to addiction that no-one is really talking about: Successful Recovery! Even I can be accused of this one. We talk about the enormous problem and the devastation that addiction brings to the individual and their families. We talk about the doctors, pharmaceutical companies, lousy treatment centers and slow-moving law makers. I even talk about blowing up poppy producing countries that continue to grow and sell the heroin to the United States. I’m here to tell you that we have individuals that are clean and sober and living productive lives without drugs and alcohol. Their families are whole again, and their loved one is back from the land of the walking dead.

Tuesday nights has to be one of my favorite nights of the week. That night is our men’s recovery meeting night. I’ve got guys named Rob, Jason, Steve, Shane, Eric, Ben, Calvin, Greg, Shaun, Manny, Dave, Scott, Cody, Max, Michael, Ted, Ronnie, Taylor, and the list goes on. These guys are my hero’s! To see the change in them is truly a miracle. Their brains are functioning again, they look healthy, their laughing and enjoying life. They are hanging out with other sober people and not putting themselves in situations that would cause them to relapse. I now have a couple of these guys working at my house and I will leave them there by themselves because I trust them. I wouldn’t have done that when they first walked through my door. They have Sunday night dinners together, they play golf and they have jobs and relationships that are flourishing. Is life easy for them? Of course not, but because they are sincerely working a recovery program, they now know how to handle life situations that normal people handle everyday without turning to drugs or alcohol.

Wednesday nights is my other favorite night of the week. To watch these parent’s grow and become stronger, then help others that walk through the door is such a blessing. The families, especially the parents are no longer addicted to their kid’s addiction. They have put away their style of doing things and have become educated on the real side of addiction. They have realized that no matter what kind of “Super Parent” they are, they can’t fix their kid’s addiction. They have learned the three C’s. You didn’t CAUSE it, you can’t CONTROL it and you can’t CURE it. Is it easy for the parents, again, of course not, but they are also working a recovery program. Working a recovery program is just not the responsibility of the addict, it is the responsibility of everyone in the family, particularly the parents and yes, even the grand-parents. I’ve said it for years, when everyone in the family is on the same page, recovery works. That’s not to say there won’t be trials and ups and downs, but at the very least, the family and the person in recovery will know how to get back on track.

For the most part, addiction winds up badly, but it really doesn’t have to. There is the other side, and I’ve got guys to prove it!

Nik Ashjian