By Bob Weaver

The national addiction crisis has demanded the attention of our political leaders, physicians, law enforcement officials, social workers and the population at large.

West Virginia's jails, among the highest incarceration rates in the USA, and West Virginia cemeteries are being filled with those suffering from addiction.

Addiction is a disease that touches most every family, more often than not stereotyped as willful misconduct, making wrong choices, criminal, or a problem that is practiced by people not like them, the lower class of folks.

Addiction is an equal opportunity disease, bio-genetically driven.

The disease of addiction removes the choice of whether to use, driven by a mental and compulsive obsession to pick up one more time, despite negative consequences.

The addictive thinking - things will be different the next time they use.

Addicts spend their addictive lives chasing the butterfly of euphoria, unable to accept at depth they have lost control.

Alcoholics Anonymous' First Step is admitting "I am powerless over alcohol (drug) and my life has become unmanageable."

Addicts find it difficult to believe they are powerless to the addiction.

Recovery from addiction for most is finding power outside of one's self to stay clean and sober.

The best rational thinking (or self-knowledge), even by the smartest of people, is rarely sufficient to effect a recovery.

Few egos will admit powerlessness and loss of control.

The addict will spend most of their life believing that someway, somehow they will regain power and control.

Addiction dearly loves the addict to stay in that battle.

Most addicts get well when they surrender to their powerlessness to control, and find power outside of themselves.

Alcoholics Anonymous offers those in recovery some promises:

If we are painstaking about this phase of our development, we will be amazed before we are half way through.

We are going to know a new freedom and a new happiness.

We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

We will comprehend the word serenity and we will know peace.

No matter how far down the scale we have gone, we will see how our experience can benefit others.

That feeling of uselessness and self pity will disappear.

We will lose interest in selfish things and gain interest in our fellows.

Self-seeking will slip away.

Our whole attitude and outlook upon life will change.

Fear of people and of economic insecurity will leave us.

We will intuitively know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.

We will suddenly realize that God is doing for us what we could not do for ourselves.

Are these extravagant promises?

We think not.

They are being fulfilled among us—sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. They will always materialize if we work for them.

The addiction epidemic is among us, killing many West Virginians, many young, each week.

On this on the eve of my 42th sobriety anniversary, I ask each reader to have a small amount of compassion for those among us who struggle with this terrible disease, and encourage them to seek treatment.

After having a life-changing recovery, I helped start two treatment centers, and worked in that field for over 20 years, directly or indirectly involved in the treatment of about 13,000 addicts and alcoholics.

Hur Herald ©from Sunny Cal
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