When you think of drug addiction, what kind of picture do you get in your mind? Do you see a person dressed in tattered clothes sitting in a rain soaked alley with needle in hand? Do you picture addiction in terms of a person begging on the street for money to buy just one more hit? The picture of drug addiction can be either of these images, but you might surprised to learn that there is another side of drug addiction you may never have thought of.
Consider that the picture of drug addiction includes a man in a business suit sitting at a desk every day working a full-time job. He has a family, children, a dog, and a wife. To everyone else, he projects the picture of having it all. The only problem is, the pressure of life got to him and he looked for a way out. A colleague offered him some cocaine. He liked the way it made him feel. Now he juggles credit card advances to pay for his $100 a day habit.
The picture of drug addiction could also be the popular cheerleader at your child’s high school. She’s blonde, beautiful, smart, and personable. But every morning, she takes a shot of vodka to stop the shakes. At lunch, she drinks a six-pack in her car, and at night, she’s at all the parties drinking until someone has to bring her home because she’s passed out.
Finally, the picture of drug addiction could also be in the form of a bored housewife. She has three children, laundry, dishes, and many other responsibilities. She’s tired all the time and sometimes just can’t get out of bed because of her exhaustion. She saw something on television about housewives taking their child’s Ritalin for energy. She decides to try it with her own 7-year old’s medication. Now she has to make excuses to the pediatrician why her child has run out of medicine before he should have.
Sure, we all picture a person with drug addiction as the homeless, down-on-their luck bum (so to speak) begging on the streets for money to buy drugs, but the cold reality is that drug addiction occurs in all walks of life to all types of people. Drug addiction has no boundaries and doesn’t pick and choose its victims.
The picture of drug addiction has changed over the years to include your neighbor, your child’s teacher, and even possibly your clergy. No one is immune, but all can get help. If you notice drug addiction in someone you care about, have a talk with them and encourage them to get help for their problem. Maybe one day, the picture of drug addiction will be a blank canvas.