Testimonial: ann r.
Addiction is a disease?
I always thought addicts were weak people who couldn’t cope with life. I was fortunate to have never been exposed to addiction (that I knew of) and certainly didn’t think addiction was a disease.
My 29-year-old nephew had been in and out of trouble for years, but I didn’t think it was due to an addiction, I thought he was just prone to making bad decisions. Other family members and I “helped” (enabled) by paying his rent, car payments, and various other expenses over the years. It was not until he saw a good friend of his die from an overdose that he realized he needed help. And, by that time, considering his bad behavior over the years, he had burned all his bridges.
A dear friend of mine had been to an intensive outpatient facility in Dallas for treatment for his chronic alcoholism and got into recovery. He had been in rough shape from his drinking and was desperate for help but lacked the necessary resources. He received a scholarship to pay for his treatment from Another Solution in 2001. He had told me about his addiction and how the outpatient treatment “scholarshiped” by Another Solution saved his life.
I decided to bring my nephew to Dallas, where he was evaluated, and qualified for a scholarship from Another Solution. He was directed to and was accepted into a treatment program. At that time, I didn’t realize the importance of or the need for family involvement during treatment. Addiction, like most other diseases, affects the whole family.
If my nephew had not received the scholarship nor been accepted to the program, I still would not understand that addiction IS a disease or what happens in an addict’s brain. The support and education provided by the recovery team to me and the other family members were critical in helping us cope with the difficult situation.
While my nephew still needs to want to do the work to get better, the treatment he received as a result of Another Solution’s generosity gave him the foundation he needed. And being part of the outpatient center’s family has been life-changing for me - so much so, that I want to play an active role in helping other families the way that I’ve been helped.
It’s a miracle in progress.