One of the strategies in dealing with addiction is Harm Reduction. This is a strategy that has been practiced in Europe for many years. There is, however, still much resistance to doing this in our country. The strategy involves doing such things as giving people with addictions clean needles and a safe place to use. Critics say the strategy encourages and supports the addiction. The research that has been done on these programs seems to contradict that argument. Studies point out that the strategy reduces death and disease among those addicted and can encourage them to become involved in treatment programs.
In the last few posts, we have focused on addiction using some of the challenge questions from Bounce Back. The game is a serious game that asked participants to describe in some detail how they would deal with a challenge using the skills and attitudes of resilience.
This challenge deals with the impact on families.
My son is no longer welcome in my home. I’ve given him too many chances and believed too many of his lies. He’s done nothing but destroy this family. If he wants to kill himself, he will have to do it somewhere else.
We would encourage you to put yourself in the place of this angry and frustrated parent. And to think about how you would manage this challenge using resilience skills and attitudes. We would encourage you to share the challenge question with others and discuss how they would deal with a similar situation or perhaps how they have dealt with this situation in their own family.
Addiction has destroyed many families. You are not alone. We would encourage you to connect and communicate with others in similar situations. What have they done? You need to vent and discharge a lot of the strong feelings that you have. You will be able to think more clearly after you do this. Be flexible. Maybe there are other things you can do that you haven’t done. Maybe there are other ways to solve this problem to take care of your son, your family and yourself. The present problem you’re facing is a temporary one. It has not always been there. And his problem with addiction does not have to destroy you and your family. Remember that addiction is a disease. Blaming him or yourself is not going to solve the problem.
In the next post, we will talk more about issues around managing addiction in our society.
Dr. Ron Breazeale