I want to stress that addiction is an illness. I’m a subject expert. I am an addict/Alcoholic in recovery, i.e. clean for today and 9,000 days plus. In my experience, the perception of the addict has changed over the last 25 years. Today, it is much easier to ‘Admit’ ‘I’m addicted’ (as if I have a choice) than when I got clean. Newly sober, I had building insurances doubled, overdraft cancelled etc.
Alcoholism is a disease as recognized by the World Health Organization. There is no cure recovery in abstention. Therefore, sadly I’m an addict, not ex-addict. It’s great to see people like Dr Alf opening up this discussion.
I am extremely lucky to have had expert full-time treatment, locked in a unit for three months and then love support from family and friends. The real misconception is normal people do not understand the addict mind – why should they? It is after all, my disease and my responsibility to keep clean. However, I needed those three months ‘locked-up’ to begin recovery.
There are some important takeaways for drug addiction. All addiction is a disease, including drugs. It’s impossible to combat addiction without professional help. In the case of drugs, there’s another debate about whether treatment should include substitute drugs. The bottom line is the addict must recognize that they’re an addict, even after they’re clean from symptoms.