An addict is going to use no matter what. They have no willpower when it comes to whether or not they use that needle, smoking the crushed substance, or snorting the substance. None of it matters to them. All they ever care about is getting that next fix.
So for those of you out there that believe by having so much Narcan readily available, it’s going to enable our addicts, stop there. It will not increase the desire to use. If you believe that Narcan is an enabler and will keep them using, then you know nothing, nothing at all about addicts. Yes, it will enable them. It will allow them to remain alive. Yes, they will use again, but not for the same reason you believe. They are going to use because they feel they have to use. No one has shown them how to remain clean. Addicts don’t think about life or death. They don’t think period.
Those that have been to rehab, they will have learned tools to help manage their addictions. They too will not think about the consequences of using, not all the time. When they relapse, they relapse. They relapse for the sake of having forgotten why they stopped using in the first place. It has nothing to do with whether or not they will live or die. That thought never, or almost never crosses their mind.
Bottom Line – Addicts Don’t Care Whether They Live or Die
Rehabs should not be run by people who don’t understand addiction!
Ordinary people don’t get it. They don’t understand. They’ve never been there, at the bottom. Only addicts know how to help other users return from the bottom. They know what it’s like to fall, to get to the bottom and feel there is no return. Addicts know the fears of drug abusers. It’s not death.
That’s why it is so important to have rehabs run by responsible addicts. Only by those who have been in recovery for a given amount of time. They are the only ones who know the way to recovery.
Through experiences that they share, they teach strength and understanding. The things they’ve gone through, the stuff they’ve done, they’ve done it all. They know the tricks addicts have used to hide their problems with addiction. They know how users will try to play the system. Addicts are masters of deception. It takes one to know one.
A long term rehab becomes a community. The larger the population of recovered addicts, the stronger the support system to those in recovery. Being part of a community satisfies the need to belong to something. All users feel like outcasts. The stigma associated with addiction has made this more pronounced over the years.
Before New Hampshire closed the long-term rehab that my son had belonged to, he was happier than when he’d been using. He had support. There were people he could call when he needed to talk to someone who understood what he was going through. But, by closing that program sent an ominous message to the recovering addicts. The message said, “No one cares.”
If no one cares about a recovered addict, then who is going to care about the addict who needs to be in recovery? This message collapsed a fragile community. No wonder so many of our addicts have been dying from an overdose.
It takes years to build such a community and only minutes to collapse it.
The only way to cure addiction is to learn to make a stronger network of recovered addicts. Until then our addicts will continue to use and die.