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Substance Abuse Everywhere

June 11, 2017

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Al and I just returned from Santa Rosa, California. During that time, we met and spoke with many families and couples. It’s sad to hear how many have lost or are fighting to hold onto their family unit and the addicted member.

I would love to hear or read that the amount of deaths from this horrible world-wide disease is going down but it seems to get larger in numbers.

In October, I will soon be speaking to the men and woman inmates at the Bristol County Jail in Dartmouth, Massachusetts. This will be my first experience entering a jail. Sad that substance abusers have to be behind bars for their addiction.

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The reason for their arrests shows what addiction to alcohol or drugs too long can do to a person. I’ll list a few reasons a person high on either gets jailed: drunk driving, domestic abuse, killings, rape, child abuse, or from disturbing the peace. Many more reasons could be added to the list.

If only the addicted would look into their hearts and face the mirror and admit they have a problem and get help. The recovery steps sound so easy to the nonalcoholic.

Getting off any habit that will kill is not easy, including throwing out the last cigarette forever. June 4, 2017, my twin brother, Albert, died from years of smoking. In 1990, he had been saved by a doctor from the Mass General Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts from his first lung cancer after they were ready to take his voice box out. The addiction, and his mindset, didn’t stop him from going right back to his habit until the cancer returned and twenty-seven years later, the smoking finally killed him.

Addiction to any habit is not easy to overcome…but it can be depending on the will of the person addicted to get well and beat the system. Not many.

With losing my husband, Richard, and my daughter, Lori, I truly believe the number one problem was not being able to admit to being an alcoholic. Second, they both would not talk to a counselor about their past and get what I call the garbage out of them. Third, their past hurts and abuse were kept deep within them and they had no strength or courage to talk about emotions.

To all substance abusers—–there is nothing wrong with you than having a disease or habit you can’t break. It takes more for a person to say they need help than the ones staying on the path of destruction.

I am a heart patient with my third pacemaker and have diabetes. Sounds like noting to the addicted, but it is. I have to get enough sleep, keep the stress level down stay away from caffeine and get plenty of exercise for the heart. As for the diabetes, I can’t enjoy the pleasure of sweets, pray not to get an injury to my foot or leg, take Coumadin and have to watch for bleeding, I take medicine for both problems and watch which foods interact with the heart and diabetes. I want to live, and live healthy, so I try to stay aware of my actions. Honestly, it sucks!

Let me put it this way to an addict reading this: what if you were in a car accident, and the doctor said, “I’m sorry, but you will never be able to move anything below your neck, walk and will have to be feed and changed the rest or your life”…or, you have been suffering with pain and had to go through medical tests to only find out you are in stage 5 with cancer and have two months to live.

These people can’t do a thing to change their lives. YOU CAN! It takes guts, determination and hard work to reach recovery. Only you can do it. Going back to the same friends who use or meet that drug dealer around the corner is easier than fighting to get sober and clean. If I could have crawled into my daughter’s body to do the work, I would have, but it was all up to her to do the work.

Losing a loved one, or more, from alcohol or drug abuse is a loss a family member can’t explain, because in our eyes, we saw the light to recovery with professional help and family counseling, but the addicted fear the changes and lose faith in themselves. Making changes can be more painful to them and staying in the sick familiar life seems easier.

We HAVE to teach children from first grade up about addiction to over-eating, smoking, and alcohol and drug abuse. In my book What is and isn’t Working for the Alcoholic and Addict, all 34 contributors talk about their usage and damage it did before they recovered. Two women open up about being 5 and 7 years old starting with consuming alcohol watching their parents.

Our children are not ignorant to the bad habits I mentioned. We as parents and teachers should be making this an everyday topic at home and in class. THIS might be the miracle to stop this spread of death.

Alberta Sequeira
Buy her books at www.amazon.com/author/albertasequeira

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