As September 2018 comes to an end, I wanted to share some information as a final monthly awareness highlight. Each month burst with several monthly awareness topics that focus on things from health and safety to happiness and wellness. The month of September is no different. This month is National Recovery Month. The goal of this annual awareness effort is to promote and advocacy for mental health and substance use/abuse. National Recovery Month highlights the importance of understanding that recovery is possible.
Too often, people prefer to bury their heads in the sand, ignore challenges facing the community, and place blame. No one is asking you to go out and play a superhero but being aware of the challenges facing others and the positive changes developing to assist them is crucial. Now, I know that it is more popular to shame people fighting with substance use disorders and to find fault in the parents, society, and anything else we deem as an acceptable reason to reinforce the fear and shame people feel, but let’s think for a minute. How many people can say they have never done anything they regret?
Let’s take Demi Lovato for instance. She is extremely talented and distraught. Many people look at her circumstances and assume she has everything together. There should be no reason for her to use drugs, and she has it all, right? Well, until you walk a mile in her shoes, you have no idea the depth or breadth of what she is facing. I don’t know her personally, and I hope she continues to fight for her recovery. I love Demi Lovato, and I support her recovery.
Just like me, others have opinions. Below are some of the comments, made to about or to some of the clients I’ve spoken with:
o You can’t change
o You don’t deserve forgiveness
o You are a horrible person
o You are crazy
o They should have never started
o I don’t have any issues with that.
o I don’t need to hear about it
o They should be ashamed of themselves
o You can’t trust them
o They have no morals
o It’s their own fault
o I don’t deal with “those” people
To some, these may seem like just the ramblings of a little-known blogger, but wouldn’t it be great to arm yourself with information just in case these challenges hit close to you. This brings me to another topic. The heroin epidemic has challenged communities all over the world. The rates of overdose continue to increase, and the impact of these issues reach far and wide. Substance abuse and mental health touch the very young to the very old. There are so many community programs, resources, and agencies, worldwide, that have partnered to get information out to individuals, groups, and communities. Learn about how the brain works. Yes, a little biology and/or psychology lesson goes a long way to understanding mental health and addiction. No matter where you stand on the reasons, causes, or ethics behind addiction and mental health concerns, learn the facts.
Keep on pushing,