Addiction and Family
We’re now putting the spotlight on HIV and how it is linked to substance addiction.
Attention on HIV (or Human Immunodeficiency Virus) has been revived anew since the recent revelation of controversial actor Charlie Sheen about him being HIV-positive. Many of his friends have urged him to come out amid rumors and in order to somehow erase the stigma surrounding this disease.
“Nagrugby ka ‘no?!” This is often a joke we tell our friends when they say or do something ridiculous. This is because we associate Rugby, a brand of contact cement, to those we see addictively sniffing it in our streets.
We call these “Rugby Boys” because those who sniff Rugby are usually street children. While joking about sniffing rugby is part of Filipino culture, inhalant or rugby sniffing by our youth is no joke.
Do you love him so much that you are willing to get him into rehab?
When you have a partner, spouse, family member or friend who is suffering from substance dependence or addiction, we often find ourselves wanting to keep them from harm and protect them even from themselves. We try to keep them clean and healthy, buy them medicine when they get sick, cover up their unpaid bills, support them when they lose their jobs, and help them if they get into any legal trouble.
“It’s my problem! Let me handle it on my own!” “Don’t interfere with my life, I am not interfering with yours.” “Mind your own business!”
These may just be some of the things your loved ones or friends with drug or alcohol addiction may have told you. When you express your concern, fear, sadness, and frustration to them, they would retaliate harshly that their problem doesn’t affect you so you don’t have to worry about them.
But we all know they’re completely wrong.
Addiction is a lonely disease.
When at first you have a happy family and a great relationship and social life, once addiction hits, things can change for the worst dramatically. Addiction isolates you to your family and friends, the people who love you, and then ultimately kill you. This is the reality for many addicts, unless they seek help and decide to stay sober.
Addiction can come between couples and break them apart–often in irreparable ways. Addiction can push very far apart people who once loved each other so deeply, to the point that they do not recognize each other anymore: one only sees the drug, while the other only sees the addiction.
Parents sometimes can’t keep track of everything that has been going on in their teens’ lives. Often, their children would even lie or hide things from them as these kids try to enjoy their freedom and experiment with their identity.
It’s not a surprise that teens may even experiment with substances as the price for admission into the “cool crowd” or the party.
But as a parent, how do you know if your child has been drinking? What if he’s been doing drugs?
Here are some signs you should look out for to know whether your child has been drinking or doing drugs:
The school year has well been on its way and many teens and young adults may have experienced being with a new set of friends and getting to know them better as the months have passed.
Some of your friends or classmates may get you to try some things that are new to you or make you uneasy. This is a form of peer pressure, which may come in many other forms. When you are talked or coaxed into trying things or doing something you don’t like, it can be hard to say no. It can be hard to stand up for what you believe in especially when almost everyone around you or in your group is doing something different.
Over the course of our daily life, we are faced with many decisions where our feelings or impulses are in conflict with our conscience. Often, we struggle between what is right and what we want to do.