Letter: The realities of addiction 

Published 8:30 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

Our country is facing an overwhelming growth in drug and alcohol addiction. While statistics show that more than 23 million people in the U.S are living with addiction, less than 10% of people with addiction seek and receive help with the condition. This means that over 20 million people who need treatment for addiction aren’t getting it.

The important thing to remember is when people are in active addiction, their addiction will create any possible means to  avoid getting help. Their disease justifies, rationalizes and creates false scenarios to escape the sad reality. The addicted mind will do anything to distract from the issues at hand. In reality, they are either in denial, experiencing shame or they are afraid.

Denial is the biggest factor that allows addiction to thrive. Addiction creates a smoke screen that can make a person oblivious to the source of their problems.

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For many people struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, it’s difficult to admit there is a need for treatment because of the stigma surrounding addiction and addiction treatment. Because shame can be one of the most overwhelming and painful emotions, it can become a barrier for seeking treatment.

The fear of going to rehab is real — and so is the fear of what recovery may mean. Think about it. Recovery is a lifelong journey and commitment that is made each and every day. It takes motivation, determination and courage to enter a program for addiction treatment.

If you, or someone you know, is struggling with addiction, get help now. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) has a National Helpline that is a free, confidential, 365-day-a-year treatment referral and information service for individuals and families facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations. They may be reached at 1-800-662-HELP (4357).

If you would like additional support, I may be reached at gottahavehope38@gmail.com or by letter to 559 W Broadway St, Winona, MN 55987.

Mark Jacobson 

peer support specialist