What is crazy ? What does it look like? I saw Christopher Kennedy Lawford on the Today show back in a candid interview explaining addiction as a mental illness. A lot of people don’t want to hear that. People want to think that the crackhead on the corner is nothing more than a bum too lazy to work. In the 70’s it was LSD. In the 80’s it was Coke Orgies. In the 90’s it was crack, heroin, and Nirvana. This country has been plagued with rampant drug abuse as far back as the 1920’s, when prohibition first became law. It seems that people ignore the law for their addictions and create a larger problem. The system can’t find permanent housing to combat the addicted, convicted, committed people so a large part of the demographic remain homeless, unable to work, and wayward.
I don’t want, in any way, to glorify or justify, drug use. It’s a tragedy that hit my family and changed my life forever. The problem is most ex-addicts have no choice but to turn to pharmaceuticals to overcome their addictions. From what I know, suboxone is considered the holy grail in opiate addiction. Alcoholics are often given antidepressants. They have pills to treat anxiety that are very addictive and dangerous but their regulation is lax.
I am not a doctor and have no recognized background in medicine. Everything I write here comes from things I’ve experienced and stories people have shared with me. I believe the link between mental illness and addiction is simple: people try to escape their circumstances. Happy, well adjusted people, have no reason to seek alternatives to alleviate stress. There is a reason there’s just as much coke use at a high stakes questionably ethical stock firm, as there is in the strip club they eat lunch at. People use the skills they have to make the most money possible; unfortunately some people end up in the latter professions and, needless to say, they can’t look in the mirror without some help to take the edge off. It’s sad and education is the only way out of a life like that.