I am passionate about drug/alcohol abuse. I've seen first-hand the devastation it causes. I've seen a normal, functioning family become an addicted family. I've seen children get sucked into the sickness, even though they don't live at home anymore. I've seen grown men be silent about this disease, when they should be shouting from the roof tops and helping siblings overcome the terrible effects.
It is absolutely a family sickness. No one will step forward and confront the addicted person, they are too afraid of retribution if they do. They all turn a blind eye, when they know a call should be made to authorities about illegal activities being conducted.
One brother is gone due to the effects of alcoholism. He used to carry around a clear "water" bottle at deer camp, with his name on it, so the brothers wouldn't suspect what was really inside. The brothers never confronted him, but HE knew that THEY knew. He finally decided he had to quit, but by that time his body was beyond repair. He left behind 2 children and 2 grandchildren, and now has one more grandchild, a boy, named after his grandfathers.
The thing that I notice most about addictions is that the addicted person thinks everyone is against them. They do no wrong, everyone else picks on them. This gets worse as the addiction worsens. They justify what they do, and they truly believe that others don't see what they are doing. When in actuality we all know what goes on, but there again, I guess I'm even effected, no one does anything.
There have been cousins lost due to the same addictions. The tendency to become an alcoholic/drug abuser is inherited, not the actual disease. Some families are severely effected, with many family members suffering from the disease.
Over the years I've come to understand that I totally don't get the addiction (thank goodness), that I don't understand why the affected person can't quit. I'm just thankful that my personal, immediate experience ended many years ago. I'm thankful for a husband that is strong, who has good values and loves and cares for Justin and I.
I don't think our family addict will ever be healed, I'm afraid that he will end up spending time in prison, again. Sometimes I think this is the best solution, not just for him, but for his aging parents. His parents are the ones suffering the most because of his addiction. We are all affected by the actions of the addict, we all love him, we all worry about him. Most of all we all worry about his parents, about the possibility of abuse, the stress this places on his parents. We know that they are heart-sick, but don't know what to do that would help. This is truly a family addiction.