Saturday, October 3, 2015

Substance Abuse: The Devil In Us Vs The Will To Fight

I am living a parody
Remind me about control
Please nudge me into reality

I long for my desire to be under my dictate
For my yearnings to be safe
For me to be normal again

I long to no longer be my addiction’s slave

If you hear me

Rescue me from me…



The Humans of New York page is one of my favorite pages on social media. There is nothing compared to how a few lines quoted beneath a photograph provides an insight into the lives of total strangers and reiterating that we all are part of a big family that shares a common bond. A bond that cuts across races, religions, gender or whatever differences we might have, showing us that beneath all the layers of skin, we all are humans.

It was from that page that I read a post on a teacher that described how he sadly watches some of his promising students get drawn into the world of substance abuse and how they slowly become shadows of their former selves.
The way he described the progression made me remember someone really close to me. Substance abusers are sometimes aware of the hurt they cause to those that truly love them but lack the willpower to end what they started. Many times, family members and friends have had to bear the cross of watching a promising and dear one take the downward trail. Sometimes too, the loved ones find themselves in a helpless situation because unlike other things, such addiction can only be truly overcome if the abuser finds the strength from within to fight.

I have tried many times to understand how such people get to those levels of low and I’d be lying if I say I finally have it all worked out, even science is yet to come to conclusion on what make people become addicted to harmful substances.

I know for sure that life comes at us with all sorts of issues and it sometimes can look like the wise thing to do is to collapse under the weight of some problems we are in but this also means that we are oblivious of the strength within.

The power of choice is the greatest power we possess as humans but when we fail to realize it, we leave our lives to be directed by all other agents of nature.

Acknowledging that there is a deep issue is a big step one has to take towards recovery. The belief that substance abuse is a yoke placed on one by the enemy is a huge clog in the wheel of recovery in this part of the world.

Many African societies have deeply rooted belief in the supernatural. It is mostly evident in Nollywood movies and movies from other parts of Africa, where the theme of witchcraft has been greatly over flogged.

We were taught to think headaches could be curses from gods. I was made to believe most insane people were either ‘cursed’ or ‘former witches’. Alcoholics and nymphomaniacs are thought to be under some kind of strong spell.

Meaning many people have the wrong belief that they are being plagued by ailments when it could have been direct results of some wrong choices they made.

A totally different approach ought to be used. Substance abuse isn’t always spiritual and such persons need more than deliverance sessions.

I am not undermining the place of prayer, I am just saying after prayers are said, there are physical steps that ought to be taken.

First, a substance abuser can only be helped when he/she understands he needs help. To get the best results, it is better for family and friends to forgive whatever hurt and for all hands to be on deck towards achieving a better life for the abuser.

A person hoping to fully recover from substance abuse has to consciously get rid of all the substance so as not to be tempted. Also such person needs to cut ties with friends that are in the habit too.

Just like Demi wrote in her recent POST, substance abuse has become a fad in recent times. However popular this dangerous trend is, we ought to bear in mind that there are always more casualties than the abuser. If you know someone or you are one, please seek help.


God bless.

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