I am going to answer this in two parts: one for me and one for others.
For me, I do not have a drinking problem. Well, I don’t have to drink every day and I don’t crave alcohol – which is quite a feat considering there are drinking problems on my mother’s side of the family. I do, however, have a problem with blacking out when I drink too much. The problem with this, besides the obvious, is that I blackout before I know I have had too much. And blacking out for me is not passing out, it’s going strong for the rest of the night and not remembering a damn thing.
As far as drugs go, I do have a slight problem with liking prescription drugs – mood stabilizers like Xanax and Ativan. But I do know how to control it now.
For others, I believe drugs and alcohol are an addiction many can not control. It is a life long struggle for many people that they never truly overcome. The first step is for them to realize it, accept it, and actively work to overcome it. They need our support. Otherwise dangerous and bad things happen.
These people need to be helped, not shamed, not whispered about behind their backs. I strongly believe this addiction is very controlling, overwhelming and outside many people’s control. They need us, as their friends, to recognize what is happening and work with them through support and strength and kindness to help them through it.
I also strongly believe many turn to drugs and alcohol to escape life – because they don’t have anyone they can count on and support them.