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Helping or Hurting?

Recently, I posted a blog in regards to our children being provided over the counter drugs (gummies) to help them cope with the stresses in their tiny world. Is the adult addiction community being used by those who say they want to help and are the solutions helping or hurting the homeless addict?


We live in a world where the addict is encouraged to remain dependent on drugs, where the only supply-chain that hasn't been broken is one that controls the availability of drugs. Commercials are normalizing the use of CBD as a means of "feeling better," but in reality it is teaching a generation to relinquish self-control to a drug. This saddens me because what this really does is turn off your natural warning system designed to help you fight, flight, or freeze when in danger. In other words, you can have no fear as you walk off the cliff. I believe we are in the middle of a social experiment similar to the LSD experiments of the 1960's.


For many years I provided mental health services to the addiction community. I worked in residential treatment centers and Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP). I saw people addicted to drugs and/or alcohol come in for treatment and leave without making much change. I was told it was "normal" for an addict or alcoholic to enter treatment and leave against medical advice upwards of 7 times before the addict gets serious enough to get sober or dies of an overdose. I was astonished that change took so long and was told, "They have to hit rock bottom before they will want to change." I saw this reality over and over again as the reasons for change were buffered by family members who supported the addict financially, emotionally, and provided for the addicts every need. They never hit rock bottom and could remain dependent on others while enjoying their freedom to do drugs and drink. The addict never suffered any consequences that made them want to change. The advice of the experts was to parents to stop enabling the addict by removing the comfort and turn up the heat that made their children want to change. I saw when parents refused to finance comfort for their addict children, living on the streets was enough to turn them back home and toward recovery.


Now that parents have stopped funding their children's addiction, the government has stepped in to make the drug addicted homeless person more comfortable. Money has been thrown at the "homeless problem" and organizations and nonprofits popped up overnight to provide food, clothing, and shelters to make the homeless addicts more comfortable. Suddenly, they were camping on the beach, receiving all they needed and they could lounge in the most beautiful places while they could get high for free. California state bill SB57 is now in effect and provides, "Overdose Prevention Programs (OPP)" where addicts can "safely" shoot up and smoke crack. The bill was supported by those who get rich treating addiction; Al Senella, President of the California Association of Alcohol and Drug Program Executives (CAADPE), and CEO of Tarzana Treatment Centers. The next step is to create permanent housing apartments for the addicts who can live in comfort as they move closer to their next overdose.


When there is no reason to change and change does not provide something better, people won't change and will remain stuck in their addiction.When we remove discomfort we also remove the motivation for change. To learn more about drug treatment centers go to http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/sapc/providers/data-reports-and-briefs.htm.


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