I teach Life Skills courses at drug treatment centers across L.A. County. Last night I sat across from a woman who asked, “What hope do my children have of avoiding addiction when both their father and I are addicts?” In the first of a two-part blog, I offer my perspective.
Can addiction be prevented?
As I’ve sat with addicts, both in and out of recovery, I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how we could prevent addiction in the first place, and what kinds of broader societal changes might help.
The solution is probably surprising to the general public.
The solution—while not surprising to anyone who has spent time in AA—is probably surprising to the general public: spirituality. You can’t do it on your own. You need to turn to a power greater than yourself.
Put more attention into spiritual development.
Unless we put more time and attention into supporting the spiritual development of young people, Americans will continue to see unhealthy solutions like prescription drug addiction becoming more and more normal for those overwhelmed by life.
Life without God or spirituality seems fine when things are going well.
But when difficulties come and people are at the end of their rope, having depleted their own resources, they will turn to something else. If it’s not a loving God, it may be prescription drugs or heroin.
Spirituality is often an off-limits topic.
Yet investing in the spiritual development of our children is our best hope for preventing— and recovering from— our recent epidemic of painkiller addiction.
Next week, I will share a story from one of my students that prompted me to write on this topic.