When I was young, I believed that all it took to become addicted to heroin was to use it one time. It was a path of no return. All people were equally vulnerable. And it was all about the drug.
Most people would agree that this sort of thinking is overly simplistic, but few realize it bears no resemblance to the truth. Yet in many ways, it underpins our drug policies, our attitudes, and our failure to move beyond the epidemic that is upon us.
Loving a person who suffers with addiction is its own kind of teacher, one that rarely affords clarity of thought much less the luxury of research. While there were certainly times of smooth sailing, I initially used these to catch my breath, focus elsewhere, and maybe even deny the problem. But I remember the day when I realized I wasn’t always getting good advice and that I needed to seek a deeper understanding on my own.