Monday, August 17, 2009
Addiction is 'cunning, baffling, and powerful'; strong words with a lot of weight and even more truth! Diane Schuler killed four members of her family, herself, and three men in another vehicle in a devastating accident that has gripped the nation. An accident that has the world wondering what exactly goes on right in front of their eyes. The idea that everyone knows someone that is hiding their addiction can be hard to swallow; after close examination, when you scratch beneath the surface it can sometimes reveal things that we wish we were not aware of. What can make a person snap, drink alcohol and smoke pot while caring for several children is no mystery. The mystery is how no one saw this coming or spoke up about it before something occurred like what happened on the Taconic. Alcohol addiction and the lies that come along with it destroys families.
The truth is that most people know very little about alcoholism and addiction; even more so they don't understand how to intervene before it is too late and something bad happens. Ultimately when something bad happens, like in Schuler's case and even Jackson's case, everyone is in denial about what was actually going on. Denial is the first response in families and friends when something terrible occurs, it's the natural order. No one wants to believe the unbelievable! I think in most people's minds they feel somewhat responsible for the fallout of their loved one's explosions, again a natural occurrence. The fact of the matter is that everyday people's lives are forever altered by addiction, whether first hand or second; education is the only barrier, the only defense against the disease of addiction.
If you think you are seeing signs, then you probably are. If you know someone who is afflicted with this disease (and we all do), take the first step. Learn what you can and must do. I invite you to watch an ABC News Nightline Report "Hidden Addictions."
Someone once said, "Some people fail to notice; others fail to care."