Pop quiz: What’s the most dangerous drug in the world? The answer might surprise you. You might think meth or prescription medications would be number one. But in a recent study prescription meds didn’t make an appearance until 10th on the list. Meth came in a respectable but distant 4thplace.
The answer: alcohol. In a recent study done by the British government and some European scientists, alcohol was found to be riskier than heroin, crack cocaine, and even meth (Nutt, 2010). It makes sense if you think about it. Here at Peace Partnership, we’ve had more families come in to see us who have been negatively affected by alcohol than any other drug. This is not to say that family problems don’t happen when other drugs are abused—they certainly do—family problems occur whenever any drug is abused. But according to the latest research, alcohol abuse has more negative effects on all areas of life than any other drug (Watt, 2015). Here’s a nifty little graph to help you see what I’m talking about.
Here’s the take away friends: our culture has been on a recent kick of romanticizing addictions (see any reality show) and making rehab look like a wicked awesome “vacay” (see ABC family’s Recovery Road). The truth is, addictions destroy you. They wreck relationships and families. Think of rehab like taking your great grandfather, who stormed the beach at Normandy during WWII, to see “Saving Private Ryan” and then talking about how awesome it was and how you wish you could have been there. Rehab quickly loses its luster when you’re the one living on the roller coaster. Ask any family member of an addict; they’ll most likely give you an R-rated story of tears, lies, and broken relationships.
We need to realize how modeling behavior can have serious impacts on younger generations (Henson, 2015). We need to accept that parental perceptions can lead our children down a dangerous path (Ennet, 2016). Research has suggested reality TV shows have fueled cosmetic surgery and eating disorders among teenagers (Howard). There is little doubt shows like “My Strange Addiction” and “Celebrity Rehab” have a negative impact on teen minds.
The addiction treatment world itself is also in a state of upheaval. This upheaval is due in part to seeking new forms of treatment that do not involve morality (Hari, 2015). This new movement wants society to feel better about addicts and their behavior; to accept the addict and their behavior, while denying the guilt and shame that led them to abuse drugs in the first place.
We cannot leave behind personal responsibility in an effort to treat addictions. I teach my children every day that the choices they make will have a great impact on their life, good or bad. I also love them unconditionally. It is possible, (dare I say healthy!), to have both reasonable expectations and unwavering love for those who struggle with addictions and mental health issues.
Hari, J. (2015, January 20). The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It’s Not What You Think. Retrieved February 12, 2015, from The Huffington Post: www.huffingtonpost.com
Henson, J. M., Pearson, M. R., & Carey, K. B. (2015). Defining and characterizing differences in college alcohol intervention efficacy: A growth mixture modeling application. Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 83(2), 370-381.
Howard, A. (n.d.). Reality television: creating a world where no one is real. Retrieved February 22, 2016, from The Dusk Theme: anhoward.wordpress.com
Nutt, D. J. (2010, November 1). Drug harms in the UK: a multicriterial analysis. London, UK.
Watt, A. (2015, November 11). According to Scientist, This Is the Most Dangerous Drug in the World. Retrieved February 23, 2016, from UNILAD: www.unilad.co.uk
March has arrived, which means Spring should be right around the corner! For some, that news brings excitement for warmer weather and longer days, and for others, it brings disappointment as the opportunity for a beautiful snowfall (think snow day) is quickly coming to a close. However you may be feeling about the season and weather, you’ll never have to wonder how we feel about our Peace Partners. So here are this month’s “Thank You Notes”:
- Thank you, Toyota, for your partnership. Your gift enables us to impact the lives of others. Thanks for showing you care!
- Thank you, Pearce Construction, for your concern for the kids’ lives impacted by our work. Your financial gift enables us to be a part of so many stories.
We so appreciate the support of all of our partners. Your gifts are invaluable. Thank you for believing in what we do. If you would like to find out how to become a partner and how your gifts can be doubled, please click on the link below or contact our Development Director, Jeff Cox, at firstname.lastname@example.org.