Substance abuse and addiction are complex conditions that can have devastating and overwhelming effects. Many who are affected by addiction do not know where to turn for help or treatment. If you’ve suffered from drug abuse in the past, are currently battling addiction, or have been impacted by a loved one’s addiction, we invite you to share your story. With almost 85 million Americans afflicted by chemical dependence, sharing personal experiences may help others who are facing similar battles. We invite you to connect with others who may currently be seeking treatment, who are considering rehabilitation, but are afraid, as well as those who have years of sobriety and understand the obstacles of recovery. We also encourage family members and friends to express their emotional journey of caring for someone controlled by alcohol or drug use. By sharing honest experiences you can help others become aware of help that is available, make someone feel less alone, and possibly encourage another to open up. Our mission is to create a supportive community environment where stories of hope and recovery can be exchanged. We respect those who wish to remain anonymous, those who want to share pictures, and those who would like to remain active in sharing their journey with others through our site. We just want to spread the message that no individual has to be alone in fighting substance abuse.
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In a recent study conducted by the University of California Los Angeles, researchers found that a majority of individuals didn’t seek treatment because they feared being labeled a recovering addict more over going through withdrawal. This same fear is also what keeps many individuals experiencing struggles with drug dependence from sharing their troubles. Additionally, family members and friends who care for an addict also hide their feelings because they want to protect their loved one or themselves from society’s judgement. However, research and personal stories from recovery advocates who have experienced addiction first hand all agree that bottling up emotions only causes negative reactions. Author Arlene J. Sherman who published The Real Dope on Addiction and Recovery writes “In recovery, sharing feelings of fear, of uncertainty, and of insecurity all tell us we are not alone in these emotions- most especially in recovery, where we are in uncharted territory and scared.” She goes on to say “If you battle addiction alone, you receive no encouragement. Who will build you up when you start to tear yourself down?” Her message reads loud and clear. “Don’t be alone. You cannot do this alone. Start to realize that by interacting with other in recovery that you are not alone in these feelings.” In sharing you begin to realize that you are not alone in thinking thoughts you otherwise believed no one else could understand, you are not alone in caring for someone despite their continuous hurtful acts that were caused by addiction, and most importantly you are not alone fighting addiction. When you share, you begin to realize there is always someone out there you can call when times are rough, there is always a person out there you can relate to, and it doesn’t matter if you have never met that person because even the most complete strangers can become a support system for one another based solely on understanding what the other has been through. Research into addiction treatment and family therapy has come a long way in the past decade and much of that can be directly linked to individuals beginning to break the silence surrounding chemical dependence. To continue making progress and to continue bringing hope to individuals who are facing their hardest battles, we ask the addiction community to speak up.
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