But it's a disease...
DAMN!!!!!!! It must be this disease called addiction.
Now, let me get back to reality. In my 33 years on this planet, I have known and lost several people I loved. Some to natural causes, some to acts of violence, some to tragic accidents, and friends I lost to terror. But for all those I have lost, I have also gained. I am in a way, a better man for knowing all of them, and the lessons that they taught. Lessons through their action, words, lives and their deaths. But I have also lost a few to this "so called" addiction to drugs and other substances.
When I say "lost", I don't always mean death. Some are lost to me, their families and to society. For example, the most prevalent example is my cousin Frank. Frank is now 39 years old and has been a junkie since he was 13. He has cost his parents, literally, millions of dollars, millions of tears, and years off their lives. However, I can not feel pity for them. Why? Because like millions of other people effected by a drug addict, they have treated him like he has a "disease". The really odd thing, is that both his parents have had their own battles with a real disease, cancer. Joey has been suffering from prostate cancer for many years. In and out of surgeries, treatments, and a world of pain. Tess has suffered from colon caner for the last 2 years. And yet, the amazing thing is that they continue to treat their son as if he has a disease.
Now, Frank was not born a junkie, he was just born stupid. Frank did not acquire this disease through exposure to a carcinogen, or get this disease through heredity, or by any natural cause. He, like every other addict, received this blessing by being a total moron. He voluntarily picked up a drug, and used it. He was not part of a government study, or a clinical program, or even the victim of some villain who forced him to smoke, snort, inhale, inject, absorb, eat or drink a substance that would keep him trapped in a world of delusions.
Frank does NOT have a disease. Nor does any other addict. They may get a disease, as a result of their addiction. But by no means does addiction constitute a disease. I am completely disgusted by all of these people who continue to say that addiction is a disease, and that addicts are the victims of it.
By referring to addiction as a disease, misguided people have forced into our culture the idea that drugs are acceptable. How? By not demizing the addict, they have taken personal responsibility out of the hands of the individual, and placed in squarely in the hands of society. If there is an addict in a community, it is now the fault of society for not caring for, nurturing, and healing him or her. Forget the fact that narcotics, for the most part, are illegal, and that the addict has broken the law. Forget that nobody, but the addict, put them into that position. Forget that we as taxpayers, now have to foot the bill, again and again, for these people to get treatment. Forget that the return rate is overwhelming. Forget that the families left in the aftermath of a life destroyed, have to pick up the pieces and rebuild.
Let's face it people. By referring to addiction as a disease instead of a crime, we have completely undermined the potential for cures of legitimate disease. All of the money spent on "programs", and treatment, and medication, all of witch by the way are useless, is being diverted from scientific research that is trying to find cures for genuine diseases. Try telling a 6 year old suffering from cancer, or lupus, diabetes, blindness, deafness, spinabifida, or a host of other tragic ailments, that the funding he or she needs for a cure is being spent on some 39 year old, who up and decided that he needed a fix because his mommy didn't hug him.
I have had enough of good people, with bad luck, falling victim not only to their real diseases, but to the misguided failure of society. For me, if I had to make a choice between a 115 year old lady, and a 25 year old junkie girl, both of whom needed a transfusion, that I was the ONLY match for, well guess what. Grandma is coming home!!!
And now for the moral. I have always known 2 brothers and a sister. I have known OF a brother and a sister. Now, I know them all. Guess what? My brothers...Not addicts, but have dealt with disease. One sister...Not an addict, but has dealt with disease. Me, addicted to nicotine...MY FAULT...NO EXCUSES!!! Lastly, a newfound sister, complete Junkie, alcoholic, and God knows What else...NOT HER FAULT...ALL KINDS OF EXCUSES...
My family, fractured. My father mislead, and blinded. My real sister, still my only sister. My brothers..Always there. My mother... Broken hearted. And me...Staunch in the fact that addiction is not a disease.
So much damage, in so little time. My family has almost been destroyed because of one worthless addict. Like countless other families, we have an enemy in our midst. But only like the wise family, we recognize the enemy, and will not let them in. So to all those who's lives have bee obliterated by someone with a "disease", I say to you, lock the doors, and windows, change the locks, and stand guard over all worth keeping. Garbage belongs on the curb, or in the dump.
This is not my most poetic post, but it sure is one of my most honest.