Addiction Epidemic: The Dangerous Seduction of Drugs and Alcohol

June 2, 2019

Drugs and alcohol lie. They promise a good time but pilfer simple joys.  


They promise solace for past anguishes but bankrupt the future. 


They promise comfort for unanswerable questions but they destroy any chance at real meaning. 


They promise happiness but leave any chance at trustworthy connection in the wreckage.  


They promise liberation but they are the trap from which there are few escapes. 


They promise to assuage grief but they actually incite more, less honest, grief.


They promise a life without pain but they create a life of misery.


They promise a shortcut, a way to circumvent mourning. But it is a detour to a desolate place where we cannot find our true selves.


Drugs and alcohol seductively propagandize the belief that they are necessary to cope with breadth and depth of traumatic loss. This is a lie. 


Instead, they ambush those who try to leave them, anchoring them to a superficial and very small life.  


Please, consider for a moment, before you pop that pill, before you put that needle in your arm, before you pour that drink, that your life doesn’t have to be defined by drugs and alcohol. 


Contemplate the possibility that, with the right support from others  - compassionate people, animals, and the earth - you have within you the capacity feel without being artificially altered. 


Feeling deeply, learning to trust your capacity to bear the unbearable, is the most beautiful gift you can offer yourself: the gift of fully inhabiting your own life.


Said with love and compassion from my heart to those ears who may want to listen. 




This may be a sensitive post for some.  The past few months, I've been working with grieving families whose children, from ages 11 to 40, have died from drug (prescription and street) and alcohol use.


I'm talking about this now because the numbers of affected families are increasing. And, the number of families who have lost one child, tragically to cancer or SIDS or drowning or stillbirth, and then subsequently, months or years later, lose another child to drugs is staggering.


We need one another, especially when we are in pain. When we have (what my friend Dr. Robert Stolorow calls) a "relational home", we are better able to approach our painful memories, frightening emotions, feelings of loss. 


Please, find compassionate and supportive help if you're struggling with the habitual patterns of drug and alcohol use. 


Find a community that will love you through your sadness, grief, despair, and help you stay connected to your feelings. 


Read good books that help you stay with your emotions. Cry when you need to cry. Get sunshine. Talk to others who don't judge and have the capacity to listen. Eat clean, play dirty, and sweat. Cry some more. Go to a support group. Write your feelings. Make art. Dance, drum, pray, chant, meditate, and cry more. Rescue or spend time with a vulnerable animal. And if you need to, find a compassionate professional who can guide you, especially if you have a weak support system.


We have some trained people here,


or interview counselors in your area.


With ahimsa for all,

Dr. Jo



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