Having cared for thousands of patients over the past two decades, addiction always stood out. Why? It affected me personally, and it affected my family. I am the adult child of an alcoholic parent.
Our Nation’s Number One Health Problem
The data shows both choice and biology play a role in this condition. Addiction has been named our nation’s number one health problem. It crosses all societal boundaries affecting all ages, ethnic groups and tax brackets.
Avoidance and It’s Prescription
Thich Nhat Hanh states:
“The main affliction of our modern society is that we don’t know how to handle the suffering inside us and we cover it up with all kinds of consumption.”
Although there are many ways to look at addiction and many solutions, the Buddha’s is short and sweet.
The Buddha stated in the Four Noble Truths:
- Life is suffering…stick with me…it gets better! This is simply the diagnosis of illness.
- The cause of illness or suffering can be know.
- There is medicine for the suffering.
- The prescription for suffering is living the eightfold path.
Addictions are those habits that we can’t live without.
We all have addictions. Sometimes our addictions serve us pretty well such as the addiction to exercise, but others not so much. We can have addictions to gambling, shopping, technology, food, sex, and of course, drugs and alcohol.
Name it, Heal it
Are you concerned about addiction? Please ask for support from a trusted friend, family member, or caregiver. Do it now, for the elephant in the room doesn’t go away without naming it and action… Trust me. I tried that in my own family. The good news is as soon as you name, the healing starts!