No one ever really knows what goes on behind their neighbour’s closed door and where addiction is concerned the secrecy of the addictive behaviour is likely to cover up any tell tale signs that would allow for outside interference.
The face of addiction
The Mail Online today published a rather moving story of a young woman’s fight to save her mother from Cocaine addiction.
The article features a neatly dressed, middle class, 46 woman and mother of one who kept her 4 year cocaine addiction from her friends and family. The story of how a desperate daughter’s determination to get back her mother sheds some much needed light on the nature of addiction and addictive behaviour.
It might come as a surprise to many that a middle-class wife and mother who presents a clean and successful exterior is capable of developing an addiction to cocaine. Perhaps because it taps into a stubborn and out-dated belief in society, of addicts being unemployed wrecks with some sort of moral failing. As such this story beautifully illustrates that addiction does not discriminate and that addiction transcends socio-economic status, gender and age. Another common belief within society is that people with money, a nice house, a respectable job and beautiful children, do not have problems, - let alone emotional problems that lead to drug addiction.
What propelled this woman into a heavy cocaine addition was reportedly a number of factors. A dying father, a sick husband, and a daughter ready to leave for university combined with a growing sense of emptiness stimulated an increase in her alcohol misuse and subsequent interest in cocaine.
Underlying nearly all addictive behaviours is an emotional issue that is not being tended to. Feelings of loneliness, hopelessness, depression, or anxiety can feel highly distressing and uncomfortable. Situational and biological factors can enhance the likelihood of a person seeking relief in drugs, alcohol, or food as opposed to addressing the issue in a constructive manner. Once the addictive cycle has been established it can prove difficult to ascertain the root cause of the problem. Tackling mental health issues and addiction can prove impossible without professional help.
No one ever really knows what goes on behind their neighbour’s closed door and where addiction is concerned the secrecy of the addictive behaviour is likely to cover up any tell tale signs that would allow for outside interference. Secrecy is instrumental in allowing the addictive behaviour to continue. The stigma attached to mental health issues prevents many from voicing their feelings at an early stage, seeking support from friends and family. Intense shame often hinders honesty and disclosure of the problem. While the addictive behaviour serves to meet a need that we do not know how to meet otherwise, with professional help within a supportive environment, addiction can be overcome.