This post originally appeared on January 15, 2018, a day when the United States celebrated the birthday of the late Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., a prominent civil rights leader. Given his impressive accomplishments, most people would agree that King was a great man.
Most of us aren’t King, of course. But we can be great in different ways. One of these ways is by pursuing treatment for a drug or alcohol condition.
So many times in the past, people demonized addiction and drug and alcohol users. They called such people junkies, winos, or alkies and said that their problems were due to moral failings and a lack of willpower.
The more we learn, the more we realize how false and harmful these opinions are. They’re false because drug and alcohol abuse are medical conditions. Using alcohol and drugs affects people’s bodies and even affects the chemistry of their brains, which can in turn make people want to use alcohol and drugs even more.
In addition, there may be a genetic connection to addiction, so some people might have biological predispositions to abusing alcohol and drugs. Also, the fact that medication and other medical interventions often work to treat addiction means that substance abuse could be a disease instead of a moral condition.
Drug and alcohol abuse is an illness and a tough illness to fight. That’s where greatness enters the picture. People fighting this illness are strong. People can find it very difficult to admit they have problems. Even after they admit their problems, it can be difficult to take the next step and seek help.
People who have the courage to admit their problems and find help for them are courageous. They’re facing uncertain futures but they’re committed to achieving them. They know that others might judge them, but they’re doing what they feel is right, even if it could hurt. If that’s not greatness, what is?
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