After many years of research in the field of addiction, it was not surprising to find that people do not know that alcohol is a drug. Almost everyone said, "Oh, I didn't know that. Why didn't someone tell me?" In fact, it is the only drug legally available to ensure permanent damage to careers, finances, health and the family. And despite exceptions, the relapse rate from addiction worldwide is unacceptable. Further that prescription drugs were not the answer. This is because most therapies address the conscious and physiological, whereas the roots of addiction lie predominantly in the subconscious. Possibly a result of some childhood trauma or the effects of the environment we were brought up in. It is apparent that motivation, inspiration and self realization are the answer to effect the transformation process, and that emotional triggers cause addiction are far more important than those caused by external factors such as people, places and events.
But still, many other issues remain:
- Why is there so much denial about the problem from just about everyone concerned?
- Why is the relapse rate from conventional clinical therapy so high?
- Why is there such an extreme denial of the problem?
- Why is alcoholism not treated as any other serious disease but simply as a way of life?
- What can we do about awareness, education and prevention?
- Why is this stigma attached to an alcoholic? No other addiction is viewed this way.
- Why is the Government not doing more than it is by providing essential resources needed to combat this disease? Such as trained de-addiction counsellors and functional rehab centres.
- Why is the education system in denial with respect to the prevalence of drugs and alcohol in schools and colleges, for fear it may damage the reputation of the institution? And the lack of steps taken for behaviour management and counselling.
In summary, we must accept :
- That incarceration and a deprivation of privileges as a mode of punishment or behaviour modification does not work.
- The need is to enable the parent and student to first understand the very nature of the problem, it's urgency and the consequences.
- That we must provide the ways and means for the addict and loved ones to take prompt action.
- That we must leave a sober and sustainable world for our children, probably our finest legacy.
- The author is presently associated with several of the best counselling/rehab centres in India. The book is written for people in despair, facing a crisis, and are pleading "I don't where to go or what to do”. The hope is that with this, if we can save the soul of just one child each, it will all be worth it.