Hope. It is a necessary thing for us to hold onto. Whatever may be hurting and frustrating you today, you can hope that the problem goes away or at least hurts less down the road.
It seems strange that there could be a negative side to hope. Some problems just don’t seem to improve no matter how hard you try. That is the risky side to hope. Have you ever set your sights on the following week being a lot better only to have a solution fail to materialize? When that happens, your hope is dashed to pieces, making you feel worse than before. Resentment, bitterness and self-pity may harden your heart.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to heroin or methamphetamine, then you know only too well about unfulfilled hopes. The life of an addict is a rollercoaster ride of promises, lies, despair, recovery and relapse. It feels like every rising wave of hope crashes against rocks on the shore and disappears.
The answer isn’t to give up hoping. Instead, try not to pin your hopes on a specific outcome, timeframe or event.
I have been down this road with an addict. I wish I had an answer that could remove your hurt and mine. I don’t have one. What I do have is a stronger and more focused faith and hope. I haven’t proven to be very successful in shaping other people’s outcomes. I am learning to let go and let God do the work I cannot do.
When I stop trying to control outcomes, I become aware of the role I am supposed to play to be helpful to others, not only the addict. I do my best and leave the rest. The person I love may get sober eventually, and I wish this with all my heart. Either way, I am going to live with serenity and purpose, secure in the knowledge I am doing my best. And, yes, no matter how many times my hope has been crushed, I am going to keep right on hoping.
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By now, most people know about the crisis. Heroin is resurgent and more popular than ever before. In every community, it is shattering lives and sowing grief. Experts call it the opiate epidemic. Do you have someone in your life addicted to heroin?
America blinked and the unthinkable happened. Heroin became demystified, even okay to millions of young people. It is no longer the big city street junkie drug. How did we get to this point and what can anyone do about it?
For so many people, the addiction started with less powerful substances. “Partying” with alcohol and marijuana. Prescription narcotics became easy to obtain. Drugs like Hydrocodone, Oxycodone and Morphine created a fast and smooth high, especially when the pills were crushed and snorted or smoked. The fact that doctors prescribed these substances made them a little more acceptable. A seal of approval of sorts.
Moving from narcotic pills to heroin was not as big a jump as non-addicts might think. Heroin is a cheaper, faster and stronger version of the same high. Once someone becomes addicted to opiates, being away from them is torture. If heroin can be obtained, so much the better to keep the pain away.
You might be surprised to find out who is using heroin these days. It might be your neighbor or your financial adviser. It might even be your pharmacist. It is truly an epidemic now.
For teenagers, rebellion used to consist of secretly smoking some marijuana. It was cool, illegal and mysterious to sober people. Today, marijuana is legal in many places and, increasingly, accepted by society. Smoking pot does not have the same counter-culture cool effect. Has legalizing marijuana helped make heroin the current choice for rebellious youth? And has moving marijuana a notch towards acceptance made other drugs seem a bit less dangerous and terrible?
When an impressionable person sees a friend using heroin and raving about how great it is, the resistance and fear of the drug gets whittled down. What one person can do, another can do.
Opiates are highly addictive. Once addicted to heroin, a person’s life becomes a deep and dark trap, a mine tunnel.
There is hope for addicts. All that is needed to make a beginning is willingness to change and a pinch of inner honesty. Many people have recovered and are living happy, productive lives without heroin. Some of these people have written about their journey. A lot of addicts with good recovery are willing to lend a hand to those who are still suffering. Hospitalization is often needed at the beginning of any recovery, because addicts become dope-sick without the drug. Please remember always that there are many people who care.
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