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Why am I Scared of Alcoholics and Drug Addicts?

There’s something about alcoholics and drug addicts that scares me.

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that their addiction has taken over their lives or if it’s the unpredictability of their behavior. Whatever it is, I can’t help but feel scared around them.

alcoholic lying on table with drink scared of addictive behavior

alcoholic lying on table with drink scared of addictive behavior

I’m not sure if it’s the fact that their addiction has taken over their lives, or if it’s the unpredictability of their behavior.

I think part of my fear comes from the fact that I’ve seen how addiction can ruin a person’s life. I’ve seen friends and family members struggle with addiction, and I know how much it can destroy a person. Addiction is a powerful force, and it’s something that I don’t want to get caught up in.

I also know that addiction can be unpredictable. People who are generally rational and level-headed become entirely different when they’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol. They can become aggressive, violent, and out of control. It’s scary and anxiety-producing to see someone you care about transform like that, and it’s even more frightening to think that you could be the one who ends up in that situation.

Ultimately, I think my fear of alcoholics and drug addicts stems from a combination of things. I’ve seen how addiction can ruin lives, and I know how unpredictable and dangerous it can be. It’s something that I want to avoid at all costs.

However, a close friend of mine got sober almost a year ago and is about to get a year sober. My friend used to be one of those that reminded me of that fear, but I have a hard time tying his past with the person he is today. Everything about him seems different and conveys calm and honesty. I’ve heard more about sobriety and celebrities getting sober, and I’m glad it’s no longer a taboo.

My story in itself adds to the stigma unless I speak about recovery. Though it’s not ok to have to tolerate alcoholic behavior that is negatively impacting others from someone suffering (yes, now the American Medical Association clearly shows it is a physical impairment and condition) from substance use disorders, it is essential to know about resources for help and to see the disease underlying the problem. I’m sure it’s hard when it’s close to home, such as a family member or loved one.

I want to hear more about other stories, am so glad for my friend, and am even more delighted to know that my strong opinions can be proven wrong and that change is possible. Our incarceration system would probably have different outcomes if we had more rehab programs and less harmful punishment, and today I share this story to bring awareness. What story do you have to share?

by Jace A.

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