Long-term treatment plan is needed

I too have a loved one who is a slave to addiction.

It was with familiarity that I read the letter “When will we treat those who suffer?” in The Leader Feb. 10.

I too have a loved one who is a slave to alcohol that she uses to quiet the demons of childhood abuse and trauma.  The addiction has cost her her children, friends and home. Her life now consists of evictions for unpaid rent, homeless shelters and hospital stays. Social agencies put their own bandage on her that is peeled off the next Welfare Wednesday. There is no coordination to get her the ongoing support she needs.

In moments of sobriety, there is still the bubbly, do-anything-for-anyone personality. Sadness is knowing this person will disappear as soon as alcohol is available.

Many will say she needs to take responsibility. Before this experience I would have said the same. But multiple brain scans show her brain has been altered by years of alcohol abuse and she is no longer in control. She does want help; she has been to a treatment centre and was sober for a while, but fell off the wagon. Her brain demands alcohol as much as it does air.

Taxpayers spend tens of thousands of dollars on her for shelters and hospital stays. This money would be better spent if there was a mechanism for family members, with the assistance of health officials, to get these hurting souls into long-term treatment.

Name withheld by request

 

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