Integrity in seeing the whole person. A human being is more than their disease.
Unfortunately, human beings can become sick. Sometimes sickness doesn’t go away. It can linger and persist for a lifetime. We often feel empathy and compassion for the sick and suffering. Integrity means doing the right thing, helping in any way we can.
In times of illness, we offer a helping hand.
We try to help those who suffer from chronic illness. Support, assistance, listening, we do what we can. People help other people in need because we imagine ourselves in the same situation. What if we were the ones who were sick? We hope that we would be listened to and given help as well.
Addiction is a chronic illness.
In the healthcare and addiction treatment field, we sometimes take this fact for granted. It is self evident. Complex changes have occurred in the brain that affect behavior. However, this is not obvious to everyone.
You are more than your addiction.
Your intention is not to harm yourself and others around you. You have dreams and goals, just like anyone else. Of course you know that you must quit drugs. The problem is, when do you finally do something about your problem? If, every day, you put it off until tomorrow, tomorrow will never come.
Integrity is important for addicts and their loved ones.
Part of recovering from addiction is to learn to live a life of integrity. This means being honest with yourself about who you are and what you have done. So, if you are close to someone suffering with the chronic disease of addiction, you must also be honest with yourself. Have you done all that you can to help your loved one find their way out of darkness?
How can we help?
If you are trying to help an addict recover, it can seem hopeless at times. After repeated relapses, going in and out of treatment, you may think that nothing is going to work. However, in these times of hopelessness, we can review what we have done to help and look into new options.
First we must review the basics. We know that meetings are important. 12-step groups have meetings in every city in the world. We can offer a ride to a meeting. Give a meeting list or a reminder of a meeting nearby on a particular day. Send messages of hope and recovery. You never know when a piece of information will arrive at just the right time to have a positive affect on someone.
Evaluate new therapies.
Medicine and technology continue to advance. New treatment options are available that did not exist 10 or 20 years ago. It is important for healthcare professionals to have integrity as well. We must be open to the possibility that what works for one person may not always work for everyone.
Integrity also means being whole and together in our approach.
We can start by seeing that a person struggling with addiction is a real person, not simply a disease. There is so much we can offer in the realm of the spiritual, science, technology and medicine. We can also offer our support and listen. While it is true that addiction can cause a person to lie and be deceitful, listening can still help. It helps when a person suffering with a chronic illness knows that loved ones are nearby and they care enough to listen and offer a helping hand.