“If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.” ―Martin Luther King Jr.
Addiction treatment similarly challenges individuals to continue moving forward, one day at a time. When the charismatic civil rights crusader, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke these words to a committee of students in 1957, they were impressed that a man who was not much older than they were, had already been on the forefront, leading a crusade for better racial relations. Today we can take inspiration from the meaning in these words as it relates to different challenges, and the courage to overcome.
Addiction is more than a physical dependence on drugs; it can consume and destroy all vital areas of an individual’s life, and break someone down, spiritually, mentally and emotionally. Drug addiction is a complex illness characterized by intense, uncontrollable drug craving, and compulsive drug seeking and use, that persists even in the face of devastating consequences. People who come into treatment are often at a low, or the bottom of their ability to cope with life.
For many, detoxification and curing the physical dependence on a substance is only the beginning of a long term program of treating the source of addiction. Psychological and social factors are often powerful stimuli for relapse, and suiting up and showing up for therapy and treatment are necessary to change the way an addict or alcoholic manages and copes with life on life’s terms. The achievement is to keep moving forward one day at a time without picking up.
Addiction treatment gives people the freedom to live life without the need of substance abuse to escape stress and pain. Some days are going to be difficult, dragging one’s feet or crawling toward serenity, but with persistence these experiences will provide strength, and better days will come. While substance abuse will always certainly guarantee consequences, recovery ensures the possibility of a promising future.