Lanterns: It's Easy to Blame Addiction on Other Things, But Should We?


It's Easy to Blame Addiction on Other Things, But Should We?

Sometimes I wonder if I am the only one who sees things a certain way. For example, we see a lot of people saying they were addicted to drugs or alcohol because their parents got divorced or because they were given Ritalin, which lead them to other drugs. I find that hard to believe.

Just calm down while I explain.

You see, my parents got divorced when I was very young. I had ADHD before it was cool. They didn't even have a name for it at the time. I took Ritalin, as well. I never had a drug or alcohol problem. Wait, there's more. Both my father and his father were alcoholics at some point in time so, it should be in my DNA right? After all, that is an excuse that people give, as well. They say that one or both of their parents and at least one of their grandparents had a drug or alcohol addiction and that is why they’re an alcoholic as well. It must not have trickled down to me from my father and grandfather.

I am in the same boat as many others when it comes to growing up in a single-parent home, taking Ritalin, and having addiction run in the family. But I am not in the same boat as many people who went further—those that have an addiction to drugs and or alcohol. I will, however, admit that when I hear of someone saying those are why they had drug or alcohol problems, I usually say they are using the excuse as a cop out. I say “Look at me, I went through the same thing (mostly) and I never got involved in those addictions.” I know it might be wrong of me to think that way but, sometimes I do.

It just makes me wonder if they are blaming the wrong thing here. What I mean by this is that maybe what really happened was that they were upset about their parents divorce and didn't know how to deal with it. Maybe someone introduced them to that first drink, puff, or snort. Maybe they took Ritalin not for its intended use, but for its side effects. Or maybe its effects on them were different than they were on me. With me, I was pretty much comatose shortly after taking it. I literally sat in class looking out into space.

See? I look at things a little differently sometimes. This is not meant, in anyway, to say that I am any better than anyone else. I did have an addiction I recently quit. I smoked cigarettes for over thirty years and quit almost a year ago. I still miss them, but so far, cigarettes for me are no more. But I do think that some people in society today just might not be able to handle some things going on in their lives. Maybe they turn to a substance to help them cope, so they think.

It is very easy to blame Mom and Dad’s divorce or that Ritalin you took for a while or the addiction that ran in your family. It’s very easy to blame those things and sometimes a contriubting factor might very well be some or all of those things, but I believe that sometimes none of those things actually cause drug or alcohol addiction. Maybe I am just a lucky one who had three strikes against me, divorce, Ritalin, family alcoholism, and never became addicted to anything— except nicotine. I am not speaking from the sidelines here looking in. I had those strikes against me. I am in no way trying to be insensitive, however.

Addiction is real and has devastating effects on people's lives. All I am saying is that maybe there are other reasons for an addiction such as peer pressure. You try a substance once to fit in and it takes control of your life? Perhaps sheer curiosity. Any multitude of things could cause the addiction. Not just divorce or Ritalin or family history.

We can either blame things that happened in our lives, or we can use them to make us focus on better things. Again, if someone has or had some drug or alcohol addiction, I am not meaning to bring you down, but build you up. I am suggesting that some of these things are blamed simply because it's easy to blame them. My life wasn't great growing up, either. Although I had the above things to deal with, I never got involved with drugs or alcohol. I never even smoked marijuana. Maybe I am just wired different, but it’s not too late for you to be the same.

I hope this made sense to the reader, and I hope that I get some kind of feedback from it.

Thank you for reading and God bless you.

Written by Rev BK

Father of Autistic Son, Author, Clergyman, Conservative.

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