This is the third in a series of blogs here at onlinedrugclass.com addressing the addiction issues faced by disabled individuals. We are currently looking at some of the reasons why the disabled may be at higher risk for addiction. If you missed the first two installments, I encourage you to go back and read them at the onlinedrugclass.com blog.
Do you know someone who is disabled (mentally or physically)? Do you think they may be suffering from addiction issues? If not, you might want to confirm they are not addicted, because the statistics are high in their favor of susceptibility. As reported in www.addictiontreatmentmagazine.com.
Here are some more reasons why the disabled are at higher risk for issues with addiction.
The disabled person’s loved ones act as enablers
Empathy and sympathy are very common for loved ones of disabled persons. Sometimes family and friends unintentionally enable substance abusers. For instance, a spouse who feels badly about a partner’s serious injury may be reluctant to say “no” when asked to run to the liquor store for a bottle of tequila. Other loved ones simply ignore the use of alcohol or drugs, telling themselves that the person has had a hard enough time living with the disability – why shouldn’t he or she be able to enjoy smoking a few joints or drinking a few beers?
Substances can be used to self-medicate emotions or symptoms
The challenges of living with a disability are, at times, overwhelming. Some disabled individuals turn to alcohol or drug use in the belief it will relieve the pain of negative emotions, such as anger, frustration, sadness, or guilt. Furthermore, many substances numb physical symptoms as well. In one study approximately 25% of patients with chronic jaw or facial pain or arthritis had used alcohol in an attempt to relieve the pain. While this study didn’t specifically examine those disabled by chronic pain, it does suggest that self-medication is widespread enough to be a concern.
In the next onlinedrugclass.com blog we will continue to look at this topic.