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Previous GCR Newsletters have touched upon hopelessness as a consequence of alcohol and drug abuse and we want to examine this condition a little more in depth this month. Our message is that there is always hope because treatment is available to those who want to stop the problems caused by drug and alcohol abuse. Many of our clients have learned how to live sober and are living lives beyond their expectations.

This does not mean all problems will cease, it does mean that our clients are well equipped to deal with the ups and downs of life without depending on alcohol and drugs which only make problems worse.

Through effective treatment our clients learn new behaviors and how to break old behavior patterns. Through support groups they learn where to turn for help and how to continue to move toward a life filled with meaning and purpose rather than simply coping with a desperate existence.

The trap of believing that there is no hope is just another characteristic of the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction. The mind is sick and will believe any lie or delusion it tells itself in order to continue to drink and use. A person in the middle of active addiction and alcoholism continues to believe that drinking and using offers a legitimate escape from problems. The delusion that getting loaded brings pleasure and comfort blinds the person from really seeing that drinking and using is the single biggest cause of the problems they are trying to avoid. When a persons solution is actually causing the problem, they are left with utter hopelessness and frustration.
A Branch of Hope

It is said that when you're in quicksand do not struggle because the movement from struggling will only drag you down faster. This is an excellent analogy for alcoholism and drug addiction. The alcoholic finds him or herself mired in the quicksand of life problems. A legal difficulty with the courts, relationship problems with the spouse and kids, work problems, financial concerns, loneliness and other emotional difficulties- all related directly or indirectly to drinking and drug use. But the alcoholic is often unable to see the connection much less do anything about it. Thus the overwhelming feeling of hopelessness as the inability to solve life's problems becomes more and more burdensome. Troubles increase, drinking increases and troubles increase some more. This creates the vicious cycle that defines this progressive disease that frequently ends in prison or premature death.

To continue with the quicksand analogy, if a person can remain calm and still for even a moment they can often give themselves enough time to find a way out of the quicksand like grabbing a nearby branch with which to pull themselves out. In the quicksand of alcoholism and drug addiction, attending a treatment center is the branch that can save your life. It may occur to you during a moment of clarity and calmness or may come after an intervention but in either case we hope that you reach out and take advantage of this life saving opportunity and remember that there is always hope!