The story of addiction follows the same pattern, no matter what the characters or backdrop. It never begins voluntarily. A user doesn’t normally pop his first pill or take his first injection with the thought, “I can’t wait to get hooked on this stuff until I have no control over it.” It begins as a solution to a problem–maybe dealing with stress, or drowning out painful memories–and finally the user wakes up with the startling realization that he can’t live without it.
For many, drug addiction leads to a weakened sense of ethics and morals. It affects family life, and parents are often shocked to find their children exhibiting an unusual attitude at home. Addicts seem to lose respect for family members and friends, lash out unexpectedly, and bring upset and confusion in to an otherwise happy home.
There is a precise reason for this.
Exchange And Solving Addiction
The concept of exchange is a key part of understanding what occurs during addiction. “Exchange” means giving and receiving reciprocally. In other words, you do something for someone else, and he returns the favor. This concept can be observed in all aspects of life–economics, friendship, love. Any successful relationship involves proper exchange.
When it comes to addiction, exchange becomes unbalanced–in other words, an addict becomes “out-exchange”. It is unlikely that his parents or spouse are willingly funding his addiction, so in most cases, he is stealing or using allowance money for his next fix.
Most people instinctively rebel against not being allowed to contribute with proper exchange. Think of the last time you arrived at a party without a gift. You were given good food, company, and a good time, but you had nothing to give in return. Did you feel very comfortable with this?
When addicts continually go out-exchange, they become overwhelmed with the burden of unpaid debts. This is when they lash out, making less of those around them and treating loved ones with an unprecedented disrespect or hatred.
There is a remedy for this.
How Exchange is Used to Handle Drug Addiction
In addition to the physical detox of drugs, addicts are guided to address the areas that led to addiction in the first place. If this is not done, relapse is likely.
In order for an addict to truly come to terms with his addiction and clean up his past, he must confront areas of out-exchange. In doing so, he will experience great relief. Additionally, it is by putting proper exchange in with friends, family members and even his community that he will regain his self-respect and ownership over his life.
Putting Exchange In
There are a number of ways that a recovering addict can put exchange in with those around him:
• Help his parents or spouse with jobs around the house.
• Send good communication, such as cheerful updates and good news about his progress.
• Get involved in community work, such as tutoring at a local community center or helping others recover from addiction, as well.
• Help other drug-free family members or friends.
• Any volunteer work.
Getting and keeping in exchange is an essential component to continued sobriety.