I am all for personal responsibility. I dislike blaming and excuses. However some people take the “blame the addict” thing way too far. There are many ways to end up addicted to drugs and alcohol. Some of them can be quite innocent. Many people end up addicted to pain medications because of an accident or chronic disease.
The same can be said with mental illness. Sometimes clients with mental illness end up using drugs and alcohol to help them feel normal and to cope. The issue with both of these groups of people is short term solutions for long term problems. The drugs and alcohol fail after a while and now they have another problem to add to their previous one. Nobody ever choses a car accident or mental illness.
Nobody ever chooses a lot of the other reasons why they first experimented with drugs or alcohol. The lacked coping skills for stress and anxiety. They found a couple of drinks seemed to make it manageable. For a while that is. Then they found then need more and more to cope. Then one day they woke up and found the drugs and alcohol were causing more stress than they were causing and it was too late, they were hooked.
Nobody chooses a marriage break-up or job loss. But a lot of people find drinking helps them cope through tough times. At the beginning it seems like an innocent mistake. Hindsight makes it look way more stupid then it was in the moment some one starts down the path of addiction.
Addiction destroys your health, family and life. Really who chooses that? And because people made a poor choice, does mean we do not help them? If some one drives without a seat belt and is severely hurt in an accident, do we deny them medical treatment because the were to “stupid” as to drive without the proper safety precautions? People with addictions simply need treatment without judgement. The same as people with diet induced heart disease, skin cancer caused by over exposure through sun tanning, smoking and all the other poor choices we all make.