Addiction: See the humanity of those who are struggling

Sep 18, 2023 | by Major Dawn McFarland

For more than 20 years, I have worked with countless clients struggling with addiction, but one story of transformation has stayed with me. Despite a lifelong battle with drugs and alcohol, Michael, as I’ll call him to protect his privacy, remained dedicated to breaking their grip on his life. During his time at a treatment facility, I observed his hard work to change his thinking and behavior, and I will never forget what he shared during a graduation celebration: When he was 8 years old, his parents gave him an Easter basket filled with a six-pack of beer.

That story has always moved me, both as a licensed chemical dependency counselor and as a woman of strong Christian faith for whom Easter has such personal meaning. That story points to the complexities of addiction, treatment and recovery. September marks National Recovery Month, which raises public awareness for mental health, addiction and recovery, and it provides an opportunity to think about the true face of addiction in the United States — and how we can help reverse a terrible trend.

Read the full piece, written by Major Dawn McFarland, Area Commander for The Salvation Army of North Texas, in the Dallas Morning News. 

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