8 Things Drug Addicts Wish You Understood

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There’s still a lot we don’t understand about addiction. So, talking to people who are actually affected is a great place to start. Recovery Brands, an organization that provides online resources for individuals and families seeking addiction treatment, asked people who live with and are affected by addiction to tell us one thing they wish others understood.

Before you judge, listen to what they have to say:

“The opposite of addiction is connection.” — Johan Harri (submitted by Nick Warren)

“That it isn’t a choice, it’s a disease.” — Sandra Bitting

“Until you have loved someone who abuses substances, don’t judge the family’s choices… the line between enabling and supporting is blurry.” — Tanya Stanley

“It’s not necessarily because the parent was a bad parent or the child (in my case) is a bad person.” — Amy Talcott Kennard

“Addiction is not the entirety of me. I am me; I am not just my addiction. There is a lot of other stuff to love.” — Ryan Sachse

“People who suffer from addiction do not choose to be that way, nor do they have to let it define them.” — Teresa Taylor

“Addiction is so much more common and pervasive an issue than society thinks.” — Sarah Hollowell

“I wish people saw the time that addicts spent alone. Thinking about everything they’ve done every time they’ve lied and stole.” — Thad Knisely