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Don’t expect to understand substance abuse, says recovering addict

If your child is an addict, they will likely go to any means necessary to keep using, even if it means hurting the ones they love and even putting their own lives at risk. Time and time again, you've probably asked yourself why they continue on this destructive path, and how the little boy or girl you brought up could have transformed into something that is almost unrecognizable to you.

And, according to Brian Rinker, a journalist and recovering heroin addict, those are questions you will never really have an answer to. In a recent piece for the Golden Gate Xpress, Rinker candidly explained that outsiders – even if they are family members, significant others or close friends – will never really be able to comprehend what drives an addict.

"Since addiction and alcoholism is centered in the brain, an addict's own thoughts are his enemy," he states. "Imagine that your entire thought process is wrong: your thoughts tell you to do things that may get you killed or land you in prison – thoughts and actions that fly in the face of reason and self-preservation."

Rinker recounts the five years he spent living "the life of heroin a junkie," digging through bags of disposed syringes and risking his life time and again in the pursuit of his next fix. Now sober, he can recognize how all-consuming addiction is, and just how inconceivable it can be for those who haven't experienced it.

However, just because you may not be able to fully understand your child's mental state, that doesn't mean you can help them. By holding a substance abuse intervention with a professional interventionist, you can confront your child's addiction head on and provide the support they need to recover.

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