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The Role Despair Plays in Addiction

Many people can attest to the fact that times are hard — maybe harder than they’ve ever been, or at least since The Great Depression. The cost of living continues to rise while jobs continue to be scarce. Even for those fortunate enough to find work, the pay is usually well below what is needed to support a household. All of this can lead to despair and desperation. When individuals become desperate, they can often find themselves doing and trying things they never otherwise would in an effort to make things better — or at least make them seem better for a little while.

Despair and Drugs

In places with the most economic struggle, drug addiction tends to be on the rise. For example, Kentucky has lost thousands of people to drugs—people who were likely trying to find a way to escape the misery and ended up finding themselves prisoners instead. Why, though? Why would someone who doesn’t have enough money spend what little they have on an illegal substance? As we mentioned, despair causes us to act irrationally. Most people know the dangers of using drugs even once, but when they feel they are as low as they can get, they may try anything to feel better. They might rationalize that drugs will help them get over a hump and that they’ll only use once or twice until they feel better. What usually ends up happening, however, is that they become dependent on the drug to function and find themselves in even more poverty because of the addiction, which leads to a spiraling journey downward.

The Solution to the Problem

For anyone struggling with addiction, the first step is recovery through a drug treatment program. An individual can come to this realization on their own, but a loving intervention by a family member and qualified interventionist may be necessary. Once in treatment, the person must learn ways to handle feelings of despair without turning to drugs. In areas of extreme poverty, this can be a huge challenge. When there are no opportunities, there is often little hope. Since hope is the opposite of despair, overcoming drug addiction in these areas usually requires ongoing support and encouragement. It is worth pointing out that despair can exist even outside of poverty. It can afflict anyone, anytime and anywhere. Whatever the cause of despair, drug addiction is a real and serious risk. If you or someone you know is struggling with drug addiction or considering trying drugs, the time for help is now. Contact The Ranch PA to find your path to recovery. Image: Franco Folini

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