Ask the smoker to recall that first cigarette and most would describe the feeling as very unpleasant. Ask the drinker whether that first beer tasted good and most will shake their head. What likely began as a childhood effort to “fit in,” to feel “grown up,” ends as a lifetime habit of self-harm which we convince ourselves is “fun” and/or necessary!
Addict behavior is the choice of intentional self-harm. It impacts our entire life, from health to intimacy; to even be able to maintain a meaningful relationship. Who is not aware that cigarettes and alcohol are hazardous to health and reduce life expectancy? But the impact on health is so gradual we hardly notice. We hardly notice, that is, until the damage we have caused ourselves is obvious in the mirror and in physical discomfort. But there is also immediate costs in quality of life, the money it costs to “feed the habit.” At today’s cost a single pack of cigarettes will set the smoker back close to $2000.00 per year. Regarding alcohol, and prescription and street drugs of abuse the costs are likely much higher. And this does not take into consideration legal costs and consequences involved in getting caught for DUI or possession of other drugs of abuse.
Recovery Virginia has a record of success working with motivated addicts. Governor Wilder recognized the program’s excellence in 1996 with The Governor’s Award for Andi-drug Efforts in Treatment.