It’s called crossing ‘the invisible line.’ One moves toward it with every drink or hit until the offending chemical changes body chemistry towards addiction. It isn’t felt until it has a full hold. That’s the catch. A person doesn’t know he/she is hooked until stopping becomes difficult.

There are online sites coming from every angle when it comes to addiction education and resources. Many support groups have begun or thrived due to the influx of new ‘customers.’ Online meetings make connecting in some form available to almost everybody.

Only a few years ago, a list of 12-step meetings was the first line of defense when addiction or alcoholism was diagnosed. Many caught in the chemical trap of pain pills or liquor have tried a multitude of ways to stop with a wide range of results.

Due to the amount of people dying, the situation with America’s relationship with drugs/alcohol is front page news. President Trump declared it a ‘minor emergency’ which limited resources for rehabilitation but it’s a nod at the problem.

When dealing with the enigma of chemical abuse, an enormous amount of time and resources could be spared if recovered addicts were placed in key positions to organize treatment programs. If addicts are going through programs 10-20 times before recovery, they are not effective.

Other countries are having impressive results with alternative methods of coping with addicts and the fallout including diseases, accidents and lost work potential. Portugal and parts of Europe are both showing a model of recovery that works.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, it is connection. Abstinence is the path to get there but if removing the addictive substance is the only remedy, the problem still lives and will strengthen.

Dual disorders. Poly-addictions. Single source abuse issues-alcohol, opiates, speed-type drugs. Trauma-related addiction. There are many ways to disconnect in the world. Loneliness, pain or tragedy combined with chemical hooks creates a recipe for disaster.

A user must be separated once and for all from the offending chemical so the body can begin the long process of adjustment that will re-connect neural pathways and cleanse bodily fluids. Alcohol, for example, stays in the body fluids for up to a year.

With 10 percent of the U.S. population currently suffering from an ‘alcohol use disorder’ and the opiod epidemic in high gear, the situation has now been triaged to the front. Addiction must be treated as an imbalance that starts spiritually, becomes mental and manifests physically before killing its victim or we will continue to fill morgues, jails and hospitals.