Living with an addiction

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Middle aged man with glasses and a beard.
Steven Benoit

Hello Brothers and Sisters,

I hope everyone’s summer has been enjoyable and relaxing. I would like to talk about an issue that has come up often the last few months in Branch 86. The issue of substance abuse and alcoholism.

Drug abuse and alcoholism is a disease that affects the entire family. While using these mind-altering substances, the person’s mind becomes cloudy and they cannot think straight. It effects the front part of the brain that is used to do every day thinking, and when thinking is not clear, the brain tricks the “survival” part of the brain into thinking the individual really needs to use substances or drink alcohol to survive. One becomes dependent on these substances. It is very hard to stop drinking or using on your own.

One of the most difficult things in life includes an individual saying, “I need help.” In many cases, individuals need to get professional help and there are many people and places available if help is desired. Individuals needing help, can talk to their stewards or executive board members for direction. There is also EAP or 800-EAP-4YOU and that line is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. There are facilities near and far that are also willing to help. AA meetings, NA meetings, and AI-Anon meetings are other available options.

Taking care of yourself needs to be a paramount priority. Mental health, along with physical health and spiritual health, is a large part of an individual’s overall health. Perfection is not the end-goal, but individual daily progression is what we strive for. You cannot help anyone else if you are not taking care of yourself first. If you or anyone in your family thinks they might need help, please take the first step and contact the employee assistance program (EAP) for help.

Steven Benoit
Vice President

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