Updated: Nov 3, 2019
To (badly) paraphrase a famous song of years past "I blame you... you blame me...we both shame too easily, too easily to let it show, why I drink...I just don't know."
Even those unfamiliar with the hit Garfunkel song can see the rich irony in the words above. Because of a cycle of blame and shame, everyone gets hurt when addiction to alcohol or drugs takes over. It is highly understandable to be angry about substance abuse. Angry at the behavior of a loved one who gets drunk or high and says or does things their sober self wouldn't dream of, angry at a loved one who tries to control your every move, your money etc. in order to keep everyone safe.
And each explosion, each failure making it just a little bit (or a whole lot) harder to go on as if it doesn't matter and everything will be ok.
But as understandable as it may be, it also never helps. If blaming and shaming were going to work then the height of the Puritans public mocking of inebriates by sentences to the stockade would surely have done the trick. And looking externally at the behavior of those drinking or using drugs it should have, but did not. because it could not work and never will.
But there is room for constructive blame. Sadly too few people outside of the professional recovery community know where it should go: a small but key area of the brain called the mesolimbic dopamine center. In fact, many addiction experts and researchers are beginning to refer to addiction as Dopamine Deficiency Syndrome or Hypodopamegenia.
Like diabetes, some or born with it and some develop it with exposure to alcohol or drugs, but either way, once you have it, you have it.
And once you have it, professional alcohol rehab or drug rehab can now help you stop it, understand it and manage your life so that you and your loved ones are not damaged by it anymore.