Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Human Connection, Part II A Positive Outlook on Life (2)

By Miriam B. Medina

Do sparks fly when you, your spouse, or the kids come together? Are there family problems or generation gap issues that are overwhelming you and you don't know what to do?

The home is where the greater part of one's life is spent with family. The home, intended to be a safe haven for sharing extraordinary moments of love and happiness, sadly, for some, has become a battlefield of aggression and hostile thoughts, a dysfunctional place whose residents do not benefit from peaceful human connections. Spouses co-exist in constant conflict. Children are in a never-ending battle with their parents. In some cases, the element of intimidation and control is evident through verbal, mental and physical abuse. Children who come from a highly stressful home environment are inundated by it, destroying their chance to deal with their own emotions. Parents, who are always in conflict, can not be a role model to their children if they have not properly learned how to use the skills of emotional intelligence.

Many parents set themselves up for major disappointments, with lofty expectations that they want their children to respond to, failing to realize that their child's character is different from their own. They have hopes and dreams of their own. This contributes to the problems and the conflicts that grow between them like a cold wall separating the family into lonely, cold, isolated mental and emotional chambers. How is love and respect supposed to grow in such a barren environment?

Everyone wants to be loved and accepted as a worthwhile human being. Unfortunately, in some tragic situations, for individuals afflicted with alcohol or drug abuse, the concern and attention that he or she gets from family and friends when hurting themselves is interpreted as caring and love, as it is usually only seen when a drug or alcohol induced crisis arises. So in order to continue receiving any attention at all, alcohol and drug abuse becomes a way of life for them. Little does he or she know that eventually people do get tired of being supportive, especially when the individual avoids professional help or treatment?

Substance abuse by our teens and young adults has been a paramount concern to our nation for years, growing to epidemic proportions across America, resulting in premature deaths, violent behavior, as well as permanently mentally handicapping a number of hapless addicts. Not only are the youth consuming alcohol, smoking cigarettes and experimenting with illegal drugs, they have also included the pharmaceutical abuse of prescription drugs and over the counter medicines. "Pharm parties", known also as pill-popping parties, are organized among the youths, where fistfuls of prescription drugs, which have been collected from their family medicine chest, are swallowed regardless of consequences. Potentially lethal combinations of alcohol, drugs and painkillers have sent many young Americans to emergency rooms after they have overdosed and some are tagged D.O.A., to an anguished mother's heartbreak.

To be continued: Page: 3

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