Empathy and Drug Addiction

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Empathy and drug addiction Thomas Dawson Interpersonal Communication Empathy is the ability of one person to understand another’s point of view, and is important in some approaches to drug addiction treatment, in which the empathizer understands the addict’s point of view as valid. Empathy is powerful in building trust, and in developing a good relationship with the user, especially if the user’s behavior has lead to judgment and criticism from others in the past. It takes some people a very hard time to have empathy for drug addicts especially if they never had to go through life knowing and loving someone addicted to something as evil as drugs. Then after all the time, sweat and tears of understanding what empathy really means and to finally stop all the negativity and hate towards someone you love and to finally want to help this person you lose them to the power of the addiction. This happens every day to people all over the world, even me, and is a topic that people need to hear and understand. When my older brother Bobby was 12 years old he was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed heavy doses of Ritalin year round. I personally feel this was the start of his relationship with addiction. Throughout the next 25 years his addiction to drugs got worse with heavier drugs. When he was 32 he tried heroin for the first time and this was the demon that finally took his life at the age of 40. The whole family was aware of his battles with alcohol, pot, cocaine and we all just thought the best way of handling it was for him to live his life and pray to God that he would get help and clean. It wasn’t until I found out he was using heroin that I would confront him about the life he has lived and if he didn’t clean up his act he would either go to jail or die. I didn’t have much empathy for him at first because I was angry and disgusted with the choices he made

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