What does it mean to you to live a good life? Does it mean having health, family? Friends and a job? What about fun and challenges, or time to relax and reflect? Freedom to choose, freedom to live in safety and well-being? Many people might say "yes" to some or all of these aspects of a good life, plus many more experiences and feelings that could be added to the list.
However, for some, such freedoms are a distant, even impossible dream, due to the confining, confounding nature of addiction. Addiction takes many, many forms and is not blocked by wealth, power, education, or physical aptitude.
In recognition of addiction's hold on millions of people, the National Aboriginal Addictions Awareness Week (NAAAW) campaign will run this year from November 14-20.
From the NAAAW website:
NAAAW wishes to "promote an addictions free lifestyle for communities, families and individuals by enabling communities to develop activities which increase knowledge and awareness of addictions and how addictions can be addressed.
We envision a NAAAW celebration every year that is grounded in the empowerment and capacity building of First Nation, Métis and Inuit individuals, families and organizations that will contribute to the creation of positive, safe healthy environments."Canada's national campaign, National Addictions Awareness Week, runs from November 16-22. From the Minister of Health's message:
"The Government of Canada is pleased to recognize National Addictions Awareness Week. This is a chance for Canadians to enhance their understanding of substance abuse, and raise awareness for individuals suffering from addictions.
'Living the Good Life' is the theme of this year’s campaign, which highlights the importance of building and renewing positive relationships within our families, our communities, and our natural environment to promote good health and a life free of addiction.What are you doing to learn about addictions? Do you understand? Support? Condemn? It's probable that most or all of us know someone who has an addiction to alcohol, other drugs, sex, food, work, gambling or something else.
I encourage you to think about what you can do next week, and in the weeks and months to come, to learn about and do something helpful to relieve addiction. Somehow, somewhere...it can be done.