Band-Aids don’t cure addictions

I used to sing in a quartet years ago. It was one of my passions.

The only problem was that I was a pack-a-day smoker. Dumb, right?

I followed the advice of many others in the same boat in that I chewed Fisherman’s Friend lozenges, and sometimes something stronger, in order to make my clear throat last a little longer.

When the quartet had to stop, my smoking didn’t. I tried many times to quit, knowing that if I didn’t, I would damage my throat beyond recovery. Finally, when it got really bad, I quit.

That was almost 10 years ago and it didn’t take too long before I came to the firm conclusion that the lozenges and sprays and other things were only Band-Aids.

Had I listened to the advice of family and friends, or even my own inner voice, or conscience, if you prefer, I would have quit decades earlier; you read right: decades.

Other than quitting outright, everything else was just a Band-Aid.

It wasn’t easy. As a matter of fact, without my faith-driven conviction and some medication, it was next to impossible, but I did manage to leave it all behind, although not before doing minor damage to my throat.

Now, 10 years later, I am able to sing a bit again. As I quote often, especially for others: “Too soon old, too late smart.”

One fellow who used to frequent the kitchen some years ago had eczema really bad on his arms and hands. For many years,. he was given all kinds of treatments, lotions, pills and whatnot, to no avail.

Finally, he went to a new doctor who examined him and his records and also his habits. “Quit drinking, leave even mild drugs behind and get some counselling, because I believe this problem is associated to your personal problems.”

It was not what he wanted to hear and respond to, so he just continued with the Band-Aids. He died before he could ever find out what he had the potential to do.

The overwhelming response to last week’s column regarding the Dream Centre made me realize that we have treated the whole issue of drug addiction much the same way. In spite of the tremendous efforts that so many people and agencies have dedicated to this issue, what we are seeing is that the whole harm reduction debate has led to the creation of more and more Band-Aids, thereby putting all of our money into the application of the same.

All of this has been done with the absolute best of intentions and will be needed for the majority of those affected for some time to come. Once again, how then can we actually fight this epidemic?

We already know that more Band-Aids won’t cut it.

The entire concept of the Dream Centre is to promote and assist in leaving that drug- and alcohol-torn life behind. Then, when the proper follow-up after the program is completed, the participant will be able to see complete victory in their lives.

Having said that, not every person who participates in the program is successful, but some of the statistics suggest an up to 85 per cent success rate. So it then, in my opinion, demands that we jump on that train and give it our all, because nothing else has that kind of success rate.

To this point, all funding for the Dream Centre has been from private sources and donations, and will probably remain that way, at least until a thorough record is established.

When I Google the funding for a Dream Centre, I am unable to determine whether or not the government helps in any way. I’m wondering if it is really cheaper to buy needles and even injection sites and other forms of Band-Aids, or are we fooling ourselves?

Chris Salomons is a retired Red Deer resident with a concern for the downtrodden.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ecologist Tony Blake was among several dozen area residents who participated in Tuesday’s public hearing on the future Molly Banister Drive extension. Blake argued for preserving trail connectedness and the wildlife corridor. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff).
Molly Banister road extension stays

A nearly nine-hour public hearing ends with a 5-3 vote for keeping the road alignment

A server wears a mask at a restaurant, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Health officials receive thousands of COVID-related complaints

About 800 to 1,000 people call health officials weekly

Shaun Janse van Rensburg, a Red Deer resident, said he is tired of changing clocks twice a year. Photo by Mamta Lulla/Advocate staff
After COVID, Kenney may consider referendum on daylight savings

Albertans may be divided on several issues today, but there’s a consensus… Continue reading

The COVID-19 death toll in Alberta reached 309, according to numbers posted on the province’s website Tuesday. (Image courtesy CDC)
Another 422 COVID cases reported in Alberta and two more deaths

The Alberta government reported 422 COVID-19 cases Tuesday and two more virus… Continue reading

test tube with the blood test is on the table next to the documents. Positive test for coronavirus covid-19. The concept of fighting a dangerous Chinese disease.
COVID-19 death toll verges on 10,000 as second wave continues to surge

Nearly 10,000 Canadians have died due to COVID-19, a mark of the… Continue reading

Alice Kolisnyk, deputy director of the Red Deer Food Bank, says the agency expects an increase in demand as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. Every new subscription to the Red Deer Advocate includes a $50 donation to the food bank. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)
Support the food bank with a subscription to the Red Deer Advocate

The community’s most vulnerable members are always in need of a hand,… Continue reading

Los Angeles Dodgers' Mookie Betts celebrates after a home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the eighth inning in Game 6 of the baseball World Series Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Best Betts: Dodgers win first World Series title since 1988

Wade Sira is shown in a handout photo. Sira, the leader of Saskatchewan's pro-independence Buffalo Party, says he's extremely happy with last night's provincial election results, even though no candidates clinched a seat.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Wade Sira MANDATORY CREDIT
Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

Buffalo Party’s strong showing in Saskatchewan vote a warning to Moe: experts

FILE - In this Sept. 28, 2019, file photo, Christian Coleman, of the United States, celebrates after crossing the line to win the gold medal in men's 100 meter final at the World Athletics Championships in Doha, Qatar. (AP Photo/Nick Didlick)
World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

World champion Coleman banned 2 yrs; to miss Tokyo Olympics

Saskatchewan Roughriders kicker Brett Lauther returns to the sideline after missing his fourth field goal attempt during second half CFL action against the Edmonton Eskimos, in Regina, Saturday, Nov. 2, 2019.  It's been a very difficult year for a number of kickers this year in the NFL, but CFL veteran Lauther continues to wait for his opportunity. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Taylor
Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Former Riders kicker Brett Lauther patiently awaiting opportunity to kick in the NFL

Nashville SC midfielder Randall Leal, left, is congratulated by Alex Muyl after scoring a goal during the first half of the team's MLS soccer match against the Montreal Impact, Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, in Harrison, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Willis gets MLS-leading 9th shutout, Nashville tops Montreal

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Kansas City mayor, star quarterback want Raptors to make Missouri temporary home

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Djokovic, Thiem advance after slow starts in Vienna openers

Most Read