Thursday, January 23, 2014


Chris Newcomb, M. Div.

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed that it is getting much colder these days!  In fact, a large portion of the country has, in the last 24 hours, experienced the effects of a 'polar vortex'. Admittedly, at first glance, the term sounds very sophisticated to describe a weather event that amounts to a bunch of cold air hanging out over the north pole.  After all, who uses the word 'vortex' on a regular basis? "Hey, you, if you don't clean up that vortex office of yours, you're fired!"  Exactly.  Not a commonly used word.

In any event, a polar vortex has occurred which is why we have such a large amount of snow, ice and cold weather across the nation.  For our little part in Richmond, Virginia, we had enough 'inclement weather' to necessitate closing most major businesses and schools as I write this from home.  This not unusual to us.  We overreact.  We are in the south for goodness sake!

And for the next 24-48 hours, many residents of Richmond will celebrate this frozen effect on our day-to-day lives.  It seems innocuous enough.  Besides what's a little white powder from the sky?  Can't hurt that much, right?  Think again.

Last night, over 4,000 people were without power from this polar vortex.  4,400 flights have been cancelled due to safety concerns.  Just a few examples of Mother Nature gone bad.

Like the fallout from a polar vortex, drugs can create a similar scenario in a users life as well as those around them.  Drugs freeze your ability to grow professionally, personally, emotionally, intellectually, and socially. They stunt your emotional growth by 'freezing' the emotions you can't deal with and you get high so you can cope.  Talk about becoming a literal 'Mr. or Ms. Freeze"!

Speaking of Mr. Freeze, in the movie Batman and Robin, Arnold Schwarzenegger took a turn as this evil villain.

(Former Governor of California Arnold "Mr. Freeze" Schwarzenegger)

As a rogue scientist, Mr Freeze is a sworn enemy of Batman.  Due to an accident resulting in spillage of cryogenic chemicals on himself, Mr. Freeze would forever after need to stay at subzero temperatures in order to survive.  He was literally frozen.  And in his 'disease' (being frozen), he tried to destroy anyone in his path.  Drugs do the same thing both to the afflicted and the innocent.

Just as people in the Batman and Robin movie assume Dr. Freeze was always a bad person, so too do people assume that all drug addicts and alcoholics are 'bad' 'immoral' people.  I tell people that addicts and alcoholics often do 'bad' things because of their substance abuse and even make immoral decisions for the same reason but those are results from the disease itself not the make-up of the person.  Likewise, Mr. Freeze started out as a genuine scientist but his disease of power hunger overtook his ability to control himself trapping him in a cryogenic body for life.  Ever felt trapped?  If you're addicted to alcohol or drugs, you know what I mean.

So, what is the answer to all of this?  Heat.  Heat melts ice.  It destroys snow.  It clears the streets.  It makes passable roads that were impassable.  In a similar fashion, the heat of recovery can melt away the affliction of addiction.  

Be of good cheer!  Spring is on the way in just a few months.  It always arrives in time.  Also, recovery is always available to heat up the frozen places in your life because of drugs and/or alcohol.  Don't worry...the heat doesn't burn you, just the excess cold crystals of complacency and chronic defeat.

At The Coleman Institute, we love to help people get better from drug and alcohol addiction!  If you or someone you love is in need of detox off of alcohol, opiates, benzos, Methadone, or Suboxone, please do not hesitate to contact Jennifer Pius or Amy Stewart at 1-877-773-3869.

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