(1) Most people who suffer from substance or alcohol abuse do so because of something traumatic they have experienced as a child. This traumatic event could be sexual abuse, physical abuse, or even just witnessing something violent and traumatic. The person with the substance abuse problem has probably not talked about the event since it happened, so they do not know how to process it and use drugs and alcohol to self medicate (Merrit  Hartblay).


(2) You can not put addicts into categories of good people or bad people. They are simply people who have made some bad decisions. Almost everyone makes a bad decision at some point in their life, and a few bad decisions should not define who you are as a person (Merrit Hartblay).


(3) When trying to help someone who suffers from substance or alcohol abuse it is important to remember that you can not force someone to stop using and stay clean. The abuser needs to want to change themselves or they will not be successful (Merrit Hartblay).


(4) It is not just the addict that is affected by their substance abuse. The entire family of the abuser is affected by the substance abuse (Merrit Hartblay).


(5) Relapse happens way before the addict uses the drugs or drinks the alcohol. Relapse happens as soon as the abuser starts thinking that they can no longer stay clean (Merrit Hartblay).


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