Hobson was a horse dealer. He found that when regular customers came to choose a horse for hire, they preferred to take the best, so that some horses became overworked and others were not used at all. To resolve the problem Hobson decided that all customers would in the future take the first horse that was offered to them. Customers of course had the right to refuse, but in practical terms the customers had no alternative. If they wanted a horse then they had no choice but to accept the one that was offered. It became known as Hobson’s Choice.
When trying to give an addict help remember that when a person is addicted, they see their options in life as being restricted. Addicts believe they have Hobson’s choice about using drugs of addiction.
Most of us are faced with Hobson’s choice in many of our life situations. Alternatives may be available, but for many reasons, we can see no other option.
Drug use is all about choice – making the choice to use can seem only too easy – making a decision to stop can seem impossibly hard. It is important to understand that drug use as a solution to emotional problems only comes after there is a history of failure to negotiate a better position in life.
No one chooses drug use if there are more satisfying relationships around.
The addict, particularly a young person might have started drug use in the spirit of rebellion, or simply to get a sense of enjoyment out of life.
Some young people use drugs to escape from feelings of sadness about relationships that have failed them, they feel very much alone.
Others might do drugs to escape from demands that put them under emotional pressure.
To give addicts help you can tell them that you understand how the world can be disappointing -ask the addict how things could change that would make them feel more happy.
To give an addict help who is close to you, it can be useful to ask them how they would like you to change. This is not to say that you need to do whatever it is that they want. However, it opens up communication, and lets you hear what it is that the addict is in need of. Open, honest communication of real thoughts and feelings opens up the possibility of change.
When people are very close, and there are long standing “issues” between them, it is common for the dialogue to become stale – the same old problems are met with the same responses – and nothing ever changes. When a person has chosen any form of drug addiction as an alternative to real relationship, it means that they feel that there are no other options.
To give an addict help to relieve the “locked” situation that drug addiction brings there is a need for intervention. There needs to be something new introduced into the life of the addict so that it challenges his way of being.
Holistic drug rehabilitation and counseling provides addict help to find alternative ways for the addict to deal with his life. He will feel empowered to bring about change, to make realistic choices. With an end to internal emotional conflicts, addictive behavior can be brought to an end and an addict become drug free. Where doing drugs is concerned the addict will find that it is no longer Hobson’s Choice.
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