by Kenny Anderson
From my perspective over the past 4 decades Black communities and families have increasingly become enabling facilitators of drug addiction that’s had a tremendous financial burden on us; billions of dollars have been lost.
Remember as you read this blog post I am not addressing how white supremacy uses drug warfare against us externally, I’m specifically addressing internally the financial costs of Black addiction.
What is Enabling Drug Addiction?
Enabling generally describes someone whose behavior allows a loved one to continue self-destructive addiction patterns of behavior. Enabling a drug addict goes much deeper than simply providing them with money or a place to stay.
Whenever you behave in a way that delays the moment where the addict is forced to confront the full gravity of the situation and responsibility then you are enabling the addiction! Some of the most common signs of enabling an addict include:
*Providing them with money to support their habit
*Providing them with shelter
*Downplaying the severity of the problem
*Providing emotional support
*Lying on their behalf to shield them from consequences
*Rationalizing their behavior or making excuses for them
*Not making them accountable
The worst type of enabling is when family members simply do nothing at all. When families pretend not to see such a glaring problem of addiction; they send the signal to the addict that there is nothing wrong with their behavior.
Accountability the Contrast of Enabling
Family accountability is practicing 'tough love' with addicts, putting them out of the home and keeping them out until they can demonstrate consistently being responsible and not detrimental. Self-accountability or personal accountability means that you are responsible for your choices and actions including the consequences.
Self-accountability means that you don’t subscribe to a ‘victim mentality’ don’t view yourself as a ‘victim of circumstances’; you don’t engage in the forever blame-game! In the case of drug addiction you don’t view your addiction as a ‘fatalistic disease’ of constant ‘justified relapses’.
Self-accountability means you don’t accept being an ‘enabling exploiter’, you don’t let others do what you must do for yourself! You commit to daily work ‘self-improvement’ and ‘self-discipline’ to overcome your addiction.
Drug Addiction Costs Big-Time!
Let me say simply from the get-go, addictions are expensive to maintain, and their cost increases the longer a person has them. Addictions never level out, as it becomes harder for a person to reach the same level of satisfaction, they will need to engage in addictive behaviors more and more resulting in higher expenses.
Indeed addictions are cumulative, they will cost more to maintain the longer a person has them. For example, consider smoking. A single pack of cigarettes costs around $6, although it may be more or less expensive in some areas depending on state taxes.
A person with a light nicotine addiction may smoke a pack a week. As their tolerance rises, this may double, and then triple, until they become pack-a-day smokers. At that rate, an addiction that once cost less than $25 a month to maintain can easily become a $180 per month addiction, and it's not uncommon for many chain smokers to go through more than one pack a day.
A pack-a-day smoking habit translates to around $2,160, or about 10% of a person's income at the poverty level. Considering nearly 30% of Black smokers are below the poverty level, this has a huge financial impact on people's lives; alcoholism has a huge negative financial impact too.
Regarding heroin and crack-cocaine addiction it’s way more expensive to maintain than cigarettes and alcohol.
Black Family Financing of Addictions
For the most part addicts are ‘selfish’ manipulators who don’t ‘give a fuck’ about how damaging the financial impact of their addiction is on their families: fuck y’all bills to pay for food, clothing, and shelter; I’m going to steal and pawn y’all shit on a daily so I can get high, plus I’m going to stay in this house I steal from for free! Y’all gone enable me bitch and bet not nobody say something about it!
Black addicts have no regard for others lives, I’ve witnessed enabling grandmothers, mothers, and aunties beg, plead, cry, pray, and constantly give money but it had no effect on reducing Black addicts addiction. In many cases the stressful chaotic behavior of these addicts contributed to the premature deaths of their grandmothers, mothers, and aunties who died as 'enabling martyrs'. These addicts have wreaked havoc on their families contributing to debt, divorces, dysfunctionality, and displacements.
Indeed Black addicts are ‘financial parasites’ on their families due to property theft and replacement. Over 4 decades I’ve seen family members, relatives, friends, and others who were addicts steal everything but the kitchen sinks out of their family’s homes: they stole money, computers, televisions, video games, VCR’s, CD players, stereo equipment, musical instruments, cameras, microwaves, toasters, electric can openers, electric tooth brushes, hair blow dryers, guns, jewelry, shoes, clothes, toys, bikes, furniture, food, etc.
Not only have Black families loss hundreds of millions of dollars due to thieving Black addicts; they’ve loss hundreds of millions of dollars paying for lawyers, bail, and court fees for family addicts who engage in crime. Moreover they’ve paid hundreds of millions of dollars to drug dealers to payoff drug debts. Yes many family houses have been firebombed and many family members have been murdered due to addicts drug debts.
In closing, Black folks how can we ever have internal economic development when foreign merchants extract billions of dollars out of our communities annually coupled with Black addicts causing billions of dollars in family financial hardships every year?