Parents and friends have seen it time and time again. Their loved one insists he or she is just fine and has no problem with drugs or alcohol. The addicted person is in what is famously called “denial.” However, most of those who are addicted to drugs or alcohol know down deep that they need help. The real problem is that the addict cannot stop the downward spiral long enough to get the much needed help in leaving his addiction behind.
Sometimes circumstances lead to such an uncomfortable situation that the addict gets to the point of asking for help. Unfortunately, this often comes so late in the cycle that major problems in the person’s life can affect him long afterwards. For instance, the spouse may leave with the children, a promising job is lost or the addict is thrown in jail. But better late than never! This opportunity should be jumped on quickly and the person gotten into rehabilitation.
The addict may not come to the realization easily that he or she needs help. Oftentimes, it does not happen in time to prevent fatal results. Serious health problems come about through an addicted lifestyle. Many addicts, even though they are ill, without a job, committing crimes to get their next fix or have watched their friends and family walk off in despair continue with their addiction and still insist they are “fine.” There have been those who have almost died from an overdose and go right back to using the next day.
The family of an addict can certainly see a long list of reasons why the loved one should stop using drugs or alcohol, but convincing the addict is not easy. Someone who is hooked on either just seems to have a different reality. However, to a great extent, this altered and confused view of life comes from the drugs or alcohol they consume. These poisonous substances numb the senses and the cravings are overpowering.
An addict often has associates who pressure him to take drugs. This can be a reason the person started taking drugs in the first place. False information is abundant about illicit drugs, and many of a young person’s friends insist that drugs are safe, will make him feel good and will not be addictive. He can feel that to keep his friends he must try some drug or continue to take it.
Despite friends and associates who continue to put pressure on one side to do drugs, the other side is that the person truly knows when he is addicted. He knows that he must have more of the drug and that he is very uncomfortable when he hasn’t had any for some time. He may not ask for help at this point, however. It seems easier to just get more of the drug and carry on with taking it, rather than admit his “wrongness.” Besides, those cravings sort of take over his life and nothing else appears as important.
When circumstances in life put more pressure to bear than the person’s friends, or even the cravings, the addict will seek help. When he is suddenly out of his “comfort zone,” and finds that he is seriously in trouble, he may turn to others for assistance. When the addict has someone supporting him, has a place to stay and is not in legal trouble, he won’t necessarily feel the need to find treatment. The details of a person’s life are vital to those who would do an effective intervention and get the person to agree to go to a drug rehab facility.
An addict gets into a terrible condition, both physically and mentally. The addict’s decisions and actions are mainly based on finding more of the drug and consuming it. Any other aspects of life will take a back-seat to the compelling need to satisfy cravings. The addict will neglect his own health, his family and his job. An addicted person, in order to afford more drugs, will sell or trade everything he has of value, and will often take those things belonging to family or friends if he finds it necessary (which he too often does).
Drugs bring out the worst in people. Addicts lose their self-respect, integrity and personal values. The longer they do drugs, the worse it gets. An addict, since basically a good human being, will have lingering guilt over the past harm they have done to those they love. He will feel depression and upset, usually resulting in feeling the need for more drugs or alcohol. This turns into a downward spiral of destruction and must be broken.
Drug or alcohol dependencies have millions in their grip. Americans who are addicted to illegal (or legal) substances number in the millions – it’s true. A 2001 survey estimated that over 4 million addicts were in denial that they had a problem. And since drug and alcohol addiction is a growing problem, by 2012, the figures are probably even more. This shows a need for parents, friends, community leaders and educators to reach out and try and make a difference. Those addicted must be given the opportunity to come off their substance of choice and gain back a productive and happy life.
Not everyone who uses drugs becomes an addict, however. There are tens of millions who try drugs and may even abuse them for a short time, and manage to survive and leave them behind without needing treatment. In 2010 it was reported that out of 22 million who abused illegal drugs, only 4.5 million of those were dependent on the drug. Unfortunately, 17 million were dependent on alcohol. So with over 21 million addicts, this means terrible things for millions more, when considering drug-related crime and violence – not to mention the heartbreak of families affected.
A family with one member who has tried drugs and even abused them briefly must determine to make it clear to the person that they will tolerate NO substance abuse. When addiction starts so easily, there is no other line that can be drawn. Any abuse of either street drugs or prescription drugs leads too easily to habitual use and addiction, destroying lives.
If a family member or friend shows signs that they are already addicted, first it must be determined how far the problem has escalated, and then it must be worked out which treatment would be the best for the person. When the habit is controlling him – his studies are suffering, he can’t hold a job, he keeps no promises, he lies and steals – this is the time to take focused action. It is vital to do something right away and not let things continue to deteriorate. There are only three outcomes to addiction – long-term jail time, death or effective drug rehabilitation.
There are so many programs with so many approaches. There are also numerous addicts who have been through multiple rehabs with no lasting success at recovery. We are committed to finding the right drug rehab center for your loved one. We want all his or her hopes and dreams restored, happiness to prevail and good health and prosperity to reign. It IS possible to find lasting recovery. Call us for any help or advice. We will be happy to assist.