It can happen to any family, any race, any socio-economic level – no one is immune.
Drug addiction destroys lives.
“Just SAY NO!”
“This is your brain on drugs…”
Efforts have been made for decades to educate the public about the downfalls of using and abusing mind-altering substances. These slogans, while well-meaning, may not say enough about what drug addiction does to a person, to a family.
Take a moment and take note of what is important in your life. Your kids? Your spouse? Your parents? Your friends? Your significant other? Your job? Your home? Your car? School?
Now imagine all of these things and people going away. Stop what you are doing and picture being alone. That’s what drug addiction will do to your life. This is not an exaggeration or scare tactic. It’s the truth.
In the beginning, it may be fun. Worries fade. Fear subsides. You feel at peace and removed from your pain. It was so easy. Just a quick pill. Just a snort. Just a needle and mama’s kitchen spoon… Life isn’t so difficult. You found an answer. You found a friend.
Problem is, it’s an illusion. What begins as an escape or a way to entertain yourself quickly becomes something your body needs to feel normal. You try to quit and find your body is rebelling. You are sick. You have no money to get the next fix. It’s coming. You can already feel it starting. In a couple of hours, you are going to be flat on your back: sweating, shaking, vomiting. What can you trade? Who can you borrow a few dollars from? Who owes you a favor? What can you steal? What can you pawn? Who trusts you? Who loves you? Who can you take advantage of?
You will change. You will hurt anyone and everyone who loves you. Your addiction will become the single most important thing in your life. Your days will not be productive. You will become a “seeker” – someone who spends all their time arranging how to get the drugs. All of their time. Every day and every night. Your phone will ring and you will walk away from anyone who can hear you so you can talk freely. Some of your friends won’t talk on the phone about buying or selling drugs for fear someone is listening in on your call.
You will become “friends” with people who can provide you with drugs or those you feel you can trust with your secrets. Your friends will become conditional, but you won’t notice that until you are in jail and no one writes or sends care packages. You won’t be important to them again until you can do something for them. Or they can do something for you. No one does anything for free. It will cost you a portion of your drugs to get hooked-up.
The chemistry in your brain will change. You won’t understand or perhaps you can’t accept what you have done to the people around you. Your own mother doesn’t trust you. Your father called the police to report your illicit activities. They won’t let you stay in their house anymore, you can’t be around your little brother or sister. Or your grandparents. Valuables are locked away. No one leaves money or change out on the coffee table because if you are around, it will be gone.
You won’t listen and if you do, you won’t understand. Your being has been taken over by something that once seemed like a solution to all of your problems. When you do reach a level of sobriety on any given day, you are ashamed of what you’ve done, but you will do it again. And again. And again.
Drugs are no joke. Drug addiction will change your life in ways you cannot begin to imagine.
Don’t start. If you already have, stop. If you need help, find it.
Drug addiction lives in the shadows. It thrives in lies and deceit. It wants your peace, your life, and your identity. No one but you can change your condition. Find someone you trust to help.
You can start by calling Narcotics Anonymous for more information. Their toll free number is 1-800-992-0401. Or find a crisis hotline near you.