Your son is abusing cocaine, your daughter is sniffing heroin, your wife is abusing her pain meds, and possibly your husband is polishing off a case of beer a day or 26oz of liquor. Maybe it is a close relative or friend who is smoking pot or crack or is struggling with polydrug abuse. The point is that it does not matter what is being abused. What is important is that the person is suffering. This article intends to give you an insight into the world of an addict. Whether the person is abusing street drugs or alcohol, there is a common trait found in each instance.
For instance, take Joe, a regular cocaine abuser. He wakes up any day of the week with the intent to go to work and do his job. He is a bit groggy from the lingering effects of cocaine circulating in his bloodstream. At work, he is easily irritable, quick-tempered and not quite connected to his work or others. Distracted by the idea of having spent hundreds of dollars in one night, he makes errors at work and is reprimanded. Not wanting to tell anyone his secret lifestyle for fear of being fired, Joe introspects even more.
By now, the withdrawal effect starts to show up on a psychological level. Mixed with the mental stress of finances and hiding his addiction, Joe’s stress level increases. He needs to “chill out” a bit. The thought enters that when he does coke, all his troubles vanish. Joe leaves work and calls his dealer to pick up a gram of coke on credit and nervously says to himself, “it worked the last time.” And so, the cycle continues and deteriorates. Joe wants to stop but keeps going back to the dealer. He fails to understand why.
How about Jane, stay-at-home mom of two. She tries to keep the house but seems never to have enough time to get everything done. Barely in her twenty’s when she gave birth to her first child, she feels like she missed out on life. She decides to deal with this through a glass of wine. Jane leaves home to shop for the family and picks up a bottle of wine. She pours another glass of wine in the afternoon, but this time a bit larger. By late afternoon, the kids are home, and now she is faced with the demands for supper, homework, etc.
Her unhappiness and anxiety surface even more. During supper, Jane pours a glass of wine for her husband and herself and finishes the bottle in the early evening. By this time, Jane is tired and unsteady. She falls asleep on the couch. Her husband comments on her behaviour, the kids disturbed by the family discord compounds the problem. Jane drinks more to feel better, but her actions and character disintegrate. It results in separation. She spirals down at a greater speed; on her own and still drinking, child services are now involved. Friends try to help her; she denies any problem and pushes everybody away. Jane, secretly ashamed and scared, has no solution and too proud to ask for help.
Then there is Peter, a successful student at school. He was part of a football team. He had good grades and an all-around average teenager until he met Robert. Robert is an active social teenager, popular around the school. But he had something others did not. The guy “knew” how to unwind, party and be cool, and known to use drugs. He had heroin. There is a party at the lake, and a friend of a friend invites Peter to meet some girls and have fun. Peter has a beer or two and listening to music like the others.
His friend tells him he knows someone who can turn the party into a wild ride. Peter is not sure about this, but his friend is persistent and wants him to experience the rush. Someone offers Peter heroin, just this once. Peter soon discovers himself to be detached and elated, free, and a thousand other sensations from heroin. The next day, Peter is late for practice. His mind is not on the game but his weakened mental and physical state. He now thinks of the rush he had with heroin and wants to experience it again. Addiction is now around the corner.
Each of these examples is actual people who had this experience. There are many more true stories like these, with variances from person to person. There is another story resembling those with someone you might know. No one grows up wishing to be an addict. There are correct actions to take to guide them toward help.
You can visit Health Canada Services, or you can call us for help, don’t hesitate.