There is little in life more heartbreaking than losing someone you love to addiction. One day, the one you love is capable, loving, caring and productive. It may be a very short path for some people to full-blown addiction. For some others, it can take years of drinking, smoking marijuana or snorting coke before they are fully dependent on their drug.
When a person descends into addiction, everything changes. The patterns are so often very similar. Money goes unaccounted for. There are health problems, arrests, lost jobs, and excuses, excuses, excuses followed by promises. Promises to do better, cut back on the drug consumption or alcohol. When the promises are broken again and again, the solution has got to be finding a reliable and effective drug rehab, before that person lands in jail, overdoses or loses their life in an accident or fight or due to drug-related illness. (Related article on the pattern of drug addiction)
When family members are facing a loved one's drug addiction, it's time to find out just how this life-threatening problem can be faced.
Understanding Drug Addiction
When a person becomes addicted to heroin, methamphetamine, alcohol, OxyContin or any of the other long list of addictive drugs, their life changes in ways an unaddicted person is hard-pressed to understand. For an addict, the next injection of heroin, that next drink, that next smoke of methamphetamine is just as important as their next breath or meal.
For so many addicts, everything other than the addiction - school, jobs, home, even their children's welfare - simply drops from sight. That is why an addict becomes capable of locking their children in a closet while they go out to get drugs or failing to even feed them. Or how a woman can sell her body for her next fix.
Understanding the desperation that drives an addict is extremely difficult for a mother or father, a wife or a close friend. The relief when you find someone who really understands addiction and how addiction can be overcome can be tremendous. It is a difficult time to be alone.
Treatment for Drug Addiction
Can a person truly overcome addiction? Sadly, most drug rehabilitation programs have success rates of only 5% to 20%. These low success rates are explained away with the phrase "Relapse is part of the recovery." Actually, that's an admission that they don't know how to restore a person to a sober life.
Drug treatment must include a physical restoration to health as most addicts have neglected their health and are loaded with drug residues from their drinking or drug abuse. Use of nutritional support in the form of doses of vitamins and minerals begin to calm the stressed body and lift the depression that so often accompanies addiction.
From there, each addict has a long road ahead of re-learning life skills and rebuilding personal integrity. The traditional rehab where a person is returned to life after just a month gives few people enough time to undo addiction's destruction. The Narconon program lets addicts proceed at their own pace so they have their best chance at full recovery.
Drug cravings are the hellish curse of addiction. When an addict misses their all-important doses of heroin, Vicodin or Xanax or their next drink of scotch, whiskey or tequila, the cravings make life unbearable. Dreams of sobriety or their promises to loved ones fade in comparison to the urgent demands of their drug cravings.
Without cravings, who would be an addict? But with cravings, drug traffickers have steady, devoted customers. So devoted that many of them will commit property or personal crimes or engage in prostitution so they can keep obtaining their drugs.
One result that a drug treatment program must offer is a resolution of cravings. The elimination of cravings sets the recovering addict's life securely in the direction of lasting recovery from addiction.
Reference booklet on the subject of drug cravings, addiction and recovery (free download -- may take a few seconds to download).
Articles regarding drug cravings:
- Part 1: Factors of Drug Addiction
- Part 2: Drug Cravings, the First Factor of Addiction
- Part 3: How to Overcome Drug Cravings
- Part 4: Depression, The Second Factor of Drug Addiction
- Part 5: Handling Depression Without Drugs
- Part 6: Guilt, The Third Factor of Drug Addiction
- Part 7: How to Relieve Guilt
The character of addiction today is wholly unlike the addiction faced by prior generations. Today's drug market is flooded with synthetic drugs that for many, take the place of heroin and cocaine. And many of these drugs are available as close as the corner drugstore.
Pain relievers, sedatives, anti-anxiety drugs, sleep aids, stimulants - the list of pharmaceutical drugs currently being abused is very long. Young people in particular are susceptible to this type of drug abuse. After all, they grew up being given medications for their ailments and have grown to trust them. Abusing prescription drugs can seem like a safer way to party or get high.
But the fun - if there ever was any - is definitely over if the abusers find they can't quit using those drugs when they want to. That's when abuse becomes addiction.
The Appearance of Drug Abuse
The most common characteristic of drug abuse is very often a complete change in a person's life. From a good student, they become a failing student. An athlete gives up sports, a musician abandons their instruments. Mothers who were once devoted to their children's well-being can become neglectful or abusive. Productive workers now can't be relied on and may even be caught stealing or embezzling.
To determine whether or not a change in a person's life is drug abuse or just too many challenging problems in life requires that family members must be able to identify the signs of drug abuse. Different types of drugs have different symptoms, meaning that an observant family member may be able to isolate the exact drug being abused. This can help in uncovering the truth and getting the loved one the help he or she needs.
Learn to detect the most common signs and symptoms of drug abuse.
Narconon Drug Information Department
Please email us if you have any questions.