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The Addict

Updated: May 1

Signs to watch for in your loved ones (or yourself):

1. Be aware of their triggers.


2. Avoid situations that may lead to relapse.


3. Monitor their behavior for signs of relapse.


4. Encourage them to seek professional help.


5. Avoid enabling their addiction by not providing money or resources that could be used to purchase drugs or alcohol.


6. Be aware of their mental health and look out for signs of depression or anxiety.


7. Be aware of their physical health and look out for signs of malnutrition or dehydration.


8. Be aware of their social environment and look out for signs of isolation or withdrawal.


9. Be aware of their financial situation and look out for signs of overspending or debt.


10. Be aware of their legal situation and look out for signs of criminal activity.


11. Beware of boredom. Try and stay active, be honest with yourself and your loved ones. It is the only thing that will assure that you can hold yourself accountable. Boredom is one of the biggest causes of a relapse.

 

For more information about dealing with drug addiction in family members, check out our other blog post,

 

Drug addiction is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors. People use drugs for a variety of reasons, including to cope with stress, to escape reality, to feel more social, and to achieve a sense of euphoria. Unfortunately, many people experience an inability to stop using drugs despite the negative consequences. This often leads to relapse, a return to drug use after an initial period of abstinence.


"There are lines you tell yourself you will never cross. You will still be promising yourself this as the line gets so far behind you that you can't even see it anymore."


One of the most common reasons people relapse is boredom. People who are used to being high all the time may find that they are unable to enjoy activities they used to enjoy because they are not under the influence of drugs. This can lead to a sense of restlessness and dissatisfaction, which may then lead to a relapse. The addict may also experience physical cravings which can be difficult to ignore.


The way an addict thinks throughout the day can also contribute to relapse. An addict's focus may be constantly on drugs, including thoughts of how to get money to purchase drugs and worrying about going into withdrawal. This constant focus can make it difficult to stay sober, as the addict is constantly thinking about drugs and how to obtain them.


Another factor that can contribute to relapse is the presence of a codependent relationship. In a codependent relationship, one person enables and supports the other person's addiction. The codependent person may put their entire life into supporting the addict, which can lead to a situation in which the codependent person is constantly feeling the same emotions as the addict. This can create a situation in which the codependent person is constantly feeling the same urge to use drugs as the addict and may even use themselves.


"One is too many and a thousand is never enough."


In order to stay sober, it is important for an addict to have a strong support system and to develop healthy coping strategies. It is also important to focus on the positive aspects of life and to find activities that can replace drug use. One of the most effective strategies is to take life “one day at a time.” This allows the addict to focus on the present and to not worry about the future. It is also important to practice self-care and to find activities that bring joy, such as hobbies or time spent with family and friends.


"There are no bonds stronger than an addict and his addiction."


Drug addiction is a complex issue with multiple contributing factors. It is important to understand the various reasons that people use drugs and to be aware of the potential for relapse. It is also important to be mindful of the factors that can contribute to relapse, such as boredom, the way an addict thinks throughout the day and codependent relationships. In order to stay sober, it is important for an addict to have a strong support system and to develop healthy coping strategies, such as focusing on the present and engaging in activities that bring joy.

 

What Addiction Looks Like?


Addiction can be an insidious and debilitating disease. It affects those in its grasp by ravaging both physical and mental health, and offering no easy escape from its clutches. Someone who is beginning to develop an addiction may display subtle changes in behavior before progressing to more severe symptoms further down the line.


When an individual has only just begun to develop an addiction, they may have frequent mood swings that seem disproportionate to the situation. They may often retreat to their bedroom or bathroom during these episodes, only to come out still vaguely unsatisfied, but seemingly happier. This is the body's attempt to self-medicate with the drug it is craving, which can come in a variety of forms.


"Addiction robs you of your love, passion, wealth, health, and soul."


The next stage in the development of addiction comes with moderate drug use. This typically leads to the individual becoming appear to be less concerned with the cost of the drug they are abusing and they may continually ask to borrow money in order to ‘buy something’ - this something is usually their next hit. An addicted individual will become adept at lying in order to parse out information and resources and they may appear unwavering when speaking to you face to face.


If someone is prescribed medication, the way they think is often the same. They obsess about when their next doctor appointment is, or when they can get their script full. They have a tendency of taking more when they first get their prescription, leaving the end of the month with struggles to obtain from other sources, showing signs of withdrawal, or consistently calling their doctor to ask for more medication. They also have an obsessive compulsion to count and recount their remaining medication through the month. Every time they take a pill or even at random times throughout the day they will count repeatedly. The addicted mind pushes everything else going on in your life out of site focusing only on the "medication." From the point of them waking up, the amount of medication they have will determine the type of day they will have. If they are running out of "medicine" they will have a bad day. They will express anxiety, short temper, feelings of anger seemingly coming from nowhere, not enjoying life around them, even shutting down to the point where they stop functioning at work or with their families.


"That first time is like the feeling you get right before you get into a car accident. You see the tree coming at the front of the car and its like time stops. Every ounce of adrenaline, dopamine, and every other 'feel good thing' you have in your body just releases at once; then the floor drops and you're floating."


Once an individual has begun heavily indulging their addiction, withdrawal from friends and family is a common symptom. At this point, the addiction will have a stronger grip on the individual and their physical appearance can start to change for the worse. Greying of the skin is often common, as is weight loss, sunken eyes with dark circles, sleeping for most of the day and refusing to interact with anyone who is not a drug dealer.


Addiction is a powerful and pervasive force that, if left untreated, can have catastrophic consequences. To be able to tell if someone you know is on drugs and to help them find the support and treatment they need, there are a few actions, behaviors and physical signs you can look out for. If an individual has begun to show signs of mood swings, exhausts all their income on a ‘something,’ or has suddenly withdrawn from their close family or friends - these are all signs of addiction and you should watch out for these red flags. In addition, physical symptoms such as a lack of energy, severe weight loss or gain and blood shot eyes should also be looked out for.


"It isn't you who is getting yelled at, and it isn't your fault that I'm calling you all these horrible names. Because it's not me saying these things. The drugs are just stronger than I am. I am saying everything I feel inside about ME! I just don't know how to stop."


If you believe a loved one may be suffering from addiction, reach out to them and try to help. Without a strong support system, addiction can quickly spiral out of control and its effects can be devastating. Encourage the individual to seek professional medical help and provide your support and love in any way you can. Although addiction can be difficult to cope with, there is always light at the end of the tunnel and help is out there.



We can help here. Contact us by email hopethroughdarkness@gmail.com or text us at (631)880-5643 allow our professionals to help.

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