The things you learn when you grow up around addiction.

Growing up, we were all taught the same things over and over again. Stay in school, stop, drop, and roll, don’t do drugs, or smoke cigarettes. We’ve all been through “DARE” or a health class with a similar program. When we were younger, it was easy for us to pledge that we would never abuse drugs, but as we got older, (at least for me), we noticed our friends, classmates, and coworkers were falling into the spiral we knew better than to let ourselves into. I’ve never had the desire to take any kind of substance, but for those that do, and those that have-my feeling have varied. Through the years I watched two of my aunts, and my best friend lose their children, their freedom, and their lives (in more sense than one) due to their struggles with addiction. Along the way I’ve learned a few things that I will forever carry with me. Some could be considered opinions, but to me they’re facts that have taken 20 years to come to light.

People Will Change

I watched a family member go from the person I could go to the mall with on the weekends, turn into someone my mom wouldn’t allow me to be around. Someone who I could ride around with, was now not trusted behind the wheel of a vehicle because they might black out, or take me with them to a drug deal. Someone who I thought was part of my family turn into a domestic abuser. These changes were for the worst, and are only minor details of who and what you could become.

You Can’t Help Someone Who Doesn’t Want To Be Helped

You can offer all the riches in the world for sobriety and cleanliness, but if they don’t want to fix it-they can’t and they won’t. Rehab does not work for all. If you force someone into rehab against their own will they will (most likely) relapse and be back on the same track they were before. Someone who wants to fix themselves will try. It won’t be easy for them, but at least knowing that they want to straighten out is a relief-but sometimes part of the heartbreak. Which leads me to the next point…

Want Isn’t Always Enough

For someone to step forward and admit that they need help is a great step. Unless all factors are eliminated, the risk is still very high.  I watched someone repeatedly put themselves through rehab, but afterwards remained in the same town, with the same friends doing the same things, and the cycle went round and round and round……

It’s Not Always The Parent’s Fault

We’ve all heard it before. “Her parents didn’t pay her enough attention”, or, “his mom didn’t love him enough”, but that really isn’t always the case. I watched 3 people very close to me who all had loving families ruin their lives. Two got caught up in their own depression and used drugs as a crutch. The other used them because they were bored, and now one is dead, one is dying, and one is dependent. All knew right from wrong. All knew the consequences. They made their own decisions and they are at fault.

That could be me

What if I would have tried heroin at a party? What if I would have taken the suggestion of taking that pill? That could have been me. I could have lost control. I could have been the beautiful, long-haired woman that had good grades-who once saved a life but is now dying in a hospital bed due to infected needles and wondering who will take care of my children. I could have been the young lady who was strong, independent, and able to make a difference in the world, and is now counting the days till she can hold her son again. I could have been the young man who had the mind of a dreamer, and was going to make some of the best films of the 21 century, but is gone leaving behind family and friends wondering why. It could have been me.

Drug Addictions Are No Joke-And Are An Illness

Addictions are something that are developed because of one-or many bad decisions, and are difficult to overcome. They devour the mind and make it hard to focus on much else. They destroy the lives of the addict and the ones around them. Do not be the example. If you or someone you love is struggling, you can get help. It won’t be easy, but you can do it.

This was not intended to upset or mock anyone. My feelings are very jumbled and this may not be the best written article, but it’s my words. It’s how I feel. I hope I did not offend anyone by this post.