To The Person Trying To Save An Addict

To The Person Trying To Save An Addict

First things first, never blame yourself.

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The pills. The high. The fights. The disappointment. The madness. The sadness. The look in their eyes. It is one of the hardest things to deal with.

Whether you are trying to save your mom, your dad, your sister, your brother, your friend, or your significant other, one thing remains the same: you cannot save them, they have to save themselves.

Night after night, day after day, you repeat the same thing to them. "Please quit. Please turn your life around." But moment after moment, they do the exact opposite.

When you do not have an addiction but are trying to save someone who does, a lot of things do not make sense.

Choosing drugs over food is fine to them.

Choosing drugs over family is fine to them.

Choosing drugs over friends is fine to them.

Choosing drugs over a job is fine to them.

But I get it, you are sitting there looking from this crystal clear view wondering why that is fine to them?

The tears may stream down your face watching this person kill themselves with the substance they are choosing to put in their body with no care in the world. You may watch them drown in their own flesh and blood, but anything you say is ignored. You may watch them have no control over their mind and body but still think they are ok.

One thing I can assure you is that unless they WANT to change, they won't.

You can spend any amount of money and any amount of time and they may still think drugs are the answer.

Their drug addition is the fix to their day. Their drug addiction is the apple to the pie. Their drug addition is the F in family. Their drug addiction is their friend. They do not see the world with a crystal clear view at this time. They see that one high fixing their day.

When you struggle with helping someone through addiction, you definitely learn a lot. They may love you or want to listen to you, but they can't until they truly want to. They may want to change but are not ready. They may want to enjoy life being sober, but they just do not see it that way yet.

Time ticks by and they stare at that same substance like candy. They absolutely love it. It has taken over their world.

As time ticks by for you, you feel defeated. You feel ashamed you could not help them. You almost feel like you let the drug beat you. And yes, sadly it did.

Addiction is so hard. Addiction is so sad. Addiction is so draining. Addiction is NOT impossible to overcome, but until the addict wants to see that change, they will continue on the same path.

If you are trying to save an addict, I want you to remember one thing, it is NOT your fault. It is not your fault they choose the drugs. It is not your fault they get in trouble with the law. It is not your fault they deny their family and friend's support. It is not your fault they isolate themselves.

Every single time they put that drug to their bodies, they are thinking of themselves. That rush, that sensation, that high, that is all they are focused on.

The addiction has completely taken over their mind.

Although not everyone in this world deals with addiction, you never know who may be struggling in life. It is always important to be aware. Next time you feel like you are not saving a drug addict, remember....it is NOT your fault.

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From The Child Of A Drug-Addicted Parent

I couldn't save you, but you sure as hell destroyed me.
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To the parent that chose drugs over their own child,

Let me start off by saying that I'm sorry. I'm sorry that you feel the need to use drugs as an excuse and to mask the guilt that you may (and probably do) have.

I never expected it to come down to this. I never expected me to come after drugs on your list of priorities. I spent so much time and energy wanting you to change and finally hit the point where I gave up on trying to care and help. I never said the ultimate threat: "It's either drugs or me. Take your pick" and you know why? Because I would be heartbroken knowing that I would not be your answer.

Plain and simple, your decision was (and still is) selfish and I will never be able to forgive you. Parents are supposed to encourage their children and watch them grow up and see their children hit so many milestones as they get older, but you weren't that kind of parent. And you know what is the worst thing in the world is? Getting a Facebook message from you telling me that you love me. Do you really? Or do you only say that because if you didn't, you'd feel like a terrible parent?

I'll never understand why someone I'm supposed to love and trust could do so much damage in my life in just a short amount of time and not even try or attempt to repair the damage.

I know that I will never be at peace with you for what you've done. I constantly see other people my age posting pictures with their dad's and I can't help but feel jealous. For years, I've wanted to know what that father/daughter relationship felt like, but instead, I'm furious with you and feeling neglected at the same time. There will always be a void in my life and in my heart and I will never forgive you for choosing to dig yourself an early grave instead of being a parent.

Thank you for allowing me to see what I don't want to end up doing in life. Instead, I'm on my way to completing a 4-year degree at a university for a degree that I've been talking about non-stop for years. I will soar in life and be successful at whatever I do. Enjoy watching from afar because if I wasn't first on your priorities list, you won't be mine, either.

Cover Image Credit: Christian Allard / Unsplash

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Stop Demonizing CBD Just Because You Associate It With THC

CBD doesn't get you high, do your research.

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I'm sure you've heard about CBD already, but if not, then let me break it down for you. Cannabidiol, CBD, is one of the hundreds of cannabinoids identified in the cannabis plant, but unlike the THC in the marijuana plant, it doesn't have any psychoactive properties.

CBD doesn't get you high.

When extracted from the plant, CBD has proven to be effective in the medical field. It has shown to be effective in the treatment of epilepsy, in the management of pain, in reducing depression and anxiety, and relieving cancer symptoms, among a host of other uses. New research from Mount Sinai Hospital in New York has revealed that CBD may be beneficial for society as a whole, too.

Researchers at Mount Sinai Hospital conducted the study to understand how we can fight the opioid epidemic through the discovery of alternative treatment options by assessing the potential effects of CBD on craving and anxiety in heroin users.

42 drug abstinent men and women between the ages of 21 and 65, who had recently stopped using heroin, were recruited for the study. Two groups were formed out of the participants: a control group that received a placebo and a test group that received CBD doses ranging from 400 mg to 800 mg per day. After administration, participants were exposed to neutral environmental cues and cues that would be considered drug-use inducing over three sessions. The cues in the environment were tested because an addict's environment and the cues it gives are the strongest triggers for relapse and continued drug use.

The results of the research hold great promise for the future of CBD.

Participants who were in the test group and given CBD had significantly reduced cravings for heroin, and noted feeling less anxiety when exposed to drug-use inducing cues. Moreover, the CBD had a lasting effect on this group as it continued to reduce cravings and relieve anxiety for seven days after the last dose was administered. In essence, this is the most important takeaway from the research: CBD had lasting effects well after it was present in the body. Numerous vital signs like heart rate, skin temperature, blood pressure, and oxygen saturation were taken to ensure only objective results were obtained since cravings and anxiety are subjective feelings. Another finding was a reduction in participants' heart rate and salivary cortisol levels, which would have both increased in the presence of anxiety-provoking images.

I think the evidence points to a logical conclusion: CBD is safe, it is effective in treating opioid addictions, and it is beneficial for those who experience a host of issues from pain, to anxiety, to epilepsy or to illnesses. Now is the time to keep pushing for legalization to continue larger scale studies and introduce CBD as a valid treatment option.

"A successful non-opioid medication would add significantly to the existing addiction medication toolbox to help reduce the growing death toll and enormous health care costs." - Yasmin Hurd, director of the Addiction Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.

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