Drug addicts…. The scum of the Earth!!!

Having been through rehab twice now for addiction to cocaine, I have learnt that as an addict you need to change the way we think.
But how can the addict be expected to change the way they think when society won’t change the way they think about addicts?

einstein

Albert Einstein knew a thing or two about stuff, and it was him that said “The definition of Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”

When I think about how society still perceives and treats addiction of any sort its still massively taboo, extremely judgmental and almost prehistoric. Over the past 100 years nothing has changed and the results haven’t improved.
The number of users are increasing, the types of drugs and stimulants are becoming more readily available and cheaper so we cant expect things to change from a sociological standpoint so surely the way to improve things is how and what approach we take to the addicts themselves and the service and treatments available.

Being an addict in recovery myself, i’m well placed to comment on how I have been treated and what is expected from me to ‘change’ my ways.

I want to for a minute assume that you, the reader are reading this and know nothing about drugs or addiction.
Drugs do something to you that eats away at your soul, your core, literally rotting from the inside. Something that starts out as episodes of Euphoria, excitement, highs and ‘the buzz’ eventually takes you to a dark dark place. This is the difference between ‘recreational users’ or ‘functional users’ to full blown dependencies, or as we are often labelled junkies or crackheads. I include alcohol in this as well as it is also a drug

It all starts out very innocent, none of us ever go out with the intention of getting to that place where suicide quite often seems the best answer, no its a few beers down the pub, a couple of cheeky liveners at the football with the boys, or a couple of pills in Ibiza. What then happens in our lives then dictates what road we take. Not everyone hits the drink or drugs hard when a major trauma occurs in there life but for me its what I did. I knew that the feeling of using cocaine would dampen down my sadness when I lost my Mother so I continued you dampen it down, and down and down until it was buried so deep that I couldn’t change it. I literally felt like I was dead inside.

Drugs has gone from being something I looked forward to doing to something I had to do and hated myself when I did. The next phase is the completely inability to be able to stop and the only (what seems) like rational solution is to take your own life.
I made 4 attempts on my life because I felt so powerless, dead, emotionless and I had just had enough.

The first time I got admitted to a psychiatric unit where they kept me there for a week, dosed me up and then asked me a bunch of questions “did you plan your suicide” “are you disappointed to be alive now” blah blah blah. I said openly look I’m an addict and I cant stop, help me I don’t know what to do?

HELPI’ve hit a spiral of depression and I cant stop using, I am crying out for your help, keep me off the streets away from drugs, just please give me some help. Later that day they released me as they had told me that they couldn’t hold a bed for addiction patients. I explained that my depression is fueling my addiction, they said you are depressed because you are using.
I continued to stay in this cycle for 3 more overdoses and 2 more admissions, each one I was discharged after 36 hours then 18 hours because it was ‘addiction’ and nothing else.

At no point did anyone within the medical system say, somethings not right here, we have a young (ish) lad, who has been a successful businessman, no real criminal history or any mental illness yet all of a sudden is having a complete breakdown, something needs to be done. I know lets investigate!

It was like a human game of ping pong, I was beginning to feel more and more worthless and just kept myself in the cycle. Now don’t get me wrong I take 100% responsibility for my addiction just like my recovery, its all down to me and my ability to reach out for help, but I am just one of many addicts whether its drink, drugs or any other vice that are screaming out for help, and it just isn’t there.

When I went to rehab, the philosophy from the medical team was the polar opposite, they believed that the ‘trauma’ and the mental health side of it is what causes you to use because you know that you can detach yourself from your emotions. that’s why hours of one to one therapy were so beneficial because I looked deep, deep within my soul for the answers, and hopefully I’ve found them.

I learnt to change the way I think, when Im in tough situations, when a major trauma occurs, when the anger and rage burns inside, to change how I think, instead of reaching for my drug of choice to think about things and work it out. Change my behaviors.

This is definitely the solution, but how can the individual addict be expected to change they way they think when everyone in society even hospitals and doctors still treat you like the scum of the earth.

Newspapers, social media, future employers they all condemn addicts, writing them off basically saying once an addict always an addict, the amount of times I’ve heard that phrase is laughable. I’ve met some of the smartest most talented people who have been tangled up in addiction because it doesn’t care whether you are rich or poor, intelligent or challenged, famous or just your regular Joe, no one is immune from addiction.

In 2001 in Portugal, the Government decided to decriminalize drugs, it became a medical issue and not a criminal one for possession and use of class A drugs, this has seen a drop to virtually no drug related overdoses in the Country and has reduced AIDS, Hepatitis B and heroin overdoes down by 50-75% in some cases. In addition to this, the government work with local businesses to get ex addicts back into the work place but subsidizing roughly half their salaries and guaranteeing them employment. What an unbelievable attitude and initiative to have.

Your typical addict is no longer just the guy with a needle hanging out of his or her arm lying in a gutter, its your local Doctor, Lawyer, politician, footballer or celebrity. Addiction comes in so many forms and so many guises and its become more of a hidden issue because of the stigma around it meaning we cant reach out for help in fact a group of us from a local meeting have collaborated  and put a recovery magazine together called Pipe Down magazine, again with the sole purpose of trying to #BreakTheStigma consisting of an editor, business development manager, web genius and graphic designer ….  who would have thought it – Talented Junkies!!!slave

If you come out the other side of addiction then it still effects your chances of employment, future relationships, contact with your family or children and quite frankly just the way people look at you. Instead of it being something to be proud of its something that most people hide, they have to hide, I did exactly the same thing the first time out of rehab.

The point of all this (as i’m aware my passion is diverting me away) is that we expect the individual addict to change. Change their lives, their lifestyle, their attitudes, their behaviors and the way they think, but what incentive is there when they are still treated the same by society, by the Doctors, by employers by well…. generally everyone, and that sucks, its a massive contradiction, If you want addicts you get better then start treating them better when they battle through and come out the other side.
Give us a chance, stop treating us like scum.

Maybe if we all change our attitude towards addiction then addiction will change in turn.

We are in an epidemic of invisible addiction, things like social media, Facebook, money, power, fame, Instagram likes, video games, food, all things that give us a quick fix from our emotions. Its logical that the natural progression for youngsters from things like the above will be to drink or drugs, as soon as they know it will temporarily help the situation they will move on to something else. Something seriously destructive.

We need to remember that underneath the addict is a human being.
Underneath that human being is a son, daughter, sister, brother, father, mother and who knows what else. We should be trying to bring that human back out of the addicts body not hammering it further down.

addicts humans
Addicts have a lot to offer, so its about time society stops condemning us and them, gives them the support to develop and enable them to have a life after addiction otherwise whats the point if there is simply no incentive.

 

Its the biggest fight you can ever be involved in, a monumental battle. Other than ‘getting clean’ there has to be some reward at the end, and ill take for now just being treated like a normal human being.

#BreakTheStigma

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61 thoughts on “Drug addicts…. The scum of the Earth!!!

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  1. I read the title of your post and came prepared to fight for addicts. Looks like I don’t need to! I understand that so much is going on… and me not having struggled with it myself but my husband has. And he is a cautious and more understanding person because of it. Just know. You are stronger than your addiction!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. me too! This moved me to watery eyes. I have addiction in my family and because of that, many friends who are former addicts. They are the best people in the world and are all stronger than they think.

      Having been on the alanon side of things, I know how strong you need to be to make it through to the sober side. Anyone who does make it through, needs to be incredibly proud of themselves and everything they achieve.

      As well as their families! Sending love out to everyone and my full support to #breakthestigma

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I have never been in an addictive state nor do I know somebody who has, but this post really opened my eyes to the harsh reality of those who are. I admire your courage and send you lots of love and light on your path.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I really enjoyed reading this, it is time people stopped judging people so much in general… including addicts… we all have to live in what is a difficult place a lot of the time and should be bigging each other up…. nice share indeed… I have just kicked an alcohol addiction with the great help of the tool of journaling. And now, have set up a free journaling group… not specifically for addiction, but just for a support tool and moving forwards… This really resonates. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry,I won’t give you a complete free pass here. Addiction is the result of free choice. You chose to become a addict,not once but TWICE. You claim society has a prehistoric view on addiction and that couldn’t be more wrong. Society as a whole has never been more enlightened about what choosing to do drugs will do. You knew what cocaine would do because the “War on Drugs” is part of everyday life. No one put a straw in your hand and forced to snort,you did that. You chose to get help and good people chose to help you get clean. You chose to give them the middle finger and go back…..if you are in recovery now,work as hard hard for that then you did in scoring your coke. You can stay sober but its never ever going to be easy. Trying to justify your addiction means you are looking for a excuse to use again….you know what lies that path,choose not to walk down it. Do a meeting,shit,do 4-5 meetings,talk to your sponser but don’t look back. Best of luck to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that you have a choice. i’m choosing and working hard to stay clean.
      There are (not in all cases) but mainly psychological reasons behind why people use, the article is aimed mainly at the inability to look at these keeping people in the cycle, I’m not justifying it like I said I take responsibility in addiction like I do in recovery.
      Do you think that even though ‘society’is enlightened the way in which addiction is handled is correct then?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually no…..because the playing field has changed with the fact that doctors are the new drug pushers. They have created a whole new epidemic of addicts by violating the public’s trust. We are told to “trust” doctors for our medical care and yes,many do earn that trust. But far,far,far too many are quick to push opiates/opids as treatment for every little ache and pain. They have learned to game the Medicare/Medicaid system to get rich by writing tens of thousands of fake prescriptions. The laws we have on the books have not yet caught up with the depth and scope of these abuses. Now we when we go to the doctor,we have to one eye on what is wrong with us and the other on the “cure”. We now have to ask “What are you giving and why”? The trust has been broken….

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I agree 100% with that we’ve been conned by a 90’s advertising campaign. People dying (who certainly didn’t choose to become addicts) from Opiates etc.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. The Inner Circle: “Sorry, I won’t give you a free pass here. Addiction is the result of free choice. You choose to become a addict, not once but TWICE. ”

      My response: This is the exact stigma that continues to trap society in misunderstanding the nature and power substance use has. Fortunately, Neuroscience and medical advancement in understanding how substance use “hijacks” the normal function of the brain has sufficiently disputed this false idea.

      Yes, people do “choose” to use substances. However, these substances flood a person’s brains with a powerful surge of dopamine. It also locks in memory of that substance use. A more appropriate way to see substance use disorder is that it is a disease of brain reward because it becomes a disease of choice. Substance use impacts one’s ability to make appropriate choices. I’d recommend watching Pleasure Unwoven. It explains the theory of Choice verses Disease. You might find it quite educational.

      The Inner Circle: “You claim that society has a prehistoric view on addiction that couldn’t be more wrong. Society as a whole has never been more enlightened about choosing to do drugs will do.”

      My response: Where do you believe much of this “enlightenment” stems from? We have gone from seeing people with substance use disorder as having a moral failing to treating them with a disease. If you are in disagreement, I’d like to see peer review and scholarly support for your assertion.

      The Inner Circle: “You knew what cocaine would do because the “War on Drugs” is part of everyday life. No one put a straw in your hand and forced to snort,you did that.”

      My Response: Again, this comment proves the assertion of the article here. It is quite judgmental, lacking of compassion and understanding. People actually do understand what drugs may do to them. And, this has nothing to do with the “war on drugs”. And, what is more appalling is the forced statement of “no one”. How do you know? What is your sole premise on this conclusive thought? Most people do not go out of their way and say, “I am going to go out and use cocaine, or heroin, or opiate pain killers.” There are a variety of avenues a person ends up becoming addicted. They are drinking at a party and are already not in a right frame of mind and easier to use other substances. Many of it comes by peer pressure. In fact, Most people’s addiction began between 12-25 years of age. Much of this has to do with peer pressure and social influence.

      The Inner Circle: “You chose to get help and good people chose to help you get clean. You chose to give them the middle finger and go back…..if you are in recovery now,work as hard hard for that then you did in scoring your coke.”

      My response: Yes, most people do want to get help. They are struggling with intense cravings, an altered state of perceptual thinking. They have intense emotions. It’s a fight to restore themselves back to a place of sanity. This is why the first step is integral because one literally is powerless over when they may end up using, amount they may end up using, and the affect it has once they use. This is the reason it takes approximately a full year for the brain to restore to normal functioning, and another year to be in a stable and healthy new life for most people in recovery. The reality is, they have found that relapse is not problematic for recovery, it is part of the recovery process.

      The Inner Circle: Trying to justify your addiction means you are looking for a excuse to use again….you know what lies that path,choose not to walk down it. Do a meeting,shit,do 4-5 meetings,talk to your sponsor but don’t look back. Best of luck to you.

      My Response: Recovery is holistic and there are many different pathways to a healthy and promising recovery and sober lifestyle. I recommend you check out Note to Self regarding this.

      My overall recommendation, do some real research and education on substance use disorder, the advancement in this field, and really look at the heart of the issue being presented here. Good luck to you.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. All I hear are excuses and a need for justification for choosing to become a addict.
        Your lack of understanding on what free will and accountability means that talking to you will be like talking to a walk. Addiction is not a disease and the web is full of doctors and experts who say that very thing. Funny how you say I should do my research yet I see you offer nothing to back your position.

        Please don’t bother trying to defend your POV,I won’t read it and I don’t wish to clutter up this young man’s comments.

        Like

      2. The Inner Circle: “All I hear are excuses and a need for justification for choosing to become an addict”

        My response: On what premise and evidence is this based on?

        The Inner Circle: “You lack understanding on what free will and accountability means that talking to you will be like talking to the wall.”

        My Response: This is a logical fallacy, based on a false presupposition. Again, what evidence provides such a conclusion and assertion? Especially when evidence may very well be presented to refute the presently held perceptual belief.

        The Inner Circle: “Addiction is not a disease and the web is full of doctors and experts who say that very thing.”

        My response: Actually, it is not based on what the “web says”. It is based on empirical medical evidence and consensus. For instance, look at the American Society for Addiction Medicine. They have the “short” and “long” definition of the understanding how Addiction is a disease. This, again as I have mentioned, is based on the advancement of Brain neuroscience. (see https://www.asam.org/resources/definition-of-addiction). There are plethora of scholarly and peer review articles on the subject matter, from psychological to medical journals regarding the impact and significant aspect of how Addiction follows the disease model. A model developed by a doctor.

        The Inner Circle: “Funny how you say I should do my research yet I see you offer nothing to back up your position.”

        My response: Actually, it is false to place words in someone’s mouth. I never said, or suggested you to do any research. I merely recommended two videos. Pleasure Unwoven and Note to Self. I have additional resources regarding this subject matter and the evidence that explains and expounds how the Medical and Behavioral science reflects the nature and power of Addiction as a disease. So, yes, I am very well able to provide all empirical evidence to provide support for my position. The question is: are you capable of doing the same thing and able to provide adequate medical and behavioral evidence to denounce how addiction is not a disease? Meaning, are you capable of researching and finding medical, psychological, and behavioral journals that denounce the disease model of addiction?

        The Inner Circle: Please don’t bother trying to defend your POV, I won’t read it and I don’t wish to clutter up this young mans comments.

        My response: Again, a logical fallacy, based on closed-mindedness and unwillingness to be open to evidence that may refute the present perceptual thought and thinking you appear to hold. And, this further proves the young man’s assertion of social ignorance and inability to adapt and change.

        Thanks for continually showing how your comments establish reasonable evidence on the way most operate and perceive addiction and those afflicted with substance use disorder.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. I really was mislead by the title.. I thought I was going to have to defend addicts. love this post. i have so many people in my life who struggle with different addictions. thank you for your post and outlook!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, you really got me now! I know some people who overdosed, and some people who are in trouble now. Of course is mental side. I do not ever judge, I just hope they get well. You are so strong and brave!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Congratulations on your recovery. Knowing what drugs do to the brain, I have the utmost respect for those who get clean. To those who don’t know much about it, this may seem an odd thing to say, but it’s true:
    You’re one of an elite group of people. You have a lot to offer the world, and by putting your energy into encouraging others to recover, you could help your elite group to grow.
    I’m glad you mentioned what’s happening in Portugal. Not everyone understands the purpose of decriminalisation. I wrote a poem about it some weeks back on my secondary blog, motheringaddicts. I don’t think it was appreciated.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. And at the same time helping other addicts, and hopefully, changing a few people’s attitudes toward addiction – though there’ll always be those who look down on addicts, and you’ll often find they’re addicts too; dependant on chocolate or gambling – or cannabis. Weed caners think they’re a race apart.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Amen! The title threw me a little but the post was one of the best I’ve seen. I have not struggled with addition but I have seen it every day. Until society realizes that they are people, nothing will change, but some addicts are not yeta at the stage of wanting help either. How do you help an addict who enjoys the high, the rush, or the numbness?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Its a very good question.
      They are a ticking time bomb as I was, I suppose all we can do is try to reach out to as many people as possible to educate what lies ahead.

      Like

  9. Your title was a bit misleading but I liked reading it… I have a family member who went thru addiction… her life was torn apart but she managed to find her way back as you have… it’s still a struggle for her day by day but I’m so proud of her…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Thank you for sharing. I found myself addicted to meth at the ripe old age of 17. Luckily for me, I got pregnant and my daughter saved my life. I swore I would never do that to my kids and was able to stop cold turkey as soon as I suspected I was pregnant. That was 15 years ago and I can honestly say I am so glad I went through what I did. It has made me a better, stronger person and a better parent because of it. Keep fighting your fight. You’ve got this!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Amazing insights! I completely agree with you that a change of perspective is sorely needed. And it’s people like you who spread awareness and make others think about the issue who help move that along. Thanks so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I love Portugal’s approach, and by every measure it’s been a huge success. I wish Americans would be able to change their thinking in this light, and maybe eventually they will, but most are still pretty lost to all the “War on Drugs” propaganda, and still beyond thinking about the causes of addiction, and lost in the “it can’t be me or anyone I know” fallacy. Stay strong!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I love this! How you’re explaining addiction in this… being fun at first, then turning into hell… this piece is what many in society doesn’t understand. They believe it’s all fun and games and don’t take the time to differentiate the two, the changes that occur. As we know, everyone is a potential addict and society needs to really understand this. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Reblogged this on Timothy R Berman and commented:
    Read this article. It sheds and interesting light on social stigma of substance use. What the writer appears to convey is how communities and Society grovel’s for those caught up in addiction to change. What we tend to forget is that many do enter treatment. Many do engage in changing their lifestyle, yet we seem to think that’s it. However, as pointed out in this article what has not changed is the social perspective and perception needing to be changed.

    Liked by 1 person

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