According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 19.7million Americans aged 12 years and above battled drug addiction as per 2017 statistics. Unfortunately, the stigma attached to drug use disorder forces most addicts to suffer in silence.
The day-to-day life of a drug addict is a mixture of darkness and purgatory. Every day represents new emotions and feelings like you are stuck in a time loop that you can’t seem to pass through.
You cannot understand what being an addict feels like unless you have experienced it, considering that addiction is more like a progressive illness. But if you suspect that your loved one is a drug addict, this is how a typical day of an addict looks like.
Rise and Get High
Typically, people rise and shine, looking forward to a productive day at work or school. But that is not the case with addicts. The first thing that comes to their mind is how to get hold of drugs to quench their overnight thirst.
You will be surprised by how early addicts rise. Not because they are early risers. But because they start to feel the withdrawals as early as 10 am. This means that if they don’t start their days early, the sun sets when still in bed.
Others rise early to go collect enough drugs to sustain them through the day. They are among the first people to get to the grocery stores, not because they hope to catch the freshest veggies. They are there to collect last night’s blunts before the trashmen get in.
As earlier mentioned, each day is different. Not every day starts with a successful hunt for blunts and cigarettes.
Some days begin with extreme feelings of withdrawal. From muscle pain to excessive sweating, hunger, and fatigue, these are just a few drug withdrawal symptoms.
You may notice that your loved one is acting differently from the previous night. Sometimes addicts experience behavioral and psychological symptoms like agitation, anxiety, or unexplainable happiness.
It will help if you offer psychological withdrawal management to your loved ones, especially if they are struggling to cease drug use. Also, enroll them in a drug rehab center for medical care.
Besides speeding up the addiction recovery process, rehab centers are a safe space for addicts to share their thoughts. In return, this minimizes the chances of depression and self-harm.
Self-Hate and Despair
Drug addiction is acquainted with a range of negative emotions—anger, anxiety, depression, and shame cloud the addict’s perception. In most cases, they will go out of their way to hide those feelings.
In the process, the addicts become addicted to those intensifying feelings because they cannot speak up. Often, the addict looks at a blunt and promises themselves that it will be the last one. They are in pain and hope they can break out of the addiction chain.
As soon as they finish the blunt, they start craving for more. They cannot control the urge to light up another one or pour another bottle of beer. Such experiences result in self-hate and desperation to stop.
The addicts sink into shame. Furthermore, selfish relatives and friends may perpetuate the cycle of guilt. And this does more harm than good family and friends think that guilt-tripping the addicts will push them to get help, but it only encourages addiction. In the long run, addicts develop self-esteem issues, which create an infinite cycle of self-loathing and a feeling of worthlessness.
Addicts struggling with shame rarely seek addiction treatment because of the feelings of unworthiness and helplessness. The situation is worsened by their loved ones who guilt and shame them.
Such individuals need love and assurance. It is also up to you to encourage your loved one to seek addiction treatment. Look for the best addiction treatment center and help them get in.
Being around experts and individuals with similar struggles helps addicts with shame management. It helps them to accept and love themselves, which is the first step to recovery.
Lies and Manipulation Are Their Only Way Out
Due to the fear of judgment and criticism, drug addicts opt to lie and make everyone think they are okay. However, they always have loans and medical emergencies to cater to. Your loved one will always come to you with financial problems and have a way to convince you to help.
Again, the manipulations and lies make addicts hate themselves even more. They cannot help but take advantage of those close to them to afford pills. They know their family and friends don’t deserve the manipulation.
For some reason, addicts tend to find themselves in trouble with peers and the drug dealers in the hood. But they cannot share whatever they are going through with their family because they lied about their money spending habits.
Thanks to obsession with drugs, addicts no longer find happiness in doing things they used to enjoy.
Their friends’ company is no longer appealing to them. They would rather lock themselves in the bedroom, as they snort cocaine. That’s happiness for them.
Hoping for Change
The evening comes. The drug addict realizes the day is gone and wasted. Their brief moments of happiness disappear, and they curl up in bed, lost in thoughts.
“How did I get here? I had so many dreams to achieve.” These are some of the thoughts running through their mind at the moment.
They promise to make a change. They want to take a new leaf, get back the job they lost, make helpful friends and make their families proud.
But all those are just wishes. When tomorrow comes, they are back to their dark life unless they seek professional help.
Help a Drug Addict Take Charge of Their Life
If your loved one is struggling with drug addiction, it will be best to guide them in the right direction instead of condemning them. Encourage the drug addict to go to rehab and let professionals help them overcome addiction.
With the right drug rehabilitation center, addicts undergo therapies and detox programs. Even better, they are always occupied with activities to keep their minds off the drugs.