Drug Addiction Brings Out the Worst

Last modified: July 23, 2014 05:26:05 PM

Addiction produces behavioral, emotional and cognitive changes to patients, that help perpetuate the disease.

People facing drug addiction need all the love and support they can get but, frankly, it can be hard to love an addict. Addiction changes some of the nicest, most successful people into hardened, homeless and hopeless criminals. Sticking by someone you love can be hard when you play second fiddle to a needle or pill.

Addiction makes someone crave drugs and do just about anything to get high, even ripping off the people he loves. At first, the cravings are easy to feed – he just gets a refill from his doctor. Addiction is progressive, which means these cravings get worse, driving the person to take part increasingly in activities that would normally offend or frighten him. He might start stealing from friends or family, for example, or even venturing into buying illegal street drugs.

Using most drugs continually for a long time usually causes the body to grow tolerant of the drug, requiring ever-larger doses to achieve the same effect. As his drug habit grows, so does the cost and his desire. Drug addiction causes financial ruin as the individual tries to keep up with the growing demands of his habit. It is exceptionally difficult to watch your friend become destitute but it is devastating when your spouse, parent, or child brings economic devastation upon your household.

Left unchecked, drug addiction usually results in some form of criminal activity to buy or pay for drugs. Hanging around with criminals can ruin your reputation or even lead to arrest by association – getting caught in the middle of a drug bust or drug deal gone wrong could even be fatal.

Psychoactive drugs get people high and cause other neurological effects that changes how someone thinks, feels, and behaves. At first, he enjoys fuzzy thought processes, feeling exuberant, and having fun. In time, the neurological effects of drug become more permanent and affect his ability to make rational decisions, sort out his emotions, or behave normally. After a while, he begins to consistently make terrible choices, have trouble interacting with others, and react to everyday situations in inappropriate ways. These are not choices or defects in his character – they are side effects of chronic drug use – but they can still make someone unbearable to be around.

The behavioral, emotional, and cognitive changes caused by addiction are not accidental – these alterations serve to perpetuate addiction by first demanding total obedience from the addict then separating him from the people who can save him.

While it may not be easy to love someone struggling with addiction, it is imperative that you try. Russell Brand, international comedian and recovering drug addict, said it best: “The mentality and behavior of drug addicts and alcoholics is wholly irrational until you understand that they are completely powerless over their addiction and unless they have structured help, they have no hope.”

Helping an Addict Recover

Last modified: September 23, 2013 12:56:46 PM

a family is too emotionally involved to resist the manipulative behavior which is characteristic of drug and alcohol addicts

One of the most traumatizing situations that can occur in a family is the descent of a loved one into the depths and despair of drug or alcohol addiction.  The addict’s personality changes, the relationship dynamic of the household changes, and the emotional, mental atmosphere of the home changes – all for the worse.  However, we would all do anything possible to help our sibling, child, partner or parent recover; but what happens is that because we don’t really know how to handle the situation, we can turn into the addict’s enablers in an effort to appease him or her into stopping his abusive behavior; or we scream and get angry with our addicted loved one for his or her moral failure.  After all, to many of us who are not health-care professionals, addiction is a weakness and an addict can stop if he or she just wanted to hard enough.

Many families, after realizing that their loved one is an addict and learning the extent of the problem, try to solve the problem “in-house” by themselves will several well intentioned plans that don’t really produce the desired result; in fact, the addiction can become worse.  For example, if an addict claims that he or she is addicted because he or she feels ignored by the family, a sudden dose of attention from everyone will not solve the drug issue.  In fact, in an effort to keep the addict “pleased”, some family members will actually go out and buy the drugs for the addict in an effort to “control the supply” or as “one last hit and that will be it.”  It never works; drug addiction is not a moral failing, it is a complex psychological, emotional and physical situation that can even be classified as a disease.  There are no simple solutions and a family cannot solve the problem by themselves:  they are too emotionally involved to resist the manipulative behavior which is characteristic of drug and alcohol addicts.

Along with the drug addict, there may be other family members who also have emotional and mental issues that can be driving the addict to drugs; healing cannot take place with the addict in isolation.  All family members must take an active part, all family members need professional help in order for the addict to recover.  This is the main reason why families cannot do it alone; guidance from professionals is an necessity.  From professional interventionists to psychiatrists, psychologists and drug rehabilitation doctors, the family must heal as a group to bring about the needed positive lifestyle changes that a drug addict so desperately needs.  For the sake of your loved one who is caught in the grip of drug or alcohol dependency, do not try to solve the problem on your own; get professional help, and the sooner, the better.

 

Baby Eats Heroin Disguised in Food

Last modified: September 23, 2013 12:56:07 PM

A baby eats heroin that was placed in food; and her drug addicted parents are in jail; they may go to Nevada’s drug court.

A drug-addled Nevada couple are in jail hoping to make bail after their infant daughter ate heroin that was somehow placed inside of a peach she was snacking on.

The girl, who survived the accidental overdose, was shaking, rolling her eyes, and had blue lips; by the time police had arrived on the scene she had become unresponsive.

The parents, who are admitted heroin and meth addicts, are Lorena Vizina, 23, and 25 year-old Justin Robinson.  Both are currently being held on $20,000 USD bond at Washoe County Jail.  They are charged with suspicion of child abuse.

According to mother Vizina, she left the baby in Robinson’s care while she did heroin.  According to Robinson’s statement, he only left the baby alone for a few minutes; when he turned his attention towards her again, he saw that she had powder on her mouth but thought nothing of it.  Robinson waited for 45 minutes before taking any action although the baby was trembling and rolling her eyes to the back of her head; he then decided to take the baby not to a hospital but to her grandparents for advice and if they thought the baby was acting abnormally.

After the arrival of police on the scene, blood tests were performed on the baby which proved that she had ingested morphine and codeine.  Robinson, at first, told the police that his daughter had eaten some medication.  How the heroin got into the baby’s food is still under investigation.

Nevada is a state which has a “drug court” program in which a rehabilitation program is used as an alternative to prison time.  Like California and New Jersey, which also have drug courts with statistics that prove that treatment will work better than hard time served, Nevada also believes treatment is the better option for the addict’s recovery and for the public benefit. The program lasts a year and a person who successfully completes the program can avoid a criminal conviction.  There is also a Dependency Drug Court which helps parents whose addictions are causing the abuse or neglect of their children.  However, it is unknown if Vizina and Robinson will be eligible for these drug court programs as information about their past convictions, if any, has not been published.

At this time, it is assumed that the baby has recovered and will be in the custody of her grandparents.

The Misconceptions of Drug Abuse and Addiction

Last modified: September 23, 2013 12:53:49 PM

Addiction is not an incurable disease. This is a myth that can actually drive an addict further into addiction

In the news lately, there have been many stories concerning the use of opioids or painkillers; while the number of prescription pill addicts has been decreasing due to abuse-proof versions of medications such as OxyContin and Opana, the number of heroin addicts has been increasing.  Many in the medical field feel that this is occurring because those who were formerly addicted to the older versions of the prescribed pills are looking for something to either get them high or to mitigate the symptoms of withdrawal.   What makes this news discouraging to some is that there are more addicts who will need more help, and because of the myths surrounding drug abuse and addiction, friends and loved ones of those addicted may cause more harm than good in their efforts to help.  Here we will dispel some of those myths so that addicted loved ones can get the effective help they need.

Addiction is an incurable disease.  This is a myth that can actually drive an addict further into addiction by the people who are trying to help; an enabler may mistakenly think that supplying an addict with their drug might help them “feel better”.  Addiction is a disease according to many, but it’s not like the addict has no way to improve.  Addiction can be reversed with proper treatment and therapy.

Addiction can be overcome by will power; addicts are simply weak-willed and can quit if they just wanted to.  The brain actually changes and alters after long periods of drug abuse; and with some drugs the brain-altering effect can happen sooner.  The result is intense cravings for the drug, the same sort of craving we get for food when we are hungry or water when we are thirsty.  It becomes very difficult to stop using the drug cold turkey; it would be like not drinking a glass of water after a long, hot, and tiring exercise session.

Recovery will only work if it is voluntary on the part of the addict.  This myth is simply not true; just as many addicts who are forced into rehabilitation therapy by the legal system, family or workplace will recover as those who go willingly.  Addicts who are forced into getting help for their problems are usually glad and want to continue the recovery process once their thinking has become normalized.t

It’s not a good idea to intervene until the addict has lost everything.  Actually, this is one of the most dangerous myths; waiting for someone to hit rock-bottom can be too late as rock bottom can mean the death of the addict.  The earlier an intervention, the better; there is no point waiting.

An addict is hopelessly addicted if treatment doesn’t work the first time.   Addiction is like an obsessive compulsive disease; recovery will, for many addicts, be a process of relapsing and attempting recovery again.  The point is to get back on track and make modifications to the therapy; an addict should never give up giving up drugs.