Addiction is difficult to understand from the outside. If you’ve never been an addict, none of it really makes sense to you. However, if you know an addict, you know how abuse ruins life. Every hour in the United States, a baby is born quivering from opiate withdrawal. Every day, 114 people die from a drug overdose. Almost 88,000 perish every year as a result of alcohol use. For those who live life as an addict, the cycle of despair and self-destruction is hell.
Every Relationship Fizzles
Most addicts are tolerated only by members of their immediate families, or other abusers. When an addict meets someone new, however, the addiction isn’t often obvious, meaning there exists an opportunity to form some kind of friendship. This is usually a very pleasing time for the addict, until the newness wears off and they begin to let their habit show.
Not long thereafter, the relationship will end with the new person walking out on the addict, and with very good reason. An abuser’s only true friend is their substance of choice, and this pattern of forming and ending friendships very quickly continues indefinitely.
A Career Never Gets Going
Abusers aren’t very much different from you in that they want to earn their keep in life, possess material things and maintain an adequate roof over their head. Unfortunately, the need to get wasted or drunk gets in the way of getting to work every day. An addict may go from one job to another, hired by making a good first impression and fired when their true nature rears its ugly head.
This makes paying bills problematic, and for the sake of staying high or drunk, the addict down-grades their lifestyle in as many ways as necessary, including couch-hopping and eventual homelessness. There, they have plenty of company with other junkies, alcoholics and wasted souls.
What Stops The Cycle
Short of some type of intervention, addiction follows course to an unhappy ending. That special someone went away, as oppose to living a happily ever after with the addict, who never reformed. The continuing abuser develops such a spotty employment record, they’re hard-pressed to find a job at a fast-food restaurant. Sadly, to keep from being swallowed up by the sadness of such a life, the addict covers up the pain by turning to their drugs or alcohol, over and over again.
While treatment isn’t always a success and may require repeated attempts, it’s certainly better to persist with different therapies and programs than it is to continue life as an addict. Even though a person may seem content to wallow in their whiskey or waste away on heroin, make no mistake: They are not happy. They don’t want to live that way and they most likely hate themselves.
If you know an addict caught up in the cycle of dependency, please don’t scoff. Please don’t take personal offense to their actions or hold their abuse against them. Please don’t ignore the problem and look the other way when you see them coming. Please try to understand, and if at all possible, please try to help them.