Relatives, want to help your loved one?

Discussion in 'Family & friends' started by Nicaine, Aug 28, 2006.

  1. Nicaine

    Nicaine Titanium Member

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    First a little background -- I have a history of use of various substances going back to the late 70s. A history of periodic/binge AA/NA/CA attendance going back to 1987. A history of inpatient and outpatient drug treatments (lost count, but possibly seven to ten).

    Relatives, want to help your loved ones? Really? Then help them to realize that the pleasure of what they're doing (and that's what drug use is about, PLEASURE. HEDONISM. Even after tolerance builds up, because then it's avoidance of pain, which is about the same thing) is not worth the tradeoffs. They have to come to a point where either they no longer get (enough) pleasure from their substance(s) of choice to make it worth using, or they have to get a "lightning bolt" at a clear moment that the gentler but more satisfying long-term pleasures of real life outweigh the brief/damn-the-future approach offered by drugs and alcohol.

    If there's something you can do to make it SUCK to use their drug of choice (without alienating them) then do it. Addiction is ambivalence. An addict wants to use, and they want to quit, both at the same time. One of two things have to happen if they're gonna get straight:

    (1) They have to want to quit significantly more badly than they want to use, or
    (2) The desire to use has to drop (usually happens due to "sick & tired of being sick & tired" satoris).

    Don't discount recovery on one's own resources. AA/NA/CA are truly not for everyone, maybe not even for HALF of everyone. Support them fully if they believe they can quit on their own and seem serious about it. Contrary to popular belief, that's the way most people do it. The truly tough part is the "habit," I.E. anything you do for a long/sustained period of time that feels good can be very hard to leave behind forever. If you love pizza or chocolate, imagine the notion of NEVER eating it again in your lifetime, even once. Drugs/alcohol are not a "special case," just unusual in the intensity of pleasure they deliver compared to most other life experiences.

    Hope this little bit of info coming from a stream-of-consciousness helps somebody.

    A final thought (and it's the hard, cold truth): For some people, the pleasure that drugs/alcohol deliver outweighs anything that "real life" presents. Including the fear of death or disability or imprisonment. Including your own love and caring. It's a stark fact of biology and brain chemistry. You need to let this sink in before becoming truly able to help them. Know thine enemy.

    Best of luck...
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2006
    1. 5/5,
      good information
      Oct 31, 2006
  2. fletch

    fletch Gold Member

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    very well put, i think these facts are what people helping loved ones dont quite understand, just curious though as to whether or not in some cases an individual is better using drugs, I has experienced this quitting cola after heavy daily usage of over 2 yrs. that quitting for 21/2 months was terrible and life instead of piecing together was slowely falling apart, yet after dipping back others surrounding swim seem to be more pleased and can bear being around swim more, yet those who are close and love swim are still under the impression that I am clean, and in a sense this sort of eats away at swim because why should it take the drug to fullfill swims personality? but then again I am happy being high, and is also happy that others are happy as well. I dont really knw how to take this, or maybe others have experienced this as well?????????
     
  3. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    Cocaine, as with other addictive drugs, when used for long enough, can impact you's affect and mood for a prolonged level of time. It could take several months to get one's mood back to baseline after quitting. Also since the drug was used daily for years, it probably formed an integral part of you's social interaction, so it makes sense that You is much more comfortable, even empathetic when under the influence. It has been theorized that some people's personalities lend themselves more towards substance abuse since they suffer from inadequate activation of reward circuits in the brain, which puts them at risk since its only after substance use that they feel they have "normal" social interactions. If You really wants to quit, he may want to look into cognitive behavioral therapy to help with his social interactions.
     
  4. ~lostgurl~

    ~lostgurl~ Platinum Member & Advisor Donating Member

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    I have the same issues, when she is high on meth, her family think she is straight and a nice person, but when she is coming off meth they think that is what drugs do, that that is My buzz..... go figure
     
  5. Forthesevenlakes

    Forthesevenlakes Platinum Member

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    But we also must ask, how were the relationships before the individual got into drugs? Sure, people are cranky, antisocial, etc. when coming off drugs, and can be for months after use ceases due to residual depression. In these cases, sure, being high would make one more productive, happy, amiable, etc. It could be that one is a "better person" with some drugs, but it also has to have a pre-drug or non-drug state to be compared to in order to prove this fact.
     
  6. Nagognog2

    Nagognog2 Iridium Member

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    It would make sense that if one were addicted to a drug, the person would appear to be "normal" while under the influence of such. The drugged-state has become what is normal for the person. Upon cessation of said drug, the person would appear out of sorts and sick.

    While some substances may do little actual harm to be taking on a daily basis, others can do gradual and terminal damage. Methamphetamine is one that will, eventually, destroy the user. One example of a "meth-freak" whose body and mind deteriorated in full view was Adolf Hitler. Towards the end he became a shaking, twitching mess physically. Never mind what his mind was doing.