When Your Loved One Promises to Stop Using Drugs On Their Own
What used to be a closeted, secret struggle that seemed to only affect very certain segments of the population has now exploded to be a big crisis that touches every part of society. From young teenagers still in school to adults with professional careers and families, drug addiction is, unfortunately, running rampant and affecting millions of Americans every day.
Small towns, suburbs, and big cities are all home to people who have lost their way in life and are dependent on drugs. With upward of 72,000 drug overdose deaths in 2017 alone in the U.S., including sharp increases in fentanyl and synthetic opioid overdoses, everyone is understandably alarmed. To give you an idea of how massive this problem is, the estimated number of opioid-related deaths in 2016 was around 42,000.
Seeing how many lives are cut so short by drug use, it makes sense why parents, parents, siblings, children, relatives, and friends of those addicted to drugs are constantly on edge, wondering if their loved ones will be the next ones to pass away due to this horrible disease.
The Disease of Denial
Drug abuse is not something to take lightly, and even occasionally using drugs in social settings can lead to irreversible consequences. If you’re one of the many Americans trying to cope with a loved one’s drug use and their struggle to stop using drugs, then it’s important to understand what you can do, and how you can react, when your loved one promises to stop using drugs on their own.
First of all, you have to give yourself a break and remember that many others have been in your shoes. Drug addiction is not an easy path to travel, especially for the family members and friends who have to watch their loved one struggle and lose hold of everything that matters to them. It’s no secret that using drugs can lead to problems and even loss of employment, education, custody of children, romantic relationships and so much more.
If you find yourself in such a sad and stressful situation like this, it’s crucial to keep in mind that your loved one is most likely going through some extreme denial about their current circumstances. Many drug users believe they can stop using on their own accord when that’s seldom the case.
A lot of drug users will make multiple attempts to quit, but it won’t take long for them to fall back into the same old cycle of using drugs and getting high. The withdrawal symptoms when they stop using can be quite severe, and those uncomfortable feelings are enough to get people right back into the thick of drug addiction.
While it would be nice and fantastic for everyone involved if just one attempt at quitting could solve everything, but that’s not the case. Addiction is a very complex disease that oftentimes gets worse before it may get better. Every person has a slightly different experience with addiction, but they all go through some significant ups and downs. It’s not nearly as simple or easy to just quit at the snap of your fingers.
Aspects of Addiction
Addiction is a multifaceted disease that can absolutely devastate a person’s life, as well as the lives of the people who love them dearly. If you’re one of those heartbroken individuals who are trying to cope with what seems like consistently bad decisions and self-destruction of one’s life, try to remember that your loved one probably truly believes that they’re in control.
Addiction can trick people, and someone who is dependent on drugs may not realize the scope of their problem. It’s not uncommon for drug users to think they have their lives together and believe they can hide their drug patterns from employers, co-workers and the important people in their lives.
In reality, most people are not as inconspicuous as they’d like to believe. It’s really sad to watch drug addicts insist that they’re okay and they’ll solve their problems on their own, especially when its someone you care about so much. In fact, one of the only ways to truly save your loved ones is to get them professional help for their addiction. Intervention is oftentimes a big life changer that can force people to get the help they need.
If your loved one is continuously promising to stop using drugs on their own, and you’re getting sick and tired of hearing the same broken promise over and over again, an intervention could seriously help. This action, often led by a trusted medical professional or doctor along with family and friends, can give drug users little chance for wiggle room, essentially letting them know that getting help is the only way they’ll survive.
Addiction can completely alter one’s brain, and even if a person wants to stop, they may not be able to. Particularly with drugs, these substances interfere with how neurons send, receive and process signals from neurotransmitters. Many drugs can influence changes within the brain, which can make a person act and think in a very detrimental way.
After using these highly addictive substances for years, your loved one’s addiction may likely progress to the point where they’re trapped in a cycle of life-threatening decisions and desperation to get high. In many cases, your loved ones may be crying out for help without even knowing.
If you see your loved one severely struggling, chances are that deep down, they may know they need significant help. That’s where an interventionist can come into play. These experienced professionals can level with them and relate to that part of their persona that recognizes the need for help and change. It’s incredible what a properly-planned and executed intervention can accomplish for a person’s life.
If you’re struggling to cope with a loved one’s drug addiction, please remember that there is hope for everyone involved. You just need to hold your head up high and remain dedicated and determined to succeed with a professional intervention.
NIDA. (2018, January 17). Principles of Drug Addiction Treatment: A Research-Based Guide (Third Edition). Retrieved from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition on 2019, February 18https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/principles-drug-addiction-treatment-research-based-guide-third-edition