Addiction and Me

7 Jun

Firstly, let me define what it means to be an addict.  Regardless of the addiction the mechanism is the same.  For example, if your addiction is alcohol, there are thousands of people who are able to go out on a Friday or Saturday night and drink (probably more than the government’s recommended units of alcohol), wake up the next day with a headache and continue with their lives with no immediate detrimental effect on their health or day to day activities.  The alcoholic, on the other hand, may start out in the same way but at some point feels the uncontrollable need to continue the Friday and Saturday night session and soon finds themselves doing the same thing on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, gradually they are not able to stop and soon need to start drinking first thing in the morning and continue all day, every day.  It’s the same regardless of the addiction albeit, drugs, shoplifting, pyromania or sex addiction.  Initially, you have rational control over your behaviour but once that control mechanism breaks down, your are an addict.  This does not mean that you are not aware of the destruction this is causing, rather the compulsion to continue over powers your reasoning.  This holds true for all addictions.

In my own experience, growing up in the ‘70’s, the educational message was “one hit and you’re hooked” and “all drugs will kill you”.  Youthful experimentation proved this to be somewhat exaggerated.  If the odd spliff didn’t kill me and didn’t get me hooked, why should I have taken at face value any of the other propaganda sold to me as a child?

Moving forward 20 years, Heroin entered into the equation.  Upon reflection, this was obviously a bad move but I had no reason to believe the hype anymore than I had reason to believe I would turn into a Werewolf at the full moon?

The Saturday night pint soon turned into the Sunday night pint and pretty soon I was hooked.

I have now been under the ‘care’ of the specialist Drug and Alcohol Service for 17 years, during which my health has deteriorated and I am no closer to a resolution than when I was referred to them.

More on this later…….

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