On The Verge Of Addiction: Success Can Facilitate, Rather Than Discourage Drug Abuse — Are You At Risk?


While success means many different things to many different people, for most, success is being able to afford to live the lifestyle they choose. Whether it's a huge house, fast car, and Hollywood wardrobe or being labeled "the best" in their field, people strive to land on top of their game. However, when success is achieved, too many people fall victim to casual habits or somehow fail at resolving the old demons that have haunted them their entire lives, sometimes with tragic consequences.

Don't let this happen to you. If you're struggling to keep an addiction under control, the success you find in life can easily facilitate abuse and even help you to cover it up. What's the point of working so hard to find success, if you're eventually going to let it all go down the drain because of a drug problem?

1. Recognize The Potential For Disaster

Nobody wakes up in the morning and writes "Become a heroin addict" on their to-do list, yet overdoses in America have reached epic proportions. Drugs don't discriminate to favor poor or homeless people, nor do they care if you're just about to reach a milestone in your life, such as landing the top position at a fast-growing company or having a first child. Just because your life seems to be going well doesn't mean the chemicals will somehow spare your life or have any lesser effect on your body. Watch out for the symptoms which may indicate you are becoming dependent on drugs:

  • Frequent bouts of unexplained irritability.
  • Loss of ambition and motivation.
  • Increasing cravings (for your drug of choice).
  • Showing poor judgment.
  • Shaking hands and feeling fidgety.
  • Feeling physically ill when you're not on the drug.

Symptoms can creep up on you slowly or hit you like a ton of bricks, depending on your preferred drug, frequency of use, and other variables, such as your own body chemistry. Most people won't see the signs coming, though, especially if they're on the natural "high" of feeling like they're on top of their lives, careers and social status, and have an increasing amount of savings in the bank. Success in life can create a facade that you're untouchable or that nothing can stop you now. Increasing drug use at a time like this, while it may seem to fit in with the celebration, is deceptively dangerous.

2. Re-Examine Your "Recreational" Habit

Start asking yourself the hard questions, even if you don't actually suspect that you're becoming addicted. The fact that you have drugs in your life should be a concern, in and of itself; however, people who label themselves "recreational users" often make excuses for their drug use, then subsequently ignore all the signs pointing to imminent danger:

  • Are you becoming isolated from friends or only hanging out with other users?
  • Are your thoughts preoccupied with doing the drug again?
  • Has your tolerance (the amount you need to take before getting high) increased?
  • Are you spending more and more on drugs?
  • Are you lying to anyone (yourself included) about your use of drugs?
  • Have you gone through any symptoms of withdrawal?
  • Would you be happy going to a party where there were no drugs allowed?

Answering these and other questions will help you form a more realistic picture of what drugs actually mean to you and whether or not you're on the verge of a full-blown addiction. It's a very short walk from "recreational" to "addict" and nearly nobody can see it happening when they're the ones using. Also, even if the whole world is watching someone self-destruct through addiction, as has happened to many famous people, there isn't much anyone can do unless the user themselves steps up to own their addiction and does something about it.

3. Get Help, Now

Don't make the mistake of thinking you have this under control. Unless you can quit drugs, right now, without ever looking back, you more than likely have a problem, and it's only going to get worse. You don't have to admit to the world that you're abusing drugs, nor does getting treatment have to mean sacrificing the success you're working so hard for. Consider a professional evaluation, followed by outpatient help from a drug treatment center like Evergreen Recovery Centers that can be tailored to fit right into your busy schedule:

  • Day programs, where you meet with a counselor or group multiple times during the week to discuss your goals and progress.
  • One-on-one therapy, where you engage in intensive sessions with a counselor who will track your daily progress and help you keep your clean focus.
  • Outpatient detox, which will help your mind and body cut ties with the substance you're abusing.
  • Classes that can help you learn more about drug abuse, how to quit and how to stay sober.
  • Referral to a more advanced level of treatment if needed.

If the thought of drug treatment scares you, the thought of letting your abuse spiral out of control and into serious addiction should scare you more. Addiction often leads to financial devastation, where you simply squander all of your available resources until they're gone, and then you're forced to find other ways to pay for your growing habit. Addiction alienates loved ones, can cause job loss, and even results in arrests and convictions. That short walk from "recreational" to "addict" is more often than not a fast track to a miserable, wasted life. Only you can stop that from happening.

4. Continue Counseling After You've Kicked Your Habit

The rates of relapse with drug use, especially heroin and other strong opioids, is high, giving any user very good reason to continue with some form of therapy even after they've stopped using. Additionally, there may very well be underlying causes for the substance abuse, such as neglect or violence from back in childhood or other traumatic memories. These underlying causes should be addressed and resolved to give the substance abuser fewer reasons to return to their self-medicating addiction. Even if you've always lived an ideal life and have no obvious reasons for delving into a self-destructive lifestyle, the demons of drug addiction so often return to claim former users, so most people need some form of counseling to protect them from relapse. It's simply too easy to fall back onto the habit you leaned on for so long.

Making a change to your life could actually save it, especially if you're headed down the road of addiction. Just ask Philip Seymour Hoffman, the American actor who OD'd on heroin, with a net worth of around 35 million dollars. His elite income and glamorous career couldn't stop drugs from taking his life. Or ask Peaches Geldof, the daughter of music mega-mogul Bob, who boasts around 150 million in the bank. Despite the easy street Peaches lived on financially, the road to addiction was paved in pain and ultimately took her life. Nobody is immune, and in fact, the more you might try and convince yourself that your success can protect you from overdosing or losing everything else that matters in life, the more vulnerable you really are. 


16 November 2017

Advice for Getting Through Stressful Situations in Life

From the time I was born to the time I graduated high school, my parents were very overprotective of me and shielded me from all of the "bad" things in the world. When I decided to go to college out of state, they wanted me to stay closer to home, but gave into my wishes eventually. Once I got settled at college, I realized just how attached I was to my parents. I began to feel so homesick that I almost quit before the first semester ended. I decided to visit a counselor to see if she could help me get through the semester, and after just a couple of visits, I began actually enjoying my time away from home. I know there are others in tough situations like I was who need guidance, so I decided to start a blog to share my tips for coping with stressful situations.