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Addicted people do not want to be addicts. Given a chance to choose sobriety, they will choose to be clean and dry for life. So what is it that keeps an addict using drugs. What keeps the alcoholic drinking week after week. Something or someone is working against them. They have an enemy.
If you ask people around them, the addict's enemies are obvious. The drug is the enemy. This is apparent to everyone including the user. "Life was just fine until I met heroin." "If it weren't for alcohol, my life would be great!"
And while it is true that drugs are the instrument of their destruction, alcohol and drugs are simply chemicals. They aren't malicious or evil. Millions of people have a beer once in a while, or a glass of wine at dinner on Saturdays without losing their control, their jobs or families. Drugs actually save many more lives than they destroy.
These are not the cause of the problem and calling them the enemies is useless and actually helps the real enemies to avoid detection. It is pretty common for an addicted person to have difficulty determining who or what is good for him or bad for him, telling who is a friend and who is an enemy. To say the drug is the enemy accomplishes nothing.
Others claim that the drug pusher or dealer is the addict's worst enemy. Even the user might agree to this, until the need for the substance is so high that the only face they want to see is the face of the drug dealer or pusher. When the user is in the throes of withdrawal, the dealer is his best friend, and the drug is beyond a friend, it's his savior.
The next most common answer is, "I'm my own worst enemy!" Saying this give a certain satisfaction to some, like owning up to being the source of the problem will somehow give one the strength and insight needed to resist using. Beside the fact that he or she is being punished enough, self-recrimination doesn't undo the effects of years of drug misuse and abuse. More often it causes an apathetic attitude in which the person could do something drastic.
The drug addict's worst enemy is his or her inability make good choices regarding their activities, friends or relationships.
Important in more than just the areas of drugs and addiction, hanging with the wrong people affects every area and stage of life. I'm sure you know someone with uncanny abilities in choosing friends or lovers who are more than poisonous, they are ruinous.
Sally, a woman of considerable skill and beauty comes home with a boyfriend who is shiftless, chronically and preferably unemployed and who apparently believes social graces are a lie made up to sell deodorant. He smells of vodka and tobacco and is rude to the dog. Her friends and family try to tell her in the nicest way possible that she should take another look at this guy and forget him. "But I love him!" is exactly what no one wants to hear and of course, Sally proclaims this to anyone and everyone. Eventually, she wakes up and says they were all right about him, dumps the bum and everyone breathes a sigh of relief.
Two weeks later she comes home with a new beau who is worse! While it sounds amusing and we've all seen this played out with either sex, the effect can be ruined lives and broken hearts.
When recovering from drug or alcohol addiction, it is imperative that the recovering addict learn to tell the right people from the wrong people. They have to see the differences between the helpful and the harmful. This isn't an ability the person is born with, they must develop it and hone that skill to a fine point so they won't ever again fall in with "The wrong crowd".
Drug rehabilitation programs that help students to learn this skill will naturally have a much higher success rate, and longer term success with each graduate as well.