April 30, 2005

Drug Addiction : Shattered Dreams, Wasted Lives Part 2

The Alien and the Earthling

The best way I've found to describe the brick wall that we encounter when attempting to reason with a drug addict is the following :
Picture a space alien being dropped down to earth and trying to find something "in common" with a human. It just doesn't work. What is of value to the alien holds nothing of value for the earthling. That is much of how a drug addict views a non addict and vice versa. They have nothing in common with each other. This is why an addict will hang out all weekend with other addicts and leave their families behind. It's what they have in common, it's what they do. The most important aspect of their lives, drug addiction, they are able to relate to only with fellow addicts.

I have come to notice this because I've had family members and friends abuse drugs. I was very angry that they would miss their kid's birthday parties, stay gone for weeks on end and generally avoid me like the plague. Now I have become accustomed to being shrugged off because I have come to understand the nature of drug addiction better now than before.
Birds of a feather flock together

Drug abusers enjoy the company of other users and that's why our loved ones will go off on a binge and not stay home where we want them to be, they have to go off with those who are like them. We try so hard to change them. We can cry and threaten them with ultimatums that will never do any good. The ultimatums we give only temporarily work if the addict is out of money or out of drugs, but if they have money or a source, forget it. They will always desire to be near the ones they can relate to, other addicts.
Spouses of Addicts

Here is a good place to say that the Spouse of an addict will many times play follow the leader with their addicted husband or wife. This is the wrong decision to make. I have talked to wives of addicts who have said to me: "Well, I went with him because I knew that I could WATCH HIM and make sure he wouldn't get into any trouble or take too many drugs".
What she was going to "watch" was beyond me. Was she going to watch him do drugs? Watch him spend every last dime on drugs that could have went to food or paying bills? Was she going to watch him so that he would not go near another woman?

You cannot baby-sit a drug addict. It is beyond our control to control others, no matter if they are our husband or wife or significant other.

All you will end up doing is neglecting your children as well as bring your own self down to the level the addict is currently at. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen this scenario play out:

The non using spouse goes with their addict and ends up walking home from God knows where or else they end up in a fight. They may end up on drugs themselves because we ALL think that we're so strong and can avoid the mess our loved one is suffering. This is a delusion and will only serve as a trap for you.
Help for Spouses of Drug Addicts

If you would like to know what to do in a situation like this, here are a few helpful suggestions:

1. Allow the addict to leave, you cannot stop him or her

2. Take care of your children that God has given you.

3. Pray for the person that is addicted to drugs.

4. And above all, pray that God gives you strength in this time of trial and heartache.

5. Do not enable your loved on who is addicted. If they want money, let them make their own money. If they beg you to get them drugs, do not become involved, or if you already are, distance yourself from being involved in their lifestyle as much as possible. I am one that believes that God and a prodigal son experience can save your addicted loved one.

Until the addict is stripped of everything INCLUDING the drugs which controls him or her, there is nothing anyone can do for them. This is why enabling an addict always leads to disaster. If you are enabling the addict by giving them money, paying bills for them and taking care of their responsibilities whatever fashion, you will be partially to blame for what happens to them from here on out.

I cannot make this more clear. God wants you to get your hands off of the situation so that he can get to work on it. We always think it's our job to take care of the things that only the power of Jesus AND the right decisions made by the addict can accomplish.

I have known of some addicts who got sick and tired of living the way they had for years and got clean. Keep in mind that many times, it will take a jail term for an addict to stop and look at his life and what his life has become. Many times this changes the addict and they will stop their abusive lifestyle. Sometimes jail makes a hard hearted person even harder to reach. But then again, if you live a life that is destructive and harmful to others, then you must know that you will suffer the consequences for your destructive ways. That applies to all of us.

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