Dr. George Crabb, D.O.
“I have not seen or heard from my son in four weeks. I know he was alive a month ago because he stopped by his grandparent’s house asking for food and money. You see, my son is running from multiple warrants for drug possession. I know that he has guns, and I’m afraid he’ll kill himself or someone else--including me. I’m actually praying he will get arrested and go to prison so that he can at least realize that he has a problem. This is the hardest, saddest time of my life, and if it were not for my walk with the Lord, I don’t know what I would do. Even now I wonder if I can make it as I am increasingly overwhelmed with anxiety over whether my son is dead or alive. If it were not for the Reformers Unanimous program and the support of my leadership that I have found there, I don’t think I could carry on—it’s just so hard.”
The above is an excerpt from a letter written by a woman who is just like you and me. What has happened to this woman, tragically, can happen to anybody. Addiction is a problem that breaks down the walls of all socio-economic classes and devours whoever it can, regardless of their upbringing or background. Imagine, if you will, the one whom you love--the happy, healthy, young person with a great future ahead of him; a talented student, a generous giver, a loving friend, a new parent, and they are losing everything to addiction! All of their time and money goes into their addiction. They lose their job. Their car is repossessed, their house is foreclosed, and their spouse leaves them. The grief is unrelenting; it is almost worse than a death. A selfish, lying, evasive, and suspicious monster replaces your formerly happy and generous loved one. They get violent and abusive towards you. They may even threaten to harm you and steal from you.
When you approach your loved one about the situation, about the drug addiction, about the extreme consequences that are transpiring in their life, they will be in denial. They will outright deny any usage of drugs! Any drug paraphernalia that you might find in their room, house, or vehicle will belong to a friend, according to your loved one. If you happen catch your loved-one with the drug in hand, they will most likely concede to using it, but they will vehemently deny they are addicted. They may even say, "Somebody planted the drug on me!" "Oh, I have just taken it once or twice, and it is doing no harm!" They can even go to the length of saying, "I work better on this stuff. It helps me concentrate better!" The person may tell you they can drive more safely while on the drug and that it helps them compensate for their shortcomings. They even go as far as to say they are doing it for your own good so that they can make more money, be more productive, get better grades, and be a better person for you.
At times, your loved-one may discontinue use of the drug for a while in a feeble effort to prove to you that they are not an addict, but, unfortunately, they rarely can stay off for a very long time. They attempt this feat in order to demonstrate that they have some type of control over the situation (which they obviously don't). Your loved-one thinks of it as a crutch, hobby, or choice. They use the drug as a medicine, and in their own mind and thought processes, it works! It gives them endless energy, a focus and drive they have never experienced. Everything seems to be fun, interesting, and it feels so wonderful to be high and alive. They know they are dying from the consequences of continued use, but they do not care. It feels so good to die!
It is my desire in writing this information to help those who have an addicted loved-one. I want to help you understand what, exactly, is going on in your addicted loved-one’s mind and their life. Hopefully my insights, both personal and observed, will give you guidance through this most difficult time in your life.
Signs of Addiction
The addict will, as already mentioned, often make your life miserable. They are self-centered and extremely manipulative. They lie without even thinking about it. They even, at times, believe the lies they are telling you. Addicts can often be suspicious and paranoid. They can, on occasion, hallucinate and believe that their hallucinations are reality. They accuse people of conspiring against them. They accuse their spouse of unfaithfulness. This is all done in an attempt to deflect attention from them and their issue. They deny the obvious. They do not show up for work, and then they get angry and blame the boss when they are fired. They steal from their family, and when they are confronted about the issue they get offended. They say one thing and do another. They contradict themselves in word and action. When the truth comes out, and they are confronted with it, they become angry and blame others for what transpired. While they are actively on the drug they feel that they are invincible and that they will never get caught. If they have children, they inevitably end up neglecting them or even abusing them. You see, the addict is caught up in his own little world, and he becomes incapable of caring about anything but his drug.