Time Kills Addicts
While living an addicted lifestyle, there’s a lot that can kill you. Of course, the drugs will eventually end an addict’s life but before the drugs cause a drug users ultimate demise, they face other, more treacherous situations with the potential to cause them to take their last breath. Drugs solve a problem for an addict. Whether that problem is low self-confidence, depression, or anxiety, it does something for them. Solving that problem gives the drug a lot of value to the addict.
It helps them to survive better, in their own minds. So they do whatever they can to protect their addiction, since it’s like a warm security blanket, and they will do whatever it takes to make sure they stay high and never have to be dope sick or face their real issues. An addict who runs out of drugs is as dangerous as a hungry lion. They’ll do absolutely anything to get another fix, even if that means stealing from their parents, selling the title of their car, taking payday loans, or pawning every last thing they own. That’s how desperate addicts become for their drugs.
As their sickness starts and the walls start closing in on them, their desperation deepens. Addicts will find themselves in neighborhoods they clearly don’t belong in, dealing with people they should stay as far away as humanly possible from, and doing things that violate every one of their personal values.
Beyond everything else, beyond the sketchy people they deal with and the dangerous situations they put themselves in, nothing seems to kill addicts more than time. Yes, time. You don’t really hear about old heroin addicts because honestly, they don’t survive that long. Once a person becomes addicted to heroin, recent studies suggest their life expectancy is cut down to about 4 years.
At the point where a family realizes their loved one needs help with their addiction, it’s crucial they get into treatment as quickly as possible because time is their enemy. The more time a family waits to put their loved one into treatment, the less likely the addict is to actually arrive at a drug rehab facility. I’ve worked in treatment for many, many years and, believe it or not, families will have just as many excuses not to send their loved to treatment as the addict does. Whether it be finances, the family wants to wait until after the holidays, or they think they should be there at grandma’s birthday since grandma doesn’t know they’re an addict.
Any way you slice it, you absolutely cannot put extra time into getting your loved one into treatment. It gives them more of an opportunity to keep getting high and you never know when their next shot is going to be their last. All of the above excuses… waiting until after the holidays or grandma’s birthday…those gatherings are not going to go like you think they will. The addict will keep acting shady, running out to buy drugs, and you never know… they might overdose in the bathroom, forever tainting that holiday and future family gatherings.
Whatever you do, don’t let time kill your addict. Once they’re willing, get them into treatment quickly. That window can shut just as fast as it opens. Don’t worry about the holidays, birthdays, or any other excuse because you will never be able to forgive yourself if your loved one doesn’t survive when you had every opportunity to get them into to treatment.