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Once an addict, always an addict?


vlussi once an addict always an addict?
Is it possible that we are all born addicts? Will I find something new to be addicted to? Am I addicted to this web site? Will I become addicted to food? It seems to me I have an addictive personality. Years ago I went to the casino with some friends, The next thing I knew I was gambling every chance I could. I was lying about when I went, how much I spent, and It didn't matter If I won, It was the thrill of gambling. The same thing when I found meth, It was the sneaking around,  lying to friends and family ect..Why are some people addicts, and others arn't?  My sister is a recovering alcoholic.  She would drink until she blacked out, I could care less about drinking. But when I was introduced to cocaine that was a different story. There was never enough.  But it didn't seem as bad as my meth addiction, meth was a maintenance drug. I had to have it to function. Where as coke I would come down. After doing meth I would even turn down coke. My biggest fear now is I will find something new to be addicted to.
     Replies...
Sfj Re: once an addict always an addict?
Yes.

That topic comes around here quite frequently. Stick around and you'll see the same subject, or variations, monthly as an average.

The debate has been mild at times and heated at other times.
Generally, people will believe what they want.

An old saying, “We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are."

In other words, if it helps your position to believe that we are not born with an inherited increased susceptibility to the risks and dangers of addiction, that's what you'll believe. If it is more convenient to believe that a person has a predisposition, that's what you'll believe. Logic and fact are often ignored.

FWIW, The National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction reports that in America about ten per cent of the population has an addiction to drugs or liquor, also called ‘chemically dependent.’ About fifty per cent has an addiction of some sort, such as gambling, pornography, gluttony, shoplifting etc. The fifty per cent includes substance abuse also. So about forty per cent of the population has a non substance addiction.

Addiction is not a term found in the DSM IV, the standard used by most treatment professionals. They use terms like “methamphetamine dependent.” And others.

A reasonably good definition of addiction is:

“the term addiction describes a chronic pattern of behavior that continues despite the direct or indirect adverse consequences that result from engaging in the behavior. It is quite common for an addict to express the desire to stop the behavior, but find himself or herself unable to cease.”

Wiki definition of addiction

Gambling Addicts can't understand Porn Addicts, Porn Addicts can't understand Compulsive Shoplifters, Compulsive Shoplifters can't understand Overeaters, Overeaters can't understand Drug Addicts, Drug Addicts can't understand Bulimics and Anorexics, and so on. How about cigarettes?

I often ask questions about the remote fringes of human behavior.
Can religion be an addiction? How about posting on this forum? How can love be an addiction? Is a workaholic or over-achiever the same as an addict? Can people be addicted to violence Like Prize fighters? Is greed the same as a money addiction? What addictions are worse than meth addiction?

My belief is that the problems are very different, but the solutions are very similar.
Savedin
illinois
Re: once an addict always an addict?
I didn't read all of Sfj's post, so please forgive me if this doesn't make sense, but....
I do not believe in "addictive personalities". I think that we as human beings tend to overdo everything. Especially things we like. If something gives us pleasure we want to do it all the time.

I know I'll catch some flack for this, but I just don't buy the whole once and addict, always an addict thing. I used meth for a while, now I've been clean for 4 1/2 years. I'm over it, it no longer affects my life. I don't crave it. My life has totally changed. That addiction was not replaced by anything.

I just think that we need to have a grasp on reality and remember that too much of a good thing, or a bad thing, can burn.
Loraura Re: once an addict always an addict?

Quote:

Gambling Addicts can't understand Porn Addicts, Porn Addicts can't understand Compulsive Shoplifters, Compulsive Shoplifters can't understand Overeaters, Overeaters can't understand Drug Addicts, Drug Addicts can't understand Bulimics and Anorexics, and so on. How about cigarettes?

I disagree.

Are you saying I don't understand anything about meth addiction becuase I haven't personally been addicted to meth?

I do have other addictions. I was addicted to cigarettes. I still struggle with food.

Sfj Re: once an addict always an addict?
Loraura
You may understand certain things, I have no dispute with that, but the most intense pleasure, the most intense pain, the incredible insanity, cannot be experienced vicariously.

I watched my wife go through childbirth a number of times. I even delivered my second son.
But to say,
"I understand what you went through."
just wouldn't cut it.

Thankfully, there is no requirement to be a participant in a maladaptive behavior in order to be of service or help to those who are.  
Loraura Re: once an addict always an addict?
Quote:
but the most intense pleasure, the most intense pain, the incredible insanity, cannot be experienced vicariously.

And you feel that I am unable to experience those things in my life at all, because I've not been addicted to meth?

Do you feel it is mandatory to experience first hand an exact stimulus/reaction combination to be able to comprehend it?

nine
years
clean

Re: once an addict always an addict?
Hi Guys. I know this topic gets heated, but I just want to say a couple of things, just my humble opinion ovah heeah!!

Quote:


And you feel that I am unable to experience those things in my life at all, becuase I've not been addictecd to meth?
Lori: I would hope and pray that you are unable to experience what meth addicts experience while active in their desperate addiction. Sincerely. Those feelings were the most intense and all encompassing I have ever experienced. Meth took over my mind and my body and my soul. Meth gave me sensations that I hope to never experience again, even the ones that were pleasurable.
 

Quote:


Do you feel it is mandatory to experience first hand an exact stimulus/reaction combination to be able to comprehend it?
I don't believe it is mandatory to experience anything firsthand to be able to comprehend it, but speaking of methamphetamine addiction only, I do believe it is mandatory to experience it firsthand in order to understand it's absolute control over mind, body and soul.

Therefore,

Quote:


but the most intense pleasure, the most intense pain, the incredible insanity, cannot be experienced vicariously.
...speaking of meth addiction only, I have to agree with the above statement.
Kell
happy
Re: once an addict always an addict?
I firmly believe that I will always be an addict. I'm just not actively using narcotics right now. I went to treatment in 4/04. When I gave birth last year, I started having a few complications even before the delivery. All of my hospital stays and problems required me to be given pain meds. I was not happy about the idea. They gave me all kinds of stuff. My first experience with IV narcotics. God am I grateful I never slammed crank. I had a tough time....part of me liked the feeling of those drugs in me again (even though pain meds were never my main thing, I had done some b4), and then I just wanted to see if I could tough it out part of the time. I started having the nightmares I had in treatment again. Those using and withdrawal dreams. I talked and talked with my doctors about what their opinion of my pain was. Did THEY think I really needed the meds? I knew not to trust myself as much as them. Withdrawal was pretty hard, though not as bad as all the times before. At least I had a few tools, and a little more knowledge about myself, and hopefully had learned how to surrender to some of the realities of being an addict. But see, I firmly believe I'd be addicted to Tylenol PM tomorrow if you gave me one today. I even get goofy off of Benadryl. The only things I ever try to take now are tylenol (not PM!!) and Advil (ibuprofen). I think I took some Pepto Bismol for a stomach flu. I would never ever ever ever take anything with pseudoephedrine in it. On the other hand, I still drink coffee and eat sugar, which I'm beginning to see is probably a mistake. Quitting cigarettes was sooooooo hard. I was what some people call a "garbage can" addict, meaning I always did everything anyone ever gave me to try. There were certain things I didn't care for in particular, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't have taken them if that was the only way to get fuked up at the time. Something to put in me so I wouldn't feel, or have to think, etc.

I believe some of the lectures I heard in treatment about it being genetic and a disease. Actually, I think the whole range of possible explanations are pretty interesting. At the end of the day, though, it didn't really matter to me WHY I was an addict. When I was at my bottom, I wasn't sitting there thinking "gee, some crazy genetic mutation is at work here".... That being said, I guess the different models of a disease were important to the way I was taught the tools of recovery. I think they said addiction was a bio-psycho-social disease, meaning it affects the body physically, the psychology, and our behavior with others. I also heard "physical mental and spiritual". Healing all those things is important to me. I know I am sick in all those ways. Or at least not "whole" yet.

My two cents...
vlussi Re: once an addict always an addict?
Thanks for your responses, I cant remember the last time I wasn't addicted. I mean truly not addicted to something. I smoke cigs, But for now that is my only addiction. I'm not going to give that up, I think in time I will be able to try. Its funny 8 months ago the last thing on my mind was to quit smoking. Now that I have a little clean time under my belt I feel any thing is possible. It seems like all the N.A.meetings I have been to 90% of the people there smoke. I wonder if that's because we are all weak. I wonder how many meth addicts here smoke, Its like I don't want to give up my last addiction. I enjoy smoking and I think society makes me out to be a criminal for it. When I was using I could care less about smoking around my children, friends who didn't smoke ect....But know things are different, my thinking is different I care about what I put in my body, I don't want my children to be addicts like I am. Do they have a choice, or is it pre-destine? Do they have more of a chance because their father is an addict also?
Loraura Re: once an addict always an addict?
Quote:
I would never ever ever ever take anything with pseudoephedrine in it.

I've heard other recovering meth addicts say this.

I find it odd to feel that way, because pseudo ephedrine does not effect the brain the same way methamphetamine does.

Your body can't cook it into meth after you take it.

Is it just fear by association?
Kell
happy
Re: once an addict always an addict?
Did you know that pseudo ephedrine is an ingredient in meth? Even though it isn't the same exact effect or strength over the counter as it becomes when it's all cooked with all the other ingredients, pseudo ephedrine still creates some of the same effects. It can make you wired. It can create an uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling, to say the least. My husband, an ex coke user, says the same thing about taking anything the least bit "speedy". He just won't.
Loraura Re: once an addict always an addict?
Quote:
Did you know that pseudoephedrine is an ingredient in meth?

Uhh.... yes.
You're new here, so I'll just stop at that.

Here are some articles I've written related to meth and recovery that you might like to read:


Meth and the Brain
Triggers
Meth Recovery and Weight Gain
Comorbidities and Recovery

So, Do you feel that there is no other drug, and no other depth of addiction to any other substance or activity that could allow someone to understand being completely controlled, mind, body, and soul?

My point, which I think is being lost here, is that I don't think it takes a meth addict, specifically, to understand the struggles of meth addiction.
nine
years
clean
Re: once an addict always an addict?
Quote:
So
Do you feel that there is no other drug, and no other depth of addiction to any other substance or activity that could allow someone to understand being completely controlled, mind, body, and soul?
As to their addictive powers over other people, i.e. alcoholics, cokeheads, etc., I cannot comment because my experience with other substances did not lead to the addiction that meth did for me.

I certainly would never minimize the hold alcohol has on an alcoholic, but I cannot presume to fully understand the depth of that particular addiction, because I have not experienced it, physically or otherwise.

You see, I can only speak from the perspective of a recovering meth addict. And as such, I have to say, I would not have put much stock in anything anyone who had never experienced meth had to say as far as recovery.

I would certainly listen to experts and professionals tell me the scientific or physiological effects of my addiction, but I would not have been able to "relate" to them had they never been a meth addict.
 

Quote:


My point, which I think is being lost here, is that I don't think it takes a meth addict, specifically, to understand the struggles of meth addiction.
I agree with you to some extent. However, I think it is apparent by the many postings from loved ones and family members on this board that those who have never resided in the clutches of this vile drug have absolutely no clue what is going on inside of their addict.

They can learn from people like you one perspective, and from people like me, another, but in my opinion, they can never fully grasp the experience of meth addiction without actually having experienced it.
Penel0pe Re: once an addict always an addict?
Once an addict, always an addict.

I believe this. I am taking prescription narcotics right now, and don't think for one second my addict brain doesn't tell me "These can get me loaded... you can get loaded with these - no one will know - you could catch a buzz and relax - if one is good then two is better...."

I don't give in because I have some tools now - I hear my addiction screaming in my head - but having been clean now from active addiction (Taking drugs to get loaded) I know where that road leads to. I have simple instructions - they are printed on the pill bottles - and by following those directions, I get pain relief and I don't get loaded.

But don't think for a SECOND that i haven't thought about it, because I have. I don't act on these thoughts - and the moment I feel that I might act, the pills are going into safer hands and I will NOT keep these thoughts a secret.

If my doctor prescribed meth for the post surgical pain, I'd have had to decline... I KNOW I can't control myself with meth... I was never a downer person - yet, there's the disease of addiction yelling at me in my head - "THESE PILLS WILL GET YOU HIGH, YOU KNOW!"

"Normal" people don't have those thoughts.
Sfj Re: once an addict always an addict?
Quote:
Did you know that pseudo ephedrine is an ingredient in meth?

Nope.

Kell
happy
Re: once an addict always an addict?
OK, I surely wasn't trying to imply that you actually didn't know that pseudo ephedrine is used to make meth, it was kind of a rhetorical question. Sorry if that wasn't very clear. I guess maybe this is relevant to the topic of the original post, because I don't believe, as you said, that the discomfort I felt the times I've taken pseudo ephedrine is a trick of my brain. I wouldn't take it again because of my experience with meth, and because of the experience I've had taking what might seem like a harmless dose of pseudo ephedrine to someone who doesn't know how it feels to a former meth user. Feeling wired in any way can be uncomfortable, it can bring back thoughts and feelings. As with anything I'd post, I can only speak from what I've been through, my own experiences, as a user, as a person struggling with addiction, as a person in recovery.
Sfj Re: once an addict always an addict?
That's cool.

Thanks for posting it Kellhappy.

(grin)
Loraura Re: once an addict always an addict?
Sudafed makes the skin on my scalp crawl. It's horribly uncomfortable for me. Makes me itch and have insomnia while it is wearing off. Makes my heart race.

I can see how those feelings could be a trigger for someone who has struggled with stimulants.

It's just enough of a boost to say "That's not enough, go get me some GOOD STUFF", stop teasing me!"
Kell
happy
Re: once an addict always an addict?
Exactly what I'm talking about.
Penel0pe Re: once an addict always an addict?
Loraura - interestingly, I have a paradoxical reaction similar to that from BENADRYL. Whereas most people will take benadryl and get sleepy and rest, it makes me go ape.. I am restless, can't sleep, get restless legs, anxiety, and feel agitated.

I guess something like 5 - 10 percent of people will respond that way to benadryl (The psychiatrist at work told me that.) I'm the say way with Vicodin - people take vicodin for pain relief - I take vicodin and the pain I am taking it for gets WORSE, and I get HORRIBLE rebound migraines - the WORST migraines ever (And I get some bad ones without vicodin!)

I take percocet - vicodin is hydrocodone, percocet is oxycodone - I wonder why I don't have that reaction to Percocet? Darvocet, Codeine, and vicodin all give me the same reaction - yet percocet doesn't...

I'm a freak of nature - is that the answer?

See also:

Are addicts made or born?

Meth addict or drug addict? What's the difference?

Once an addict, always an addict2

Life After Meth


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