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When most people think of addiction, they think of potheads and alcoholics. Although those are the most common types of addiction, there are also more bizarre things like sex addicts and gambling. In a sense, every person has a form of addiction. Weather to caffeine, or food, or cleaning, they are all small kinds of addiction. Like, if you do not have your daily dose of triple shot espresso in the morning, you will go insane, or whenever you feel an extreme emotion, you feel the urge to eat. There are some people who have extreme additions, that destroy families, demolish their former selves, and lose everything they ever had, just for a drink or a few hits.
Having an addiction can scar a family and leave charred relationships in its wake. Most people dealing with addiction have done it for most of their lives, and have no intention of stopping, or even realize that they have a problem. Denial is normal in such situations. Because they deny that anything is wrong, the other party in the relationship begins to question their own habits. Growing up with an alcoholic father, I spent most of my childhood questioning myself. I did not understand why he would forget to pick me up on Sundays, or why there was always a half-gallon of Black Velvet in the back seat of his truck. When he was drunk, he would call and tell me that my life goals were not good enough, and that I should consider other routes. He would comment on my weight (which was never really a problem) and criticize my every move. He lied about scratches and bruises and broken ankles from bar fights, blaming them on his job. My mother lived with these habits for seventeen years before she finally had enough. His addiction had taken over his mind and actions, until he was not the person he used to be. He was an uncaring, alcohol fixated human, who was willing to lose his wife and child over a bottle. Alcohol destroyed my family, and I know that I am not alone.
If you think about it, people who quit smoking go through a drastic physical and personality change. So why do we expect people with drug addictions to quit and be fine? We are under the impression that drugs are so bad, people should just quit them and go on with their lives like normal folk. We dont stop to think how hard it can be on them and their emotions. When addictions are present, the persons previous personality is lost. They change according to their needs at the time, and how their addiction is affecting them. Every once in a while, you see the person that they could be, and want so badly for that person to be there all the time. My boyfriend had a problem with alcohol and drugs. I lived every day for two months watching him go from the nice, sober, caring person I knew, to the belligerent, drunk, jealous buffoon that his addiction created. He would drink by himself when I wasnt home, get angry when his friends would do cocaine without him (and blame me for missing it), and spend all our extra change and money on beer. It eventually escalated to the point that I was terrified of my own boyfriend because he was so sporadic. His moods would shift like waves in the ocean, and I was never fully prepared for what would come next. He had threatened to kill himself because he was afraid that I did not love him anymore, and made me feel responsible for his life. I realized that it was not healthy for me in that environment, so I left him as soon as I could. He finally concluded that he had a problem, and went in for help. It has only been a week, and already I can see a change. Although he cries almost incessantly, he felt that he had made life miserable for everyone around him, and wanted to prove that he could be a better person. He has a job now, and is working though his problem. He has a long road ahead of him, but at least he is putting forth the effort. Most addicts live their whole lives in pain and ruin, and never stop.
Besides crushing families and relationships, addiction can also ruin a life financially. Addictive items cost money. And lots of it. Cigarettes go for about $3 a pack now, and imagine the tab that a daily dose of $12 cases of beer can do to the average income. People lose their homes and jobs because of addictions, and can end up in financial ruin. Jobs that addicts tend to have are low paying, low responsibility ones. Just enough to buy more supplies, and maybe food. If they do not have jobs, then they rely on loves ones to keep them afloat. My boyfriend would empty all the pockets in our pants, and dig through the car; just to scrape up enough change to buy a tall can, to at least give him a buzz. I was the sole breadwinner out of the two of us, and when times got tough, he would continue to mooch off of anyone he could. We were starving and broke, but somehow he found enough money to keep himself loaded all the time.
Addiction has ruined many lives. Not only the addicts, but the families and friends that watch them slowly disappear. To witness a loved one slowly poison their body to death is a horrible thing to have to see. To know that there is nothing you can do about it besides leave them to poison themselves alone, and hope that they will see the light. Luckily, there are a few who realize that what they are doing is detrimental, and will get help. They are they few that we cling to for hope, and for support. Maybe someday they will get better, maybe they will see that they are hurting themselves and others, and then again, maybe they will not.
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