There’s a fascinating thing that goes on with addiction, and once you learn how it works, you can really get a handle on why an addict acts the way they act, even if they don’t want to. It’s part of the addiction dynamic, and it has to do with how the body processes the substance they’re using.
Life throws the addict a problem, and they don’t want to face it head on. The result is that they dive deeper into the bottle — whether it’s alcohol or pills — to try to cure what ails them. These substances are usually a temporary fix, and long term use will actually exacerbate the problem.
For example, let’s say that the addict is a drinker, and drinks to stay away from a problem at work. If they were sober, they might have sleeplessness, depression and anxiety from the stresses induced from their work, but they feel the alcohol will take the pain away. In reality, overusing alcohol causes those exact same symptoms — sleeplessness, depression and anxiety — that they were trying to avoid. This is something an intervention specialist has seen a million times, and they will see it again.
This is a deadly cycle, and without an alcoholism intervention or intervention for whatever ails them, the cycle will continue to get worse. Even when they’re sober they’ll feel those same problems, and they will rationalize it away by claiming it’s another stressor causing the problem, not their substance of choice. But they’re wrong. And the more they take, the worse off it gets.
So here’s the crazy thing about all this: with most abusive substances, the more the product is abused, the more the symptoms flip on their head. Let’s say the addict is abusing Vicodin. Instead of treating pain like the medication is designed to, it will actually create psychosomatic manifestations of pain inside the addict. Basically, they’ll think they have pain, but it’s all in their head.
Obviously, this isn’t a tenable arrangement, and the addict is going to need some kind of drug intervention help. Whatever course of action you decide to take, know that a certified interventionist is the best way for you to get your loved one the help they need. After all, no one really wants to be an addict, but sometimes it takes a little help from your friends to figure that out.