Some people might be asking “why me?”. Why did I get addicted to drugs? I never wanted to and I never set out to do it. It just landed on my lap. Before I knew it, it was too late and I was fully addicted. I am embarrassed and angry with myself.
These are some of the thoughts that drug addicts have. They constantly question why it had to be them that gets addicted to Heroin or pain pills. Perhaps, we can shed some light on these questions. First of all, genetics do play a big role in addiction. Statistics prove this as well. If you have a family member(s) that is an alcoholic or drug addict…the chances of you becoming the same a high.
If a blood relative was a drug addict, then you too have those genes in your system. There is no other way to say it. Drug addiction is genetic. It runs in the family. If people are not aware of this, they are more vulnerable to addiction. For example, if a person suffers from chronic pain and requires surgery to fix it they stand a higher chance of becoming addicted to their pain pills if drug addiction runs in their family.
The bottom line is that if you have drug addiction in your family history (bloodline: Mother/Father/Uncle/Aunt/Grandparent) you need to be extra cautious if you are ever prescribed opioids for a pain condition. There is not enough being done to research family histories to verify if addiction is in the patients genes. Doctor offices need to make the patient aware of this genetic pre-disposition toward drug addiction when it comes to opioid pain medications.
We are not saying never to take the pain meds that are prescribed to reduce your pain. NO ONE should have to live in physical pain. It is a horrible life and wears you down physically and mentally every single day. We have lived this life for over a decade. We speak from experience. However, you need to know your family genetics. Do research and ask your family questions to find out if any blood relatives suffer from drug addiction or alcoholism.
Statistics show us that if one parent is a drug addict, the person has a 52% chance of becoming an addict if they ever experiment with drugs. If both parents were addicts, the chance of the child becoming an addict also is 98%. This is if they ever start taking drugs. In this case, the child should avoid drugs at all costs. Otherwise, they will become just like their parents because nothing can stop genetics (except for God).
Had I known that Heroin addiction ran in my family and how dangerous it was for me to start taking opioid pain medications…I might have thought twice. I may have chosen to live in physical pain rather than become fully addicted. After what I lived through, I most certainly would have handled my prescription pain medicine situation much different. I would have proceeded with caution and put protocols into place to help prevent me from becoming addiction. It is too late for that now. It is what it is. It is over and I went through it and survived.
Just barely did I survive my decade-long ordeal with drugs and addiction. At several points, my life nearly ended. I wanted to put a stop to all the physical chronic pain that I had endured. My hope was minimal because I had already had 5 reconstructive surgeries and they failed to reduce my physical pain enough to function normal. I was rock bottom. With nothing left to lose, I had no choice but to check into a drug rehab center.
My biggest concern was the physical pain. I might have become addicted to opioids, but at least my pain was somewhat under control. Addiction runs in my family. It is in my genes. I was being prescribed strong opioid pain medications BEFORE, DURING and AFTER my surgeries. I was on Fentanyl non-stop for nearly 7 years. With opioids, the body becomes tolerant. This means that you have to take a higher and higher dose to get the same pain relief. It is a viscous cycle. This is exactly why many pain patients end up taking more than prescribed. It is common for patients who have genetic addiction to finish their prescription early. This is because they are consuming more of the drug than what the Doctor prescribed.
They do this because the prescribed dose is not helping to reduce the physical pain anymore. Their body became tolerant to opioids. No one wants to live in physical pain, therefore they will do anything to eliminate it. Especially if the pain is severe and prevents you from functioning a normal life. Severe pain stops you in your path. It puts you in the bed. You cannot do anything but think about your pain…its that bad. I understand this, because I lived through this for a decade.
My life became a double-whammy. Not only did I have a severe injury to my shoulder and neck that could not be fixed with surgery, but I then ended up adding another major issue on top of this. I became an opioid addict. Eventually, when I hit rock bottom…we decided we had to peel back this layer of addiction before we could address the physical pain problem. This was a bad situation because I could no longer take opioids to ease my pain. I was going to have to live in physical pain for who knows how long.
About 2 months after entering rehab, we discovered that a nerve Doctor might be able to help me. After visiting him, we realized that I have tiny tumors growing on the ends of my shoulder nerves. These were the culprit causing all the pain for so many years. The Doctor ended up operating and removing most of them. My pain decreased about 40% which was good enough to me. I could function again.
However, this did not happen until I had to get back on pain medications to cope with this surgery. But, this time we knew what the situation was. We alerted all Doctors and the hospital about my situation and put a plan into place. My Doctor worked with my addiction counselor and things turned out alright. But, it was tough.
It was very difficult to go back on opioid pain meds again knowing that I would have to taper off once again and go through withdrawals. I was wondering if I could even taper off. Usually opioid addicts cannot wean off drugs like a normal person can. They absolutely cannot just take a few pain pills as prescribed and go down in dose. They end up taking a lot more and defeating the entire purpose of a wean-off. In my case, without help I probably would have done the same.
However, I had a lovely, strong spouse and parents that controlled my meds and distributed them to me as needed. I successfully weaned off and minimized the withdrawal feelings. They even kept the pain meds outside my home so that I would not be tempted. You have to do what you have to do when you are in this situation. You are dealing with the strongest addiction known to man.
Opioids and Opiates don’t care about you. All they want to do is control & destroy you. That is exactly what will happen if you become an opiate addict. To be clear, there is a difference between “opiates” and “opioids”. See below:
- OPIATES – drugs such as Heroin that are made from the opium plant
- OPIOIDS – drugs such as Fentanyl and OxyContin which are made in a lab
Now you know the difference. They are basically the same when it comes to addiction. Opioids tend to be much stronger because chemists have no limits on how strong they can make the opioid chemical. Whereas, Heroin is limited to the quality of the poppy plant bulb ‘paste’.
Either way, addiction is addiction. Opioids are the worse of all addictions because they are strongest to the body. They take full control over your mind, body and soul. You no longer run your life when you are addicted to Heroin or Pain Pills. You are not in control any longer. They rule your life entirely. You do things that you would have never thought about doing prior to your drug addiction. They change you as a person.
Do not question why you became addicted to drugs. Do not put yourself through this torment. Whatever happened…happened. What you need to focus on most is your recovery. Put the past behind you. Train your thinking to avoid thoughts about the past. Train your brain to avoid any possible ‘triggers’ that could cause you to crave drugs again. This is NOT easy which is why so many people relapse.
The rate of relapse is sky-high. Most people end up relapsing for several reasons. First, the chemical is so strong that it makes you feel terrific. You remember how good you felt while taking Heroin even long after you recover. The problem with remembering this, is that it can cause you to crave it again. If you recover from opiate addiction and years later you have major problems in life…let’s say you go through a nasty divorce or break-up. The mental pain and anguish is so high that it causes you to think back about how good Heroin made you feel. You are tempted to think: “Gee, I could make myself feel much better right now instantly if I just take one hit of Heroin”. Then, they go and do it and bam they fully relapse and get stuck in the hardcore cycle of addiction once again.
Avoiding these memories & thoughts take strength and determination. You should seek help from a recovery counselor or your church. Using Faith to keep yourself stronger is a wise action. Do not underestimate the power of God. He created you after all and He knows the number of hairs on your head. He knows what you are going to do before you do it. God wants to help you, all you have to do is sincerely ask. And, if you are fighting heroin addiction…you have nothing to lose. Dig up some true faith and seek out God.
Do not beat yourself up over the fact that you became a drug addict. It is in the past and you need to move on. Keep yourself focuses on other aspects of your life. Get involved and help other people in some way. Start a project that keeps you busy. Staying very busy is the key to a successful drug recovery. Idle time is the Devil’s workshop. If you are bored, temptation will certainly follow.
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