Being addicted to drugs is a situation that is hard to compare to anything else. There really isn’t any other sensation like it. It’s restrictive, compulsive, and almost impossible to put a stop to without help. The only people who can truly understand what it’s like being addicted to drugs are the people who have experienced addiction first hand. When you’re addicted to drugs, you suffer through a lot more than just the addiction itself.


You Always Have to Hide It

Suffering from an addition is like guarding a terrible secret you wish you didn’t know. You have to keep it to yourself for fear of hurting others, and in your efforts to do so, you could isolate yourself from your loved ones. And they won’t understand why. The worst part is, addiction is often triggered by emotional highs and lows. So, when you feel overwhelmed by keeping your addiction secret, it grows and feeds your compulsion to use. When you’re addicted to drugs, it’s a vicious cycle that gives you more and more to hide until eventually, that’s all you do: hide.


You Can Never Control It

A common misconception is that people addicted to drugs actually enjoy being addicted. This is rarely if ever true. The high might feel great, but the addiction to it almost never does. For the most part, you just feel trapped in a habit you wish you never started in the first place. You waste money on a temporary escape. You spend just as much time trying to avoid your addiction as you do trying to feed it. When you’re addicted to drugs, you don’t have control. But you have to at least act like you do so that it’s easier to lie to everyone: including yourself.


Your Career Suffers

One of the worst things about addiction is that it takes over every aspect of your life, including your life at the office. You have to work extra hard to make sure your addiction to drugs doesn’t show in your performance or put any strain on your career. But the stress of it all just drives you to use. No matter how hard you try to work through it, the drugs always catch up with you and slowly choke your drive until there’s none left. You miss work. Your coworkers either worry or think you’re just lazy. When you’re addicted to drugs, you never advance; that is, if you even get to keep your job at all.


You Have No One to Blame but Yourself

Sure, your friends may have offered the drugs to you, but they didn’t make you take them. Sure, addiction can be genetic, but genetics didn’t make you pick up the syringe. You made the conscious choice to start using drugs, so you have no choice but to live with it and suffer the consequences. And it’s awful. You wrestle with self-loathing and disgust on top of the actual addiction, and all while damage is done to both your mental and physical health. You feel depressed, trapped, angry and hurt, and even if you want to direct it at someone else— anyone else—you can’t. When you’re addicted to drugs, you don’t have the right to blame anyone other than yourself.


You “Need”

Whether it started as a habit or as a genetic predisposition, addiction is something that can’t be conquered without help— and anyone who knows about your addiction will never let you forget that. You need to talk to someone. You need professional help. You need to get clean. You need to follow the 12 steps to recovery. All the “you need”s pile up until you’ve lost the motivation to actually try to recover from addiction. The “you need”s only add to your already sky-rocketing stress and push you to act on your compulsion just for temporary relief. When you’re addicted to drugs, everyone tells you what you need, and you just don’t want to admit that they’re probably right.


When You’re Addicted to Drugs, There’s Still Hope

Recognizing the problem is always the first step to fixing it. When you’re addicted to drugs, it’s not the end of everything you once were. It’s a footnote in the novel that is your life. With hard work and strong support system, you can kick the addiction and live a long, healthy, and sober life. And we can help you do that.

Discovery Institute has almost 40 years of experience helping people who are suffering from addiction. With our tailored-to-you programs and services, you or your loved one can get back on track and never have to worry about hiding, controlling, suffering, blaming or “needing” ever again. For more information, or if you have any questions about our admissions process, please give us a call at 888-616-7177. And remember: when you’re addicted to drugs, you don’t have to suffer quietly.

Reviewed for Medical & Clinical Accuracy by Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MD

Dr. Jeffrey Berman, MDDr. Jeffrey Berman is a psychiatrist in Teaneck, New Jersey and is affiliated with Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. He received his medical degree from State University of New York Upstate Medical University and has been in practice for more than 20 years. He also speaks multiple languages, including French and Hebrew.

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