“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.”
~Jim Rohn, American author and motivational speaker
Drug abuse is an unfortunate reality in San Diego. Addiction recovery programs and local jails are full of people who are caught in the grip of substance abuse. In 2013, 71% of male arrestees in San Diego County and 69% of female arrestees tested positive for at least one illegal drug.
In the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, distributed by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), 9.4% of Americans age 12 or older has used an illegal drug within the past month, a significant increase over 2002, when the number was just 8.3%.
All these statistics mean that you almost definitely know someone with a drug problem, maybe even someone close to you – your sibling, your child, or even your spouse.
If that’s the case, what do you do?
First Things First
At this point, it is natural to hope for the best – that your loved one will come to their senses and just stop using drugs. After all, it should be easy if they really care about you, shouldn’t it?
The first thing you need to do is face reality.
Hoping and wishing won’t make the problem go away. A person who is addicted to drugs almost never stops on their own, without help. It’s not a matter of willpower. It’s not a matter of morals, common sense, love, or even choice anymore.
Addiction is a disease of the brain that ultimately robs a person of the ability to choose if, when, how often, or how much of the drug they use. This powerlessness is the very definition of addiction.
Next, Learn YOUR Limitations
Okay, you think, if they are unable to stop using drugs, then it’s up to you, right?
If you have been dealing with a loved one’s addiction for any length of time, you may already be at this point. You made up your mind that you are going to make them stop using drugs, no matter what.
Does any of this sound familiar?
- Searching their room, their clothes, their car, their phone?
- Obsessively keeping track of all of their money or taking it away from them?
- Checking up on them excessively throughout the day, or even following them around?
- Wanting to know where they are every second of the day?
- Nagging them or pleading with them about their drug use?
- Constantly arguing, especially when they are drug-impaired?
- Making threats and ultimatums – divorce, taking the kids, disowning them, kicking them out, etc. – without ever following through?
- Hurting your own life – crying, interfering with your job, loss of appetite, exhaustion from not enough sleep or rest?
- Withdrawing from other obligations and activities – family gatherings, enjoyable activities, visit with friends, etc. – because you feel that you need to “watch over” the addict?
- In general, losing your own sanity/peace of mind and acting just as sick as the suffering addict?
Obviously, none of that is working out for you. Why not? It’s simple – you can’t “manage” another person’s disease. You are trying to control the addiction (the disease) and another person (their behaviors).
That is a futile, exhausting effort, one that you need to stop right now. As long as you are engaged in actions that are every bit as insane as the actions of the addicted person, the problems only get more severe.
If you have a loved one who is addicted to drugs or if you need more information about San Diego addiction rehab facilities and what they can do for you and your family, contact the experienced and compassionate professionals at Lasting Recovery today.