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The Faces of Opiate Addicts Are Always Different

I have been clean from substance abuse for over 5 and a half years. During my journey to sobriety, I have experienced many people who have suffered or are currently suffering from addiction. When I first decided to share my story, I did so for therapeutic reasons.  Never did I expect that 5 years later I would have helped tens of thousands of people in their recovery. Many things have amazed me during this time. I have always heard that addiction has no boundaries and that it affects people from all different backgrounds. That statement could not be more true. I have helped people who have been homeless for years due to their addiction and in the same week helped those who are considered the top 1%.

Addiction is a problem that can grab a hold of anyone. What is so fascinating about prescription painkillers is that people who have never had a problem controlling themselves with any substance or drug, find themselves unable to control their need for opiates. Some of us have particular traits that make us especially vulnerable to drug or alcohol abuse. I know many people who can not handle any type of mind-altering substance without abusing it. I personally fit into this particular category. I saw first hand how opiates have the ability to take a normal functioning human being and turn them into a full-blown junky. Opiates change the chemistry of one's brain and I experienced how powerful addiction could really be.  I am lucky to be alive because my addiction was bad.

Now, whenever I answer a phone call, text or email, I honestly have no idea what I am about to encounter. The lessons I have learned dealing with so many people is that you are not going to make everyone happy. There are always going to be addicts who do not value the fact that you are giving your free time to help them. There will always be people who want to blame everyone around them for their use, except themselves.

Some addicts I have spoken to have even blamed me! Addiction is so powerful, it changes the way people think, act, and live.  Some addicts are so caught up in their addiction that they have lost touch with reality. The only thing that matters to them is more opiates.

I used to take it so personally, but realized that people don't mean to blame me. Many addicts are so terrified of withdrawals and addiction that they don't know what to do or where to even start. Since they have my attention to talk to them, they spew their feelings which are not always pleasant. I can relate though because I went through it myself.

I enjoy talking to people and seeing how I can offer my assistance and even guidance on where an addict can go for help.  About 99% of people I speak with are just happy to have someone that will listen to them and tell them honestly that everything will be alright if they stay on track.

The best decision I ever made in my life was to fight back against my addiction. At the time it was the hardest thing I had ever had to do. Every so often I think back to those days and remember how weak and tired I was. It is very important to remember where you came from, what hardships you have fought through, but it's extremely important not to dwell on the past. You need to move on from it and use the wisdom you obtained during the time you got sober to remain vigilant during your recovery. If you or someone you know is addicted to opiates, don't give up. Please seek professional medical attention.

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