5 Values for a Sustainable Life in Recovery

What are Values?

These are principles that an individual holds dear and runs his/her life by.
The way a person lives life can certainly determine the type of values the person has.
For anyone in recovery, it is very important to live by values that will seek to help the individual fit in and be acceptable into the society.
Some important values to consider are;

  1. Independence

A person in recovery should be ready and willing to stand on their own two feet and do things for themselves.
Depending on people all the time for food, clothing and shelter is not sustainable. Find something profitable which can earn you the ability to acquire your most basic needs.

Do not become a burden!

2. Honesty

In everyday life, the people who are seen to be truthful, genuine and consistent in that behavior are the ones who are given opportunities.
The goal of recovery is not just to stop using drugs but an opportunity to turn a new leaf and build a new life.
Choosing to be honest, is not just a way to reintegrate into the society but also a way of getting new doors open so as to start building life again.

3. Patience

Giving up drugs will eventually bring about benefits such as good health, job opportunities, rebuilding of broken relationships and making of new and healthy alliances.
However, these things take time. Some people think that, just a few weeks after stopping drugs, they will get all these things in place and therefore often fall into despair when it takes longer.
You need to understand that, it takes time to make quality happen. Patience is very vital in these situations.

4. Integrity

What do you do, where do you go, who do you talk to when you know you will not get caught?
Always do what is right even when no one is watching, that is the key to remain abstinent.
Integrity will protect you from doing sketchy things which could lead you into trouble with the law or into relapse.

5. Courage

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma associated with drug use even if a person has been in recovery for a long time. Persons in recovery have to therefore be very strong and develop a ‘thick skin’ to discrimination and stigma.
That is the only way to move forward.

Bonus : Commitment

The road to recovery is neither straight, smooth, nor short, and that is life. Anyone interested in succeeding in any venture or undertaking in life must be committed to staying true to the mission until the goals are achieved.
Stick to your guns, practice your coping skills, attend recovery meetings with discipline and diligence.

Stay on the road and you will surely get where you want to be!

5 Techniques for coping with Cravings

Cravings, what does it mean?
It is a strong psychological urge to return to the drug of choice.


Facts About Craving

  1. They are a normal part of early recovery
  2. They start, rise, peak and fall
  3. The whole process lasts for about 15– 20 minutes
  4. Craving does not mean you are relapsing, it is part of the process
  5. After about 2 years of not giving in, it will disappear.

Coping with Cravings

  1. The Rubber Band Snap Technique
    Put a normal rubber band on your wrist and snap it anytime you have a craving and recite encouraging words to yourself. This can be practiced anywhere.
  1. The Journaling Technique
    This technique requires a notepad and a pen, which will be used to record your thoughts and feelings during cravings.
    This is a good way to step back and think about what is going on in the mind and body.
    In the absence of a notepad, a phone or laptop can be used.
  1. The Gratitude Listing Technique
    This is about listing all the things in your life that you are grateful for. Forget about any negative feelings and events happening in the moment.
    This is a powerful way to appreciate all the good things you have, despite your cravings.
  1. The Meditation Technique
    Listen to meditation tapes to help you relax and get through the ‘ride’. The ‘Abide Christian Meditation App’ is highly recommended.
  1. The Imagery Technique
    Imagine yourself in a place where there are no drugs, no cravings; your happy place and go there in your mind.

Good Nutrition for Optimal Health in Recovery

According to the CDC, chronic diseases are diseases that last one year or more and require ongoing medical attention. Some examples are heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. When people begin treatment for chronic diseases there are always nutritional prescriptions that go along with medication. Sometimes, patients even have to constantly see a specialist nutritionist for counselling and supervision of special diets to help improve treatment outcomes. Do you know that Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), are also classified as chronic diseases?
When it comes to Substance Use Disorders (SUDs), which are also 100% chronic diseases, the role of nutrition in recovery is not usually incorporated in treatment. What not to drink is obviously all that is emphasized. Many clients are taught about the severe impacts of drugs and alcohol on the body and brain, cravings and triggers but are not taught about how daily routines like eating food can be done properly to enhance recovery.
Optimal recovery is said to be achieved when the client returns to normal state of health and wellness where the client is physically, mentally and socially functional. Apart from pharmacotherapy and psychotherapy, nutrition therapy (‘Nutritherapy’) is also very key to achieving positive treatment outcomes.
Nutritherapy is a form of therapy which uses nutrition to help clients improve health by adopting healthy food choices that will lead to gaining the nutrients and vitamins necessary for achieving optimal recovery.
Nutritherapy, just like any form of therapy, should be individualized and therefore information which is provided in this material will be a general overview of what is ideal. To reap very positive outcomes from nutrition therapy, clients should consult a specialist nutritionist for proper assessment and prescription of a personalized eating plan as well as learn new skills to improve eating habits.


Nutritherapy for optimal physical functioning
A person in recovery from alcohol and drug use should eat foods rich in carbohydrates especially whole grain cereals like brown rice, oatmeal, wheat, millet, sorghum, quinoa and corn. These foods help produce energy for the body which help in feeling strong enough to go about the daily routine. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), whole grains are associated with lower risk of several diseases.
Whole grains also contain important nutrients including vitamins, protein, fibre and other healthy plant compounds. (Jennings, 2019)
Proteins like beans and eggs are also highly recommended for hair, nails, bone and muscle growth. They also help the body organs function as optimally as they should.
Fluids are necessary to meet the daily hydration needs of the client. Water is the best fluid that can be taken. Other good choices are natural fruit juices, milk, tea, coffee in moderation and other low sugar drinks (non-alcoholic).
Fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins and fibre. Dietary fibre is essential for the prevention of constipation and other digestive problems. Some good choices are Watermelon, Orange and Apple.


Nutritherapy for optimal mental functioning
For optimal mental functioning and health, foods rich in Omega 3 fatty acids such as Salmon, dark leafy green vegetables like ‘Kontonmire’, nuts, seeds, and legumes such as beans and lentils, healthy fats like olive oil are highly recommended.
This sounds a lot like the Mediterranean diet. This style of eating is based on the traditional cuisine of countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea.
According to the Mayo Clinic (2019), many people who switch to the Mediterranean diet say they will never eat any other way. It includes; a daily consumption of vegetables and fruits, whole grains and healthy fats, weekly intake of fish, poultry, beans and eggs, moderate portions of diary products and very limited intake of red meat.

Guidelines for following the Mediterranean Diet

  1. Eat more seafood like salmon, tuna, mackerel and herrings twice a week. Grill instead of deep frying.
  2. Eat whole grain bread, cereal and pasta. Introduce oatmeal and sorghum into your meals if possible.
  3. Eat healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil instead of butter for cooking and for eating with bread. Avocado and avocado oil is also a good choice.
  4. Eat up to between 7 and 10 servings of fruits like water melon, grapes, oranges and apples daily.
  5. Eat fresh vegetables like Kontonmire, spinach, okra, tomatoes and more.
  6. Eat low fat dairy like Greek or plain yogurt, milk and small amounts of different types of cheeses.
  7. Eat protein like poultry. It should be lean, and in small portions. Red meat should be eaten rarely.
  8. Eat legumes like black beans, peas, lentils and other types of beans often.
  9. Eat nuts and seeds like cashew, flaxseed, sesame seeds and almonds.
  10. Eat spices and herbs for flavour and vitamins like garlic, oregano, basil, rosemary, cinnamon, thyme and more.
    Dark chocolate is also very good for memory, mood, attention and fights cognitive decline.

Nutritherapy for social functioning
Reduce caffeine intake to the barest minimum if you have social anxiety because caffeine is a stimulant which can make anxiety worse.
Water is good for hydration. Herbal tea is also very good for keeping hydrated and refreshed all day long.
Low fat milk is recommended for beverages.
For optimal health and wellness in recovery, clients should be encouraged to follow a healthy eating plan and be taught healthy eating habits. For the very best outcomes, a consultation should be arranged with a certified nutritionist who will do a proper assessment of nutritional deficits and overloads so as to create an individualized plan to suit the specific needs of the clients.

Recovery Is Not Rosy – 3 Obstacles and 3 Opportunities To Expect in This Journey

In this context, recovery refers to returning to a normal state of life after suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD). For some clients, recovery just means ‘quitting or cutting back on the use of substances’. They do not understand the need to take care of other basic things like proper nutrition, personal hygiene, mending broken relationships, dealing with shame and guilt, money management and even something as basic as what sorts of leisure activities that are appropriate for them.
As a matter of fact, recovery is not complete until all those other aspects of life mentioned earlier are taken care of.
However, there are certain obstacles that may hinder a client form receiving timely and quality treatment. Let us take a look at a few.
Obstacles
Access to Treatment
Unfortunately, unlike other main stream health facilities, Substance Use Treatment Facilities are kind of hard to find in Ghana. Apart from the few concentrated in the capital Accra, and a few others in the Ashanti Region (New Hope Wellness Centre and others), there is one Psychiatric Hospital in the Central Region (Ankarful Hospital) which also does treatment of SUDs, one in the Western Region (Holy Family Health Centre), another one in the Upper East Region (LOAD Ghana) and as far as I know, there are not really any specifically dedicated treatment facilities in the rest of the other eleven (11) regions. Clients in those places therefore have to travel long distances and sometimes be on a waiting list to get into treatment.
This situation has turned off so many clients who may have gone into treatment immediately if there was a place ready for them as soon as they decided to go into treatment. You would ask, ‘why would they not wait to get in if they were really ready?’ The answer to that is, ‘Substance Use Disorder is a brain disease which affects all aspects of the clients life, including motivation, which is very necessary for anyone to make and sustain any decision.’
Cost of Treatment
Residential treatment is not free. Detoxification which is usually done to help clients handle withdrawal symptoms better and safer, then prepare them for treatment ranges from GHS 1,000 to GHS 2,500. Treatment which usually lasts for about 90 days, costs between GHS 1,000 and GHS 4,000 every 30 days. That’s something not every one can afford, making it practically impossible for some people desperately in need of treatment to get.
There are however a few ‘free’ treatment facilities around who are providing shelter, food and some form of security for people who cannot afford to pay for the treatment but are ready to get into treatment. Remar Association Ghana is one example of such facilities.
Quality of Treatment
The other day I was telling a colleague that, ‘drug addiction treatment is the only field in which most people of any background, without any training, certification or experience feel that they have a right to jump in and help because they think it is just about providing food, shelter and advice and that settles it. If they did that in any other areas of the health sector, they would be arrested and prosecuted for being quacks’.
Because of that mentality, some ‘treatment centres’ are just temporary shelters and some drug addiction counsellors are just caretakers. Other facilities treat clients like mental health patients; so its all about anti-psychotic medication all through the 90 or more days, both situations increasing the likelihood of relapse in clients exponentially.
I must admit however that, in recent years, some facilities have invested in training their employees and are doing excellently well. A good example is the Drug Treatment Facility at the Pantang Hospital in Accra.
Opportunities
Improved Health
Drugs are like slow acting poison, gradually destroying the internal organs and eventually ending the individual. The human body is however able to recover a great deal after drug use has stopped, leading to an improved health and a general feeling of wellbeing.
Improved Quality of Life
Good health brings with it the strength and power to pursue good jobs, educational opportunities and better relationships that will lead to a better quality of life.
Better Life Prospects
Good health and quality of life puts an individual in a position to access the very best opportunities.
I always tell my clients that, ‘no employer will employ or keep an employee who is deep in the throws of SUD, no sound man or woman will be in any serious relationship with anyone deep in SUD, nobody respects people who are actively using drugs. However, the hope of recovery, opens new windows of opportunities and possibilities that cannot be imagined’.
It is not too late, reach out if you need help. If you have no money, you can try Remar Association, a Christian NGO which tries to provide shelter, food and social support while you go through the process of recovery. Some people have gone through those doors and have been successful, why not you?

Disclaimer
This article does not aim to promote or criticize any facility, it is just serving as a source of useful information for those who may require it.

Seek Recovery First

What is important to you as a person? What do you seek first and most in life? If I were to ask ten different people the same question, I may get ten different answers. This is probably because all those ten people are in very different situations that may require different needs.
People from all walks of life strive everyday for many material things like houses, cars, clothes, lots of money in their bank accounts; in short, many possessions. So many of these material possessions are wished for and even given to people on their birthdays. But interestingly, only one or two things cannot be given as a gift but can only be wished.
What am I getting at? I am thinking about life and good health. I think that for someone to be able to successfully pursue and grasp all those other possessions I mentioned earlier, a person must be able to strive to take care of their health which will hopefully guarantee a long life (even though this may not always be the case because accidents, unexpected disasters, pandemics, genetic conditions and other unexplained circumstances sometimes do take away life abruptly).
Most of the time when I speak to clients about their goals, I hear very interesting things, like, ‘I just need a woman to take care of me and satisfy my sexual needs’. Others say, ‘I want to travel outside the country’. Most of them see these goals as the solution to their Substance Use Problems. Most clients especially in the early stages of treatment do not understand that the most important thing is to seek recovery first and then all those other goals will follow.
What most clients fail to understand is that, with everything that we acquire, there are different levels of quality that a person can have depending on his/her health status, financial status, social status and a whole lot of other ‘relevant statuses’ (I find myself laughing at that). Life and good health gives a person hope of being in the right frame of mind and body to effectively go after and acquire all those other physical needs and wants.
I just want to encourage everyone struggling to acquire all those physical and even emotional needs to the neglect of seeking treatment for their Substance Use Disorder first, thinking that, those will be enough to solve their problems. There cannot truly be any quality in a life which is plagued with bad health, running a risk of loosing that life at any point due to Substance Use.
My friends, by all means seek a comfortable life, cars, a life partner, money in your account but in all your seeking, if you have a Substance Use Problem, seek to recover from that first, because, that is a guarantee to a better quality of life which will essentially lead to a better quality of acquisitions in terms of all those other things.

Loving Freely

When you give your love freely, loving people deeply with an open heart, you also open yourself up to get hurt deeply.
However, the fact that some of the people you love do not appreciate you does not mean that it was not worth loving them. Whether they admit it or not, your love made an impact in their lives, because where there is love, there is caring, sharing and kindness.
Do not give yourself to be destroyed by drugs, someone else out there loves you. They need you, so live for them.
You have to try, the decision lies with you.
God can see your heart and he loves you completely!

Online Addiction Recovery Programs Can Help You Achieve Sobriety

 

Recently, during the COVID-19 partial lockdown in Ghana, I gained a lot of weight. So much so that I am in the process of getting new clothes tailored. Unlike most people, I wasn’t working virtually because I couldn’t meet with my clients at the rehabs for consults. All the worked had to be handled by the staff in those institutions.
It took just a few weeks of isolation and inactivity from the last week of March to mid-June to start losing a body I have been so proud of. It was freely given to me by God, but I lost it in just a few weeks because I took what I put in it for granted and it messed me up.
After the lockdown, I was a little nervous to go back to work because I knew everyone would notice my weight gain. It happened exactly as I had anticipated. Everyone kept talking about it, I felt very ashamed in my skimpy old clothes. I had to hold my tummy in because it had protruded. In addition to the nose mask I was wearing, l felt very uncomfortable and out of breath. I spent the whole day of our new normal lives beating myself down because I had failed at something I thought I had a hold on.
After work that day, I decided that I had to do something about it. Going to gym was out of the question; COVID-19 restrictions and honestly, I would not be comfortable working out in public, yes!
I knew I had to find a program that would help me easily commit to a routine that I could follow, which had to be affordable as well. It was time for me to practice what I kept preaching to my clients and just about anyone who asked about recovery from drug use: Do something about it!
So in these normally strange times, I looked online and a found an app with a perfect thirty day challenge for me. It is filled with a lot of exercises that I can do daily; 20 minutes for one workout including tips for doing other things that could help maximize results. Most importantly, there was a soothing voice of encouragement throughout the workout which always congratulated me after each workout. I think it is pretty amazing!
I am 18 days into the 30 day weight loss challenge basic level work out, I feel better already. I have not quite seen any visible weight loss but I have hope because I still have a long way to go. After the basic level, I will graduate to the intermediate and advanced levels.
You will be thinking, what has weight loss got to do with drug addiction and recovery?

As a matter of fact, it has a lot to do with it. Making a decision to loose weight has a lot to do with making a decision to quit using drugs. It is both about making a decision to try new ways of handling one’s self in terms of the things we put in the body, learning new ways of doing things to keep it healthier and in better shape so as to live healthier and free of self-consciousness. Both have to do with deciding to do new things that will result in a healthier body and mind.
The conditions under which we live now in the midst of a deadly pandemic and restrictions are forcing us to live in isolation thus making life much harder. This could result in dire consequences for drug users because of probable job losses which could lead to hunger and even homlessness, as well as the likelihood of contracting the disease while going out into the streets to look for, prepare and use drugs. Fatalities may also occur in instances where an individual who lives alone overdoses in these times of isolation and social distancing, where there may be no one available to offer any assistance.
Unfortunately, it is also getting harder now to get into treatment due to Covid-19 restrictions which has prompted most drug treatment centres to also go into lockdown to prevent new clients who may have the virus from coming in to infect those who are already in the facilities. But in the midst of all this gloom, a helper remains and is offering a lot of assistance to many of us in various ways.
Like I found my weight loss app on the internet, you can also find treatment online for your drug use. Yes, you can.
You can check out the ‘SMART Recovery Program’ which is fully online. The ‘Celebrate Recovery’ program which has an app and can also be found online will be a good fit for you if you are a Christian. Or you can simply type in ‘Addiction Recovery Online’ and a lot of good options will pop up. You can also type in ‘Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous Online’ and you will find a couple of Zoom meetings to join.

Search for ‘Certified Addiction Counsellors’ in your area and you would be surprised at what you can find. You get to talk to a professional who would help you through the process.
Apart from all these, there are also a couple of Apps that you can find in the google play store that can be very helpful. Just type in ‘Addiction Recovery app’.
Take a leap of faith, take the step and do the search. You will be surprised about how helpful it can be for you.
Most of the time we try on our own and and fail to make major changes in our lives because we often do not have any structured approach to it. This is the reason why we seek the help of professionals since they enroll us onto recovery programs with structured exercises and new routines that likely to achieve better results.
Keep in mind that, it will take longer than you expect to be able to see positive results in the process to recovery, so please be patient, follow instructions of the recovery program you choose and it will work out for your good. Make up your mind that giving up is not an option!
When you fail and lapse, do not just get stuck there, just continue following the recovery program, gradually you will move through the stages and eventually get to the ‘advanced level’ where you will be able to maintain your sobriety and sustain your recovery.
Let’s go, the time is just right!

Take Responsibility For Your Recovery

Every time I go to a treatment centre, the guys keep asking, ‘If drugs and alcohol are not good for our health, why then are they sold everywhere? Let me try to address this question here, in case you may be thinking about it too.

If drugs and alcohol are not good for our health, why are they sold everywhere?

The simplest answer to this question is, ‘know thyself’. Not everything being sold out there in the streets including drugs and alcohol is good for consumption. Besides that, not everything which is good for consumption is good for everyone to consume. Some people can eat anything; others will die from eating certain things. Some people have deadly allergies and because they value their lives, they don’t go near those foods or things and they make sure that those around them also know about their allergies so that they don’t end up being ‘poisoned’ and killed because of a mistake or someone else’s ignorance.
From my previous article; “beat your allergies” I tried to explain that to someone who has had problems with the use of drugs and alcohol, these things were allergies to him.
To be able to break free from drug and alcohol addiction, get to know about the nature of your condition and try to learn about what you need to stop doing and the things that you need to be doing more of.
Change the way you think about how other people’s actions may or may not have been the reason why you started using drugs and alcohol in the first place. That has happened already; look forward to the future and the good things in store for you.
In addition, know thyself my friend, know about your problem and implement the healthy ways you have learnt to deal with them. Take responsibility for your actions from henceforth because you always have a choice as to what you put in your body.
As a final point, forget about what others are doing, think about your future. Come to think of it, I have never seen a person with substance use disorder still kicking and healthy at a good old age. “You either quit or it forces you to quit.” Jean Church once said, “You can come out of the furnace of trouble two ways: if you let it consume you, you come out a cinder; but there is a kind of metal which refuses to be consumed, and comes out a star.”

3 Simple Ways of Finding Your Purpose in Recovery

Much like losing yourself to drug addiction, travelling long hours two times a day in rickety trotros on the pot-holed dusty Kumasi-Kwanhoma road can make you lose yourself too – you alight looking like you mistook your body splash for cocoa powder, only, you didn’t so how is that not losing yourself??
One morning, despite the cloud of dust, I found myself straining my eyes to peek at a woman by the roadside. She was not particularly striking in any way but I noticed her because she was an unusual occurrence at that particular spot. She had put up an umbrella where she was going to sell local brown rice and stew popularly called ‘quinquin’ in Kumasi.
As I watched, she mounted a pot on a table with the usual quinquin delicacies; spaghetti, gari and other salads in a plastic bag hanging over the pot of rice like a ‘hoodie’ just like the lot of quinquin sellers here. The stew and shito were in small plastic containers on the table. She had other things in a small basket; I guessed it would contain her fish or meat. The eggs were also in a clear plastic bowl on the table.
As the trotro hobbled past, I was thinking, ‘I would never buy that’ because the woman looked a little unkempt and the spot she chose to sell was too dusty. I saw her that morning at about 7:30 and when I was returning around 5:30 pm, she was still there. The food in the size five cooking pot was not finished.
As the days went by, I started noticing that she was not always there at 5:30pm when I was returning from work. She was also coming earlier now, one day I was leaving at around 5:30 am and I saw her setting up her umbrella.
One year down the line, the woman who did not look striking in any way now dresses up in fancy new dresses, puts on makeup and has stopped covering her hair with that old woman scarf. I had no idea that she was that pretty and young; she looks like she will be in her late 30s, I used to think she was in her 50s.
She has a bigger table now. She had taken the spaghetti, gari and salad out of their hoodie bag, the size 5 pot of rice has been changed to a size 10. Her client base has increased. She has variety of food now; plain rice and tuozaafi have been added to the menu. Recently, I overhead some of the mates talking about how humble, hardworking and skillful she was at her job. ‘Her food is also very tasty’ they added.
I am very amazed at how much transformation has come into her life through work, hard work, diligence, dedication, and a hidden passion somewhere in her to succeed.
There are so many elements necessary for recovery from drug addiction. One of those is a purpose, something worth waking up to. It could be a skill or a hobby that makes you happy; you could turn it into a money making venture in order to help take care of your basic needs.
Do not expect to be dependent on your family for everything; you will definitely need their support for many things but do not be dependent. Do not be a burden. Find something to do, be creative, get busy and enjoy the fruit of your labour and creativity, you will be surprised at how much better you will look, think and feel.
If you are wondering how to find your purpose, here’s how.

1. What is your talent?
The easiest way to find out what you are meant to do is to discover your talent. Many great people have made their mark in this world by discovering, honing and perfecting their talent. Discovering your talent is like coming into an inheritance. It’s a free gift, you just have to know how to manage it, use it and maintain it for life. If properly managed, it brings about fame and fortune, it brings one up among the elite in society but if mismanaged, it can be lost.
So what are you good at? We are all good at something, find it, develop it and make a living out of it. It is bound to bring you joy.
But if what you are good at may not be what you want to necessarily pursue, if that is the case, then you can try something else.

2. What are you passionate about?
What do you love? What drives you daily? Pursue that. Because you are passionate about it, you will do it with all your heart and out of that will come good results.

3. What desire keeps burning in your heart?
Finally, you can also decide to go after something that you’ve always wanted to do. Your lifelong dream. It is never too late to go after your dreams. Just put your ideas on paper, make a plan as to how you want to go about achieving it.
In doing all these, seek support from people who have your best interest at heart.
Keep thinking, don’t worry, it is going to work out.

The Plague called Drug Addiction

I was talking to friend recently who unfortunately has been using drugs for a while now. A young beautiful woman who happens to be in a not so healthy relationship; unfortunately, it is a drug fueled one. Another unfortunate thing in this situation is that, she is expecting!
Apparently, the most important relationships in her life; that which she has with her siblings is also drug fueled. I do not know if it is appropriate to say this but, i think her whole life is ‘infested’ with drugs; cannabis, crack cocaine, heroin and others.
Infested, I hate that word, it makes me think of worms and parasites and locusts and the plagues of Egypt. Whenever someone, anything or place becomes infested with anything, it is almost always devoured. I just remembered the army worm infestation that hit our farms in this country some time ago. It was very bad, most of the affected farms were destroyed because the medicine needed to fight the army worms were not received quickly enough.
My friend used to tell me that she was not addicted to drugs, she said she was just an occasional user. But on this day she started telling me by herself how much weight she had lost over the years (i did not know that), how she used to be successful, had so many friends but had lost all those things now. Then she said, ‘drugs have spoiled my life. Someone I used to smoke ‘the grass’ with told me once that crack cocaine was the devil so I should not try it but I did not listen to her’.
‘The first time I tried it, I could not believe anything could make me feel this way; I felt good so I gave the people around me all my money to buy it with. That’s what I used to do. Eventually my business collapsed because I spent all my money on my friends and drugs, I am generally generous and I cant help it. I used to buy them food, clothes , hair, everything. When I lost everything, they left me, sometimes I did not even have anything to eat but no of them was there for me’.
‘Fortunately for me, I managed to stop but recently I have started taking it again once in a while, when I am hurt. I am always hurt when I remember those times, and also when I fight with my man. I did not even know that he used Heroin until he fell severly ill, I thought he was going to die, I felt helpless and I needed to feel strong and capable of taking care of him so I had to use. Then I felt strong and unafraid’.
We are always fighting so I am always hurt, I don’t know who to talk to. I am hurt, I am always hurt’.She was in tears all through her narration.
Then I asked whether she felt she needed help with the situation so that she could abstain and be a mother to her child, then she said, ‘I am hurt but drugs have hurt me baddest, it has spoiled my life. I want to stop’.
In summary, some people like my friend may use drugs because it is part of what they know and have been thought to be good when they were growing up. Eventually, it may become a solution to their hurts and pains and their need to do and perform better at certain things. However in the end, it becomes a problem when it takes over and infests their lives, slowing killing them. If they don’t receive their treatment soon and on time, they get devoured and perish.
They may be hurting, but drugs hurts them baddest and others around them especially the little babies that may be growing in them who will come out also infested. Or those already born who may be neglected because the person supposed to care for them is hurting baddest.
Help a friend to get help now!