It’s 2018 and literally people can’t get it in their head that drug addiction is a disease.
It results from a permanently altered brain that isn’t functioning properly. The brain’s reward centers are messed up. There are studies that even show that the person’s DNA is affected. Their personality is affected. Their actions and behavior is affected. It’s a real fucking disease.
Yeah, it’s easy to say “well their choice to do drugs got them there, so why should I care?”
Well, this argument can be used for a lot of diseases. “Well it’s their choice to not get the hpv vaccine so why should I care that they got cervical cancer.” “Well it’s their choice to go hiking so why should I care that a tick bit them and they got lymes disease?” “Well it’s their choice to eat fatty foods so why should I care that they have heart disease?” Etc.
Chances are, we all have done something that is detrimental to our health at some point in their lives. It doesn’t mean if it results in a disease, we are less deserving of help or compassion because we made choices that contributed to the disease.
There are many reasons why people start doing drugs in the first place. Sometimes it’s a coping mechanism, sometimes it’s self medication, and or sometimes it’s out of sheer curiousity. All of these reasons still warrant compassion and aid.
Shaming and vilifying addicts is not the way to help them. If you really truly cared you would be trying to create a world that is better for addicts to thrive (voting and supporting measures for affordable housing, minimum wage increases, better access to education and childcare, better access to mental healthcare, universal healthcare, etc) as well as actively fighting the conditions (poverty, abuse, lack of resources, inaccess to metal healthcare, etc.) that create new addicts.
Spending money on drugs instead of necessities. Emptying your bank account for a gram.
Starving for days, high on the shit that makes you feel invincible.
Stealing from family to make it through the week you say it’s for gas but it’s really for drugs.
Giving your body to a man that sees you as a piece of meat just for 300 bucks a week you feel worthless.
Always wanting to quit but never knowing how.
Afraid to tell your family because you’re scared they’ll shut you out.
Snorting lines in your room alone because you have nothing better to do.
Feeling like the biggest failure for just trying to numb the pain.
“Crackhead” is not a funny term. Let’s kill this trend of making it into a joke. Please learn about its history, especially in relation to black communities and in relation to ableism, and remember that drug addiction is not a laughing matter.
Addiction is 100% a disease and not a choice. You may choose to do the drugs the first couple of times. But you don’t choose the addiction. Nobody chooses an addiction. You don’t just wake up one morning and say, “hey, you know what I’d really like? A relationship destroying, life ruining, all consuming addiction!”
Some people seem to think because you made the mistake of doing drugs, or gambling, or drinking, that you chose to be addicted. It’s such an odd phenomenon, really, I mean look at any other unhealthy or bad choice a person can make and let me know if they are ever blamed to the extent that addicts are for the resulting disease.
If you tan too much, drink and drive, smoke, eat a shitty diet, are you written off as a useless junkie and told you don’t deserve treatment? Told you chose for this to happen? No. If a person tans too much and ends up with melanoma, do we tell them it’s all their fault and view them as just a junkie? Fuck no we don’t. You’d be seen as a cruel, heartless asshole if you did!
We all do unhealthy things and we all make mistakes and no one deserves to be treated as cruelly as we treat addicts for making a mistake.
Another thing, addiction literally changes your brain chemistry. It’s not as easy as saying “yeah I’m just going to stop using” that’s not how it works. Your brain needs this substance to feel okay. People get crazy withdrawals, you can even die from withdrawal if not treated properly. So to act as if it’s a choice as simple as “well today I’m going to have coffee instead of tea” is absolutely ridiculous.
I understand that some of this resentment may come from having been mistreated by an addict in your life and I get that. Addiction makes people do bad things. It can be draining knowing and trying to help an addict. I know it’s rough. But resenting addicts because of the one or two bad experiences you’ve had isn’t okay. It’d be like me saying that all smokers are horrible people because I once dated a smoker and they cheated on me. You can’t invalidate the struggles that an addict may face because you’ve had a bad experience.
The only way to help addicts, which I hope is the goal for most people, is to treat them with love and forgiveness. Not to enable them, but to offer them help and show them that they are loved. If you make them feel bad about themselves, what are they going to turn to to cope? Yeah. I’m not saying that you are required to or that you should be held responsible. I’m saying if you want to help, this is how you can help. And if you don’t want to help, then don’t. Leave them alone and don’t further hurt them.
Addiction is a disease. Choosing to do drugs or drink or whatever your poison is for the first time is a mistake. Everyone makes mistakes. Overcoming a mistake and recovering requires strong support and love from those around you. People are not their addictions. And with a little more love and support, we can overcome addiction. Every single person can. You aren’t a lost cause, there are people who love and care about you out there. There are people who have been there and understand. Don’t be afraid to reach out 💕
One question a number of Amberprice fans bring up and in protesting the original Life is Strange is why Rachel would cheat on Chloe, given how close the two girls can get in the first game (especially with the ending montage which strongly suggests things are more than just best friends even if you don’t romance Rachel). And to be honest, it’s something I’ve puzzled over myself.
My own suggestion that Rachel just “outgrew” Chloe tends to be handwaved away and rightfully so. It’s a logical answer, but it doesn’t quite feel… right. But just recently I decided to skim TV Tropes (I was curious as to what they’d said about Samantha) and decided to look up Rachel while I was at it. And that’s when the answer smacked me between the eyes.
Rachel Amber was a drug addict.
This is actually something strongly hinted at in the original Life is Strange. At least two students commented on Rachel “partying hard” and suggested that Rachel was taking things harder than marijuana. (For that matter, I’ve speculated on why the Madsen household was so deep in debt and wondered if Chloe herself had been hooked on something harder than weed and may have nearly overdosed or the like - hospital bills do tend to be problematic after all.)
There is even a logical way as to how Rachel could have gotten hooked: she was stabbed by Damon Merrick and nearly bleeds to death. Should the player choose to have Chloe tell the truth to Rachel, then Rachel also has her happy family life ripped to shreds which could mean she started hitting painkillers for a release from more than just physical pain from her stab wound. (And if Chloe lied, then learning the truth from Frank later on could similarly encourage her to turn to drugs, and to distrust Chloe.)
Her “relationship” with Frank makes more sense then. She was sleeping with Frank to get at his drugs. Mind you, she is still cheating on Chloe when doing this but there is a tragic but understandable reason behind this. Similarly, she may have encouraged a friendship with Nathan (who himself had implied there was more between him and Rachel) to get at the drugs he possessed.
Give her family history of drug abuse (with her biological mother Sera being a heroin addict and her father implied to have indulged in drugs initially but then cleaning up his act), Rachel might very well be more inclined to addiction. Rachel would further do her best to hide her addiction from her father (who has a hatred of drugs due to his past with Sera).
As for her high grades and the like? Not all drug addicts are wastrels. But it is likely she was starting to develop a tolerance for the drugs which is why she woke up during one of Jefferson’s drug-induced photoshoots… which led to Jefferson killing her so she couldn’t reveal the truth to anyone.
So. Why cheat? Because she was using Frank to get at his drugs. While Rachel was able to seem quite charismatic and caring, she was already letting her addiction guide her decisions… leading her to betray Chloe’s trust. And while we don’t have any hard proof, comments from fellow students and her waking from Jefferson’s roofies strongly suggest drugs were ultimately what caused Rachel to cheat on the one girl who loved her more than herself.
Guy I knew once who had lost three of his brothers due to drugs/alcoholism: ‘It’s not that grief gets better over time. Believe me, it does not. It gets worse, in fact. You just get better and stronger at coping.’
We know that being raised by an alcoholic or a drug addict affects people, but it doesn’t affect everyone in the same way. If you ask an overachieving workaholic and an unemployed drug addict why they turned out the way they did, they might give you the exact same answer - “because my parents were alcoholics”. Two children raised in the exact same household might go down very different paths, pushed by the exact same forces. In fact, scientists have studied the children of addicts for decades, and they’ve discovered that people raised by addicts tend to fall into ten different categories. The names of these categories may vary, and different households will contain different combinations of these categories, but they reappear in the research over and over again.
So if you were raised by an addict or alcoholic, there’s a good chance that you fit into one of the following:
The Family Hero - these tend to be the oldest children, although that’s not always the case. Family Heroes grow up much faster than normal children, and assume all the adult responsibilities that their parents are too drunk or high to handle. From a young age, they become surrogate parents to their siblings, and may even act more like a parent to their own dysfunctional parents. They are the ones getting up in the morning, getting the kids off to school, making sure that everyone is fed, laundry is clean, homework is done, and bills are paid. They grow into hyper-responsible workaholic adults who are unable to put their own needs first - or even understand their own needs - and feel constantly plagued by feelings of being a fraud.
The Rebel - these kids run wild from an early age, using extreme behaviour and lawbreaking to mask their own pain, and to protect their siblings by drawing the brunt of their parents’ anger. They may intentionally put themselves in a position to be beaten or abused by their parents (by provoking or fighting their parents), to allow their other siblings to escape being beaten. At school, they act out and push others away to prevent anyone from getting too close and realizing their family situation. They tend to have disciplinary problems at school or work, and are extremely prone to developing addiction issues themselves.
The Mascot - this is the “class clown” of the bunch. The Mascot is usually one of the younger children in the household. They recognize that there is a lot of darkness in the house, and they make it their mission in life to lighten the mood. They are the ones who make fart noises at a tense dinner table after mommy has thrown a glass at daddy’s head, or crack jokes even when daddy comes home drunk and violent. They become extremely good at defusing tense situations or cheering people up, and, like the Rebel, they may strategically act out in order to take the abuse themselves and spare their more delicate siblings. The Rescuer - this is the child who gets daddy another beer from the fridge, or brings mommy her paraphernalia kit when she’s too high to move. From a young age, these kids feel a compulsive need to shelter, defend and take care of the broken people in their lives, in a misguided attempt to “help” them. They struggle with deep-seated feelings of self-loathing and inadequacy, and assume that only messed-up people want to spend time with them. They will do anything in their power to help another person, even at their own expense, and give endless second chances. As adults, they are prone to being taken advantage of or ending up in abusive relationships. They are the kind of people who will let a near-stranger crash on their couch for weeks on end without paying a dime in rent while they “get their life together”, or stay with a partner who cheats constantly because they are “going through a hard time right now”. They live to “save” people, going to extreme efforts to help others find jobs, housing, partners, etc, even when their own lives are falling apart.
The Adjuster - these kids are the ultimate adapters; they can adjust to just about anything. Nothing bothers them. They learn from an early age not to form deep attachments to things and not to set goals, so they aren’t upset when things don’t work out. Sudden changes don’t rock their world the way it does their siblings - if the family is evicted, if they have to move, if a parent goes to prison, if they go to foster care, it doesn’t send them into a downward spiral. They adapt and find a way to be happy and functional, no matter what. As adults, however, they tend to find themselves directionless and drifting - since they are unable to form attachments or goals, they have a hard time steering themselves through adult life.
The Doormat - these are the kids who just lie down and take it. They will do anything to avoid confrontation or awkwardness, no matter what the personal cost to them. They let other people walk all over them without saying anything. They are not rescuers; they do not feel the need to “save” people in their lives, or make efforts to do so. And they are not “adjusters’ - they are not detached, and they do not learn to find happiness in any circumstance. They are miserable in their situation, but they make no attempt to confront the problem or change their circumstances. They just put up with it, and they continue to do the same as adults. They are prone to substance use and abusive relationships in later life.
The Scapegoat - this is the kid who is constantly falling apart at the seams. Their coping strategy is to be so incredibly dysfunctional that they force the rest of the family to forget their own pain and rally around the Scapegoat. Often, their dysfunction is the only thing that keeps the family from falling apart. They have endless and extremely visible problems with school, peers, and mental health that require constant attention and intervention from the whole family. They quickly learn not to break out of their own unhealthy cycles - genuine concern is often one of the most positive forms of attention available in the family, and they do whatever they can to continue being on the receiving end of it. They dysfunctional habits generally continue into adulthood.
The Bully - these kids cope with their own pain by inflicting pain on others. Unlike The Rebel, who uses “victimless” behaviour like smoking or vandalism to protect themselves and others, the Bully hurts others in order to escape feeling like a victim. The Bully is not a sociopath, and usually feels genuinely remorseful after the fact. But they continue to fall into the same patterns again and again, lashing out at others rather than facing their own feelings of hurt, fear and inadequacy. They often grow up to abuse their spouses and children, and are prone to becoming alcoholics themselves.
The Lost Child - these kids are often the youngest child in the family, or a younger child in a large family. They quickly learn to do whatever it takes to be completely invisible in the family. As far as they are concerned, being completely unnoticed is the best strategy to survive. All their energy goes into being inoffensive, nonthreatening, and unremarkable. They avoid all attention, both positive and negative, and keep their emotions hidden. This is a pattern that follows them into adulthood, where they continue to keep their head down at school, in the workplace, or in social situations. They become chameleons, changing their personality to blend seamlessly into their surroundings.
The Last Hope - this child carries all the pressure of the family’s hopes and dreams. They are expected to rise above their upbringing, be a functional human being, and take care of the rest of the family when they aren’t able to care for themselves. They often serve as a stand-in for a dysfunctional spouse or sibling - they might be told “you aren’t going to hurt me like X did” or “you aren’t going to grow up to be like Y”. They are not Family Heroes - Family Heroes choose to keep the family minimally functional on their own, because they look around one day and realize that no one is going to cook supper or change the baby’s diaper unless they do it. Last Hopes are told that it is their responsibility to right the ship, not just keep it floating down the river on its side. They will work themselves to a physical or psychological breakdown trying to provide for the family financially or accomplish flagship goals for the family, like achieving straight As, buying a house, or getting into medical school despite their upbringing.
These categories aren’t hard and fast; many people fit into multiple categories at the same time, or they may fit into different categories at different points during their lives. But if you were raised in a family with addiction issues, chances are, you fit into one of these categories at some point in your life. These are not meant to be prophecies of doom; it is possible to recognize destructive habits, change your life and overcome your childhood. Understanding the existence of these patterns - and understanding that you are not alone - is an important first step to breaking free.
everybody talks about how drug A makes you more addicted than drug B, and after how many uses of drug C you’ll become an addict and shit like that…but we’re all different. i heard so many stories from people on drugs and they were all different, because that’s what also we are. this doesn’t really matter and everyone keeps talking about it. what nobody talks about and probably should is the one thing those stories of people on drugs have in common: how shooting up will make you an addict on your first try. how you can sit hours having your drug prepared for snorting or smoking and you are able to even forget it’s there. but having a needle prepared is a whole different story. yes, you might resist, but you won’t forget it’s there, not even for a single second. nobody talks about how shooters are able to poke themselves with a needle for an hour just to find a vein, and when they can’t find a vein, they might just be desperate enough to shoot it literally anywhere under the skin. so yes, the drug will make you an addict. but the needle will show you what addiction is. and the scariest part? you’ll love it.
Not my greatest video, but it was a pretty nice rush
Also to all the people messaging me, unless it’s an interesting question, i 100% will not respond. I’m happily aken by my amazing boyfriend and although I appreciate the compliments, I’m afraid everyone is just waiting their time.
I do however like supportive messages about me quitting, offer harm reduction tips for new or old users, and enjoy answering tasteful questions.
I just wanna say that I have no experience with detox, relapse, addiction, or anything like that. I kept it kind of vauge because of this, but I think I made it impactful despite that.
I really like the way this turned out.
Words: 922. Human au
Warnings: swearing, drug addiction, relapse
Gabriel cracked his eyes open, insanely pissed at his phone right now.
“Oh, my god. What do you want?!” he muttered as he pulled his blankets up around his head a little tighter. The chiming ringtone continued for a few more seconds as Gabriel scowled under his covers.
Eventually, the room settled back into silence, and Gabriel gave a quick nod, as if he did something productive to make it quiet, and squirmed around to a comfortable position to go back to sleep.
But a few seconds later…
Gabriel grunted in frustration as he ripped the blankets off of the bed.
“This mother fucker,” he cursed under his breath as he slid over the Answer key on his phone, not bothering to look at who was calling. “Hello?” he growled. “Who is this? It’s the middle of the god damn night.”
There was silence at the other end of the line, only a faint sound of labored breathing coming through the speaker. Gabriel’s mood shifted quickly, a feeling in his gut told him this was not good.
“Hello?” He asked, a little more considerate of his tone.
Sam sounded like a complete wreck, and his pitiful whimpers and sniffles sent Gabriel’s heart to his stomach and his blood suddenly ran cold.
“Sam. Jesus, are you ok?”
Sam swallowed hard at the other end of the line, and his voice was straining, struggling to hold back his tears.
“I’m sorry. I’m sorry I called so late.”
“Hey,” Gabriel sat on the edge of the bed, hunched over and losing himself in worry, “I’ve told you before, kiddo. You can call me anytime. Day or night.”
“I know,” Sam whispered.
“Now please, tell me what’s wrong.”
Sam took a harsh breath before starting.
“Well, I know we talked about ways to stay away from it, things to say and stuff. I-I should have left. I don’t know what happened. Gabriel…I’m so sorry. I was doing so well.”
As Sam spoke, Gabriel’s eyes slid shut in realization. He covered his mouth to keep from crying out in agony. “… Sam,” he choked on the word.
“I’m so sorry, Gabriel,” Sam cried. “I was with this girl, Ruby, and it was fine, then some of her friends came over, and…and…I tried, Gabriel. I really did try! I kept saying no, but I think someone put it in my drink anyway. I…I don’t feel right.“
“Shit.” Gabriel leapt out of bed, pulling clothes out from wherever he could find them as Sam was quietly sobbing over the phone.
“I’m sorry,” he cried. “I’m sorry I fell, Gabriel.”
“No!” Gabriel yelled as he buttoned a pair of pants he slid on. “No, Sam,” he said gently, rubbing his eyes in frustration. “Those monsters tricked you. This is not your fault. Now tell me where you are. I’m coming to get you.”
Sam stayed on the line with Gabriel the whole time, giving directions the best he could and retelling Gabriel all the details of the night. By the time Gabriel found the house where Sam was hiding in the bathroom, he was seething.
He pounded on the door, practically growling at the dark haired girl who answered. He was still on the phone with Sam until he opened the bathroom door, and Gabriel almost threw punches at some over-muscled assholes when they tried to keep Sam in the house.
The ride back to Gabriel’s house was quiet, with Sam curling up as small as he could manage in the passenger seat, head bowed low and not saying a word. Gabriel had wanted to take Sam to the hospital, but Sam had vehemently opposed the thought, his whole body shaking. Gabriel wasn’t sure if it was from fear or whatever was coursing through his system, so he suggested that they both go to Gabriel’s house, and thankfully Sam had agreed to that.
And if Gabriel placed an anonymous call to the police about the ungodly noise coming from Ruby’s house, well, it was a little something to knock them all down a peg.
Sam’s tremors hadn’t gotten any better when they pulled into Gabriel’s driveway, yet he was sweating so much. Gabriel helped him inside and ushered him back to his room.
“You’re soaking through your clothes. Take ‘em off and get in bed.”
“Fresh,” Sam weakly laughed. Even with his body fighting him, Sam looked over to Gabriel and smiled.
“Down boy,” Gabriel chuckled back. “Literally none of my clothes will fit you. When did you become such a moose?”
Gabriel placed a comforting hand on Sam’s arm, only to pull it comically back and make a disgusted face, wiping it on his pant leg. Sam sighed, but there was still a smile on his face, and threw his sweat soaked shirt at Gabriel before he fell back to the bed and burying himself in Gabriel’s soft sheets.
Gabriel pulled the blankets up a little higher, and ran his fingers through Sam’s soft hair, only partially to push it out of his eyes.
“I’m gonna put your clothes in the tub and get you a cold rag. Stay put, 'kay?”
“Gabriel,” Sam worried, his eyes closed at the gentle hand in his hair, “I don’t wanna be by myself.”
“Don’t worry, Sam. I’ll never leave you alone.” Gabriel dipped, and kissed Sam’s temple. “Never again,” he whispered, then rushed off to take care of Sam’s clothes, wiping the tears from his face as he made his way to his bathroom.
there are a lot of posts out there that have the right message about drugs and alcohol–that is, that normalizing excessive use of them is bad and if you feel like you need them to be happy you should get help–but the tone is all wrong. theyre worded in a way that shames and degrades those who are struggling with substance abuse, implying that they are selfish or stupid for engaging in such behaviors. to make matters worse, the comments on these posts are almost always filled with non addicts emphasizing that they dont understand people who drink/use and flaunting the fact that they dont do those things
those posts arent helping! if anything, theyre driving addicts further away from recovery by making us feel like we are being judged and demonized by people who dont understand our pain. we get defensive–how could we not?–and end up rejecting the most important thing, which is that we have a problem and need help
stop feeling morally superior to drug addicts and make an effort to actually understand our suffering and the disease of addiction before you try to speak on the matter. otherwise youre just adding to the problem
A character who’s a former drug addict or has unp leasant memories related to drugs getting themselves badly injured and being forced to pick between taking painkillers and confronting their trauma or being too afraid to take them and being forced to deal with the pain without any help.