THIS week we will look at how drug, alcohol and substance abusers think, so as to give an insight to those close to them and that they quickly get help for them as they understand why this class of people avoid rehabilitation.
Does drug abuse exist primarily in the mind of the abuser or is drug abuse society’s problem? This question sounds somewhat philosophical; let’s just journey on and picks some insight. Having been caught up in the world of sobering up these individuals l have been able to uncover some of the grey areas of addiction.
Drug abusers think society should change to fit into their realities. To understand the boldness of this statement l will enlighten you on what is happening inside a drug abuser’s head. This may not be pretty, sorry if I use real life examples. But if you found your way into this article you are ready for it.
How drug abusers see the world. They see the same trees, the same cars and the same family members who are stressed or upset by their addiction, but they also see other things. The mind is a collection of full picture and sounds in one’s personal computer which is the mind. The mind has millions of files or memories of past experiences or conclusions or imaginations. All these are stored in your mental computer.
What happens when drug abusers experience things they do not want to? Here is the problem, drugs dull perceptions, drugs are essentially pain killers — they kill emotional, physical and mental pain. This means something that is distressing a person can appear to reduce. The stress seems to go away a bit by the drugs dulling or hiding the experience from the person.
They cannot see or experience the discomfort readily. Sometimes these discomforts come from the past. Remember the mind is made up of past experiences or memory pictures.
Drug abusers have been solving their problems by dulling out their ability to see these problems. At times problems are unseen by the drug abuser, at other times issues from the past are blocked out.
Drug abuse, including marijuana abuse, pharmaceutical abuse and alcohol abuse have one thing in common — justification.
As a drug rehab specialist consultant, l hear more justification for drug abuse and these are some of the lines l have heard as mental justification:
They don’t understand.
I just need one more hit then l will be ok.
What’s the big deal, it’s just one time.
This will fix things and l will make it through for a while longer.
These statements have revealed that drug abusers are running away from something and it is the truth that contains pain. When the truth contains pain it will be avoided. When a painful experience is re-triggered by life the painful part also comes back and that is when justification is put to use by the drug abuser. Justification is a method of being right and avoiding the pain and discomfort of an unpleasant memory. Drug abusers are trying to create a world where they are right in avoiding reality even if it kills them. That is why they continue using drugs.
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– Mthandazo Ndlovu is a Drug Prevention and Rehabilitation Specialist, Accredited Addictions Counsellor, Adolescent Counsellor and Certified Professional Counsellor.