There are people in my life that I love, and there were some men in my life that I really loved…. IF ya know what I mean.
But I have never loved anyone as much as a drug addict loves drugs. To an addict, the drug is more important than anyone or anything else in their life.
If the cops show up at my door, the first thing I think is, “What the fuck?” But the first thing an addict thinks about is what do with the drugs. Hide them? Use them? Flush them?
Addicts go around taking pictures of your shit, then text them to their dealer and ask how much in drugs they get for it. If the price is right, they’ll steal your shit. If not, they may steal your shit anyway and pawn it.
Addicts justify their behavior in ways that can only make sense to another addict. A meth head thinks that it’s perfectly fine to smoke meth in one room while their child sleeps in another. Can’t hurt the kid if they don’t know about it, right? They never stop to consider how their behavior while under the influence directly affects their children.
There is no sex act too degrading for an addict in need of money or drugs.
Addicts go to doctors and emergency rooms with all sorts of ailments, both real and imagined. They are experts at telling doctors just what they need to know to get the prescription.
An addict has no qualms about going into the home of a dying cancer patient and stealing all their pain meds, even when that dying cancer patient is their own mother.
And addicts will kill people, including their own children, to get what they want.
Last week Stephen Hutcheson of McCalla, Alabama, shot and killed his wife Doris and his 14-year-old daughter Kimberly in their beds. He then shot and killed his 12-year-old son Peyton as he tried to get away from his father. All three victims were shot in the head and face. Afterward, Hutcheson used his wife’s phone to text her sister and say they were going to the beach, then picked up his girlfriend and drove around all night doing cocaine and drinking.
Drug addicts frustrate me the most. Many are good at covering up their addiction, and since they only hang out with other drug users, there’s not often a credible person from which to obtain collateral information. So while they may be well-known to us, I often can do nothing until I’m called out to the hospital after they’ve given birth, and the baby is lying in a neonatal intensive care unit going through withdrawals. Or I meet them when law enforcement calls me out to deal with the children after the parents have been busted and are going to jail.
If someone you know is an addict, here’s a few words of advice for you:
-Don’t cover for them.
-Don’t bail them out of jail if they get arrested.
-Don’t lend them money. Don’t pay their bills for them.
-If they’re putting children at risk with their behavior, report their behavior to child protective services.
-If an investigator asks you about their behavior, tell the truth.
Look, you love them. I get it. But as long as an addict is not held accountable for his or her actions, there is no incentive to change behavior. Believe me when I tell you that as long as they are in active addiction, they will never love you, or anyone, as much as they love that drug.
Nar-Anon is a self-help group for families of addicts.
The National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence has good resources for family members of addicts.