This series is a continuation of the previous article “Addiction: A Family Affair.”
The symptoms of addiction affect far more than just the addict, themselves. There are clear indications that the people around them, the people who care about them, feel the pain that is caused by that addiction. Addiction can lead to other destructive behavior, both to themselves and others. This slippery slope will eventually cause the meaningful relationships that addicts have to erode, making it harder to recover. This series is about the different people who are affected in the life of an addict. Here’s how friendship affects friends…
The friends of an addict may often feel like they are pressured to take part in similar behavior as their friend. In the case of an addict, it may mean that they feel the pressure to take part in the same drug abuse. This is because friends want to be able to relate to their other friends, naturally. However, this pressure towards substance abuse can lead them down the path of addiction, as well, which will make recovery more difficult for both parties. This is one of the more contagious qualities of addiction.
Not wanting to be around you
Hopefully, your friends will be able to resist the pressure of drug abuse. However, this may lead to the adverse affect of them not wanting to be around you. Addiction changes the personality of the addict. It makes that person different from the person that your friends all came to know and love in the first place. This makes the dynamic of your friendship a lot different. Instead of just hanging out with friends, it will place the subtext of time together on those changes that addiction did to the addict. To some, this added struggle will be too much to cope with.
Changes your friend circle
As addiction takes hold of your life, it’s very possible that the group of people who you call your friends will begin to change. The danger of this situation, in the case of an addict, is that this new circle of friends may be a result of bad drug habits. New friends may be a part of the drug culture that got you addicted in the first place, which would be disastrous for recovery, as it makes it much more difficult to create new, more meaningful relationships that could actually help you.
Real Stories of Recovery
Renaissance Ranch gave me a gift that no amount of money can ever repay. Through their unique, caring approach I learned how much I was loved, and that I never had to feel alone every again.
My sobriety date is July 15 2008. And for that I am very grateful. The ranch has given Me the tools to live a life I never thought was possible. I have never forgotten the feelings I felt when I was there in treatment and that's what gets me through the day, is the feelings and brotherhood that I was so blessed with while I was in the ranch.
I have been called to serve a full time mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, in the Fort Collins, CO mission. I am eternally grateful for the sacrifices and love of everyone at The Ranch. I attribute my recovery to God, hard work, and the things I learned while I was there. I am so excited to go serve my Heavenly Father, it has been a long hard road to get here but I know it is what he wants me to do. My heart is full of gratitude and love for those who have cared for me... Thank you for all you have done for me...
As soon as I walked through the doors of the Ranch I felt hope. My life had spiraled into depths of shame, misery, guilt, depression, sadness, and suffocating darkness prior to reaching those front doors. The 2 months that followed would forever change my life and provide a foundation within that is unshakable.
Renaissance Ranch will always be a special place to me and will always have a special place in my heart. I had already attended one rehab facility. The Ranch truly saved my life by teaching me and allowing me to understand and love who I am.
I had a head full of gospel knowledge and a heart full of shame. I felt like a failure. I hated who I was. That all changed during my stay at Renaissance Ranch. I quickly realized that I wasn't alone and that there were others who felt the same feelings of self-hatred, failure, and shame. This realization, coupled with the nonjudgmental environment of the Ranch, I was able to be completely honest and open for the first time in my life. From the guidance and empathy of my counselors and brothers, I learned it was okay to feel and I started to believe that there was hope.