Can you feel the despair?

Addiction begins with the hope that something “out there” can instantly fill up the emptiness inside.

—  Jean Kilbourne

This is dedicated to those who have touched the woes of life… To those who fall but stand back up. To those who get weak but find new strength. To those who break but rebuild themselves. To those who lose hope but believe again. This is for those who chance upon the recovery road. There is a life that awaits you. Your story matters. 

poem addiction drugs abuse alcohol substanceabuse

A poem on Addiction

  • Addiction is always knowing where my cigarettes are.
  • Addiction is a clove cigarette and a Pepsi for breakfast.
  • Addiction is showing up for a date high.
  • Addiction is missing my mother’s birthday because I was high.
  • Addiction is taking naps in the car in the company parking lot because I was so tired I couldn’t make it through the afternoon.
  • Addiction is claiming that smoking is a social activity, but smoking alone anyway when all my smoking buddies are busy.
  • Addiction is the tingling on both sides of my tongue, near the back, when I haven’t had a cigarette in 2 hours.
  • Addiction is knowing that it’s 10:15, because my tongue is tingling again.
  • Addiction is having sex high and not telling her.
  • Addiction is cutting a date short so I can go home and get high.
  • Addiction is not feeling myself until the third cup of coffee.
  • Addiction is that involuntary fluttering that my eyelids do after a double espresso.
  • Addiction is spending the afternoon running to the bathroom to piss out all the caffeine I had to drink in the morning to start my day.
  • Addiction is lying about how many drinks I’ve had already.
  • Addiction is drinking so much in the first 30 minutes of the party that I have to go lie down for an hour.
  • Addiction is Rumplemintz, pizza, and throwing up out the window into the courtyard the night before parents’ visiting day.
  • Addiction is giving a dinner party and getting high before the guests come.
  • Addiction is the very concept of an emergency joint.
  • Addiction is cigarette burns in the carpet.
  • Addiction is picking out burnt carpet fibers one by one before my parents come over.
  • Addiction is rearranging the furniture to hide the cigarette burns.
  • Addiction is a shirt, a bedsheet, and the afghan my mother made for me, now all with cigarette burns.
  • Addiction is leaving the party thinking I’m sober enough to drive, backing up the car, and realizing that I’m not.
  • Addiction is sneaking a cigarette before a date.
  • Addiction is knowing that washing my hands with Listerine does a pretty good job of hiding the cigarette smell on my fingers.
  • Addiction is a box in the back of my closet where I hid my cigarettes.
  • Addiction is keeping track of that box when I moved into a new apartment.
  • Addiction is the first cigarette on a Sunday night, after a sober weekend visting my parents.
  • Addiction is the sound of my ceiling fan, always on to help clear the smoke.
  • Addiction is never having quiet, much less peace.
  • Addiction is calling in sick because I was up until 6 AM getting high, sleeping until noon, and waking up and getting high again.
  • Addiction is going to the office at midnight while high and fixing a bug, just to say that I had done it.
  • Addiction is noticing that I use more global variables when I’m high.
  • Addiction is finding comments like /* drunk, fix later */ and /* too high to make this work */.
  • Addiction is getting drunk four times in one weekend.
  • Addiction is passing out on the Sherman Bus on the way home from an away football game.
  • Addiction is the burp in the morning that is one step away from throwing up.
  • Addiction is $500 worth of liquor in one cabinet.
  • Addiction is going to work and reading e-mails from myself from the night before that I don’t remember writing.
  • Addiction is a permanent towel under the door to block the smell of smoke from escaping into the hallway.
  • Addiction is being high when I heard that Princess Diana was in a car crash, and lighting up another joint later when she was confirmed dead.
  • Addiction is coming home at 3 AM from a long evening of movies at a friend’s house and immediately getting high, then waking up at 8:30 AM and going to work.
  • Addiction is the smell of smoke on all my clothes, sheets, towels, and furniture.
  • Addiction is the taste of everything, always the same.
  • Addiction is realizing that all of my friends at work are smokers too.
  • Addiction is smoking for seven years through four girlfriends and never telling any of them.
  • Addiction is realizing that I can never introduce my girlfriend to my friends at work, because they know I smoke and she doesn’t.
  • Addiction is the tiredness I feel after the third joint when I’m coming down but am too exhausted to smoke any more tonight.
  • Addiction is not having any programming projects for six years.
  • Addiction is not reading any books for six years.
  • Addiction is giving up playing a music instrument after playing it for eleven years.
  • Addiction is ordering “Dancing With Cats”. (This is why drugs and one-click shopping do not mix.)
  • Addiction is taking a box that my parents gave me engraved with the words “graduate with honors” and using it to store pot, pipes, papers, cigarettes, rolling tobacco, and ashtrays.
  • Addiction is the little crease I put in the paper before I put the pot and tobacco in to keep it from spilling out and getting long strands of tobacco stuck in my teeth.
  • Addiction is spitting out strands.
  • Addiction is a thousand little skills I wish I didn’t have.
  • Addiction is getting high on my birthday.
  • Addiction is the dog getting diarrhea, not on days that I get high, but on days that I don’t.
  • Addiction is getting caller ID and dividing the world into two groups: people whose phone calls I could answer while high, and those I couldn’t.
  • Addiction is not answering the door on Halloween because I’m high.
  • Addiction is scraping the bowl and smoking the resin.
  • Addiction is moist sticky tar on my fingers.
  • Addiction is having a folder of bookmarks to drink mix web sites.
  • Addiction is moving to the other side of the room to see if I’m higher over there.
  • Addiction is losing track of how many brands of cigarettes I’ve smoked.
  • Addiction is giving a friend a joint for her 30th birthday with an inscription that read, “Take years off your life while you still have them.”
  • Addiction is smoking while sick.
  • Addiction is a persistent cough.
  • Addiction is the taste of phlegm first thing in the morning.
  • Addiction is the dry roughness on the top of my throat that no amount of water can quench.
  • Addiction is the taste of Halls cough drops every day, despite the warning on the bag that said that they should not be taken for more than seven days or for persistent conditions such as smoker’s cough.
  • Addiction is unrolling the butt of a clove into a bowl and smoking it because I’m out of cigarettes.
  • Addiction is going to sleep high.
  • Addiction is being too high to sleep.
  • Addiction is learning to pace myself throughout the night so I could be sober enough to sleep.
  • Addiction is a cold sweat.
  • Addiction is a permanent stain on my pillow where my mouth rests.
  • Addiction is not being able to sleep sober.
  • Addiction is always dreaming of myself smoking.
  • Addiction is waking up feeling like my eyes are sunk into the back of my head.
  • Addiction is really messy shits.
  • Addiction is my heart racing after a fat joint and not knowing if it’s a heart attack.
  • Addiction is demons scratching on the inside of my skull.
  • Addiction is still drinking mixed drinks when everyone else has switched to soda.
  • Addiction is being recognized by all the clerks at the liquor store.
  • Addiction is keeping track of who knows what.
  • Addiction is a lot of lying to a lot of people.
  • Addiction is not being able to account for all my time.
  • Addiction is the constant fear of being discovered.
  • Addiction is sleeping on my own couch for months.
  • Addiction is waking up in the middle of the night to find that I had rearranged the furniture.
  • Addiction is gaining 40 pounds because I just wasn’t paying any attention.
  • Addiction is getting drunk on the weekends with my girlfriend because we couldn’t think of anything else to do.
  • Addiction is waiting for the knock on the door that never comes.
  • Addiction is the flashing of police sirens outside, and wondering if they’re coming for me, but they never do.
  • Addiction is wondering when someone will please notice that I’m a fuckup and come take away my apartment, my dog, my high-paying job, my charmed life, but no one ever does.
  • Addiction is smoking a joint and hearing a knock on the door, freaking out, looking through the peephole, seeing that it’s only my best friend, and then not letting him in until I smoke a cigarette to cover up some of the smell.
  • Addiction is knowing how to refill a Zippo lighter.
  • Addiction is the nod that means we’re all going to the back room to get high.
  • Addiction is an ashtray in every room.
  • Addiction is hiding the ashtrays before taking pictures of my new apartment to send to my parents.
  • Addiction is hiding the ashtrays before going out, on the off chance that we’ll end up at my place tonight.
  • Addiction is not being able to let my girlfriend into my apartment after she drove me home from a car accident because my ashtray was on my desk in plain sight.
  • Addiction is thinking about all the things I could do, but never getting anything done.
  • Addiction is thinking every year that this year will be different, then finding out it’s exactly the same.
  • Addiction is figuring that I’ll quit “someday”.
  • Addiction is trying to quit, and lasting eight hours.
  • Addiction is feeling like this is the only way life could ever be.
  • Addiction is always near.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like this.
  • Addiction is like that: the same thing repeated over and over until it drowns out everything else.
    — Mark Pilgrim

Millions of people in India legally use drugs responsibly every year, but many others use legal drugs illegally or use illegal drugs for recreation. A solid substance abuse definition is using legal drugs illegally for recreation and/or using illegal drugs at all. There are some general signs and symptoms that can be red flags of substance abuse; several treatment options for substance abuse also exist.

Abuse vs. Addiction

In some cases, substance abusers can abuse drugs according to the substance abuse definition without actually becoming addicted to them. For example, a person can drink more alcohol than he should, yet not become addicted to alcohol — at least not that time. The person might become addicted to alcohol after abusing it multiple times, but abuse doesn’t necessarily mean or lead to addiction. Even if a person never becomes addicted to a particular drug, the individual will still likely experience negative effects from the drug on the body.

Abuse vs. Misuse

Some people take drugs non-medically for pleasure but don’t exceed the prescribed dosage; this is referred to as misuse rather than abuse. Drug misuse is fairly frequent and generally not as harmful as drug abuse. For example, a person could take cough syrup with codeine in it as a sleep aid rather than to help suppress a cough. This isn’t likely going to negatively impact the person too much — especially if this is a one-time instance of insomnia rather than a pattern — but harm can arise from misuse when it turns into abuse due to needing more of a drug to achieve a satisfactory result. If a person continues misusing the cough syrup with codeine, for example, he could end up addicted to it due to continually taking more of it to sleep — and eventually because the body demands it.

Healing from addiction takes time. Making up your mind to stop using drugs is a big step. Being addicted makes you afraid of what will happen if you don’t keep taking the drug. I know it might be challenging but it is going to be worth it and your future self will thank you for the recovery.

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The following blog-posts will explore various types of substance abuse, signs, symptoms, treatments and other useful information. So, do not forget to follow.

What is your story of substance abuse? 

@akritiarora

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