Best way to explain heroin addiction to non-addicts and family?
The best books I have ever read on this are “Flowers in the Blood” and “The Scorpion’s Tail.” The first is a intensely researched, well-written (even funny, often) history of the use of opium and opiates throughout all history, including scientific studies, and the reafons people relapse both through personal accounts and scientific research, and stories of famous addicts and what they wrote about the attraction of addiction. The second is apersonal memoir of addictiom and recovery and it’s the best I’ve read. Also, “Drustore Cowboy” a movie with Matt Dillon that’s based on a real-life memoir the author wrote in prison, is one of the best depictions of the reasons addiction is attractive even when it’s wreckimg your life….
Trying to explain heroin addiction to someone who never tried it is almost impossible. I know for me the first time I shot heroin, it was like this missing piece of me that I didn’t even know was gone had been returned. It over time becomes your girlfriend, your wife, your mistress and your family, because as long as you have her you don’t need the others. The last way I have tried to explain to my family is that when I get out slam heroin everything is just ok. Your not happy, sad, mad, stressed etc., All of your emotions seemed to have been muted/dulled and your floating through life.
Addiction is similar to a habit.
Think of something pleasant you could do every day for 6 months, then for 3 years. Think of that familiar, warm, feeling you would get everytime before, during, and after that something.
Now shrink that timeline and multiply it by 10. It’s that you-can’t-get-enough taste.
One bit of whatever the addiction is, is like that warm feeling you got every day for 6 months, then for 3 years, multiplied by 10 all wrapped up into one .
On top of that, that feeling you would get everyday, before doing that something is like missing the regular dose; you feel something’s missing or you get a sickly feeling that you are deprived of an essential life force.
I’m sorry there’s been a misunderstanding…the addict in question is not myself (not in over 15 years at any rate)… I actually was trying to answer a question of someone else’s and somehow it got posted as my own…some good answers thoughand your concern is very heartening!
While some people compare the use of heroin to a euphoric experience, it is not like that at all. It is more like being a four year old in the winter. You curl up in your mom’s lap in front of the fire. You feel safe, comfortable, and like nothing in the world can ever harm you. As your body cycles in and out of intoxication, and it slowly fading away, the feeling of warmth and safety envelops you again.
for people who suffered abuse during childhood, or were neglected, this is a sensation they never experienced. they become addicted to it. if you have never felt safe in your life, it becomes easy to accept a false sense of security.