During the last anecdote, we distinguished between the casual user of drugs and a frequent user of drugs. Our discussion continues with the frequent user of drugs. There is little to say about the casual user of drugs except to caution that this casual use does not turn into addiction.
A person under 20+ yoa (years of age) is most vulnerable, to further complication from drug use, because our human brain is not fully developed until our 20+ yoa. To our discussion the Orbital Frontal Cortex, the area in the front of the brain, right above our eyes that is responsible for our self-control is not fully developed until 20+ yoa, the area of the brain responsible for self-control. Addiction disrupts our ability to self-control ourselves. For more information see the video by Nora Volkow who heads the Drug Abuse Division of the NIH (National Institute of Health): https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=nora+volkow%2c+study+of+the+live+brain&&view=detail&mid=71AFD11A366AB2F7244771AFD11A366AB2F72447&FORM=VRDGAR.
We will concentrate on Opiate substance abuse, even though addiction is broader than substance abuse, we know of addiction to food as in a morbid obesity, addiction to gambling, addiction to pornography, etc.
Opiates is the substance that our prescription pain killers are based on, like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Percocet, Vicodin and the first billion dollars drug—Valium. Opiates is the substance that Heroin and Morphine are made of and there are synthetic opiates like Fentanyl. I will use the term “Opiates” to describe all the above substances and there is no need to distinguish between them, they all have the same effect on the body.
Symptoms of a frequent user of drugs
Some of the symptoms of a frequent user of drugs are:
- The child changes behavior in a short period of time. By a short period of time, I mean a period that is shorter than a year. So, for example, the child changes friends/best friend, changes interests, like: sports, music, pastime, etc.
- The child’s grades drop, all within that short period of time (a year or less).
- The child cannot hold down a job for very long.
- Small mishaps occur almost daily, like a fender bender, like being late, like having wrong directions to an important meeting, like forgetting an important task, etc. Those mishaps, each one of which, on its own, is meaningless, but considering their frequency as a symptom of an underlying cause, makes them very meaningful. They indicate that the child is constantly distracted and life cannot continue to tick normally. This symptom is telling because folks who are addicted to Opiates, in general, think of the next use of opiates, all the time. (An exception is Methadone, a person can use Methadone, get a high that is similar to that of Heroin but not think about the drug constantly to the point that they cannot hold down a job, or cannot function.)
- As the disease of addiction progresses, the child will lie and steal from you habitually. This behavior infuriates parents. Please consider the fact that your child is no longer in control; their self-control is not intact. You, as a parent, is witnessing the effect of a disease. This is not a cause for punishment. I am fully aware that the parent is in an internal conflict and dilemma. You, the parent, is left not knowing what to do, on the one hand you are not supposed to let the child lie and steal without some form of retribution, but on the other hand you are not supposed to punish your sick child for being sick. Use your Directed Free Association and/or Master Mind Alliance to find ways to encourage your child to attend a long-term rehab and NA (Narcotics Anonymous).
These symptoms do not have to occur all at once, so if you find a symptom from the above list that your child does not exhibit, don’t sigh a sigh of relief yet. Moreover, be aware that your child will tend to hide the symptoms that s/he believes are tell tailing about her/his addiction.
Next Anecdote: We will explain some points about addiction and the person using drugs
You are not invincible—Stew Birbrower
Together we march towards a destiny