10 Drug addicts tell their story of daily drug warfare
What causes a person to enter the world of drugs? The truth is that there is no right rule or context. The stories below show this clearly. With the most varied family structures and levels of schooling of the most diverse levels, these real-life characters have something in common: the will to overcome the problem with drugs. All the stories reported here have a meeting point on their journey, that of recovery that is based on the strength of support groups. Here, they report how the Narcotics Anonymous (NA) program, a nonprofit and nationally presence organization, was (and still is) an essential part of life without drugs. 15 years and 5 months away from drugs
"Before the use of drugs, at the age of 19, I lived things. in my life, as a sexual abuse, they made me live as a character, because of shame, guilt and fear. , but increasing self-centeredness told me to control everything around me.This was my biggest tormentor as drug use took hold of the important things in my life.
I got married and became a mother at age 21 in the third year I got pregnant and my second child was never born because of the uncontrolled use of various substances.I graduated, I separated and often abandoned my daughter to the care of my parents when the compulsion took care of all my thoughts, wishes and attitudes. She was bankrupt.
The recovery came when I realized the change in my mother's life, which sought help in the family groups. I felt drawn by her example and wished with all the rest of strength and life in me to change, so I asked her for help. So I met a group of Narcotics Anonymous. Today I perceive virtues in me that lead me to healthy practices: sport, early waking, early sleep, having a life goal and recognizing my reason for existing make me pursue a spiritual purpose in difficult times. That's what really helped me. Only very truthfully can we recognize defeat. When I admit that I lost to drugs, I begin the process of counteracting the pleasure it destroys. It takes a lot of courage to change, so we need each other so much. "
Vinicius, 34, doctor, Pinhais (PR)
3 years and 7 months away from drugs
" I knew drugs in college medicine at age 17. I could not stop until I was 30 years old. There were 6 hospitalizations and many losses, not only financial ones. Love relationships, professional opportunities, and good family relationships were impossible. Running the risk of death was a constant during the period, but the worst was my limitation: I became a prisoner of compulsions. He lived to use and used to live.
It was when a colleague of his profession, who was also chemically dependent and is now deceased because of the disease, introduced me to the Narcotics Anonymous program. I've been on the road to recovery for nine years, but I've been clean for only three and a half years.
Three things were critical here: information, bottom-line, and admission. People do not know that this problem is a mental illness, and when you say this, everyone looks for other more plausible explanations: lack of character, bad will, lack of God, guilt of parents, traumas of childhood, etc. It's easier to see the problem this way. Without the information that this is a disease it is impossible to recover. In addition to society, the addict himself has difficulties believing that it is a disease. It was the moment that I decided to follow the suggestions given in the treatment and, almost magically, my life has only improved since then. At the beginning of my journey I did what I already knew should be done: I went to treatment regularly and avoided people and places related to the use. "
Matheus, 18, student, Florianópolis (SC)
1 year and 4 months away from drugs
"At the time, I lived with my father and brother, I started smoking marijuana and over time I used all possible substances. I identified myself in the crack and it was when my life began to destroy itself, I lost everything.My father had no control over me, I was still a minor.My father became ill, had cancer and after a month he passed away.
I felt destroyed, I lost my way and I started to live only because of the drug. Every day, every night, with rain and sun I was using it every time I wanted to use more, the drug no longer satisfied me as before. when my father's death brought me a spiritual awakening and I decided to go in. At that moment, my sisters came back to me and they put me into a therapeutic community.There I learned a lot about the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous and when I left, I attended NA meetings. I was very well received and
I thought I was going to die using it and today I have been apprehending that the NA is open to welcome me and help me. To stay away from drugs, I still need to watch myself, to know what I'm going to do. I avoid some people and places. Everything that is bad for me today I avoid. I try to decide everything in the most correct way, I calculate and I take the right attitude with responsibility. The first step to stop using is to have the desire. You have to want it a lot. It's hard, I know. Each day I make the decision not to use. I have the desire, I have the urge to stay clean. With all this I learned to preserve my life. The most important thing I have today is my life. "
Leyla, 24, student, Curitiba (PR)
94 days away from drugs
" I started early on using chemicals and alcohol. I was only 8 when I had my first beer. I started smoking cigarettes and marijuana at age 12. At 14, I used cocaine. She kept what she received from the allowance to buy drugs, sold things from the house. I even got a job, and on the day of payment, I spent everything on drugs.
I went deeper and deeper into the bottom until I had my first hospital stay. I ended up returning to the addiction, I was hospitalized another 4 times and, in the last, I left the institution and went straight to a group of Narcotics Anonymous, where I was welcomed, even if nobody knew my story. In my house, I was welcome.
To recover, it was important for me to move away from the 'friends', to avoid places I had walked before, and to change some of the impulsive attitudes I had taken before. Today, I try to be honest with myself and with the next one, diversion of places that could be of risk for my recovery. I seek to practice honesty, goodwill and an open mind. "
Roberta, 34, sales manager, São Paulo (SP)
9 years and 5 months away from drugs
" I was born into a family considered 'normal' for society, I had affection and affection, loving and caring parents. But very early on I had contact with alcohol, considered a light, acceptable drug, but when I was 18 I started to try illegal drugs when I entered college. My body demanded more and more and I always looked for new drugs. Finishing college, I moved to another state to do a new graduation and specialization, but also to stay away from my family, who did not know of my use. I had to interrupt my second graduation because the use became more intense.
I reached the bottom of the emotional, spiritual and physical well, I had to get help in a rehabilitation clinic. I went through a treatment and returned to live with my relatives in Paraná, I went to Narcotics Anonymous and I was getting 'clean' one day at a time.
Today I am married, I had a child, I worked, I recovered my self esteem, my faith and I believe there is life after drugs. In order to recover, the key word is desire, the person needs to feel this desire to stop using, avoid the companies and habits of the active and seek help, such as Narcotics Anonymous or a rehabilitation clinic. Alone I can not, together we can. "
Jeferson, age 38, marketing coordinator, São Paulo (SP)
4 years away from drugs
"Since pre-adolescence I have had an interest in getting along with older people to feel better than boys of my age (13 years) .This put me in contact with alcohol from a very young age. At the age of 17 I had contact with marijuana and at the age of 18. I enjoyed myself for the next three years, went to parties, met I was isolating myself, compromising stability in jobs, dropping out of school, girlfriends, and even close family members.
I went through institutions, I met Narcotics Anonymous, but only after a few months did I attend meetings, with the real desire to stop using and find a definite outlet for my drug problem.
Today I have a life that even in my dreams ma I was optimistic I could have. The desire to change came when I looked around and saw myself alone, with two alternatives: to give myself up and give up or try to change my life, give myself a chance and believe in something that worked for thousands of people, the Narcotics Brotherhood Anonymous. Today I've only been clean for 4 years and 29 days because I decided not to use one day at a time. "
Antonio, 35, professor, Joinville (SC)
10 years and 6 months away from drugs
At the age of 14, I started in addiction. I was not aware of certain things that happened, and when I realized the damage I was doing in my life and in my family life, I was totally out of the picture. I was hospitalized for a while and then sought recovery from the Narcotics Anonymous fellowship, where I continued my recovery process at the age of 25. At that time, he was a freshly educated teacher and had no direction in my life.
One thing the family can do to help is to put childhood photographs close to the dependent, photos of people he likes, person and at one time or another there may be a positive response. It is a slow but very efficient process.
I quit the addiction because of the love I have for my family and because I sought new horizons in my profession. I had to change some habits, I stopped going to certain places, I moved away from people who were doing drugs. I tried to play sports and improve my food, in addition to attending meetings in NA groups every day. "
Alice, 49, journalist, Rio de Janeiro (RJ)
18 years and 5 months away from drugs
"I started using drugs too early to be part of that 'cooler' gang. What was a joke became a weekly, daily habit. The loss of control quickly settled. I had a good family background and that was not enough for my values to remain solid.
Along with drug use, the deformation of character and personality became latent and I came to live to use and use to live, without sparing manners and means of using drugs. Completely bankrupt in all areas of my life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, family, and financial, I met the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous who offered me a new way of living free of drugs. For this, I needed to feel acceptance at the deepest level and to understand that the world owed me nothing.
Along with drug use, deformation of character and personality became dormant and I came to live to use and use to live, without sparing ways and means of using drugs. Completely bankrupt in all areas of my life: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, family, and financial, I met the fellowship of Narcotics Anonymous who offered me a new way of living free of drugs. For this, I needed to feel acceptance at the deepest level and understand that the world owed me nothing.
Serena, 35, municipal public servant, Serra Gaúcha (RS)
7 years away from drugs
"I started using drugs for fun, or at least that's what I thought at the time. I realized that I no longer stopped when I wanted to.I started to do things that I never imagined I would do.I hurt myself and others.I only asked for help when I had no other way out, when my mother, crying, said no I realized that I had taken money from her account, so I admitted that I lost control of my life, and that's when we started together to find solutions.
I found my place in the world, I did not feel alone anymore, I realized that recovery was possible and I keep coming back to keep what I have: a clean life, without drugs, I only looked for help when the pain to not change was greater than that of
I try to be with people who also live this new way, without drugs, I try to share with them my difficulties and my daily conquests, so let's go helping each other. Addiction is an illness, not a lack of character. It is a behavioral disease, with serious social losses, inclusive. It leads us to three destinations: institutions, prisons or death. The desire to want to stop is the key to recovery. My experiences have shown me how to have hope in any human being, no matter what he did in the past. "
Alisson, 28, lawyer, Curitiba (PR)
1 year and 9 months away from drugs
"I was born in another country and I came to Brazil at the age of 8 with my parents. Here I began to study and try to adapt to a new reality. Soon after adolescence began my use of drugs, a result, among other things, of my lack of acceptance. Drug use has lasted for 10 years, causing physical, mental and emotional unrest.
In 2012 I was admitted to a therapeutic community and there I met the Narcotics Anonymous program. After leaving the community, I believed that I could still use alcohol, a belief that made me reuse illicit drugs. In 2014, tired of suffering, I returned to NA groups and meetings, making sure that my place was there.
In addition to the honest desire to stop using, sponsorship, love and welcoming NA members. Today I avoid places and habits related to drugs. The first step was to move away from friends and dependent acquaintances.
My greatest learning has certainly been to accept being a person who has an illness, but be aware that I have a treatment. This learning took place slowly and gradually, but it was a relief and, thanks to that acceptance, I was finally able to open my mind and start my recovery. "
About Narcotics Anonymous (NA)
The nonprofit fellowship acts globally since 1953 and currently holds approximately 63,000 weekly meetings in more than 131 countries.In Brazil there are currently about 1,463 groups holding approximately 4,000 meetings per week.The NA groups receive men and women of all ages who understand that the drug is a problem in their lives.The regular meetings of the groups serve to help everyone stay away from the use.The aim of the program is for total abstinence from all drugs, including alcohol.
Narcotics Anonymous does It is important to emphasize that in order to be a member there is no discrimination of any kind, whether social, religious, economic, racial, ethnic, or gender. There are no enrollments or fees to become an NA member.
One of the keys to the success of the method is the therapeutic value of the work of addicts along with other addicts. Members share their achievements and challenges to overcome addiction, to live drug-free and productive, through the application of the foundations of the 12-step recovery program, which includes admitting that there is a problem, seeking help, performing honest self-assessment, admitting defects, repairing damages, and helping other addicts recover.
* The names of this subject may be fictitious to preserve personal anonymity.
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