According to the National Institute for Drug Abuse (NIDA), the majority of people try taking drugs for the first time either in high school or young adulthood. Statistics says many drug users start out of low self-esteem and necessity to feel ’cool’ and less miserable, to become a more ‘social’ person, to establish connections with others, gain recognition and approval of people they’re interested in. Such a decision is also often made under peer pressure or hard life circumstances. As addiction develops, it is transforming one’s environment in a negative way, making it more and more marginalized and drug-related, leaving supportive people and what was forming the addict’s life behind.
Close circles of connection like family, friends and colleagues are getting attacked altogether. Drug usage distorts one’s psyche and makes one’s already established attachments weaker by causing problems with judgment, decision-making, memory, attention and behavior on the level of chemical processes in the brain. So an addict is soon very likely to start acting under delusion of being not loved, not appreciated and not needed by the closest people, wrongfully treating them ‘in turn’. As one’s personality is falling apart with development of addiction, it’s becoming harder to both build new connections and conceal it from others, particularly at work. With failures in personal attachments come complexities in professional life, both doing one’s work and socializing with coworkers at the previous level.
Another significant problem appears to be either in inability to hold responsible or having to pass drug testing over certain period of time. Living with knowledge of one is constantly risking such an important parts of life as one’s self-confidence, personal or family financial well-being, social connections, respect of the others and social capital etc., creates an additional enormous amount of pressure that can quickly lead to emotional distress. And this goes in addition to an already problematic situation, as drug addiction in no way positively affects one’s competences and physical abilities to fulfill one’s duties. As National Survey on Drug Use and Health-2012 states, 17 percent of unemployed Americans suffered from addiction, compared to 9 percent of full-time workers. What’s alarming is that those numbers are self-reported, so actual ones may be a lot higher. The worst possible output here lies in losing a job and not being able to find one, what only worsens distress and really speeds up development of addiction, resulting into grave consequences at the end.
Despite listed consequences objectively being horrible, a drug user is unable to see them as they are and estimate properly sue to developing personality disorders. To a person such a situation might seem either non-problematic at all, or be considered as a temporary downturn that has nothing to do with one consuming drugs. Changes in brain occurring with progress of addiction cloud one’s judgment to the extent where one is willing to even advocate drugs as the only way of successful surviving ‘the tough period’.
So what normally starts with mostly good intentions later becomes a hell that is paved with those. And an addicted person enters the vicious circle, walking in there out of misery and social non-recognition and thus cutting the way back to any ability to establish healthy and supportive social connections and relations on all levels.