An American Addiction Centers Resource

New to the DrugAbuse.com Forums?Join or

Can Watching Others Doing Drugs Make a Recovering Addict Stumble?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by Rainman, Dec 31, 2015.

  1. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    There are lots of recovering addicts who believe that they can resist the desire to use drugs even when they are around people who still use drugs. Fact though is watching your friends using drugs could evoke memories which would rather stay buried. Memories of "fun" you had when you used drugs and these can make you want to "taste" the drugs just to remind yourself of how it used to be.

    Don't test yourself if you can. Avoid people who use drugs and you'll be relatively safe.
  2. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, it really depends on the person, and their ability to control themselves when temptations arise. But yes, I agree with you, if possible, don't hang out with people who still use drugs. It's not good for you.
  3. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    It really depends on the person to be honest. As for "lots of recovering addicts", how do you qualify that statement? that just sounds like an assumption to me. Of course avoiding exposure to people and behavior that negatively impact recovery is important, I just don't think you can generically make these kind of statements.
  4. Jasmine2015

    Jasmine2015 Community Champion

    The recovering addict should also remember more than just the " fun" times. Like how about all those times you had to figure out how to get cash to get your fix? Or how about all the valuable friendships and family you may have lost to drugs? Or how about the times you or someone you knew had a bad reaction or simply overdosed?Does that sound like "fun"? I don't think so.
  5. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    Absolutely, remembering the horrible aspects as well is necessary. Looking back on substance abuse with rose colored glasses never a good idea.
  6. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I was a drinker (and briefly a smoker) and for a while I just couldn't be around people that drank or smoked for the very reason that I worried I didn't have the willpower to say no. I can say that several years later, I don't have the desire to go back to that at all (the smell of cigarettes literally makes me feel queasy, and I don't feel like I need to drink) and I can manage to be around it - but I wouldn't advise it for a while when a person is recovering. I think it's easier when something isn't tempting you visibly.
  7. JayLyn

    JayLyn Active Contributor

    Yes, I believe that watching other's do drugs can cause you to relapse into using again. Especially if it is friends and it is repeated behavior. Even watching strangers do it in a movie about drug use is asking to be put in a state of sensory memory which is unnecessary so why do it? Why would I willingly subject myself to something that wasn't going to do me any good and I didn't need to watch, if there was even a small chance that watching it would increase my chances of using again. As for being around it live, I can't see anyone who has ever used being able to be around people doing it for any length of time without doing it again themselves, period.
  8. HalfBeard

    HalfBeard Active Contributor

    I definetely see it as being possible. If you see others doing something you were once hooked on, the memories of the experience and how enjoyable it was probably come rushing back to you. The degree of how dangerous it is probably depends on the willpower of the individual as well as the degree of the addiction.
  9. oraclemay

    oraclemay Community Champion

    I think someone who is in recovery should avoid all temptation, this includes completely avoiding all persons who are into substances. There is usually a stage where you don't want it any more and it no longer bothers or tempts you, but this can take years for some. While you are still in the early recovery stages you are susceptable to falling back into the old ways. i is better to stay away.
  10. L_B

    L_B Community Champion

    I would say yes. I remember when I first met my husband. He was clean and hadn't smoked weed in some time. We use to go places where his friends would light up a joint and he always said no. I was so proud of him but then one day he took a puff and everything has been on a downward spiral since.
  11. Apollo545

    Apollo545 Active Contributor

    Yes. You need to be extremely careful about whom you associate with when you are recovering from addiction. If you surround yourself with other people who will get high around you, it's going to be tough not to get high yourself. If you have friends that already live a sober lifestyle, they will show you how to have fun without drug abuse and you will find it easier to stop altogether with each passing day.

    Find people that will help you be the best person you can be.
    pineywood likes this.
  12. deewanna

    deewanna Senior Contributor

    I agree that every time you see someone using drugs, you can be tempted to fall back into using it. Most especially if they are your friends or close acquaintances. The best thing is to try to avoid being around people taking drugs or whatever it is you are addicted to.
    pineywood likes this.
  13. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    For me, avoiding any triggers to that addicting substance is essential. Even if you say that you have already recovered, seeing another person doing drugs can make you feel certain emotions that you felt when you were doing drugs. There's also this peer pressure around you when you are with people who are doing drugs. So it is safer to just stay away from them completely, at least for me.
    pineywood likes this.
  14. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    That's a tough question to answer as a lot does depend on how strong a person is. Sometimes, even the strongest will in the world can succumb to temptation but even then it's important to treat it as just a relapse and try and carry on.
  15. Tsky45

    Tsky45 Community Champion

    I agree if your around something that you were addicted do, that's a bad idea. Bad company corrupts good habits. Most people I've met that overcame addictions say that they stay away from people that use what they were addicted to. If your trying to quit doing something it doesn't help to have it dangling in your face.
  16. ellyjude

    ellyjude Active Contributor

    It will vary with the type of person and his/her determination. For instance, when a person who was forced to start living a sober life watches others using the drugs then he/she has a higher chance of going back to his old deeds.
  17. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    People often get attracted to the same kind of people, so an addict will usually associate themselves with other addicts.

    When recovering, people will often find one of the hardest is replacing their friends with others and if they aren't able to do that, that's when a relapse is more common.
    pineywood likes this.
  18. FuZyOn

    FuZyOn Community Champion

    Definitely, even if you've never suffered from an addiction just imagine to place yourself in that spot. If you are craving Marijuana (for example) but you want to quit, yet people around you smoke it then.. it's not gonna end well. Stay away until you feel ready.
  19. pineywood

    pineywood Community Champion

    Spot on, Jasmine! Of course, I agree with others that it is important to guard yourself form hanging around people who are participating in this harmful activity in the first place.

    At the same time, this journey of recovery should always include not deluding yourself that you are missing out on a good time. Drugs and alcohol addiction is far from a bed of roses - more like a rose with thorns that prick you.

    Bottom line. Best to hang around friends that do not participate and at the same time to not dwell on addiction but never forget.
  20. kgord

    kgord Community Champion

    I think yes, watching others participating in an activity can influence your decision to use or act as a trigger. The same way that watching people smoke in the movies, can encourge you to smoke, or watching other people's eat fattening foods can encourage you to do so, watching people use drugs or drink can be a precursor to use.