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Grief and Drug Addiction?

Discussion in 'Dual-Diagnosis Treatment' started by hanno, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. hanno

    hanno Member

    I was wondering if anyone else had the experience of turning to drugs after the loss of a loved one.

    For myself, I started using prescription pain killers, then heroin, after my mother passed away. I was in my early 20s, and looking back, believe that I'd been depressed for much of my teens. I had a difficult relationship with my mother, which almost certainly compounded the problem. The situation propelled me into an even deeper depression, which I wasn't equipped for whatsoever.

    I'm wondering what others have experienced. How was your relationship with the person you lost? What do you think you were trying to suppress with your drug use? I'd love to hear your thoughts!
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  2. jwmann2

    jwmann2 Member

    What you just described is very common. The teen years are very hard emotionally, we are so fragile at that stage. I just wish people would reach out to physicians for Prozac prescriptions during times like these rather than turning to heroin or alcohol. Hope you've since gotten better. I lost my step-father in 2009 and prayed and prayed for the strength to make it through without being depressed. It worked. I've found peace with his death.
  3. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    Many people don't know how to deal with grief. Their unwillingness to accept what has happened may force them down a dark path but using drugs though it might numb the pain for a little while will not change anything. I know someone who started drinking when his wife died. He couldn't stop drinking even after his wife was buried.

    There's but one way to deal with grief IMHO. Embrace it. Allow yourself to feel the pain but treasure the good memories and they may give you something that will make you happy in the end.
  4. Ali16

    Ali16 Senior Contributor

    One of my addictions came back with a vengeance when I lost a family member last year. It took me a good 6 months to get it back under control, so I say there is certainly a correlation.
  5. MyDigitalpoint

    MyDigitalpoint Community Champion

    When my parents denied me the opportunity to date (or at least try) with the person I was in love with, I found in alcohol a way to "relieve " my pain while taking "revenge"? of my parents for making my life miserable without such person.

    However when my father passed away two decades later, I drank in excess despite I had already recovery from my alcohol addiction.

    In fact I began to drink since before he passed, fearing this was going to happen, but rather than helping me to cope with the pain, it added a new one up to date; I was so drunk that I can't remember if I could kiss him at least and say good bye.

    Even though, this fact made me realize that drinking wouldn't help and I stopped shortly after and recovered again from such relapsing moment.
  6. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    Well, no, I have never turned to drugs due to the loss of a loved one. I have went through some episodes of grief, and depression though, but I just try to pour all my emotions into writing. It has always worked for me.
    deanokat likes this.
  7. zaerine

    zaerine Community Champion

    When I experienced that lost, I never turned to drugs. I experienced depression and avoid places and people but glad that I did not turned into drugs until I feel a bit better little by little. I turned to reading books about how to overcome grief and also writing poems and other things.
    deanokat likes this.
  8. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    I really sympathise with your predicament and the fact that you lost your mother. Positive things and what should have been are sadly reflections and are done in retrospect. I observed in many places that drugs are used by some as a coping mechanism in times of grief. The poignant question to ask yourself and soul search about is, would your mother have approved of your addiction? If not you are committing an injustice to yourself and posthumously to her. Drugs are a false refuge which turns out to be a lion's den.
  9. Vinaya

    Vinaya Community Champion

    Grief, anxiety, depression, pain, frustration, loneliness are some of the reasons for drug addiction. Though some people begin drug abuse as a curiosity or to get high, most of the time despair, loneliness and hopelessness lead to drug addiction.
  10. JohnBeaulieu

    JohnBeaulieu Community Champion

    Grief is a tremendously powerful and personal thing to contend with. I can see how it can play a part in the path to addiction or even in relapse. It isn't easy to process feelings like grief and people sometimes make very unhealthy choices attempting to do so.
  11. remnant

    remnant Community Champion

    That is quite true. I have observed in my place that people usually head to the bar during burials to quench their grief. But it has to be said that whether to take drugs or not is a matter of personal choice. I believe that the stresses of life are meant to make us stronger to better handle future adversity. Doing drugs is a deep hole that is easy to enter but a difficult one to extricate oneself from.
  12. danjon

    danjon Senior Contributor

    Yes. Depression and drug abuse are comfortable bed fellows. Sadly, they are also self-reinforcing, too. Once they take hold, it is very difficult to break their vicious cycle. I been there. I know.