Earlier today I made a thread talking about a friend of mine, who I'm calling Vinnie, who has been my first hand experience of hardcore drug addiction. I've known this guy since daycare, since before I can remember, and we went to highschool together, so it was a challenging experience to watch him, during that time, start to get more involved with the darker social circles of our peer network, and within that, to see him become more and more involved with cocaine and especially heroin. It was a mark of social status back then, you know, to be in those circles and have access to those drugs. Over the years, Vinnie went through rehab twice, and his crap parents even sent him to the military (LOL I'll never forget this one photo of him, awkwardly dressed in the overbearing uniform of marines, holding a sword, with this confused and disdainful, feigned smile plastered on his homely face. Needless to say the military didn't keep him away from the drug culture or rehab later in life). And in this post I'm talking about my interactions with him after he had gotten out of his first release. He was, of course, greatly helped by rehab. He was sober and had a clear purpose and focus in his new, sober life. But there were some other effects of this experience for him. At the time he was of a mentality where he believed he had unlocked the secrets to life, and in talking to me, he assumed a role where he wanted to take a managerial role over my life. Later, he was greatly embarrassed by this, but I can understand what that feels like, and this just goes to show what a complete and all encompassing influence this 'ride' has over an individual person. Because this 'clean and sober' Vinnie was really a new thing for him. In the years before, in highschool, he had been a really reckless and unscrupulous individual, as is characteristic of people who are into hard drugs, where he would shamelessly take advantage of me and other people in his life, and all he cared about was, yes, the drugs, but also, at that phase in his life, his 'drug personality.' Because, like I mentioned, his eventual, veritable possession by heroin began as does all social development for young people: you are indoctrinated into a particular clique, and the cultural and behavioral codes, and the 'unwritten rules' of that clique, become your heart and soul, become everything you care about. So that, even without drugs, it's extremely common for young people to all but denounce their families, because all that matters to them is this new, exciting identity that can be experienced in that social environment. So it's interesting how easily drugs, even the really hard stuff, just kind of naturally fit into this already existing dynamic among young people. During this time I was sensitive to the position he was at in his life, and I didn't take offense to the awkward, imposing, and almost cult-like disposition he had; I did realize that, for him, this was still a great thing. It was surprising to hear him willingly and full-heartedly take an interest in a 'normal life' of work and longterm life-planning. So while the hardcore drug rehab centers in the US are definitely a finely tuned machine that seem to know, in detail, the in's and out's, the nuances of drug addiction, there is that tendency for people to become overly headstrong about this undeniably great accomplishment that these institutions help them to achieve, in getting off the stuff. I would definitely recommend rehab for anybody that is struggling with drugs: they know what they're doing and they will give you all the help possible able to be had in these dire circumstances.