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Will a recovering drug addict ever been seen as something more than a drug addict?

Discussion in 'General Substance Abuse Discussion' started by richfootfastfate, Jul 2, 2015.

  1. I know a person who is in recover for 5 years now. But theres still this stigma "once a drug addict always a drug addict!" Will he ever gai the trust issue from his family or co-workers, which as right now they don't even know that he is one. For fear that they may look at him as a different person. He's afraid of losing his job etc.
    crc3thebest likes this.
  2. Totalarmordestine

    Totalarmordestine Senior Contributor

    Yes "once a drug addict always a drug addict" because it is a disease. A disease of which there is no cure. Every day is a struggle hench "one day at a time". "Trust" only in the fact he/she is fighting daily for control of their life.
  3. thepieeatingjay

    thepieeatingjay Senior Contributor

    Yes, give it TIME, but he must have different feelings about himself as well.
    I applaud this person that has changed. My sister and brother both grew up as drug addicts. Took them nowhere. Sister died not even knowing us she was so gone in other world by drugs. I lost my sister long before she ever really died.
    Brother in and out of jail. No future for him now. He has totally given up on having or owning anything in live. Also, my entire family trusted neither one of them. Again, I applaud this person, but......it will take a while for others to see him as he wants to see himself. Patience is something that he needs a lot of as well as support.
    Yes, they will change the way they have seen him but he must really be changed. If you are healthy then you will act and look health. If you are sick, you will shown signs of illness. I hope that made sense to you. In other words, if it walks like a duck...know what I mean.
    This is a tough road he has ahead of him but it will be so well worth it. He is going to have to walk through hot coals for a while, but there is an end.
    He must stop worrying what people think of him and today start living like he should and it will all shine through. If he worries it is a sure sign of going the wrong road again and therefore not to be trusted. He MUST TRUST HIMSELF and then others will follow. Some may never but you can please everyone even if you have NEVER done drugs at all.
  4. tarverten

    tarverten Senior Contributor

    Don't worry, some people who had coke and alcool problems can end up president...

    There are a number of accounts of substance abuse and otherwise disorderly conduct by Bush in his early years. Bush has admitted to drinking "too much" in those years and described this period of his life as his "nomadic" period of "irresponsible youth". On September 4, 1976, at the age of 30, Bush was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol near his family's summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. He pleaded guilty, was fined $150, and had his driver's license suspended until 1978 in Maine.
  5. blastguardgear

    blastguardgear Senior Contributor

    as long as he has not been in jail for it he should be fine with his employer. if as a drug addict he hurt his family/friends than that may take some time if never to get their trust back. also, if he stays clean and is honest, when he is straight people will see him as who he is now and not what he knows he was. when you meet someone for the first time, as they say, the first impression is the lasting impression
  6. shadowsupernature

    shadowsupernature Senior Contributor

    If he is recovered it is something from the past and by the way recovery is not easy a friend of mine had to go to rehab for a heroin issue he now looks at life in a much better way and has become a conselor that teenagers can relate to, So to me he is just my friend that works at a rehab.
  7. DancingLady

    DancingLady Community Champion

    I believe one can fully recover. I think the idea that once an addict, always an addict may be the most hopeless thing a person could hear. Were I in the shoes of such a person, I know I would have to refuse to think that way lest I lose the will to live because I can never be more than an addict.

    If your friend is committed to staying clean, treat him as if it never happened. He has been clean now for years, so he has proven ti himself that he can stick with it.
  8. serenity

    serenity Community Champion

    There is indeed a stigma that "once an addict, always an addict", so people will always be wary of them, since a relapse is still possible. But the recovering addict can make a fresh start and salvage his reputation by moving to a new city or state if it's feasible.
  9. crc3thebest

    crc3thebest Community Champion

    Well, sometimes setting a precedent before all will help out your friend. If he tells his testimony and what he has become now, many will understand rather than judge. Having a clear conscious before others is important to all those who have been through an addiction.
  10. Rainman

    Rainman Community Champion

    It's not easy to change how people view you [they'll always expect the worst] but it's not impossible to change their perceptions. An ex-addict needs to ensure that their change is reflected outwards. Everyone won't help but notice that they aren't the same person they previously were. It might take a while to earn the trust and respect they lost but if they don't lose hope eventually they'll reap the fruits of their hard work.
  11. pwarbi

    pwarbi Community Champion

    The stigma attached to an addict is something that's hard to shake off, but even if others never see you as anything else, what matters the most is how you see yourself and how your family and friends see you.

    People are often quick to judge anybody, in a way it stops them looking at their own lives and faults. At least a recovering or ex addict as made a difference to their own lives, that all that should matter.
  12. missbishi

    missbishi Community Champion

    It seems as though your firend has turned their life around. Staying clean for 5 years and holding down a job is no mean feat and he should be applauded for the efforts he has made. Yes, there will always be narrow-minded folk who believe an addict can never change but quite frankly, this says more about them than it ever will about your friend.
  13. mickella18

    mickella18 Active Contributor

    There will always be a certain stigma attached to known addicts even despite recovery efforts. Even if the person has displayed impeccable sobriety they will always be seen as a likely victim to the addiction and as being 'on the verge'. This is something that makes the recovery process even harder for persons and sometimes will lead to an onset or return of the addiction.
  14. mickella18

    mickella18 Active Contributor

    There will always be a certain stigma attached to known addicts even despite recovery efforts. Even if the person has displayed impeccable sobriety they will always be seen as a likely victim to the addiction and as being 'on the verge'. This is something that makes the recovery process even harder for persons and sometimes will lead to an onset or return of the addiction.
  15. Adrianna

    Adrianna Community Champion

    Yeah that can be an issue. Its kind of all in how you view yourself. It is like anything else. You decide who and what you are. Everyone has things happen in their past. Redefining yourself and your mental chatter is really important. Telling ten million people ten times over about something that is not true of yourself presently makes no sense. It also gives them cause to judge you. Let it go, let go of that person. Reinforce who you are now. If it comes up acknowledging it is ok. Its the truth but it doesn't have to define you now. The more you think and talk about it. The more other people will gravitate towards it. People love dirt, but what matters is how you, yourself feels about it.
  16. Coolkidhere

    Coolkidhere Community Champion

    I actually applaud him for his effort and what he has achieved already! And for me, there is no stigma when it comes to that. Yes, he might have been an addict, but that doesn't define his present or future life. If we live in the past, then we get stuck in it. We should live for the present and the future. And if an person has fully recovered, then why label him as an addict still? That's judgmental and stereotypical which can hurt a person who has actually been able to turn his life around.

    We should look at a person's achievements, his abilities and capabilities, not his past as an addict. Because we are very much the same, we may not have been addicts before but we did do some mistakes in the past. And that is what an addict did too, just mistakes in the past. And these should not be the measure of a person's worth.
  17. dyanmarie25

    dyanmarie25 Community Champion

    I don't know what to say about this issue. Well, the temptations are still going to be there, and the cravings might still be around, but I don't think we should discriminate a person just because he/she is a former addict. Let us give that person another chance to live a much better life without prejudices. I mean, he/she has already recovered in the first place.
  18. BrandonA

    BrandonA Active Contributor

    The role that others play is incredibly important to a drug addict's life. If that's the only way they see a recovering addict ("Once an addict, always an addict"), then it will seep through in their words and demeanor, and that's how he'll start perceiving himself. Needless to say, that's not good for his recovery prospects.

    OTOH, if they see him as a whole human being, he'll start seeing himself that way as well.
  19. kassie1234

    kassie1234 Community Champion

    I think with a lot of things of this nature it's one of those things that takes time. It can be hard if you've had trust broken over and over again - for some people in a former addict's life, it's hard for them to just open themselves up right away to trusting a person again. For me it took proving myself over and over again, and proving that being recovered was a life choice that I had committed to, rather than it just being a phase that I would fall out of, and fall back in love with drinking again.