What happens to ex-drug users down the road?

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Loves2spoon, Jan 29, 2011.

  1. Loves2spoon macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2010
    I've always been curious what happens to cocaine & meth users years down the road after recovery?

    After treatment they feel fine and go about normal lives but what about the psychological effects from killing so many brain cells...

    A friend of mine hasn't touched anything in years but is now complaining that he has flashbacks and overall does not feel like his old self. duh you smoked meth to get through college... :rolleyes:
  2. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a


    Nov 14, 2010
    I'm an Austronaut
    AFAIK there's no scientific evidence on how long a new behavior takes to become automatic in a person's lifestyle.

    Probably he's just fine, he justs want attention, and probably that took him to drugs in the 1st place.
  3. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    Well, if you have been addicted to any substance before, that is the most likely risk factor for becoming addicted to that substance again. If he is having flashbacks, he probably will have them for the rest of his life. Depending on the amount used, the ingredients in the drugs, the time they were used and if they were used in combination, the effects as he gets older may worsen. Meth is only recently been studied more for how it impacts long term users later in life.

    This only highlights a few problems.
  4. roadbloc macrumors G3


    Aug 24, 2009
    As an ex-drug user, all I can say is that it can often be a challenge to do anything, due to my head being elsewhere. However, the quality of my life has improved massively. I have a job and a baby very soon to on the way, the future is looking damn good atm.

    But yeah, just sometimes, I can't function because I'm either randomly craving or just random flashbacks. They have decreased with time, and hopefully will continue to do so.
  5. R94N macrumors 68020


    May 30, 2010
    Good for you :) I had no idea. I'm 15 I don't want to ever get into that kinda stuff, although I know plenty of people that have.
  6. ErikCLDR macrumors 68000

    Jan 14, 2007
    Relapse is a common occurrence. Environmental triggers play a huge role in this. For example, seeing a razor blade & piece of glass to cut on, or being in the neighborhood where they bought drugs in, or hearing a song they listened to when high, etc trigger the brain to want the drug. A lot of soldiers who were addicted to heroin in vietnam after moving back to the US suddenly became not addicted. It's believed since they weren't in the same environment there cues associated with the drug would not be there.

    It's not to say you can't get better. Rehab shouldn't be looked upon as a short term processes but rather a life long process for true addicts.
  7. ender land macrumors 6502a

    Oct 26, 2010
    This is true for most addictions or habits or behavioral things too.

    It is fun sometimes to watch my friends interact with their parents/family because I know them 100% outside that context. People definitely behave differently based on the different triggers around them.
  8. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    I've always been mildly bemused by the term "flashback" in reference to drug use. it's such a strong sinister sounding word that evokes images of an almost panic attack like state.

    I'm curious if anyone here has found the effect to be stronger than merely an emotional response triggered by stimuli you associate with a drug or even particularly strong mood or mindset.

    I personally find that music is a very strong trigger for myself, if I hear a track that I've listened to while in an extremely euphoric state hearing it at a later date will lift my mood considerably.
  9. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    ^ I love the way music has the power to invoke emotional responses in us. I also know just what you mean when people use the term "flashback". I find it wholly silly.

    As for the original question - I think it can vary hugely among the user, how much they used, what they used and what sort of mental stamina they maintain(ed). Some addicts really lose a part of themselves and even years sober you look them in the eye and it's as though something within them died. Others can be (or appear) just as vibrant as they were before they ever touched... whatever. Some just need time to discover a new and improved sense of self without their drug-crutch. Others use as a means to and end and "grow out of it" without ever caring to touch the stuff again.
    There's just no hard and fast rule for this at all. Such is often the way when you're discussing individuals.
  10. Steve Jobs. macrumors regular

    Feb 6, 2010
    Thats why I stick to Mary Jane. I don't ever have to quit because it makes my life BETTER.
  11. Rt&Dzine macrumors 6502a


    Oct 8, 2008
    Lots of successful people are ex-drug users. Steve Jobs and Bill Gates used LSD. Are you including alcohol? It's brain damaging.
  12. Mord macrumors G4


    Aug 24, 2003
    It is silly, I've always assumed it's either people making a bit deal out of the associative nature of memory or describing a somewhat different phenomena like HPPD which occurs in a rather longer period.

    That sums up what I was like with alcohol as a teen, as soon as I lost reason to want to escape I just stopped drinking in large amounts, then when I twigged even small amounts had a notably negative impact on my mental health I cut that out too.

    I know it's an oft stated thing, but I don't find I get addicted to things. I generally avoid anything addictive but the times I've dabbled I've never felt in a substance's grasp, the worst thing in that regard I've ever taken was tramadol and despite four days of utter hell, shakes, sleeplessness and depression I never had an urge to take more, the thought of prolonging things just did not appeal.
  13. Queso macrumors G4

    Mar 4, 2006
    Thread title should specify drug addicts rather than drug users. Most drug users just stop one day and carry on being a grown up with no ill effects from their drug use.
  14. NickZac macrumors 68000


    Dec 11, 2010
    It completely depends on what you use. There are certain 'drugs' that have killed people the first time they have used them. This seems to be most common in inhaling certain chemicals and using certain drug cocktails that cause severe respiratory depression at therapeutic levels and lethal levels at recreational levels. An example of that would be combining a benzo based drug, such as Ativan (lorezapam), with Oxy-Contin (extended release oxycodone). Both cause some respiratory depression on their own, but when combined, the drugs amplify each other. Adding something such as Benedryl will amplify the effect, and the stronger antihistamines, such as Phenergen (promethazine) are extremely powerful activators. As you amplify the effect of euphoria by chemically potentiating a high, you frequently, without active knowledge, will cause respiratory depression that can be fatal. Another thing that can affect how drugs act is grapefruit, which is occasionally used to amplify effects as well.
  15. AlabamaSlammer macrumors 6502


    Feb 8, 2012
    This is a MAJOR grey area. Just simply because everyone is different. You'll have some cases that have success stories, while others not so much..

    Are you wanting to know long term effects of an addict or a recreational drug user?
  16. davidblack1 macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2014
    I think all drug users are not harmful to the society and some of them are very known and recognized in the society like Steve Jobs.
  17. AustinIllini macrumors demi-god


    Oct 20, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Depends on the drug. If we assume we're talking big league drugs like heroin, it's not unheard of for people to grow out of it. Particularly heroin. Problem is, a lot of people don't make it that far.

    Edit: It's called "maturing out" and it's not as well documented as when addiction starts, but it is a real thing.

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