Can Addicts Keep Addiction A Secret

father and daugterIn the late 1980s the Partnership for a Drug-free America ran an ad campaign with the premise that no one says, “when I grow up, I want to be a junkie”.  It’s a simple idea but one that holds true, of the millions of addicts worldwide, you would be hard pressed to find one that said that their life turned out exactly as they imagined it would when they were a child.

People start to use drugs for a wide variety of different reasons, but none set out with the idea of destroying their own life by becoming hopelessly dependent on a substance.  As drug use escalates into addiction most users go to great lengths in order to conceal their use.  While they may consider their addiction to be their own “dirty little secret”, is it actually possible to keep addiction a secret?

Signs of Drug Use

If you are worried someone you love may be using drugs, don’t expect them to tell you.  By nature drug addicts are secretive because of the social stigma associated with using drugs.  Also buying, possessing, and using drugs is illegal, so if you are a family member or authority figure,  no addict is going to come clean about their drug use to you.  Lastly, loss of control is a part of drug addiction, so most addicts are not proud of the things they do.  Most gravitate to surrounding themselves with other users over time and cut connections from the non-using people in their lives.

If you want to know if someone is using drugs, you have to become a sort of detective.  Drug use causes major changes in a person’s life, all of which are easily observable.  The only tricky part is that these may be indicative of things other than drug use, so you need to take time and be sure.

Things to look for include: behavioral changes, defensiveness, extreme mood swings, lack of interest in personal hygiene, blocks of time that are unaccounted for, being secretive, blaming, radical changes in friends, and a lack of interest in activities that they used to enjoy. 

Individually each of these should bring up a red flag, but a combination of most of these changes is a strong indication that a person is currently using drugs.  If you want to discuss potential drug use with a loved one it is best to try and non-confrontational and supportive approach.  Expect that this will be a difficult process because even though the addict knows what they are doing is damaging their life, they have on some level made peace with this and decided to keep using drugs.

An Addict Who Kept His Secret

John is an addict that says before he came to the Narconon program he was able to keep his heroin addiction a secret.  He says he was functioning well enough that no one really knew about his addiction and that even though things appeared to be going well, he was very sick at the time.

John is an example of a person who probably exhibited several indicators of drug use that no one ever asked him about.  He describes his life as a constant struggle to get and use drugs because he was unable to function without them.

After completing the Narconon program John says he is now able to re-enter his life drug-free and he has developed the tools necessary to stay that way.  He says Narconon gave him his health back and saved his life. Watch his complete video to hear about the other gains he experienced in his program.

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