“First the man takes a drink…then the drink takes the man.”

  -Irish Saying

Substance abuse is, at its roots, a thief. The thief has many routes into its victim: swallowing, smoking, snorting, and injecting are among the most common. Some of the substances include prescription meds, nicotine, heroin, alcohol, marijuana, and meth. Abuse of these substances is a thief of your time, energy, and focus. They want nothing more than the entirety of you or your family members’ one and only, unique life.

Robs You of Focus

No other drug dependence is talked about more openly at the office than the mostly harmless caffeine addiction. Who hasn’t heard, “Sorry, I’m not thinking clearly. I haven’t had my morning cup yet.” The side effects for me and others missing our morning Joe includes headache, lack of focus, and fatigue to name just a few. Coffee is usually a harmless addiction. However, even with caffeine, there are people who actually experience flu-like symptoms. Now, we acknowledge, people aren’t lining up in droves to kick their caffeine addiction and we aren’t suggesting they should. However, it highlights an important point. Substance abuse robs you of your focus. It’s not just the heroine addict shaking and aching until they inject. Substance abuse creates an overwhelming need to ‘get one’s next fix’. Going without can make you mentally unfit to complete daily tasks of living, much less work-related tasks. The only thought in your head is “I need”…a drag, the glass, a needle… Substance abuse robs you of mental clarity, focus, and creativity. Eventually, you find yourself waiting in line, seeking the next hit, and willing to spend any amount of money to get it.

Substance Abuse Takes Your Money

The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that “Substance abuse costs our Nation over $600 billion annually”. Let’s put the zeros to it: $600,000,000,000! Instead of creating memories with your income, substance abuse slowly takes every last dime. Additionally, we often see victims of substance abuse first realize there is a problem when they lose their job and their income. The financial fallout means substance abuse takes your unique pursuits: hobbies, movies, books, gym memberships, to name a few. Substance abuse takes your finances and makes them its own.

Substance Abuse Vandalizes Health

Substance abuse is a truly, physically toxic behavior. Just imagine for a minute how many father and son relationships have been cut short by the thief nicotine and its companion, lung disease alone.

Substance Abuse vandalizes your health:

  • Cardiovascular disease (including high blood pressure & heart attack)
  • Stroke
  • Cancer
  • Hepatitis B and C
  • COPD (other lung diseases)
  • Mental dependency and disorders

In addition, substance abuse vandalizes the health of others:

  • Fetal alcohol syndrome or dependency
  • Second-hand smoke has over 250 toxic chemicals
  • Increased spread of infectious diseases
  • Impaired driving and motor vehicle accidents

Substance abuse can create debilitating illnesses that limit your activities and even your breath for years. It enters your body and wreaks havoc on your immune system, heart, lungs, brain, or throat. The vandal leaves its mark inside you for the rest of your shortened life.

Swindles Your Time

Time is the most valuable commodity we have. Right now, stop. Imagine your perfect day for each question:

Where are you?

Who are you with?

What are you doing?

For most people, substance abuse moves us away from the moments we love. This toxic relationship whispers that a few moments with it is all you need. As with all swindlers, this is a lie.

Its name is TIME.

Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds.

Every night it writes off, as lost, whatever of this you have failed to invest to good purpose.

It carries over no balance.

It allows no overdraft.

Substance abuse insidious deception leads millions to invest their precious commodity, time, in the meaningless pursuit of a dead-end, toxic relationship.

Poaches Your Relationships

For most of those in recovery, the most painful thing the thief takes is their relationships. Substance abuse slowly picks them off one by one. Unfortunately, it usually starts with that one truly caring friend who says, “Hey Bob, you haven’t seemed yourself lately. Is everything OK?” Substance abuse then poaches its first relationship. “Who is he/she to get in my business?” The disintegration that follows can be slow and painful, like a bandaid coming off a little at a time. With more toxic substances, it can be a rapid descent into loneliness and isolation. Either way, you end up alone in your room with your cat, the TV, and your toxic relationship with a substance.

Hope is Found in Removing Toxic Relationships

“A bad relationship is like standing on broken glass, if you stay you will keep hurting. If you walk away, you will hurt but eventually, you will heal.” ― Autumn Kohler If you are in a toxic relationship with a substance, there is hope. It is found in walking away. Undoubtedly, leaving will hurt for a time but you will heal. Don’t spend another day settling for less than your full purpose. Our staff is trained to companion you out of your toxic relationship and into the unique life you were put on this earth to live.

Call 502-451-1221 or email  tmcinfo@themortoncenter.org  and our addiction counseling team will determine the most effective treatment program for you.

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