“Mom, I’ve always been an addict”

My son says he was an addict before he tried an addictive substance.

How can one be an addict before becoming a ‘user’?

It’s an interesting premise although hard for me to understand: can it be true that a person has more than a predisposition to addiction? Was he born with a vulnerability gene? An addiction gene?

This seems to fit within the argument of nature vs nurture. How much of ones character is formed by the person you are born as, compared to the environment within which you grow up?

I’ve asked my son when and how and what happened the first time he used. He says quite openly that he sought out heroin. He knew a friend that used (who also abused alcohol) and pressured her into connecting him to a dealer. He was determined enough to persuade the friend until she gave in. I know how persuasive my son can be. I now wish that that ‘friend’ had arranged for him to have been dissuaded somehow: have sex, give him a placebo, beat him up, anything – rather than let him try junk.

He said he needed pain relief. He was depressed. He needed an escape. He also felt that addiction could never happen to him. That he knew better and would not let it control him. But how could he have known?

When I was young it was common knowledge that heroin was the most addictive. One hit and there was no going back to your life as before. It was enough of a warning to steer clear. I didn’t know any users or dealers. But I also had no desire or ‘need’ to try heroin.

Why wouldn’t my son heed the warning?

Baby_1_ sJohnsen

 

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