Those who use drugs and become addicted at some point come to the situation that they are willing to lie, steal and hurt their family and closest people. In such moments the most important is the need for regular doses. Addicts and their family members who unknowingly becomes a co-addicted know the best about what irreversible consequences on human life leaves the drugs.
Maria: "I have two sons. They were engaged in different kinds of sport - judo, tennis, ice hockey, but the most of football, being successful in Latvian and participating in international events. The eldest son joined the university, but the youngest began to slide down - he replaced sport achievements on drugs. At the beginning it was pot and tablets. Money began to disappear from home and I was forced to hide it. The drug addiction nightmare continued for 8 years. I didn't want to live and I have lost hope that something can help him, because all attempts failed. All grief I experienced is impossible to express in words. Son himself was not willing to seek help, and many told me to banish him from the home. How can a mother expel his son from home? However, not seeing another exit, after another lies and new missing belongings, I drove my son from the home. At first he lived with his addictive friends, but after robbing them, he began to live in the stairwell. And after a while he turned himself for help. It's been 5 years since the son does not use drugs. He has a job, a charming wife and daughter. For me it was not easy, but only now I realize that I could not do otherwise. "
Co-addiction is a serious disease caused by an addictive people who use drugs, alcohol or are addictive on gambling, computer use and a variety of addictive substances. Co-addiction results in a form of emotional and psychological dependence on the other person's behavior. Psychotherapists indicate that co-addicted usually considers the problem of another as their own and in an attempt to rescue addicts and does not let them to take responsibility for the consequences of their actions. Co-addicted has been taken over by the rescuing, that’s why their needs become secondary. Often, family members feel ashamed of the fact that in their family is a person who has become addictive on the drugs, so they tend to hide this fact from others and find a variety of innocent explanations depending on the action. The longer this person does not seek a help, the more the disease destroys him psychologically and physically.
Karlis: "My wife and I have suffered a lot because of our son. He carried out from home items and jewelry, regularly lost money, for which he bought the drugs. More than once he was beaten in various disputes, regularly we found him at the police stations, even in prison. I will not tell about such banal things as “for parents their children always remain children, regardless of their age”. At the time when in my arms I brought my child - inflated with the heroin - to the hospital intensive care unit, I cried and prayed - my son, please do not die! We had tried a variety of possibilities in order to save him, but he always resumed using drugs. In all faults of life I was used to blame myself. I did not cared insufficiently, did not pay the necessary attention, did not raise properly. Nowadays there are those times that even adults can barely cope with their own problems - not even talking about teenagers...".
Psychotherapists emphasizes that the first step in the recovery process is additive’s conscious and dependent desire. In order to take responsibility for their actions, addictive himself has to make a choice, just as it was made at a time when he began to use drugs. Co-addictive must be able to distance themselves from the dependent emotionally and need to learn to say "no." Often the person himself can not cope with co-addiction, so he must seek the help of psychotherapists and engage in co-addicted parent support groups. Karlis and Maria turned to the association "Independence Balt." for help and their sons completed the rehabilitation program in the social adaptation centers.
Anyone who is interested can get free consultations and seek the assistance in social adaptation centers. More information about support options for those experiencing alcohol and drug abuse and addiction problems is available on the association’s website www.neatkariba-balt.lv or by calling the telephone numbers 22318291, 29241578.
Publication has been prepared with the financial support of the EEA Financial Mechanism and Latvian state. Association „Neatkariba Balt.” is responsible for the content of this publication.
Association "Independence Balt." is implementing information campaign "Help for parents!" in order to draw more attention to their child behavior that might indicate drug use.
Associations "Independence Balt" volunteers, with the financial support of European Economic Area Financial Mechanism and Latvian state regularly conducts informative work in the different areas of Riga city and various Latvian cities, where they are speaking to people about various drug use symptoms than can be acknowledged and they can look for help as soon as possible.
Those whose children have used so called “legal drugs” and is now trying to return to a full-fledged life, encourages other parents to keep track of their children's daily habits and behavior. If a young person is taking any of the drug types - psychostimulants (such as "ectasy", amphetamines, "speed"), opiates (heroin, "crocodile", methadone, raw opium, codeine containing preparations) and vegetable mixture ("spice", JWH , "crack", "chamomile") - the symptoms of use tend to be in different ways. In cases where drug use for a young person causes hallucinations, they are perceived as reality and people no longer are in control of their mind and behavior, becoming dangerous to yourself or others.
Symptoms of psychostimulants use
Psychostimulants are one of the deadliest preparations because even short-term usage may result in psychosis, schizophrenia, phobias and major brain damage. In the case of long-term use, the person becomes mentally and physically weakened, it loses weight and ages fast. In the psychostimulants intoxication condition user's eyes pupils narrows, the heart beats faster, there is a increased activity, fast talking, often in a reduced tone, incoherent expression of thoughts, during a conversation changing to the unrelated topics. After a few days of use, in some cases, may appear hallucinations, tracking mania and panic fear. In abstinence condition psychostimulants user is increasingly sweating, is sleepy, pale, depressed, irritable and funky.
Symptoms of opiate use
All narcotics of opiate group are extracted from poppies and contrary to psychostimulants, they cause euphoria condition that disables the user and cause peace. Even after one or two times opiates can cause user’s mental and physical dependence. Long-term use of opiates rapidly weakens the body's immune system and use of non-sterile syringes promotes infection in the veins, spread of the virus in the liver, pneumonia and blood poisoning. Opiate’s use drains calcium from the user's bones and teeth and step-by-step destroys the whole organism. Opiate intoxicated user's eye pupil becomes narrow, badly they see in low-light case and does not react to lighting changes. Users are tormented by insomnia, characterized by paleness, stretched and slow pronunciation and in the conversation they focus on the same subject. In some cases, a person can be enthusiastic, cheerful, good-natured and sharp-tongued. In abstinence condition user becomes aggressive, eyes pupils are expanding, observed pain in joints and muscles, runny nose and chills, abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, depression and insomnia. If drug-addicted use period is not long, the symptoms may be limited to the mood deterioration, languid, sleepiness and irritability.
Symptoms of smoking plant mixtures
Smoking herbal mixtures are composed of special substances - synthetic cannabinoids - that very quickly brings addiction and a smoker are no longer able to control his own emotions, creating the risk of tragic outcome. Vegetable mixture smoker's psyche has been damaged by smoking with the first times, gradually undermining the whole body, especially the lungs and kidneys. There may be chronic disease spreading in respiratory tract, high risk of malignant tumors in the bronchi, larynx, pharynx and in oral cavity.
Intoxicated user’s eyes pupils slightly expands, whites of the eyes become red, appears luster in the eyes, facial pallor and dryness in mouth. Person’s attention is unstable, inadequate, intermittent pronunciation and behavior, sometimes appearing hallucinations and increased appetite. Similarly, as using opiates, in abstinence condition person becomes aggressive, depressed and afflicted with sleep disorders or insomnia. The user has temperature, runny nose, cough, pain in bones and joints, which is similar to cases of cold.
Riga Psychiatry and Narcology Centre is certifying that the plant mixtures effects are similar states to psychosis, expressed anxiety, and other feelings that are difficult subject for therapy. Experts recommend parents to pay careful attention to child's daily habits and leisure time with friends. In the young person's behavior may appear mystery, secrecy and isolation from their parents and the closest people, frequent being outside the home, change of interests and friends, avoiding studies. Young person's nervous system gets out of control, so the reaction to what is happening around can be slow and a person looks very calm, even sleepy and lethargic, indifferent to what is happening around or on the contrary - the reaction is accelerated and impulsive, a young person is agitated and irritable.
With the formation of young people’s addiction strengthens a denial against the consequences of drug use and the illusion that at any time he is able to stop. Potential remarks and questions from parents about behavioral changes can be perceived as an attack, worsening mutual relations and trust. Long-term and regular use increases drug dosage and the user will use any means to buy it. Well timed turn for help and relatives' support is only the first step to get rid of drug addiction, but it is possible.
Anyone who is interested can get free consultations and seek the assistance in social adaptation centers. More information about support options for those experiencing alcohol and drug abuse and addiction problems is available on the association’s website www.neatkariba-balt.lv or by calling the telephone numbers 22318291, 29,241578.
Information prepared by the project "The development of work of NGO Independence. Balt. for increasing the quality of life of addicted and co-addicted people in Latvia” information coordinator Linda Kalnina
On December 20th, 2014 the associations’ "Independence Balt." team went to the orphanage to meet the children and spend some fun time together.
Driving for 120 km in a sunny and very slippery road, we finally arrived in the village, which was the long-awaited journeys destination. Children greeted us with a smile and waited curious what surprises we have prepared. It can be noticed that by participating in such charity events, both children and team members become happier. Our visit was accompanied by laugh, fun and development of a closer friendship. The way how children every time await us is a sign of a grateful result.
As acknowledged the representatives of the association, "such visits are a positive drive that motivates not to stop and move on forward. Thank you all, all, all those who were involved in the event and helped to implement it."
On October 12th 2014 in the Balvu district, rural municipality of Lazdukalns the association’s "Independence Balt." members and volunteers organized environmental clean-up campaign "Pure heart - clean city".
Such activities have become a tradition of our NGO since its beginning. It was an ordinary October day of autumn, when the earth is covered by red and yellow foliage layer. Volunteers armed with rakes went to clean up the local school territory. Clean and beautiful surroundings - it is each person's wish. It is possible to fulfil it only if in the heart there is order and purity.
At the end of activity the school administration expressed gratitude for the assistance provided by the school territory cleaning. So the campaign is a successful!
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