Whether it is obtained from a doctor or purchased on the street, opium-based drugs are highly addictive. Due to the highly addictive nature of this substance, those who use heroin for recreational purposes develop a dependency causing the person to express drug seeking behaviors. Drug seeking behaviors develop when a person lives in fear of the withdrawal symptoms from the substance and do anything necessary to maintain a constant supple of heroin or opiate-based substance. This includes manipulation and criminal activities.
Once their bodies depend on heroin to function, heroin addicts develop manipulation tactics to maintain their addiction. Here are 5 ways heroin addicts use manipulation:
- Unhealthy Relationships: Heroin addicts develop unhealthy relationships to maintain their supply of heroin. They will develop a relationship with their drug dealer, encourage their friends to do heroin with them, find romantic partners who also shoot heroin, and get involved in gang activities as a means to always have a connection to someone who is addicted to heroin like themselves. These relationships continue the cycle of addiction and often cause mental and physical health problems. Sexually transmitted diseases, sexual trauma, incarceration, criminal activities, and illnesses associated with sharing needles are just a few of the risks they take by developing unhealthy relationships in maintaining a constant supple of heroin.
- Verbal Abuse: Addicts will verbally abuse their family and non-addicted friends in order to manipulate them into giving them what they need to obtain heroin. To their family, heroin addicts may become dishonest or act aggressive when they ask for money or caught stealing for their addiction. They may blame others for their current situation or play a victim in order to manipulate family members in getting what they want.
- Doctor Shopping: This manipulation tactic is used in obtaining opium-based pills from their local ER or family doctor. The heroin addict will go to different doctors either at a hospital or a primary care physician and claim they are experiencing an illness that requires opiates. They may even go as far as to actually inflicting physical harm on themselves to manipulate a doctor into writing a prescription.
- Suicidal Threats: Heroin addicts may threaten suicide in order to convince their loved ones to help them obtain heroin and avoid withdrawal. They may guilt-trip or prey on their families’ emotions in helping them feed their addiction. This manipulation is often done on the mother and father because the addict knows those family members love them and will take care of them.
- Self-manipulation: In order to maintain their cycle of addiction, the addict will manipulate themselves. In the beginning of their addiction, they may live in denial. Constantly telling themselves they are not addicted or convince themselves that their druggy-friends are worse off than them. They may constantly tell themselves that they can stop anytime they want or will quite tomorrow or in the near future without fully committing to what they promise themselves. They might cause a constant state of fear in their mind of the withdrawals or create a scenario inside their head that always leads to them shooting up heroin. They convince themselves they are the victim or constantly tell themselves they deserve this lifestyle.
In Jake’s True Stories of Addiction video, he explains how he used manipulation to maintain his addiction to heroin. Whether it was his friends, family, or manipulating himself- Jake manipulated everyone around him to maintain a supply of opiates and feed an addiction their jeopardized this life and well-being.
The wrath of addiction took a hold of Jake’s life when he was 20 years old and he introduced to his best friend, Heroin. He fought for many years to get his life back and failed more than he can count. He thought he was going to die a junkie, thanks to his father and a 12-step program he is alive and living a life he never dreamed possible.
Jake grew up in an amazing home with fantastic parents. His father was a hard worker and always made sure there was food on the table for Jake and his two siblings. Jake felt like his siblings got the upper hand in life. His younger brother got whatever he wanted, his sister was the golden child, and then there was Jake, just trying to fit in.
The Safe Place
There was more to Jakes life than meets the eye. Jakes mom had a drug problem. She would make up stories about why she was always in bed and Jake never thought anything of it, until one day he saw something that changed his life forever.
“At 12 I remember picking my mom up off the floor in front of our front door and that really opened me up to what was going on and my dad finally came clean and the family like it was just our dirty little secret, you know,” Jake said.
After that Jake did not feel safe anywhere. He felt like he wasn’t safe at home because of his mom’s drug problem and he wasn’t safe at school because he was picked on a lot. He was lost and did not know what to do or where to go anymore. The only safe place he had was his grandma’s house; she was a pivotal person in his life.
Jake became depressed about his mother’s drug problem.
“I remember writing in my notebook ‘I hate my life’ and my mom reading it and her breaking down and saying like, ‘you never say that, you might not like your life at this point in time but you never say you hate it.’”
Jake felt like he was getting punished for feeling, felt like he didn’t belong at home and just wanted to go to grandma’s house, to his safe place.
Now Jake is in high school. He got on the football team and he found a new safe place but it didn’t last for long. He ended up breaking both of his bones in his leg and he couldn’t play anymore. He was once again lost and felt like he didn’t belong anywhere.
Then he found out his dad smoked Marijuana.
“My dad does it why not me.”
He got really into Marijuana and started to sell it. He was soon the guy you went to that could get you any substance you needed.
Cocaine ended up coming into play his senior year of high school and then he was introduced to pills. Pills were Jakes downfall. He could stop doing the cocaine cold-turkey but when it came to the pills he couldn’t turn away.
“[the pills] started a weekend thing and then it became like an every other day thing and then it just became an everyday thing.”
He ended up getting kicked out of his dads for coming home late with a drunk girl. So, he went back to the girl’s house and she was smoking something on foil.
“I thought it was oxy and it was Heroin. The moment I took a hit of that it changed my life.”
It did not change his life for the better. He did not know what it was like being a slave to a drug until he met his best friend, Heroin.
Click here to learn more about the Dangers of Using Tin Foil to Smoke Drugs.
Jake remembered his dad’s code to the safe and ended up stealing a neckless from his step-mom that his dad got her for her birthday. That was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
His dad called him and told him to get home. Jake made sure he was good and twisted before he got there. He ended up telling his dad he needed help and went to treatment.
Due to the disease of addiction, Jake got high within 9 months.
Jail or Treatment
He went on a three and a half year run that landed him into prison for 10 months. The day he got out he was drinking at his mom’s house before he had to go to the halfway house. The halfway house was in his old stomping grounds and he was high by the next morning and got kicked out.
He had nowhere to go so he went to the only place he knew, the dope house. After the dope house he went on a two-week bender and showed up at his probation officers office.
He told his probation officer he was done and the officer said he can either go to jail or get treatment. Jake texted his aunt and told her he needed help and she told him to call his dad.
Jake did what his aunt told him and he called his dad and got the treatment he needed. He did 105 days in treatment and something changed. He loved himself again and figured out the root of his problems.
Jake has a sponsor, works the 12-steps, and take suggestion from other people in the 12-step fellowship.
“I stopped fighting and just started saying, ‘why not.’”
Jake is living a beautiful life he never dreamed was possible. He has his father and daughter back in his life and has never been happier.
“It is the hardest thing I have ever done in my entire life the only thing you have to change is everything.”