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to not understand when people don't have compassion for addicts

(195 Posts)
badlydrawngirl Sat 23-Jul-11 20:22:09

Hello. First post from a

The untimely & tragic death today of Amy Winehouse has sparked the usual flurry of comments on messageboards, twitter etc from people saying they have no sympathy, no respect or compassion towards an addict. They're somehow seen as subhuman and/or abhorrent, and over-risingly, that they chose to be an addict, they chose to end up in that state.

I was an addict, it's such an awful state to be in I really thought at one point that suicide would be my only way out. I really really didn't chose to end up feeling like that, I didn't even notic it happening!! It was a slow slippery slope downwards (cliché I know, but so true) and before I even recognised what was happening to me, it was too late - I was well & truly in the depths of it.

After a few unsuccesful attempts to cut down/stop I started to get scared, realising only then the grip I was in. I changed, I was horrible, I was dirty and immoral and put my friends & family through hell - it's only a testament to them that they're still in my life today.

Then with that came the crippling guilt, the anxiety, the hopelessness, the suicidal thoughts. I couldnt live with what I had done to my loved ones. All the things I was doing went against the very core of my being, I hated myself.

Saying "well they could just stop" is kind of like addiction denial. If you recognise the fact that there's such a thing as addiction, then surely you must understand the nature of what that means?

I certainly feel very saddened at Amy's death, there but for the grace of god goes anyone of us, our friends, our family, our chidlren.

catgirl1976 Sat 23-Jul-11 20:25:04

YANBU - and there are now a couple of posts on this subject. Well done on your recovery.

Toughasoldboots Sat 23-Jul-11 20:27:22

I agree, some really nasty posts on the Facebook page too. Some horrible people around with no compassion.

Empusa Sat 23-Jul-11 20:28:08

As someone with a history of self harm and ED I am well aware that breaking a cycle isn't easy.

But starting it is stupid.

ElectricSoftParade Sat 23-Jul-11 20:29:38


GypsyMoth Sat 23-Jul-11 20:32:51

putting aside the Amy comments and her death,i think many addicts end up hurting people/comitting crimes to feed their habit,hence the vitriol. important not to forget this. i saw some horrific crime related to drugs and drink when a police officer. in fact most of my time was dealt dealing with it on some shifts sad

cartblanche Sat 23-Jul-11 20:34:48

YANBU have seen some shameful posts on Facebook. Thanks for your honest post and glad that you have made it through your own addiction hell.

purplepidjin Sat 23-Jul-11 20:36:49

I'm afraid to say I judge addicts. i lived next door to a heroin-addicted couple. I knew they were addicted because of the times their 6yo would find the needles left lying around outside by their mates and bring them to me for disposal. I also knew because I could see them dealing through the front window. The dealing caused repercussions, including the time thugs smashed their way into my house and bedroom looking for them. It was 3am, the perpetrator got 6 months, I'm still coping with the anxiety.

Addiction causes anti-social behaviour to those around the addicted person, and at some point a choice was made by the addicted person - to ignore teachers/parents saying "drugs are bad", or to not seek treatment for mental health issues... To me, that differentiates it from Mental and Physical Health issues which are inflicted upon an unsuspecting person.

GypsyMoth Sat 23-Jul-11 20:39:16

my addict neighbour almost killed a local girl loast summer by driving whilst under the influence....compassion at that point? no. she lost her licence but still drove....had to drive to get her drugs from town you see,at any cost

jbabyj Sat 23-Jul-11 20:44:44

YANBU, well done to you on your recovery, people may choose the 1st time that leads to an addiction but they dont choose the circumstances that lead up to that already low point. addicts can seem sub human as addiction can cause some pretty awful feelings and actions but the person they were is still in there somewhere, the shame is the person they had the potential to be is seldom found

everlong Sat 23-Jul-11 20:45:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

GwendolineMaryLacey Sat 23-Jul-11 20:47:39

But it isn't always a low point that leads them to drugs is it? That's a very simplistic view. Some people are just stupid. Anyone with an ounce of intelligence knows the possible consequences.

LostMyIdentityAlongTheWay Sat 23-Jul-11 20:51:37

I think it's very easy to get into addiction, and hard to get out of it.

Think of the 'acceptable' addictions. Smoking (???), food addiction, exercise junkies, anorexia, bulimia, OCD, etc etc

Do we throw scorn and vitriol at them? If so, shame on us. I have an addictive personality. It's under control, I have a great figure, but food is my addiction. It's in my head, pretty much all the time. Which is shit, but there you go.

I'm going to get all bible belt on us, as I'm a Quaker, so suck it up... 'Judge not, lest ye be judged'.

I'll also throw in 'There but for the grace of God'.

If people don't have compassion for addicts, there may WELL be extenuating circumstances why not - we only have to read above to see some VERY challenging situations when it would be understandable to be angry and dismissive. But personally I've never been a drug junkie - and so I have NO idea of how awful it must be to get out of it. I don't judge (I hope). I just think 'thank God that's not me or mine' and carry on doing the best I can.


Wormshuffler Sat 23-Jul-11 20:53:41

I agree, having lost my DB to an addiction I find it very difficult to take the ignorant comments that are flying about, and have ranted as such on the facebook comments.
The hypocritical media are having a field day too, they have been circling ready for this day like the vultures they are for the last 5 years

duckdodgers Sat 23-Jul-11 20:55:28

I agree with Gwendoline to.

People can have shit lives and bad things happen - but not everyone in these circumstances turn to drugs. As a Psychiatric Nurse I work with people who have had horrific childhoods and ineviatebly some have turned to drugs to block out their feelings. I never judge but I do get a bit sick of all the "addiction is a disease" mantra a lot of people quote - because for a lot of people its a choice - they want to get off their faces and feel some kind of buzz. I to have met a lot of people like this, who when they become addicts will lie, steal, manipulate and hurt people and pay lip service to attempts at stopping. No-one will stop drugs until they want to.

sheepgomeep Sat 23-Jul-11 20:57:32

Hmm I have very mixed feeling about this subject. On one hand I can see that it must be awful to be an addict, to have no control and it must be terrible for an addicts family too, to see them on that terrible down ward spiral to destruction and no way up.

But then I think back to 3 years ago when my 10 old daughter and I were threatened with death (and had missiles thrown at the pushchair by a neighbour who was a heroin addict and of his face that day.

And then my sympathy wanes.

sheepgomeep Sat 23-Jul-11 20:59:32

10 month old daughter

Thingsfallapart Sat 23-Jul-11 20:59:32

Lots of people take hard drugs and do not become addicts, friends from my teenage days who took plenty that have gone on to become Doctors, Teachers and similar.

They were no less stupid than those who became addicted, but often had a much better, happier start in life.


jbabyj Sat 23-Jul-11 21:00:40

Gwen, not 1 low point that leads to taking drugs, maybe a persons whole life has been a slippery slope in that direction? my DB is a heroin addict 5 years, only found out 9 months ago.

purplepidjin Sat 23-Jul-11 21:01:42

Smoking (???), food addiction, exercise junkies, anorexia, bulimia, OCD

Smokers, food and exercise addicts do not deliberately go out of their way to harm others to get their fix. There are minor anti-social behaviours associated, but not on the same scale as, for example, a heroin or crack addict.

Nobody ran over an old lady on a pedestrian crossing because they were in a hurry to get another mars bar. Nobody's house was broken into because someone welched on a deal to buy a mate a packet of fags. And no one was beaten up because they went to the gym twice a day...

DuelingFanjo Sat 23-Jul-11 21:02:06

I do have compassion.

On the other hand I don't feel a massive sadness for Amy Winehouse, I will leave that to her family and friends.

JumpOnIt Sat 23-Jul-11 21:02:45

I have mixed feelings on it too. I do have a lot of compassion for addicts. When you see and hear what happens to some people, how can you not have compassion for them?

But at the same time, as a child, I lived on a very rough, inner city estate where drug misuse of all kinds was rife and I remember being constantly petrified. It really was every cliche going and for a young child it was horrendous. When I was six, I remember my Mum being held up with a syringe right outside our flat and all they got was her bus pass.

While I think that there but for the grace of God go I, I also think that at some point, for most people, there was some sort of choice along the way. A lot of addicts don't appear to realise the terrible effect their addiction has on other people, even complete strangers.

DuelingFanjo Sat 23-Jul-11 21:02:58


does anyone actually know how she died then? Or is all this drugs stuff pure speculation?

LostMyIdentityAlongTheWay Sat 23-Jul-11 21:07:39

but purple, you're assuming that junkies have choice to make a correct decision. I don't think that they truly do? I suspect their minds are so totally fucked and addled with whatever crap it is that they're shovelling into their heads, that they are not going to make a choice that a 'right minded' person will. Define 'right minded' as you will.

The guy in Norway may not have been a junkie. Did he make the right choices? Heaven only knows what pushes peoples' buttons. The rest of society probably IS left to mop up the pieces/shit, and let us hope that we do this as compassionately as we can. It's a measure of our humanity, as I see it.

I know others may disagree with me, I have no problem with that. I just don't want to lose compassion, because if that goes, we're all fucked!

Right. Enough of this. Off to read a book and drink tea. Enjoy the thread, y'all....!

dementedma Sat 23-Jul-11 21:10:09

I try not to judge, but understand the poster earlier who has been a victim of addicts and anti-social behaviour. a very dear friend of our was mugged, hit in the face with a brick, breaking her jaw and nose, and robbed of her pension by a drug addict. She was 73 and never recovered - died months later leaving devastated children and grandchildren. Sympathy for the addict? 'Fraid not!

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