What it Takes to Get Off Drugs

An Exploration of What it Takes to Achieve This Life or Death Target

Desperate addict
(Foto di Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.com)

Let’s face it, if you are a habitual consumer of drugs and alcohol who intermittently dreams of quitting, or if you are a wife or a father of someone consumed by addiction who tells you he or she wants to stop, you must feel pretty lost about knowing what it takes to get your loved one’s life back on track.

In most cases, family members and addicts alike misjudge how much effort, money, time, actions, trained people, resources, knowledge, and persistence that it takes to get someone through the process of being properly rehabilitated. This is true of almost any worthy enterprise in life—from building a successful career to creating a fulfilling marriage, not just in the case of addiction rehabilitation. The road to worthy achievements is littered with failed attempts and the misestimation of what is required to achieve it.

Getting a single person “clean” comes at a hefty price. After years of consumption, it’s illogical to believe that in one week everything will be sorted out. Yet many rehab facilities offer just “a few days of detoxification” or “counselling” as a solution. When one accounts for all the hours, money, attempts and other resources a person puts into consuming drugs and alcohol one can’t help but be dumbfounded by this shortsighted solution.

Let’s say a 7-year seasoned cocaine consumer can do 5 grams per week and as long as there’s money or credit available he could do it for the whole month. That’s 52 weeks x £80 per gram x 5 grams, that’s £20,800 a year x 7 years = £145,600. From here you can imagine the number of hours invested either procuring the resources or the actual drugs, plus the time spent under the influence of the drugs. The figures are staggering.

The addict has invested a tremendous amount of money and effort in this activity. To believe there is a quick and easy way out is pure illusion. There is no magic pill, no quick fix. Parents and spouses alike need to understand this truth and not buckle or buy into quicker or cheaper solutions. If you are committed to helping a loved one get out from under the trap of addiction you also need to ascertain the right estimation of effort, money, and resources it’s going to take to accomplish this goal. You have to be ready to do whatever it takes to save his or her life and your relationship.

As a rehabilitation consultant, I always put the situation in perspective for the addict and the family members, as painful or uncomfortable as it may be. I want my students and their families to succeed and I believe it is only through this initial exploration of the truth that they can gauge what it’s going to take to achieve the goal of a drug-free or alcohol-free life for good. It will require time and persistence on the addict’s behalf. It will require steadfastness, valour, education and financial resources from the family. It will require a proper rehabilitation programme, run by trained personnel that are available and willing, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help, as well as facilities, expertise, and know-how. Coming off drugs through a proper rehabilitation programme could be seen as costly, but not as costly as losing a loved one to drugs and alcohol.



Jose Llaguno

Jose is a native from Venezuela in the Caribbean. His life was marked by loses due to alcohol and drug addiction. At age 15 lost his best friend to a drug and alcohol related accident. At 20 he lost his older cousin to a similar situation. Jose is an advocate for personal betterment and has actively supported Drug Prevention campaigns for the last 8 years giving talks to the local police and general public, however, in the last year he decided to do more when he learnt an old friend had died of a heart attack due to 30 years of cocaine consumption. He believes drugs and alcohol, wherever they come from, are the worst enemy of society and good people. “Ignoring the damage drug and alcohol related accidents, mishaps and misery have cause YOU, whether you take them or not, is like walking around with a Boa Constrictor squeezing your neck and pretending everything is okay”.