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Can an ex-addict still have long term behavioral changes?


Coilette Can an ex-addict still have long term behavioral changes?
My brother (9 years older than myself) took a lot of drugs all his life. I only witnessed pot and alcohol. I knew he did speed, but he kept its use away from me, and I only witnessed one time where he was tweaked. I don't do drugs, so I am sure there are other instances that I saw but did not realize were drug related at the time.
He works in the medical field, has a lot of education, but was unemployed for a long stretch while living with me in our (late) parent's house. He has always been overweight ( it runs in the family), but he recently lost a lot of weight and says it was the Atkins diet. He lives on the other side of the country, so I have not seen him for over a year. When I saw him, I could not recognize him. He was not only thin, but sickly looking. He says that he could not sleep because of stress with fighting child support. He says he only smokes now, no other drugs at all. He told me that he did meth years before, and that is why he has had so many teeth issues. Again, he lives on the other side of the country, so I do not know how this change in him occurred, as far as quitting all drugs. He has not discussed any treatment or doctors. I am his only sibling, our parents are deceased, and he has not discussed drug use with any aunts or uncles. He has also told me that he thinks he actually had ADHD his whole life, and that is why he did drugs. I can go into more detail, but basically he phrased it in a way that told me he was using ADHD as a reason he took drugs, thus one more thing he is not responsible for.

Can he really be off meth? He blames everyone but himself for the financial hole he is in, he has become manipulative and has written emails that seem very aggressive, paranoid and threatening. This never occurred 5 years ago, when he would have been doing more drugs. If he is not on meth, could this behavior be a holdover? I have seen the information on long term health effects, but what about behavioral effects as well, even years after use has stopped...

I have left out a lot of info, some of which may helpful, but basically, I want to know if he can still be off meth, and have a radically changed personality years after the fact.

Thank you
     Replies...
Rachel
sue76
Re: Can an ex-addict still have long term behavioral changes?
Hello and welcome to the board.
Quote:
He has always been overweight ( it runs in the family), but he recently lost a lot of weight and says it was the Atkins diet.
Maybe it was. You say he has always been over weight and now he is sickly thin. When he was using, was he still overweight then or was he really thin?

We used to have a friend that was really over weight. Probally at least 200 pounds over weight. We moved and did not see him for quite a while. Then one day here he comes tagging home with my husband. He had lost nearly all the weight that he had in excess. I had wondered how he had lost so much weight since the last time that I had seen him. I was only about 6 months since I had seen him. Come to find out, he was a user too. When I asked him about using meth, he answer was " Only a couple of times. I don't really like it" Whatever.
Quote:
He told me that he did meth years before, and that is why he has had so many teeth issues
This could be the truth.

Quote:
He has also told me that he thinks he actually had ADHD his whole life, and that is why he did drugs. I can go into more detail, but basically he phrased it in a way that told me he was using ADHD as a reason he took drugs, thus one more thing he is not responsible for.
This is not going to be what hear but, that could be true also. There are a couple of people that visit here that took meth because they are ADHD and the meth made them feel like they were able to function.
Quote:
Can he really be off meth?
He could be but, it sounds like he is using because...
Quote:
He blames everyone but himself
 
Quote:
he has become manipulative
 
Quote:
has written emails that seem very aggressive, paranoid and threatening
Quote:
I want to know if he can still be off meth, and have a radically changed personality years after the fact.
While his personality and the person that he was will be radically changed after he gets off of the meth, it is in a good way (for the most part) and not all skitzed out. I am sorry about your brother. Just listen to him and be there for him to talk to. You are clear across the country and even if you were not, there is not much that you can do for him to make him quit until he is ready to quit.

JMHO.
Spase
monkey
Re: Can an ex-addict still have long term behavioral changes?
We generally get better not worse when we quit.

Also.. what you may be seeing is his drug use changing from a wide range of things to just meth use... since that's how alot of us start. We try a lot of different drugs but over time we use meth more and everything else less or not at all.

These are of course just guesses based on what you wrote. Best of luck to you.

Peace.
Lisa Re: Can an ex-addict still have longterm behavioral changes?
Hello and Welcome!

As far as your brother goes, I can only speak from my own experience. As Spase said above, we generally get better, both physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually and behaviorally.

However, I know a "person" (and I use that term loosely), who lost his soul during meth use, and, although clean for almost six months, has shown definite signs of regressing in all the above areas.

So, I guess it is possible to have long-term behavioral problems, especially if the person isn't doing anything to help themselves, i.e. 12-Steps, cognitive therapy, spirituality, etc.

God Bless.
Coilette Re: Can an ex-addict still have longterm behavioral changes?
Thanks Rachelsue76 for all of the information.

I wanted to address the issue of ADHD specifically. I read a lot of posts on this board before posting, and saw that there is a correlation.
But with my brother, he always did well in school, gots A's with little effort by his own admission. When he did seem like he wasn't living up to his potential, it seemed more like like his pot smoking was the cause, and not the symptom.
He didn't start thinking it was ADHD till he was about 43 years old. In fact, he has a medical background, and was skeptical about the number of ADHD cases claimed. But my meaning in the first post was not whether he had ADHD or not, but that he is not using it to understand why he has always done drugs. Rather he is using it as another reason why the problems of his life are not his fault.
The following is something I only found out a few years ago. I remember I was sick a lot when I was a kid, and I vaguely remember my mom dumping a doctor, thinking he was a quack. My brother told me that I had been on Ritalin. Now, if you had met me as a kid, this would seem odd, as I loved school, got straight A's, loved reading, was very quiet and shy, etc... So, I have no idea why this doctor would have prescribed it, but my brother remembers because he told me he used to steal it and take it himself like speed.

So, for many reasons, I am dubious about his particular claim to having ADHD.

In relation to my brother's weight. He was overweight until HighSchool, gained a little back after dropping out of college, and did not get trim again until joining the Navy. He gained weight again after the Navy, and it increased to about 240-260 lbs. So I think he lost 100lbs or so. The time that he lived with me after the Navy and he says he had tried Meth, he was still overweight, but had teeth problems.
He says he hasn't taken Meth in years, but now he has lost the weight. He says he has been on Atkins, and has been under a lot of stress so I cannot say that Meth is the cause. But his personality has changed a lot. It could just be the stress. But his personality has changed so much.
So, if one gets better after leaving Meth, he is either lying, or it his money-related stress and has nothing to do with drugs.

Thank you for the board. Just writing stuff out helps.
Coilette Re: Can an ex-addict still have longterm behavioral changes?
Hello Lisa,

My brother has never gone through anything where I would say he lost his soul. I can see now that after he lost a job (a good one starting at $42,000) because he "celebrated" the night before his first day and failed a drug test, he became increasingly depressed and lethargic. He would just smoke, watch TV, drink, etc... He never became violent, ever. He just became more and more depressed. So he could have very well hit bottom. Then he got a job in another state, and he was his old self again. But he still left his money issues fester.
These money issues may be the cause of what I am seeing now.

 

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