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Getting Back on My Feet After Drugs

Questioner

Anonymous

Reply Date

Sep 10, 2017

Question

Salam. I feel very stressed and burned out. I am 29; I have two younger brothers over the age of 20. I live with my mum and dad in a quiet town. I have been involved in taking drugs since the age of 15. A few years ago, I gave up heroin and crack, but now find myself battling diazepam and weed. One of my brothers also uses drugs, but he is getting rehab after being arrested for dealing. My youngest brother is all good thanks to Allah; he is very religious and is doing well as a student away from home. My father and mother are old, and at the moment we are at a very bad period in our life. We have basically no money coming in. I have not held down a job for more than a year. I am currently out of work. My brother also lost his job. The problem is that we just seem to hate each other. I feel helpless for the past year. Every day, I have been searching for jobs, but to no avail. I pray and read the Quran even though I am trying to come off an anti-depressant and weed which I think is the major problem. No one in the house talks to one another only when we argue, and it feels awkward. I smoke weed and it takes away the boredom, yet I know it makes me unsociable, it wastes money, and it is haram and unhealthy. I have recently managed to go a day without weed and hope this will improve and finally I will stop it. I would like to know how I can sort this problem with my family, and how to get on with life. I feel I am stuck in a rut and cannot get out. I have cut off all friends and do not even visit family and relatives. Do you think I am the problem? If so, how can I solve this, or what is the solution to this problematic family time and the situation we face? The rest of our relatives seem to be living life in harmony, enjoying money, happiness, and peace. Could it be that I or we are jealous of them? Please give me some advice on this complex issue, and please pray that Allah alleviates this from us soon and makes us live in happiness and in financial security.

Counselor

Answer


Getting Back on My Feet After Drugs

In this counseling answer:

“You are doing the right thing by slowly withdrawing from cannabis. However, as you do so, you must replace it with a non-addictive activity, otherwise, you might find yourself greatly tempted to resume taking cannabis to hide the “boredom” that you have been feeling. Sport, in general, is a good idea.”


As-Salamu ‘Alaikum dear brother, 

You presented a complex situation which is unfortunately not that uncommon in the country you live in. Even though you give some information about it, it would be helpful to know the dynamics between your parents, you, and the other siblings, as well as the nature of how you were raised.

As for your role in the situation, it might be that you have influenced your younger brother on the path to drugs, but other than that, it is not possible to say without more information.

Do you know what drove you to drugs in the first place? Was it simply boredom or something much more? Whatever the cause, you have done well to get over certain addictions and to struggle with your final round of drugs.

Anti-depressants, in general, can be quite disempowering, but taking cannabis as well robs you of your will because both the antidepressant and cannabis do precisely what you take them for – they take control of you. This more than likely makes an impact on the way you apply and search for jobs.

Diazepam has the effect of making one feel like a zombie and can also be quite addictive. It can almost be torturous as your subconscious battles to think while the effect of Diazepam is to stop you thinking. This inner struggle results in an exacerbated level of anxiety. The irony is that Diazepam is supposed to relieve anxiety disorders! It is a drug that goes straight to the brain, so you should try to go for a check-up and get a second opinion, preferably with a doctor who is willing to “wean” you off Diazepam along with regular check-ups.

 You are doing the right thing by slowly withdrawing from cannabis. However, as you do so, you must replace it with a non-addictive activity, otherwise, you might find yourself greatly tempted to resume taking cannabis to hide the “boredom” that you have been feeling.

Sport, in general, is a good idea. Not only it will get your body back into shape, but will also greatly reduce any inner tension. There are many affordable sports centers in the country where you live, so the money that you have been spending on drugs can be diverted to attending a sports center. If this is too much for you, then it is quite common for people to go jogging in their vicinities in the early morning to get you started, in sha’ Allah.

You have also done well to seek guidance through what Allah (swt) has given to us: reading the Qur’an, keeping the times of prayer, and occasionally going to the local prayer center. These activities will give you psychological support Islamically.

One cannot understate the importance of eating whole and healthy foods, especially fruits and vegetables, to cleanse the body. Be mindful that cravings for Diazepam and/or cannabis might be present even after any withdrawal symptoms.

If you can keep all the above active in your life, you will regain your balance and a greater clarity about what you need to do, in sha’ Allah.

It would not be a waste of time to go to a careers advice center where you can get them to look at your C.V. They may even be able to advise you on how to do a better C.V. Be mindful that in these times of financial crisis employers are looking for people who can do the job. That might seem a silly thing to say, but what I mean is that they are less willing to take risks. If you do not have enough relevant work experience on your C.V., you should consider options for relevant volunteer work and discuss this with your careers advisor/counselor. Volunteer experience can be added to your C.V.

If the presence of family members who have been doing well and lead less dysfunctional lives has had the effect of “bringing” you to your senses’, so to speak, well, alhamdulillah. Their presence has helped to show you that a life of drugs is not fair-seeming. Let them be your measure, your example as you try to find your way within your family, and in your search for work.

Once you have more control over what you are doing, then you will be in a better position to support your family members in a constructive way, in sha’ Allah.

Salam,

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.

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About Hwaa Irfan

Late Hwaa Irfan, may her soul rest in peace, served as consultant, counselor and freelance writer. Her main focus was on traditional healing mechanisms as practiced in various communities, as opposed to Western healing mechanisms.

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