Matt: What’s up guys, this is Matt and Greg with Projects Unbroken and today we wanted to talk a little bit about why addicts are addicts, why we were addicts, and maybe talk to parents a little bit who see their kids or any loved ones, somebody struggling with heroin addiction and just kind of be like … I know a lot of parents are like, “What did I do wrong?”
Greg: Like, “I don’t get it.”
Greg: And I know you said like parents come to me, they come to you, they kind of know our story around here, they’re like, “I don’t understand, why are they doing this?”
Greg: And that’s kind of what we want to answer in this video.
Matt: Yeah, yeah and a really common theme, I know I’ve talked to my family members about this, my parents. I’ve talked to other parents of people that are struggling with addiction. It’s a lot of times, they’re looking to put the blame on themselves, the parents I mean.
They’re like is it something we did, you know, is it, … my parents were, they were divorced when I was younger, they were like was it the divorce? I’m like no! It’s like you guys did everything right, it’s not, it’s not really, I mean at least for me it wasn’t my parents fault.
Greg: Hell no. Hell no.
Matt: Like at all.
Greg: Same thing, my parents went through divorce around the same time but the way I looked at them, my personality, look if that makes you happy, that’s what I want you to do.
Greg: So that didn’t affect my addiction at all. It wasn’t my parents, they had nothing to do with it and again a lot of people ask us, like we don’t get it, like if you’re not an addict you don’t get it, and I think what they don’t understand is it’s, you don’t really mean to go into a heroin addict, ever.
Matt: No. No.
Greg: I don’t think anyone does. I can remember sitting in high school and them talking about heroin addiction, I’m like, like what kind of idiot does heroin, like who does that, it’s ridiculous.
Matt: You know it’s terrible.
Matt: Like you know it’s bad for you.
Greg: Right, so people are like, you know but how do you get into that? I think it just starts innocently, you know. Again, we took that first pill and it felt good, you know? So we were like, ah we can do this here and there, and it just slowly builds, you know and then one night you get drunk and you try heroin and then it’s like, well I already tried it, I can do it one more time.
So I think it really starts innocently and then something else happens. So what would you say happens from there?
Matt: Well even maybe not from there but even before, like I think a lot of it, for me personally, substance abuse in general always kind of stemmed from like social awkwardness. You know, I didn’t really like being in social situations, where I was like meeting strangers or whatever.
A lot, when I was younger, like I realized pretty quickly like oh, if I drink, I’m a lot more fun at parties. Then you know, I think pills came around and it was like that same feeling but you didn’t have to get trashed. You’re not drunk but you feel really good, you feel confident.
So it’s almost, I think in the beginning a lot of the substance abuse to, at least for me, again, it was to address, just really minor character traits about myself. I felt I, it put those at rest, but it kind of just escalated.
So what Greg was saying, you know, when you try heroin and it got to that point, you’re like well it kind of just seems like the next stepping stone, like it’s no big deal.
You know, it’s funny, it’s a lot like they have the story where they say if you take a frog and you put him in a boiling pot of water, he’s going to jump right back out, but if you put a frog in cold water and turn it on and slowly let it boil, he’s going to sit there and boil.
That’s kind of what heroin addiction was like. Like again, if we went straight into it from having a couple beers, we would’ve never jumped into the boiling water of heroin addiction, but you kind of ease into it and like you said, you try a little bit when you’re drinking one night and you’re like, ah, you know we already did it once, like might as well do it again. Next thing you know, the water’s boiling and your life’s becoming unmanageable
But that’s kind of how it gets there and again, I don’t think, it’s not as devious as it sounds. Like what, you know you find out your kids a heroin addict, you’re like what?! What happened. It’s usually like a slow decline into it.
Greg: I agree. Yeah, I think we’re a little different in why we use. Like for me I think it was more I, I just liked feeling like the body high from it, I didn’t, I’m not as social as Matt, I don’t go out as much.
So for me it really wasn’t about that, it was more like, I don’t know like, just kind of taking it and chilling and just like feeling good, but it got to a point where, you know you get stuck in the addiction and you have to take it every day to feel good and then you got to take more to feel the same level. Then when you don’t have it you feel like shit and then by that time you’re just stuck, you know?
So, I think a lot of parents don’t understand, or just people in general who haven’t been to the addiction, usually at that point you don’t want it. You don’t even want it as the addict and then they’re like well why can’t you just stop?
It’s like, okay, imagine this, or imagine that, you know, you come down with the flu, except withdrawal is probably 100 times worse than flu.
Matt: Similar symptoms, much worse.
Greg: So you come down with the flu and just way worse though, you feel absolutely probably the worst you’ve ever felt in your life and you know that you can fix it like that, right? Like you can feel better like that. Not only feel better, but feel way better, like great and you have like a, what do you call it, like you want it on top of that, what do you call it? Craving, you crave it. Like a deep, deep craving for it, on top of knowing that if you just take this drug, you’ll feel better like that.
So that’s what I think keeps a lot of people in that cycle of addiction, is they’re terrified of withdrawal, you know? It’s terrifying. Even now, sometimes when I get sick, I’m like, oh my God, it’s like a flashback, I like freak out sometimes.
Matt: Yeah, absolutely.
Greg: So I mean, withdrawal is that bad, where it’s terrifying and I think that’s what keeps a lot of people in the addiction, is you know, it’s opposite ends of the spectrum, when they feel the worst possible, when they use they feel the best possible. It’s like opposite ends of the spectrum keep going and it keeps them in that addiction.
Matt: Yeah, yeah. 100%. So what advice would you have for parents as far as, … or what would you tell parents when they’re trying to look at how to frame what’s going on with their kid? Like would you, would you say, you know, don’t take it personal or it’s not-
Greg: I mean yeah. I don’t know about don’t take it personally, but it’s definitely, it’s probably not your fault, you know? My parents were, they kept a pretty close eye on me, they were very, very good parents, you know? A lot of my qualms I have today, to why I’m successful came from them. They did everything right, but I still got into it, you know, it’s not, I don’t think that parents should spend the effort in thinking maybe it was my fault because, even if it was, which it probably wasn’t, it doesn’t matter at that point, you know?
The focus needs to change to changing it for the positive, you know?
Matt: Yeah, absolutely. I think that kind of explains, you know, a little bit of how there’s a separation between the addict and the parent and I know a lot of times, that line of communication can be real difficult to navigate on both sides. The addict doesn’t want to talk to the parents, the parent’s confused about how to approach the addict, but I think you have to remember, if you have a loved one that’s struggling with addiction, you can’t take any of it personally. At all.
I mean, no matter how you react to it, it shouldn’t be from a place of like, you know, I did this or they’re doing this to me. It really is, it’s isolated to them and every addict is going to be dealing with it a little bit differently. You kind of just have to look at it with a set of eyes of saying, like you know, what are they trying to fix, or what are they using this for.
Maybe don’t look at it from such an outside perspective. Try to see what’s going on there and it might help you help them find a path to recovery.
Greg: Yeah and I think another important thing to point out is, I think most addicts if they could snap their fingers and get out of it, they would.
Greg: The reason it doesn’t happen is because it’s really, really hard. You know, you got to be prepared for it, you got to have a plan in place and it’s not easy. It’s one of those things where it’s a major, major, major life change, like you’re changing everything. You’ve got to change everything all at once.
Matt: It’s brain chemistry. I mean you’re literally changing the chemicals that are being produced in your brain and how they’re being produced. It’s not, it’s not an easy task, and being, living the life of an addict is extremely difficult. It’s extremely stressful, which only causes the addict to want to use more, to deal with that.
I mean it’s, it’s not a simple process. So you know, hopefully this can kind of show a little bit of perspective of both sides, because we definitely see it now. I mean we see it from what our parents saw and you know Greg and I have children now and it’s extremely frightening to look at, you know the hopelessness that you can feel as a parent when you’re looking at your kid being stuck in a situation like that.
But we hope this was helpful. If you guys have any questions, as parents or, you know, if you know somebody that’s dealing with this, drop us a line. You know let us know what you’re thinking, hopefully we can provide a little bit of an idea of what we experienced with something like that and it might be able to help someone else out there.
So thanks for watching guys.
Greg: Hope you all enjoyed this video and like Matt said, if you guys have questions or we need to go deeper into this, but hopefully that helps you understand, you know kind of what, like I can get how parents are like I don’t understand, like how, why you keep doing this, but, so hopefully that clears that up. That was the main point of this video. If you have any more questions let us know. If not, head over to Project Unbroken or subscribe on our YouTube channel and we’ll see you in the next video.
Matt: Take care guys.