For my research I decided to interview recovering addicts/addicts anonymously to better understand the nuances of substance abuse disorder. I have included responses from three of the few people I have interviewed. The rest were more sensitive and I will keep their responses for when I explore this work further in the future.
1)What does Addiction mean to you? What image comes to your mind when you hear the word?
2)How has your idea of it changed from when you were younger?
3)What were you addicted to? And for how long?
4)Have you been sober? If yes, for how long and if no how long since u last were clean?
5)How young were you when you started and describe your first ‘encounter’
6)Have you ever thought about why you started?
7)When you were abusing, did you talk to anyone about it? If yes who? And if no why?
8)How is addiction generally perceived in Singapore?
9)Could someone have done something that would have helped you want to quit?
10)Are you aware of the avenues for help available?
11)Since you first tried being clean, what made you relapse?
12)What was the hardest part about staying clean?
13)Do you think it is easy to integrate back into society and normalcy with the label ‘ex addict’?
14)What would you want to say to people who stigmatise addiction? And who refuse to recognise it as a legitimate illness?
15)What can normal people do to help struggling addicts cope and stay clean?
16)What can family/friends do?
17)On you road to recovery, how do you motivate urself? What kind of follow up helped you keep going?
18)When you were recovering, what kind of triggers would you avoid to avoid relapsing?
19)What colour calms you?
20)What initiatives can be implemented to help ex addicts stay clean?
1) when it affects daily functioning
2) i used to think addicts were low func, but u can b a high func addict
3) benzodiazepines/opiates/opioids, mostly benzodiazepines
4) recreational use now, def miss the high, don’t miss the memory loss
5) 21 when i was hanging out w ppl i wasn’t close to because i was vulnerable lmao
6) i was sad and trying to fill a void
7) yea talked to a friend of mine who didn’t judge me and came up with a taper plan for me but he died shortly after and i think i relapsed even harder
8) idk this lol
9) nah no way, it’s gotta come from within, it’s a very intrinsic process, no one can help u except urself
10) ya therapy helps, but at the end of the day, it’s finding intrinsic purpose
11) lack of purpose; when being high was the sole purpose and having that purpose was better than having no purpose at all
13) if society weren’t so ‘dickish’, the public needs civic education
14) GET FKED AND GET WOKE
15) constant social support, keep checking in on em
16) be supportive, see it as a test of the human spirit for both themselves and addict, they should put self-care first but not blame the addict for causing them distress (@MUM I SEE U)
17) the idea of productivity pushes me to strive n thrive
18) didn’t rly avoid, stems from willpower
19) forest green
20) self-help programmes/self-improvement programmes, idk cooking class or sum lol
1) being reliant on a substance and experiencing w/d or disrupts daily life without it
2) before i was able to admit i had a problem and do something about it through recovery, i had just as many misconceptions about who a drug addict could be. and i used those misconceptions – that stigma – that society puts on drug addicts and alcoholics, as a form of self-protection. i wasn’t homeless, sleeping on the streets. i wasn’t filthy, wearing ragged clothes smeared with grease, food and blood, digging through dumpsters for a meal. i told myself those things to deny that i had a problem. as long as i wasn’t like that – as long as there were people out there worse off than me – then i couldn’t be an addict. but i was wrong.
3) tramadol and heroin. former for 4 years and the latter on and off
5)i was 17 when i first experimented with drugs recreationally and perhaps 18 when i tried tramadol for the first time. my ex bf had a bunch of them from the doctor and he just told me they could be abused for a high so i took them. i didn’t know what to expect. it didn’t hit me like a truck or produced a significant high like some drugs do so i was confused. i thought i wasn’t feeling anything until i laid on my bed and closed my eyes. it just felt warm and fuzzy and in that moment i remember feeling as if nothing in the world mattered. it was slightly euphoric but i still could function “normally”.
7) i only talked about it to my friends who also were abusing it.
8) i feel that there’s definitely a stigma attached to it. if you’re an addict you’re a junkie and everything else you do doesn’t matter. you’re just reduced to that- a junkie.
11) i couldn’t stand being sober. i mean, why be sober when i can pop a few pills and take a few hits and feel better? it helps me sleep better anyway
12) withdrawals aside, triggers and getting bored
13) no. that’s partly why i refuse to avenues like NA and i do my best to look the exact opposite because i don’t want to be labeled or associated with it especially to people who don’t know me/don’t know me well enough.
14) the first step to recovery is recognising that that is a problem
18) i’d keep all my paraphernalia out of sight but sometimes i have a bastard friend who would shove them in my face and think it’s funny
1)Addiction is a habit that you know it not good for your well being but it’s so good to have to cover whatever things or pain that I’m going through.
2)When I was younger, I thought addiction is just for people with mental illness, but when I grow older I realise addiction can cause in Many ways and can be for anyone.
3)Im addicted to excessive alcohol drinking. It about 3-4 years and I’m still struggling.
4)Yes, about 2-3 months, And suddenly get hook onto it again.
5)My first encounter was my 20th birthday. Where i start to drink excessive without stopping till I’m drunk and wasted.
6)Due to stress financially and also the pressure that my family gave to me. My Low Self esteem when it was an issue when I was in my primary and secondary days.
7)No, as I don’t think anybody understand. When I try to voice out to my friends, the thought I was joking and I love to be like that.
8)For me I felt Singapore perceive addiction as a mental illness
9)Hmm not sure, but for me I felt that at the point of time I just need people to be there and be around me.
11)When stress kicks in and triggered I will be easily relapse back to my addiction.
13)Hmmm not easy as people will still mark you as an addict, like how my family see me as a alcohol addict. You are being mark.
14)Don’t judge by the comment or the addiction that the person have. Dig deep and understand the problem that the person going through.
15)Being a support to the person that has the addict. And being there and go through with the person of recovery.
16)Being a support. Being there when the person need. Don’t ignore when they voice up.
17)As of now keep my whole day occupied.
18)Getting myself occupied with activity such as workout, hang out with friends to bring away negative thoughts.
19)Blue and white
20)I’m not sure. Just be there and support them throughout. Check out on them on and off.