What a history of addiction means is that you have made a habit of abusing drugs or other addictive substances throughout most of your life. There are people who have begun to collect their history of addiction as early as 6 years old. Six year olds have been known to go into medicine cabinets and take pills and not be caught or have a noticeable reaction. At a slightly older age, some children have been known to go into their families liquor cabinets and take a shot of whatever is in there from bourbon to vodka. Those same children in grade school may begin to experiment with smoking pot. Later on in high school, their addiction to stimulants and depressives may lead to more dangerous drugs like cocaine or heroin. That is what is meant by a history of addiction. How would such a history of chemically induced behavior affect your thinking processes?
The most obvious is that your thinking processes are no longer normal in the conventional sense. You may assume that you are thinking properly and that you are basing your behavior and your attitudes in normal and acceptable ways. The rest of the world, which is your immediate environment, sees you as neurotic, obsessed, nervous, paranoiac, and worse yet highly defensive and maybe violent if you can’t get your addictive chemical to soothe the displaced neurotransmitters that are in your brain. Why do some people build a history of addiction while others raised in similar circumstances don’t?
The answer is that not all people have the same central nervous system. Each of us is born with his or her own genetic code that determines most of what we later call our personality. From our personality we build our character. Some people have a stronger character than others in terms of being able to cope with living under pressure and stress without resorting to drugs to cope with those stressors. Some people with no obvious stressors in their lives succumb to addictive substances because they simply like the way they feel when they are under the influence of their drug of choice. Each person has the right to choose his own path, but people that choose to include addiction in their lives find themselves confronted by community pressures from law officials and even from employers. Your freedom to choose addiction and go through life with a history of addiction has no bearing on an employer who might say that he does not want some with a history of addiction working for him.
That is one of the major hurdles for former addicts to overcome when trying to stop their cycle of drug and alcohol addiction. Employers have their criteria and drug addiction is on most of their lists for employees they do not want to hire. If you do have a history of addiction, you can try to let a local job placement service find you a job. Another hurdle for drug addicts is their dependence on friends, even when looking for work. For the most part those friends have been silently allowing their friends drug or alcohol addiction or even encouraging it. If you have a history of drug addiction, moving away and beginning a new life might be the first step to quitting your dependence on drugs. You might be taking your addiction with you, but you will have time to clean your central nervous system from the drug you are using if you can’t find a source to aid your drug dependence. That time may be all you need to quit drugs once and for all.