Written By: Fiona Stockard
Definition of Drug Addict
This is the Meaning of Powerlessness
What is the definition of “drug addict” and what does it mean to be “powerless”? These are concepts inherently tied to each other. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the definition of powerless is, “without power, strength, or ability; wholly unable to act, influence, etc.; helpless, impotent.”
Any experience of powerlessness requires a lack of power, of strength, of effectiveness. For me, this experience occurred the first time I did drugs. Of course, I didn’t experience powerlessness at that moment. In fact, I felt whole for the first time in my life. I watched my problems melt away as the soothing effects of opiates took control. In this haze, I knew that as long as I felt like this for the rest of my life, I’d be okay. An “addict” definition may vary from person to person, but those who find themselves to be powerless before drugs may very will meet the definition of “drug addict.”
It occurs to me that I didn’t experience powerlessness while on drugs. Rather, I was powerless when my drugs ran out. I remember the anxiety of being without pills. I had a benzo addiction, an opiate addiction, a cocaine addiction, and an alcohol addiction. Basically, you name it and I needed it to survive.
From that point on, I was powerless over my addiction. I met the definition of “drug addict” and I didn’t like it. I experienced powerlessness in a way I didn’t know existed. I was completely without power, without strength, without any ability to control how much I used.
I also lacked power over my obsessive thoughts about drugs. Pills and powder were constantly on my mind – and that’s part of the “addict” definition. Wherever I went, I thought about them. Once I began using, I had no control over the amount I’d take that day. Sometimes, I’d only use a little. Mostly, I’d use however much I could get my hands on.
Powerlessness implies a lack of control. Looking back, it’s as if from the moment I took that first drug, I had no control over my addiction. Now, as I grow in my recovery, I realize how little control I have over most situations.
I can’t control my roommate’s perception of something when we’re trying to compromise. I can’t control whether or not I get that awesome job. It’s easy to wonder what the point of recovery is at all. Of course, the answer is glaringly obvious if you work a twelve-step program!
The answer is that my power comes from a much greater force acting in my life. Yes, I’m powerless, but I have a Higher Power with a much better plan!