Can a person come back after heavy meth use? Do you have an example you could share?
My brother started using meth shortly after finding out he was HIV positive. It was introduced by a “friend” who said it was a good way to escape temporarily. It basically destroyed the life he had and after a few months we (his family and friends) were able to get him into rehab. He moved in with my parents and was “clean” for a while.
Four or five months later he moved out, was looking for a job, and presumably trying to get on with his life. Just this week he has let our parents know that he’s been using again, heavily, for the past 6 months or so. He’s moved back in and is trying to sober up. They’re amazing people, and are trying to help him in any way they can.
Before all this my brother was extremely intelligent, independent, and charismatic. This isn’t a rosy memory, he really was. He went to a great school on a scholarship, graduated with a degree in science, danced on broadway, owned his own business, and generally went after whatever he wanted. There was no question he was gifted in many areas. When someone told me he was using originally, I thought they were joking.
Interacting with him now (and in the recent past) it’s hard to attach the person he is with those memories of him. He’s so angry, so hurtful to those around him, and so draining. Any thoughts of independence are gone and he’s easily overwhelmed. He has manufactured memories from his past that aren’t reality and uses those to justify his actions now. It’s hard to put into words but he’s a different person completely. It’s very difficult to watch, I’m sure it’s even harder to live.
I’ve read several articles and studies regarding the short and long term effects of the drug on the brain and body. I think I have a fair understanding of that aspect. I can’t find much anecdotal discussion of the long term effects on personality though. Are people able to get back to some sort of reasonable life?
Assuming he stays away from meth and other drugs, assuming he makes good choices from here, and assuming there isn’t too much damage already, will my brother come back? I know he may not be all that he was, but will his personality and to some extent, his drive, return with time?
Have you or anyone you know been through this? Were they able to create a happy life for themselves afterwards? I’d really love a happy story right now, but any real life examples are appreciated.
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