Marijuana, pain-killers, and cocaine are just a few of the drugs people think they can use without becoming an addict. But even without an official diagnosis, the drugs can have a big impact on users' lives.
He won the super bowl with Tom Brady and the Patriots, then Chris Sullivan spiraled out of control. He started taking pain killers after an injury.
Former New England Patriot Chris Sullivan says, "It's just such a small pill, you know, you're like what can this really do to me?"
Chris didn't think he had a drug problem, then a friend turned him on to heroin, and he was hooked. His $25,000 a month habit took over his life.
Dr. J. Wesley Boyd says, "For people who are vulnerable to them, the very first time they take one of these pills, it might be the best that they feel in their entire lives."
Harvard Medical School's Doctor Wes Boyd says 10% of the population are true addicts, others don't use drugs at all. In between are recreational drug users and many might be considered almost addicted.
Boyd: "Consider as seriously as possible exactly how you are using substances and how they make you feel."
The doctor tells us these people fall short of being diagnosed as addicts, but drugs can still hurt their health, daily lives, and relationships. There's a chance, that like Chris, they could become full blown addicts.
Here are some warning signs: users can only relax in social settings when they're on drugs. They miss functions or obligations because they're high. Their careers suffer, and they have conflicts with co-workers, family, or friends.
Chris has been drug free since 2008, and hopes his experience will help stop other almost addicts from crossing the line.
Sullivan: "You really got to pay attention, you know. I didn't. And it can happen to anyone."
Doctor Boyd says there are several things loved ones can do to help almost addicts, including employing leverage.
He says in some cases, the seven "c"s could convince them to seek help. That means, cutting off their access to cash, credit cards, checks, cars, cell phones, and computers, and implementing a curfew.
For more about almost addicts go to: WWW.THEALMOSTEFFECT.COM
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