An unfortunate pattern–when someone in his thirties of forties starts using drugs

I don’t want to go into any detail here, because this involves someone who asked me for advice, in confidence, a few years ago.

So all I can say is this: Be weary of a man who, in his forties, suddenly develops a fitness program and makes spectacular progress with regard to fitness, for example running or cycling, and weight loss.

It could be a sign of something else… such as a mid life crisis and a brand new hard drugs habit.

I’ve seen this happen twice with two people from very different backgrounds. Getting in shape takes work and usually isn’t easy. If you see someone making miraculous progress, especially a middle aged or older man, you should be skeptical. It could be a sign of something wrong. There are exceptions, of course, but if someone who never ran in his life is suddenly completing half marathons or winning cycling races and everybody is loving his progress, which is an inspiration to all, he might have a problem.

I started using meth in my mid thirties and used for eight or nine years in all, and I was the only one in rehab who started so old. At the time, I foolishly thought this made me unique. It didn’t. It is a less common pattern for sure, but now that I’ve seen it twice more I know it does happen. When we develop a drug habit in our thirties or older, it doesn’t follow the usual pattern. (Someone younger never develops proper life skills or responsibilities.) We already have life skills, responsibilities, maybe even our own companies. We start slower than the younger addicts, use the drugs in an almost controlled manner, and it seems beneficial at first. Examples are like my two friends, one who excelled in running and the other in cycling. But it all ends very badly. After asking for my advice and rejecting the idea of confiding in his wife, my friend vanished from social media. We weren’t so close and now I have no idea what happened to him.

It feels like I didn’t emphasize this enough, so I’ll reiterate. Drugs do seem beneficial at first. So someone can appear to be doing very well, especially someone older who starts abusing drugs. But it doesn’t last.

Trust me on this…

Having said all that, I am starting to try getting in shape again. I’m 49 now, the age my father was when he had his first heart attack. The second one killed him at only 57 years old, so this is the right time for me to start, if not a bit late already.

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