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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Trauma and Addiction

Working Towards Understanding and Empathy

 
 
Addiction is a concept that can be extremely difficult to understand, for both those in it’s grasp and those observing it’s destruction. Understanding and treating addiction can be overwhelming and complex. Oftentimes we don’t know where to begin. In my experience over the last ten years working in the mental health field, I’ve learned about the important role that trauma plays in developing addiction, whether that be to a substance or destructive behavior. As a result, I’m a firm believer that one can’t find themselves addicted without first experiencing some level of trauma.
 
CREATES THE PERFECT STORM”Oftentimes we view trauma as something dramatic and in your face. We conjure up images of war, death and violent assaults. But the reality is that the majority of trauma is much more insidious and understated. Having a parent who sent you the message that nothing you did was ever good enough. Never feeling like you really fit in growing up. The loss of a serious romantic relationship. I’ve heard trauma described as “anything less than nurturing”. If that is true, we have all experienced trauma at some point in our lives. And if this trauma hasn’t been processed, we are walking around with an open wound.
 
 
 
Trauma can be far reaching in its influence on one’s life. Trauma can impact our beliefs about ourselves, the quality of our relationships, even how our brain biology works. It can lead to feelings of low self worth, chronic hypervigilance and can result in self destructive behaviors. Addiction can be understood as an attempt to cope with the discomfort of trauma, to escape and deny the painful reality of what one has experienced, to create a false confidence when inside one is falling apart or questioning their worth. Addiction is utilized as a chemical solution to a soul problem. And trauma creates the perfect storm for desperation to feel better, any way that we can. Thus, the addiction isn’t necessarily the problem, but the attempted solution to the real problem. And if we aren’t treating the real problem, our trauma, we aren’t treating our addiction.
 

 

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

I started with lines of Meth but quickly wanted to try shooting it. I asked one of my friends who was shooting Meth and he said to me, “This will change your life.” I thought he was being dramatic, but in all honesty, it did change my life, because I got just as addicted to that needle as anything. It was all in the ritual and the process. Getting it, burning it, making it, pulling that cloud of blood, and pushing it back in. You get the taste of it in your mouth before it’s even in your body. I loved the ritual so much that if I had drugs but no needle, I’d hold onto the drugs until I could get one. It’s overwhelming what that needle did to me and how it controlled my life for the next ten years.

My drug addiction overtook my life and I started doing crazy things. I’d go to Las Vegas to score a bunch of dope get loaded for days on end. I’d sell drugs to support my habit, I began ripping off everyone I knew, and started to get into a little bit of trouble with the law.

Because of my hookups, I could get pills for around $5 each, then turn around and sell them for $40. I’d use the money to purchase Meth and Heroine. If I didn’t have the money, I’d steal, manipulate, and hustle to get the drugs. I’d even walk into convenience stores, grab two cases of beer, and walk right out like I owned the place. I wasn’t even stealing the good beer either, I’d take two 30-packs of Stroh’s because that’s as much as I could carry. One time a big Polynesian lady gave chase and, being 130 pounds, I couldn’t outrun her with a case in each hand. I was running as fast as I could but she was catching up to me, so I had to ditch one of the 30s. It must have looked really interesting to the bystanders as I ran down the road, hugging a case of 30s while a big Polynesian lady chased me.

I made it back to the hotel and was out on the front porch smoking a cigarette when I saw a police car pull up to the building. I knew that police car was coming for me, but I just didn’t have it in me to run anymore. That was a moment of clarity and serenity for me. I could have taken off and probably got away, because I would have had a huge head start, but I just sat there and smoked that cigarette. I watched them go to the lobby, come up the stairs, walk towards me, and I just surrendered right there. I wanted to be done using but I didn’t know how. I wanted to be sober, but I didn’t think it was possible for me, because once I got sober, that’s when the true pain would begin. They took me to the Utah county jail where I detoxed over the next few days. Detoxing in jail was terrible but I also think it might be the best way to do it. Nobody is going to come and check on you, see how you’re doing or what they can do for you. You just have to suffer and you can’t act like a little bitch about it because you’re in jail. I appeared before the same judge I had to present to many times before, and this judge had given me every chance in the past, but this time he was finally fed up with me and sentenced me to serve a year in jail.

This is a portion of an incredibly moving story I wrote about my friend. Please check out the rest of it at https://brightonrecoverycenter.com/needles-new-life-matts-story-rehab-recovery/

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Originally Posted @ http://www.newbridgerecovery.com/drug-addiction-alcoholism-different/

Is the junkie shooting dope that much different than the alcoholic who drinks a bottle-a-day? Does the addicted brain treat alcohol and drugs the same, or is it a different problem altogether? How much of a similarity exists between a person who abuses alcohol and another who abuses pills, powders, illegal drugs, etc.?This post explores the lengthy controversy over whether drug addiction and alcoholism are the same or different.

Cultural Divide

Perhaps the biggest difference between drug addiction and alcoholism is that alcohol is legal and socially acceptable. Humans have been drinking alcohol, to excess, for thousands of years. While alcoholism isn’t socially approved, it is certainly not as taboo as drug addiction. While drugs like cocaine or amphetamines may make the user more social, they are certainly looked down on by the majority of our society. Because of the illegality of drug usage, finding drugs dealers, buying drugs, and using drugs is more riskier and even dangerous than going to the liquor store or bars.In treatment centers and in 12 step programs, much effort is spent classify someone as an addict or alcoholic. Alcoholics Anonymous suggests that drug addiction shouldn’t be mentioned at meetings. The truth is that the issue of “addict or alcoholic” may not be as important as it seems.

Drug addiction and alcoholism can take people to similar places. They can lead to jail, bankruptcy, divorce, and homelessness. Addicts are prone to overdoses, alcoholics are prone to accidents. A person at the advanced stages of alcoholism sitting next to a seasoned addict would often fool the casual observer.

Scientific Similarities

 

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Posted by on in Drug Addiction

Life is different after #addiction   in so many ways. The line between those who drink and get high and those who don’t can appear like a dividing wall in some situations. Here are just a few things that only sober people can understand – and "  #Norms" never will. 

1. People often act like it’s a shocking thing that you don’t drink. Pretty frequently, maybe half the time, people respond to your assertion that you don’t drink with genuine #shock and awe. Maybe they really mean that they couldn’t possibly do it or maybe they can’t understand why anyone would want to. Either way, it happens.

2. People tend to spend a lot more money on drinks than they realize. Alcohol costs money, and under the influence people tend to spend more than they would otherwise on other things as well. Sober people can sit back and watch the bill pile up and quickly.

3.  #Dating is that much harder when your date drinks heavily. As if getting to know someone or going on a blind date weren’t hard enough – when that person wants to get a beer before dinner or chugs through half a bottle of wine over appetizers, it can be disconcerting. On the other hand, it’s never been easier to immediately identify an incompatible match when this happens. 

4. People just assume you’ll be the #designated driver. Just because you don’t plan on drinking, it doesn’t mean that you want to chauffeur a bunch of drunk people around town – but most of the time, that’s the assumption. 

5. There are no non-alcoholic alternatives at toasts. It may seem like a small thing, but it can make you feel awkward when everyone else lifts a glass of champagne at the wedding and you have to either lift a glass of water, only pretend to take a drink after, or lift nothing at all.

6. Sometimes it’s easier to lie. Rather than deal with questions or awkwardness, sometimes it’s just easier to say that you don’t feel like drinking than it is to explain that you’re sober.

7. People will push alcohol on you. Your choice not to drink  is one that you have to make every day and is sometimes harder than others. It’s not helpful or funny or cute when people attempt to coerce you into having “just one.”

8. Sometimes you lose friends because you’re sober and it's tough. Some people don’t want to be around someone who doesn’t drink or get high even if that person has been a longtime friend and is making a far larger concession to continue hanging out with them. It can hurt, and that kind of rejection can make you stronger, or it can tear down your ability to stay #sober   Either way, it’s no small thing.

What are some things that you now understand in #sobriety that you might not have when you were drinking or using drugs? Leave a comment below. 

For further reading on getting and staying sober, please read here: http://www.futuresofpalmbeach.com/relapse-prevention-programs/ 

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Posted by on in Other Addictions

Teenagers usually consider their adolescent years as a time to try out different things and experiment with what they see others doing usually out of boredom or peer pressure or simply for fun. It is only natural for curiosity to get the better of them as they are young adults with raging hormones and an inquisitive mind. They strive to be cool and want to “fit in” with what they consider as the happening crowd in society and this pressure to fit in is what drives their activities and interests.

Many teens try alcohol, drugs and tobacco at some point or another. Most of them get over it after a couple of trials and move back to normal life, while some get latched on to them and are unable to resist the urge to take them every day. They become so dependent on these substances that they find it difficult to function in their day to day life without taking them. This abnormal dependency is called substance abuse.

Substance abuse does not only affect the life of the user and his family but can also end up becoming a matter of legal concern in the user’s neighborhood. It has been found that substance abuse, if not controlled or treated, can increase the chances of the development of a violent streak in the user. If you or your loved one has been on the receiving end of violent acts at the hands of a substance abuser, you can seek legal recourse against this crime by engaging an experienced dangerous drugs and pharmaceuticals attorney.

What most parents usually worry about is that their child might get addicted to drugs such as cocaine, heroin, ecstasy, marijuana and so on. But what they tend to overlook is that they are more likely to get addicted to substances like alcohol and tobacco which are available more easily than any of the other drugs. Teenage alcoholism is not unheard of and most teenagers will get hooked on to anything that is easily within their reach.

The Link between Substance Abuse and Violence

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