Resources For Getting Sober
If youre looking for a book on a spiritual path to addiction recovery check out Spirit Junkie: A Radical Road to Self-Love and Miracles. This is my memoir and a guidebook that Im proud to say has helped many people get sober. Grab a copy here.
Elisa Hallerman of Recovery Management Agency is your go-to resource for families or individuals seeking guidance on their recovery path.
InTheRooms.com is a beautiful social networking community for people in recovery.
If youre interested in learning more about the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, Google AA alongside the name of your city, town or county. Listings will come up and all meetings will welcome you.
If youre not sure youre an addict and need further guidance, check out the book Living Sober.
What Are Your Everyday Addictions
Im not laying this out to scare you. I want you to understand how your mind works and how much of the modern world is designed to create addictive behaviors and capitalize on them. . I think it is only fair that you know at least some of what the companies marketing to you know to level the playing field a little bit.
What A Caffeine Detox Is Like
Ok, I feel lousy.
Im tired, unmotivated, and my heads foggy.
I have half a headache and Im cranky. Why? Yesterday I decided to start a caffeine detox.
For several weeks Ive felt the need to reset my caffeine clock. If youre not sure what Im talking about, I needed to return to the time before I had such a tolerance for caffeine. A wonderful time where one coffee would bring feelings of elation and joy, leaving me ready to take on whatever task was before me.
Unfortunately, the occasional coffee turned into one a day, then two a day, then mixed with energy drinks and chocolate covered espresso beans. Wham, I was hooked. I soon noticed that I wasnt really getting the benefits of caffeine anymore and really just needed it to maintain a new sense of normal so I decided to detox.
Yesterday I cut back to one coffee and its now been over 24 hours without any caffeine.
The withdrawal symptoms are making it very hard to get my work done today, but Im plugging on as the receptors in my brain learn to readjust from their caffeine fed state.
Caffeine detox isnt as easy as one would think and I can definitely see the ties to addiction that caffeine possesses. There is also the little voice that keeps telling me to make a pot of coffee and all of this will go away.
However, Im listening to the bigger voice telling me how great a cup of coffee will be at the end of my two month detox from caffeine.
Take Small Steps To Setting Patterns
Patterns dont take hold instantly. It takes time for a pattern to become a pattern or for an action to become a habit. Pretend you drink everyday , and you have a goal of completely becoming sober from drinking alcohol. Instead of quitting cold turkey and suddenly stop drinking, meanwhile putting yourself at risk for withdrawal, it is easier and more efficient to limit yourself to smaller drinking patterns. Setting small goals such as only allowing yourself one drink today with dinner rather than a drink with every meal makes it easier to follow and easier to track how well you are progressing in your goals, therefore motivating you to continue your journey.
What Is A Habit
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a habit is a repeated action. A more in-depth look to this general definition of habit includes: something that you do often and regularly, sometimes without knowing you are doing it something annoying that someone often does and a strong physical need to keep taking a particular drug .
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How Long Does It Take To Break An Addiction To Cocaine
Cocaine in its most basic form is already highly addictive, and crack cocaine is one of the three most addictive drugs there are. While cocaine withdrawal symptoms are not usually life-threatening, seizures are possible for some individuals, and anyone who is abusing cocaine and alcohol at the same time is at risk of arrhythmia or heart attack during detox.
Fatigue and depression usually hit after 24 hours, and although recovering addicts sleep often and deeply for the first 72 hours, they may not feel rested. In the first week, other symptoms will appear, such as:
- Bad dreams
- Drug cravings
During that first week and leading into week two, youll develop symptoms that can last for up to ten weeks, including:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Mood swings
- Depression and anxiety
Drug cravings will continue throughout, and may actually worsen a few weeks after the initial detox. It is important to handle stress with exercise, counseling, and other healthy coping mechanisms during this time, to prevent relapse.
Why Is Sexual Addiction So Difficult To Overcome
Sexual addiction is one of the most challenging addictions to overcome.
With substance addictions, like alcoholism or drug addiction, it is possible to simply discontinue the use of the substance entirely. But with process addictions like sexual addiction and eating disorders, its impossible to just give up food or sex for life. They are interwoven into the fabric of our being and so the goal is to integrate them into our lives in a healthier way.
But because sexual addiction and compulsive sexual behaviour is just the mechanism that numbs out the difficult emotions that addicts are unwilling to face and heal their way through, the most sustainable way that a sex addict can overcome their addiction is to work through their underlying emotional turmoil that keeps them stuck.
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The Most Addictive Drugs
The top three most addictive drugs are heroin, crack cocaine and crystal meth. This is due to how quickly these drugs cause dramatic physical and mental effects, including hijacking the brains neurotransmitters, which are chemicals the brain uses to control and monitor behavior and reinforce life-sustaining actions such as eating food. Your brain will literally train you to keep using illicit drugs in the same way that it trains you to take care of your physical wellbeingonly this training is much more powerful because the brain is releasing 10 times as much dopamine in response to illicit drugs than it ever does for healthy behaviors.
Once you are physically addicted, you will experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking your drug of choice. While everyones detox experience is different, there are some general symptoms and timelines you can expect.
Addictions Arent Always That Obvious
I realize that the previous example was very jarring, and most people think I would never let that happen to me!
But most addictions dont destroy your lifethat would be too obvious. Most addictions slowly sap you of your energy, focus, and passion, condemning you to a mediocre life.
Thats why theyre so dangerous. You dont even realize that youre an addict, and all the while, youre being drained of your vital energy and will power. This is something known as the slight edge effect, where something isnt huge enough to be noticeable, but just slowly saps away at your energy.
A lot of people struggle with addictions. In fact, I would go so far as to say that 99.99% of people are addicted to something, whether it be something extremely serious like heroin or methamphetamine, or something less serious like technology or food.
This is because our society indirectly encourages addictions. We live in a culture where most people have lost meaning. We have our passions crushed out of us at a young age by the Prussian school system, and consequently end up working jobs that we hate for the rest of our lives.
Were bombarded with advertising and marketingwere promised happiness if we buy the latest product. So, we waste our time and our money pursuing things of little value. This makes our lives miserable and devoid of any higher meaning.
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Make A Decision To Change
When it comes to dealing with any addictive behaviour, it all begins with you. The very first step towards recovery is recognising that you have a drug problem, and deciding to make a change. For most people struggling with drugs and alcohol addiction, this is normally the toughest step. Well, its quite normal to feel uncertain if its the right time to open up to your drug problem or if you have what it takes to call it quits. However, you must make tough decisions if at all you want to change.
Expect to feel conflicted about giving up a drug, even if you know its affecting your life negatively. Nevertheless, its still possible to get over such conflicts by committing to change. This will motivate you to begin the journey to overcoming your addictive behaviour, and, in the process regain control of your life.
Natural Recoverers Kick Addiction Without Help
- By Christine Junge, Contributor
ARCHIVED CONTENT: As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date each article was posted or last reviewed. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
A few years ago, a friend of mine decided to quit smoking. She didnt follow any pre-set plan, like Nicotine Anonymous, or do any research. Instead, she just quit. She also took up running, and around the same time started dating someone newsomeone who didnt smoke. Shes been cigarette-free ever since.
We tend to think that stopping an addictive behavior means joining a group, seeing a therapist, going to a treatment center, or taking a medication that helps with cravings. It may come as a surprise to youit certainly surprised methat some people break addictions without any help.
It turns out that my friend instinctively did what these natural recoverers often do to break addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, and other problems. Many natural recoverers take these two steps:
Both of these steps are important on their own, but they also lead to a vital outcome: the person becomes reinvested in himself or herself and in a new community, most likely of people who arent involved in the object of addiction.
Have you recovered from an addiction? Tell us what worked for you.
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How Many Days Does It Take To Break An Addiction
Addiction is a very complex and individualized medical disorder but research indicates that most people need at least 90 days in treatment to experience significant and lasting outcomes.3 Medical detox, which is often the first phase of addiction treatment, only breaks a persons physical addiction to a substance but it does not address psychological addiction, behavioral issues, and mental health problems. The detox process can take anywhere from five to seven days, but its impossible to say exactly how long it will take because the severity and duration of withdrawal vary greatly from person to person.
The amount of time it takes to break an addiction is highly dependent on the person, his or her specific substance abuse problems, and his or her treatment needs. People also progress through recovery programs at varying speeds so it is impossible to determine a specific duration of time in treatment that will work for everyone.
Asking The Higher Power To Eliminate Your Shortcomings
While you already showed your humility when you first realized you need help to get rid of your porn addiction, this step again calls for you to expand further your humility throughout your recovery journey.
This step encourages you towards self-introspection and to remind you that you are powerless over your porn addiction and need the higher power to eliminate your shortcomings.
You must be willing to change and adapt the positive character traits you listed in the previous step, and have the desire to eliminate all the negative traits.
With this, you must once again place your belief in the higher power to assist you make these changes.
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Focus On Your Deepest Passions
We typically indulge in addictions to take our mind off problems, painful emotions, or simply to hide our insecurities. These addictions provide us with a sense of control that helps carry us forward through to the next day.
Addictions however only hold power over you when you simply have nothing else to use as a substitute. In other words, you are prioritizing your addictions over other aspects of your life. Your addictions essentially become more important than anything else you could even fathom doing in that moment.
However, Im sure you have some healthy passions. You may even have an inkling of your lifes purpose. Possibly you also have some big goals you want to achieve. What are these things in your life? Do you even have a bucket list?
Why not create a bucket list of things you would like to do this year, this month, or maybe even this week? What things are you passionate about that you could add to your bucket list? What hobbies would you like to try? How else could you distract yourself from your addictions?
When you start giving more priority to your lifes passions and hobbies, your addictions will gradually start fading off into the distance.
Matrix Intensive Outpatient Treatment For People With Stimulant Use Disorders: Counselor’s Family Education Manual W/cd
This comprehensive kit provides substance use disorder treatment professionals with a year-long intensive outpatient treatment model. Professionals can use this model when treating clients who are dependent on stimulant drugs, such as methamphetamine and cocaine. Access family education sessions and handouts.
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Be Aware Of The Power Of Addiction
Love is a powerful drug that affects your brain in deep, primal ways. You literally feel addicted to someone you love especially if you cant be with him. And, you know how difficult it is to break an addiction to anything why would breaking an addiction to an ex love relationship be any different?
Think of all the support that is needed to break an addiction to eating, gambling, or drugs. Support groups, counseling, in-patient programs, certain types of food , and even prescription medications are used to break addictions. Thats because addiction is powerful. Its important to realize that falling in love, breaking up, and healing your broken heart toxic relationship or not is similar to breaking an addiction to any type of substance.
Its painful and difficult to break your addiction to a toxic relationship because that person has literally changed your brain chemistry. Getting through a breakup when youre still in love is one of the hardest things youll ever do.
But wait, theres good news! Just because you feel addicted to your ex-boyfriend or ex-husband right now doesnt mean youll always feel this way. Take heart, have hope! Maybe even dig into your faith and belief in God. Thats the love that conquers all.
The Anatomy Of Addiction
How does addiction actually begin? Perhaps not surprisingly, it starts with the acceptance of delusional thought processes about oneself, allowing these to become rooted in one’s personal belief system. As a consequence, addiction stems from faulty core beliefs about oneself that affect how reality is perceived.
Each person develops a belief system that is the sum of the assumptions, judgments and ideas that he or she holds to be true. This belief system contains potent family messages about such matters as one’s value or worth, relationships, needs and sexuality. When these core beliefs become inaccurate or faulty, they have the potential to provide fundamental momentum necessary for the development of an addiction.
What are some of these irrational beliefs? Perhaps the most common is the perception of not being a worthwhile person. Addicts believe that other people would not value them as a person if everything about them was known, including their addiction.
They also believe that their choice, their agent of addiction, is their most important need. Obtaining this pleasure, or perhaps relief or distraction from pain, becomes life’s greatest obsession. The addictive agent or behavior begins to be viewed as the only thing that makes their isolation bearable. Consequently, faulty personal core beliefs become the anchor points for intensifying degrees of addiction.
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Keep A Journal Of Your Thoughts And Experiences
Sometimes the one thing missing that would help us overcome our addictions is self-awareness which of course leads to self-understanding.
One of the best ways to gain that self-understanding is through the practice of journaling.
Getting into the habit of journaling your thoughts at the end of each day or first thing in the morning can help you to assess what youve done and how you feel about it.
You can use journaling as a tool to help you evaluate your beliefs, fears, decisions, emotions and behavior throughout the day. The insights you gain from this practice can help you become more aware of why you do what you do. You will better understand your emotional triggers and how they have created your reality.
You can then, of course, use these insights to consciously change your behavior and potentially avoid succumbing to your addictions the very next day.
Journaling is naturally a process. Its something that takes time. The more often you journal your thoughts, the greater insights you will gather, and the more you will know and understand about yourself. You can then use that self-understanding to work through your addictions far more effectively.