There is Always Time
In the drug culture i.e. that is where people use drugs and alcohol to get drunk and get high on a daily and regular basis. There is a group that has come about all over the country. It is known as the drug culture and yes it is a culture within our culture. No matter the color, creed, gender or age. It is fully developed and growing.
For some unknown reason to society, people like to get high and on top of that, they have no idea of the direction that their lives will take usually in a downward spiral. By then it is to late and it is on and on until one of three things happen.
- they die (overdose or other mishaps)
- they go to prison (for a long period of time)
- they end up in a rehabilitation center (a better place to be)
Recovery from addiction is possible although it is difficult, it can be done. The principles of recovery are many but simple if guided or applied properly. As I wrote in another article titled “What Addiction Is Not”. It begins in most cases as a lark and a party but what happens when the party is over. And you are still drinking and drugging because of the tolerance and craving for the drug. People, places, and things is a sure way to continue the party to be accepted. What addiction is not. It is not fun. The drug or the drink takes on a life of its own and rules and overrules all else. It becomes an obsession. The physical and psychological part makes the body crave until a sickness sets in until the drug or drink is put back in the body. That is called withdrawal and then “coping” to get the next fix. This can go on for days, months and years, when it goes into years, the culture is born. The immediacy of using is all encompassing, live to use, and use to live. Some people have no idea or remember when there was a time when they were not using alcohol and drugs. that is a shame but it is true. Now, I do not know the exact number off hand but I do know that the addicts and alcoholics number in the millions that is millions of people are using drugs and alcohol.
What Is It That Has Caused This Phenomena?
Recovery is a process. When most people started using, they started socially and in groups. Now recovery is also a social event. A group of addicts and alcoholics come together in a rehab center to stop using and stay stop. The Program is structured according to the people and the addictions that is in play. There are detox center (hospitals) for medically monitored detox from the substance such as alcohol, heroin, meth and cocaine. There are a lot more substances that are abused but these are the main players. After the detox and the substance has been flushed from the body, a rehab for long term treatment is appropriate but many people go right back out and use again. When a person is truly tired of being tired and hit rock bottom. It is possible that they will take some direction and go into a rehabilitation center. Once the person is in the center, there are rules and regulations to follow. A main rule is no drugs or alcohol on the premises or used when out in the community. This is to hard for some people to follow. The people who do follow the rules and practice abstinence, soon find out that they can remain sober. Then there is the craving, the dreams, physically and mentally. It appears from what I have been told, it is as if the drug or drink is calling out to them.
How Do They Resist?
The Program has what is called tools. Such as group sessionsthat address this as well as individual counseling sessions. the tools being many and varied are things from relapse prevention, role play, positive affirmations and just learning to grow up. Most people stop growing when they start using drugs and alcohol. So you could possibly find a 45 year old woman who is still 16 years old. The growth curve is not hard to achieve in an adult if they apply themselves.
So with all that said. Let’s say a person successfully completes the program in 18 months, graduates and receives a certificate. Now that does not mean they have graduated from using sustances. It does mean that they have successfully applied the principles to themselves and are suppose to be ready to go back into the community and become a productive citizen. The test starts upon leaving the program. Usually as a part of the program, the person is helped to get a job, an apartment and maybe even entered a school for training. That is all good.
The person goes out and starts to apply the principles to his/her life.
All is going well. The apartment is good, the job is great and although the school is good, it is stressful. The trials begin, the craving starts, you know like, “just one hit, nobody is going to know”. The person has been introduced to self help groups/meetings such as Narcotic Anonymous, Alcoholic Anonymous and other self help groups too numerous to name. These are a part of the coping mechanism when the craving starts (tell on the disease), it will become afraid and go away. The problem is, it will be back. in the rooms, you can vent. In the rooms are people just like themselves who have been there and done that. The help and advice to be gained from these individuals is priceless.
So let’s go back to the days that the job is good, the apartment is good but the school is stressful. The cravings start. the negative talk self talk start, such as, “One hit won’t hurt and nobody is going to know.” The person caves in and goes to his to his/her old hangout spot to greet some of the old partners (people, places and things). So he/she cops and goes home. The drug or drink is better than remembered. “WOW”. The problem is they cannot stop. The one that wouldn’t hurt caused them to lose the job, lose the apartment, get kicked out of school and end up in a homeless shelter. What a bummer. the rooms of Narcotics Anonymous are still available to them if they are not too ashamed to go back. This is when with some humility they can start again.
The truth is that this did not have to happen. The rooms have what is called sponsors and the 12 Steps. These are tools to use to prevent relapse because that is what I have just described. For anyone who is reading this and you are in any part of the process, use all the tools not just some of them.