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D.A.R.E. to Overcome Your Drug Addiction

Updated on June 4, 2012

The Four Essentials of Drug Free Living

Drug addiction can be defeated if you D.A.R.E. to overcome it. To defeat drug addiction you must have a strong Desire, maintain a positive Attitude, learn to Resist pressure from your peers, and finally you must Educate yourself about the dangers of drug use and its consequences.

I was addicted to crack cocaine for twelve years, during which time I had but two goals: my first goal was to smoke crack, and when it was all gone, my second goal was to find more crack to smoke. It was a senseless cycle but I was powerless to help myself or to change my life because like so many others who dibble and dabble with drugs, I had already become a victim of drug addiction.

It has been almost twenty years since I smoked my last crack rock, and even to this very day, whenever I think back to those incredibly dark and lonely trouble-filled years of my life it is still extremely difficult to comprehend my reasoning during that disparaged era when crack cocaine ruled my life.

Most Americans live a fast-paced life that often demands a quick and easy fix for everything. It has almost become second-nature for us to seek the quickest and easiest remedy, or solution to our concerns and problems, enabling us to arrive at a preconceived solution with little or no effort on our part. For example, rather than diet and exercise, we would rather take a pill to lose weight. Even many doctors are quick to prescribe cholesterol lowering drugs for patients with high levels of bad cholesterol, when in most instances a simple change in diet will suffice.

Likewise, many substance abusers are also looking for a quick fix to combat their addiction; wanting to believe the popular notion that a thrity-day stay in a drug rehabilitation facility is sufficient to cure years of drug abuse. Although it is a beginning, it is not the cure. As a veteran substance abuser, I can tell you that there is no shortcut on the long and difficult road to recovery. There is no pill to counter drug addiction, and you cannot fix a drug habit with a drug.

Everything and anything that affects our lives, either negatively or positively, is predicated on the choices we make. Drug addiction is the result of making wrong choices. For me it was taking that first hit of crack which at the time seemed to be just another harmless adventure. I found out that no matter how difficult it may appear, you can regain control of your life. The reason many people never overcome their addiction is that they are not willing to take the steps necessary to implement what I refer to as the D.A.R.E. tactic. D.A.R.E. encompases four life changing steps that will completely transform your life if you will make them an intricate part of your everyday routine.


Desire is what fuels the human spirit to motivation and achievement. Desire begins in the invisible and secret world of your mind’s imagination where you are motivated to dream good dreams—dreams of success and prosperity. Ideas, inventions, and business all begin as dreams that are motivated from desire and need. If you feel the need to be drug free then your desire to be free will grow.

I don't believe anyone wakes up one day and say, "My desire is to be a the best substance abuser I can be." I believe people start out as drug users for fun, as I did, trying to enjoy a different taste of life and without realizing that they have fallen into a dark and lonely hole they have somehow given up up on ever returning to the vibrant life they once knew.

The very first of four life changing steps toward overcoming your addiction is to change your desire for quality of life. The pressures of everyday living make our desires and dreams appear unreachable; however, to reach your goals you must believe that nothing is impossible. What do you desire that seems to be beyond your reach? Do you desire to get your family back? Do you desire to have a better relationship with your parents, your spouse, or your children? Or do you desire to simply be free of your addiction and live a normal life free of drugs? You can do all of these things and more if you DARE to overcome your drug addiction.


Just as desire fuels the human spirit to motivation, your attitude is the life blood of your desire. Attitude is the disposition of the mind that gives birth to character. Maintaining a positive attitude is a critical characteristic that you must possess and retain if you really have a desire to overcome your drug addiction. But how can you have a good attitude about life when you are addicted to a substance that has consumed your life against your will?

I remember the dark years of my life as a crack addict; the last years were the darkest. The only thing I had to look forward to was my next hit of crack. My desire to be free of my addiction drove me to my “rock bottom.” I was homeless and I had nowhere to go; I had lost my family, so I had no one to turn to, and the only motivation I had was my desire for a better quality of life.

Your hope will never die if you keep your dream alive. The only difference between a good and a bad day is your attitude. You can either perceive your situation as hopeless or you can use your hopelessness to motivate a change in your life.


Life is like a river current. It is always moving and like the river, the circumstances of life change from day to day. Drug addicts are like fish swimming in the mighty current of life. When a person who has problems with substance abuse becomes complacent, such a person will often give in to the many adverse problems and circumstances of life. Any dead fish can float down stream, but only a live fish can be agile enough to swim against the current. You have the power to choose your own destiny, but that choice is dependent upon how you assert your will.

There are no words that can describe just how difficult it was for me to fight the overwhelming urge to smoke crack once I had finally concluded that I would seek help for my addiction. I quickly learned what it meant to resist. The most difficult thing for me was to distance myself from my drug addict friends. It didn’t take long for me to realize that we no longer shared the same desires. Although I still had a strong desire to smoke crack, my desire to re-establish my life outweighed my desire to smoke crack

Learning to use your power of self will can be your greatest asset in the struggle to overcome your addiction. Drugs have a unique way of testing your will power as they tested the power of my will. Every time I determined that I would stop using one of my addicted peers would somehow show up with a pill bottle full of rocks and say “let’s go get loaded.” Like me, you will quickly learn the value of your self will and how important it can be in a desperate situation.


If you D.A.R.E. to overcome your addiction, the final step will be to educate yourself concerning the dangers and health risks associated with using the drug of your choice. On the streets we only learn the basics about the dangers of addiction—basic stuff that all drug addicts learn, such as, too much crack smoked over a short span of time will cause a user to go into cardiac arrest, and if you allow your crack pipe to get too hot, you could very well burn your lungs. But if you are serious about wanting to quit I advise you to learn how your drug of choice works in your body, and what it can do to your body in the long term and what you can do to counter its effects.

If you educate yourself, learning all you can about the drug of your choice you will be equipped to deal with the onslaught of relapse conditions that will come to attack your body and your mind when you decide to quit your habit. Once you have learned how your drug works against your body, there is no doubt in my mind that you will be able to implement the D.A.R.E tactic to Desire a better lifestyle, use your Attitude to make the necessary changes in your life and Resist anything and everyone that will stand in the way of your success. And finally, Educate yourself to the dangers and perils of addiction from the viewpoint of your drug of choice and you will win the struggle against drug addiction.


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