- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
Give Up Addictive Drugs in Three Steps
Who Needs Twelve Steps?
People have been ingesting addictive drugs for thousands of years. Opium use dates to the Neolithic Age, and who knows how long people have been drinking alcoholic beverages. It wasn’t until the latter half of the nineteen century that various new drugs were created: enter morphine, cocaine and heroin. During the twentieth century, drugs such as amphetamines, ecstasy, PCP and many others were added to this devilish assortment (not to mention myriad prescription drugs).
During the explorative 1960s many folks, particularly young people, experimented with various drugs such as marijuana, LSD and mescaline, as part of the Peace, Love, Dope ethos, and then some began trying much harder drugs like methamphetamine and heroin. Methamphetamine was supposed to be addictive only if taken intravenously for a long period of time, but people soon learned that “speed kills,” as the warning went. However, most people have known for decades how addictive heroin is. For the Big H, there are no excuses.
In the 1970s, a decidedly hedonistic decade, many people began using cocaine, at one time considered only mildly dangerous. Of course, many people discovered otherwise soon enough. Party animals of decades past probably know some people who succumbed to cocaine’s seductive wiles – and lost their teeth or livers in the process, and quite possibly their lives as well.
Then the monstrous crack cocaine scourge hit in the 1980s. Crack is a mixture of cocaine and baking soda that is designed to smoke, making it hit the blood stream almost immediately, even faster than intravenous injection. Crack is possibly the most addictive substance ever designed by man. (Stupid us!) Crack has ravaged many areas of urban America, particularly where street gangs sell it as a means to make quick profits in order to support a violent, licentious lifestyle. The ramifications of crack use – crack babies, fiendish addiction, etc. – have only begun to be experienced. If the devil can be equated with an inanimate substance, crack is it!
And, of course, tobacco has been around for a long time.
Have you had any trouble with this crap? Yes? Well, don’t feel like the Lone Ranger. It’s been estimated that 10 percent of the people in the US are addicted to something.
This brings us to the Three-Step Method for giving up addictive drugs. If simple is better, then this method deserves a try.
Step One. You must make the commitment. Stand before a mirror and tell yourself that beyond a certain date – tomorrow, next week or January first – you will never again use the addictive drug or drugs that are ruining your life. If you prefer, make this commitment to your best friend, boyfriend, wife, mother or father – but this commitment must be made. Without your personal conviction and determination, you cannot give up addictive drugs. No drug rehab technique will work without personal commitment. Ask anybody.
Step Two. You must be willing to change your life. You can no longer hang around with the people you partied with. They’ll simply get you back into drugging, perhaps by trying to borrow money from you so they can get some stuff. Next, you can no longer go to the same places where you either tried to score the stuff and/or where you used it. Forget that alkie bar down the street or Bobby’s house, where everybody toots up on Saturday night. In fact, you should probably avoid bars and nightclubs altogether – for obvious reasons.
You may also have to stop doing whatever tends to make you want to get ripped – play video games, cruise the Internet, consort with prostitutes, play the guitar, gamble at the local Indian casino – or, you name it.. Moreover, many addicts are only good at being addicts. Therefore, you must replace one lifestyle with another. Find a hobby or two. There are plenty of them. Ever try star gazing, roller-skating or softball? Yes, indeed, you must be willing to change your life in many different ways.
In addition, you may also need to regularly attend meetings of either Narcotics Anonymous or Alcoholics Anonymous. If you live in a big city, there are chapters all over the place. There’s probably one down the street from where you live. Some people go to such meetings every single day and might have to continue doing so for the rest of their lives! If you are one of those people, find out as soon as possible and take action.
Step Three. You must stay busy. Idleness will get you into trouble sooner or later – especially idleness coupled with plenty of money to spend on drugs. That deadly duo derails addicts every time! You can’t sit around by the hour and think about packing your nose, drinking straight shots or lighting up something in that glass pipe. So, if you don’t have a job, get one, even if it pays little or nothing. Or try volunteer work. Take a walk or visit friends who aren’t addicts – anything to stay busy. Over the years, idleness will almost certainly defeat your quest for sobriety.
Please note that if you are one of those people who need detoxification before beginning any sort of psychological treatment program, the Three-Step Method may be inadequate. Ditto for anybody who has to give up every drug in order to give up their nemesis – coke, crank, Oxycontin, whatever. Apparently, some people can’t give up one drug unless they give up all drugs! (Many people hold onto their nicotine and caffeine and push away everything thing else; after all, the body can only take so much shock!) If you fit into either of the aforementioned categories, full-blown drug rehabilitation may be your only option . Check the Internet, newspaper or phone book for treatment centers – but be ready to pay lots of money! However, for those who can’t pay, sometimes health insurance or the government will pay for rehab.
Keep in mind that the Three-Step Method can help people give up addictive drugs as long as they are willing to follow every step on an hourly basis. Give it a try. What have you got to lose except a bad habit? Good luck!
John Lennon: “It’s amazing how low you go to get high.”
© 2011 Kelley