In AA they say a recovering addict can never use again I am in recovery myself and personally I agree with the 12 steps but I wanted to hear from you do you think once an addict always an addict.
Every addiction is some type of craving. It is totally irrational to say that once an addict, always an addict. People have mixed experiences of Anonymous help groups but do provide good emotional support. If you think slightly out of the box, Insight meditation is a wonderful way to get rid of addictions. A Vipassana meditation course will sure help; I know a lot of people who have come out of their addictions.
When people say once an addict, always an addict, they don't mean that an addict can't recover. Of course an addict can recover and live free of their addiction. What we're saying is that the underlying craving will never completely go away, so there is always a risk of a relapse.
So, the solution lies in eliminating the underlying craving. From my long experience I suggested Vipassana meditation, then there are people who work with hypnosis to do precisely the same. Regardless of what the approach is, it has to work at the subconscious level where the addiction is rooted. Emotional support of close friends or relatives always makes the task easier.
Yes, I think that's true. People who become addicts usually have an addictive or obsessive personality - often they replace one addiction with another addiction or obsession, hopefully a healthier one!
With drugs or alcohol, it's highly unlikely that a former addict can get away with having "just one" hit or "just one" drink, usually that will be enough to send them off on the spiral again. A small amount of a drug or alcohol makes you feel good - that's why you started taking them in the first place - so they're going to feel good again, and that will be enough to make you want more. And before you know it, you're hooked again.
I have several hubs on addiction. I think Marissa is right, you can replace a healthy habit for an unhealthy one, but the addiction filled a void and once you are not using (whatever), there will be a void again.
I don't believe a true addict can use just a little (of what they're addicted to) or they wouldn't be an addict in the first place.
I know there are some schools of thought -- Narcanon (based on Scientology), for one, that says you can regenerate yourself at the cellular level to not be an addict anymore.
I know people who have stopped using who choose not to call themselves addicts because they feel it's a negative stereotype and now that they are healthy, they want their identity to be healthy and who they are, not who they were.
I say, bullsh#t.
Stigma is the last thing you should be worrying about. How about worrying about a disease that wants you DEAD? It's damned serious.
It's very, very dangerous to think you are ever "cured." If you start thinking that way, pretty soon the old thoughts and reaction patterns will creep in.
If you stop treating your addiction it will sneak up on you and pounce.
You won't even realize how defenseless you let yourself become.
As they say, if you're not working on your recovery, you're working on a relapse.
I write a lot on the subject as well.
I agree with what your saying I myself know that if I take one hit I will be hooked all over again but I know some people who think that once that void is filled that caused you to become addicted you can then not have the addictive personality.
I would question what such people are filling the void with.
I would argue that they are seeing it backwards. You don't get addicted and then acquire an addictive
personality. You get addicted because you have an addictive personality.
Which is a pretty complex, dysfunctional set of perceptions and reaction patterns.
BTW, Not all addicts are chemically dependent.
You can be addicted to "socially acceptable" behaviors like workaholism or busyness or even exercising.
I think that within this particular program believing this to be true helps with the efficacy of the treatment. Other programs take other approaches.
Im addicted to raising my hubscore. I wont be ok until I have surpassed every one.
AWWWW!!!!!! Beth 37 that's to cute!!!!!! LOL!
LOL. Early on when I first joined Hub Pages (back in the Stone Age) I wrote a tongue-in-cheek hub about being addicted to Hubbing.
I haven't checked, but I'm 99.9% sure it's idled.
Being addict is different from being a perfectionist.
I have seen both sides of the coin. Sadly, I have a few family members who have spent most of their lives struggling with addiction. Even with help, sometimes the lure of the drug is just too much and they fall back into their predictable patterns. Maybe they just don't really want to stop?
I have also seen someone get clean and stay clean, however. Over six years sober now and still resisting almost any type of drug. She doesn't even like taking Tylenol for a headache.
I think it all really comes down to the person. There are a lot of factors involved that may not always be controllable.
And there are some addictions that you have to leave clean alone.... like alcohol, but with something like food, you obviously still have to nourish yourself... and then with sex... total abstinence may be good for a while, but I don't think many were meant to live their lives that way. I think that's why all those priests keep molesting children, they weren't supposed to be celebrate for a life time.
I agree. I always wondered how one could completely avoid some things in life. Even with pain medications and things like that. What if you get a really bad injury? Or childbirth? I know I couldn't have done it without drugs!
Well, maybe I could have but I sure didn't want to
People in recovery can take pain medication, but need to be careful to take them only as prescribed
and to stop taking them as soon as possible when no longer needed.
There is a very real danger of abuse and relapse there. Smart to have a healthy fear!
It's a good idea to be honest with your surgeon, dentist, or whoever is prescribing the meds that you
are in recovery.
Some have a spouse or friend administer the meds on schedule (keeping them locked up in the meantime).
Plus a vigilant group of sober friends to watch to see if you seem "out of it" or start thinking and talking like an addict.
I have seen this happen, although the person's sponsor and some alert friends nipped it pretty quickly and she is still clean and sober! Thank God!
I have no experience with treatments for some of what I call 'secondary' addictions (ones that won't lead directly to your death through liver/kidney failure, wet brain, Hep C or OD).
Internet addiction, gambling addiction -- I wonder if 12 Step programs work for them also..
As to food addiction, two points.
1. I have seen sober people put on a ton of weight. That sugar craving just takes a new form. Cookies, ice cream, cake and pie. There's a reason they pass the candy basket in AA meetings!
I've also heard people say they deliberately do not take even one piece of candy. Because once they do, they're going to want the whole basket. I totally believe it!
2. I once went to a women's retreat with AA, Al-Anon and OA members. The OA women had to have their own cabin because the rest of us were snacking night and day!
Isn't it amazing? What is of no issue with one person, is make it or break it in another persons life.
In my experience mighty mom yes the 12 steps works for other addictions I have had issues with drugs alcohol and self harm working a 12 step program has helped me to overcome a lot because I believe its not about the substance itself but the addictive personality a lot of people who struggled with one form of addiction often find them selves in a cross addiction trading one addiction for another.
Thank you for your honesty. You never know who might have read your words and identified and been
inspired to get help!
I am so glad the 12 Steps are working for you across multiple addictions.
A positive blueprint for living...
I've seen people be clever about this, i.e. they've searched for an interest, cause or hobby to become addicted to that has a positive effect, such as exercise, refugees, art, etc.
You're right that some of them weren't supposed to be celibate for a lifetime. Celibacy isn't for everyone. Matter of fact, the rules of Christian behavior for leadership don't require celibacy, even though the Catholic Church requires it. The Apostle Peter was married, from what the Bible says.
But that's not why some of them molest children. Some of them molest children because they're pedophiles and choose to molest children. They could always satisfy themselves manually, or leave the priesthood and marry a woman. So there's no excuse for them molesting children.
I believe it a personal choice, staying with a 12-step program or not. I was in one in my 30's and have been drug free for 25 years. I only stayed with 12-step for 2 years. Do I have an addictive personality? Yes, but I have been able to find my balance without. It really comes down to what works best for a person. Groups are not my thing, and as I said I been clean for 25 years. I do not wake up wanting to get high on drugs any more. I wake up to live the day fully in the best expression I can give. Not bad for an artistic personality:)
I am not a group person either Renee.... interesting. I tried SA and AA and everything about it kinda irritated me. I love ppl and their stories, but for some reason, in this setting, I was coming out of my skin. I have been sober for 2 years now, and haven't smoked for maybe 3 mos. I read a book called "Stop smoking the easy way" by Alan Carr. As far as SA, I just keep trying to get closer to God and stop relying on numbing methods to find comfort. Im doing so much better than I have been the past 4 years, I can't even tell you.
I do believe 12 steps have more benefits then not in the beginning. We as addicts know how to lie to others and ourselves. As I stated, I went for 2 years. Beth, 2 years sober is a big milestone congrats on that. Stopping smoking was my hardest, 3 years now. I always suggest we do what is best for us, but in the beginning we really don't know, so I highly recommend 12 step. I also lean heavy on my spirituality, not religion. This has been a big help for me.
My husband is huge into the 12 steps, you're right, they are amazingly beneficial. I have attended many meetings, read some of the literature and go to meetings with him still... however, they don't fit my personality. As I said, I feel like Im coming out of my skin there. If I feel that I am losing control, I do believe I will try and go back looking for support. There are online meetings too... bout the same as the real life meetings.
As I said Beth, I havent been to a 12-step program for 23 years. I used it for 2 years, but decided to not stay in the program. It wasnt for me, at that point. I never regretted my decision.
Biologically your body is going through withdrawals when you stop using a substance...so this is the dangerous point of using again. It's like cleaning your body out and detoxing, and then feeding it poison again. Not to mention your chemistry is being messed up in your body throwing you off. Like diabete's or kidney failure, or liver damage. It's also a habit, and psychologically you're focused on using that substance and some times it can be a craving, but other times you can just be so focused thinking you have to have the substance. Fortunately people do bounce back and forth through recovery. This is why they tell you not to use again. You really have to have the strong will, and determination as well as the focus to break addiction and habits that come with it, even the co-dependent relationships.
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