When Problems Take Over: Persistent Problems

Even when people are firing on all cylinders, relationships can be tricky. When there’s a persistent problem, like an illness or an addiction, in the mix, they can be impossible. Persistent problems can be the source of much harm. The alcoholic you can’t rely on. The gambler you can’t trust with money. The depressive whoContinue reading “When Problems Take Over: Persistent Problems”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You can’t stop cravings from knocking at the door, but you don’t have to answer

You could stop using whatever it is that is destroying you and you will still think about it from time to time. You’ll have dreams of using. A beer truck might roll by and you’ll feel thirsty. That old life will seem good every now and then. You could have some very good reasons toContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: You can’t stop cravings from knocking at the door, but you don’t have to answer”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: When you stop using your drug, you find the real issue

“Ask one of the patients at your unit if you could interview him,” my professor said, giving me a tape recorder. “Ask him if he would tell you why he uses drugs.” I said I would. I was ready. I wanted to know why people use drugs. I was an intern at a chemical dependencyContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse: When you stop using your drug, you find the real issue”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 20: Those who care the most about you will be the last to believe in your recovery

If you’re an addict in recovery, you may have already noticed this. Those who are closest to you are the last to believe you’re changing. Your wife, your husband, mother, father, children, close friends, don’t get as excited as you do when you celebrate one week clean, one month clean, or one year clean. They’veContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 20: Those who care the most about you will be the last to believe in your recovery”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 19: While you’ve been collecting key chains at your NA meeting, your addiction has been doing pushups in the dark

So, you’ve stopped drinking or drugging. The addiction seems to have gone away. Has it, really? Addiction takes cover sometimes when it feels threatened. It’ll hide in the bushes and come roaring out when you least suspect it. Make no mistake, addiction is cunning, baffling, and very, very patient. While you’ve been collecting key ringsContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 19: While you’ve been collecting key chains at your NA meeting, your addiction has been doing pushups in the dark”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 18: You don’t know what you can do

You could learn a lot about addiction and recovery by watching the Wizard of Oz. I’m not referring to the scene where Dorothy and her friends pass out in a field of poppies. That’s the only outright drug reference I can recall. I’m talking about the way Dorothy and her friends are traipsing all overContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 18: You don’t know what you can do”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 17: Recovery is easier than you think

All this reading about substance abuse and recovery may have given you the wrong impression. You may think that it’s hard to stop using drugs. Maybe it is, but nearly everyone who has experienced both addiction and recovery say the same thing: recovery is far easier than addiction. You’re accustomed to all the work itContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 17: Recovery is easier than you think”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 16: You don’t have to use drugs to use drugs

A recovering alcoholic goes to a party in which there’s alcohol being poured. He’s determined to stay sober, but he doesn’t want to stop going to parties. All his friends are going to be there. They’ll be watching the big game on the big screen. It’s bound to be a great time. He does allContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 16: You don’t have to use drugs to use drugs”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 14: Help is Closer Than You Think

It is a whole lot easier to get substances that will addict you than it is to get into treatment for addiction. In many localities, there are drug dealers at every corner, but to get to a clinic, you have to take two buses. Intake coordinators will make you wait in a room with oldContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 14: Help is Closer Than You Think”

Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 13: Even if you’re not ready to quit, you can get ready to quit

Even if you’re not ready to quit, you can get ready to quit Get some paper and a pen. Put it by the substance you are thinking of quitting. Even if you are not ready to quit yet, do this one, little thing. Before you use the substance, mark on your paper the time andContinue reading “Some Things You May Not Know About Substance Abuse, Part 13: Even if you’re not ready to quit, you can get ready to quit”