IF YOU HAVE ANY HEALTH CONDITIONS WHICH MAY BE NEGATIVELY IMPACTED AS A RESULT OF DELAYING CONSUMPTION OF DRUGS, ALCOHOL OR MEDICATION, PLEASE CONTACT YOUR DOCTOR OR DRUG AND ALCOHOL SERVICE BEFORE TRYING THIS.
Your brain is the most powerful tool, asset and enemy that you’ll come up against, yet also come to rely on in your recovery from an addiction.
When you still use or drink, your brain will do anything and everything to ensure that you have that next hit, pipe, bong, pint, glass or any other. It knows exactly what to say to you, what to make you think or feel in order that you follow through with its desired intentions.
So, if you’re on a medication assisted treatment (MAT) program i.e methadone, subutex, acamprosate or any other, or you are still using and/or drinking, you might want to try this little experiment to see first hand what your brain will make you think and feel when it wants what it wants.
The thing with MAT treatments is that they have what’s called a “long half life”, meaning that they stay working in your body for a long period of time before they stop working. For example, methadone has a half life of (conservatively) upto 18 hours, however with most people’s metabolisms, this is often extended. In order for your MAT medications to wear off completely can take upto 48 hours to leave your system completely.
So, logically you will know, and you can remind yourself once you are attempting this, that what you will be experiencing is nothing more than your brains attempt to get you to use, drink or take medication.
So, If You Want To, Try This…
1) If you still use or drink on top of your MAT medication, don’t. (Ideally you shouldn’t use or drink on top anyway as it can cause an overdose). If you aren’t on a MAT program and are still using or drinking, withhold your first use or drugs or alcohol for the day.
2) Delay the time that you would normally take your MAT medication, drugs or alcohol by 2,3,4 hours, or as long as you can stand it. The longer you go, the greater your experience will be.
3) Simply experience the psychological and physical symptoms that your brain will trick you into thinking that it is withdrawing, when it simply just wants more and more drugs, alcohol or medication.
4) Take your medication when you can no longer stand it.
What You Should Experience
Once you’ve delayed consumption of any substances (including medication), you should find that your mind may make you feel physically unwell (withdrawing), get strong urges or cravings, get strong negative or inappropriate thoughts or feelings among others.
Tip: If you can remind yourself that while this is going ahead, the thoughts you experience are simply that, just thoughts!
As soon as you decide to stop, those thoughts and feelings will subside quickly, often even before you’ve consumed anything. Even just the thought of knowing that you are shortly going to get its substance(s) of choice, those negative thoughts and feelings will do away. This just goes to show how much your brain has a direct impact on your thoughts, feelings and behaviours.
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