When someone has a drug or alcohol addiction, substance use often becomes a ritual of its own. There might be a time of day or location where they typically use or drink, or they might always perform a certain routine before using or drinking. These behavioural patterns then become strongly ingrained over the course of a person’s life in active addiction.
Being able to recognise these rituals and knowing how to change and overcome them is a really important skill to be able to use if you want a long lasting, happy recovery journey.
They aren’t hard or complicated, but understanding them, recognising them and doing something about them by making little changes repetitively is the key to making these new, healthier changes to stick.
Sometimes it feels like society says you should be always happy and that showing your sadness is a sign of weakness. This is far from true – if you were to hold in all your sadness or anger you would explode!
Ignoring your feelings and thoughts may help you to manage in the short-term but in the long run, it isn’t healthy or productive for your mental health, physical health or your recovery.
Knowing how and when to employ various positive coping strategies is going to be your best ally when it comes to experiencing your thoughts and feelings in a healthy and constructive way.
The definition of personal responsibility is the idea that human beings choose, instigate or otherwise cause their own actions. A corollary idea is that because we cause our actions, we can be held morally accountable or legally liable.
There are also various types of responsibility. Some are obvious types and others that are more subtle to identify.
In this article, we look at the various models and common arguments for both sides of the “argument” that are used to understand the role accountability and responsibility plays in active using or drinking, those in recovery and the family and friends of those afflicted by addictions.
Using rivers and waterfalls as analogies for addiction and recovery have a lot more in common than you may realise at first, especially helping us to see those “Aha” moments.
The “aha’s” come when we realise that we don’t tend to blame people for drowning or for just treading water. We understand that sometimes people jump in over their heads, get caught in the current or get swept away by forces stronger than themselves.
If we find ourselves in this swiftly moving river, we recognise that we need more than human willpower to get back out. Much more. This is where we can find some compassion, which can be a life raft we offer to ourselves and others who are in recovery.
Addiction is a chronic relapsing brain disease and its rapids are fast and deep. Some of us dive in and never make it back to the surface. Others fight the current for many years. Most of us need help to make our way to shore and keep from falling in again. It takes a lot of practice to become a strong swimmer.
You can find helpful exercises and information to benefit you, no matter whether you’re still actively using or drinking, in recovery already or wish to help a friend or loved one who’s afflicted by an addiction.
Addictions can occur in a wide variety of forms. Often, it is assumed that physical dependence characterised by withdrawal symptoms is required in order for someone to be diagnosed with an addiction use disorder, but the fact is that behavioural addiction can occur with all the negative consequences in a person’s life minus the physical issues faced by people who compulsively engage in drug and alcohol use.
The rituals that occur before, during and after also make up part of the addictive process. For example, cooking heroin in a spoon and putting on a tourniquet can be just as addictive at the heroin itself. Likewise, visit the local shop, knowing that when you get home in 10 minutes, you can drink. These “preparation behaviours” are just as important to highlight and treat.
Pregnant women who use substances regularly (both drugs and alcohol) may deliver newborn babies who are born dependent on the same substances as their mother, because substances are passed between mother and baby through their umbilical chord.
This also can affect the growth and development of the fetus, along with causing issues that will affect them throughout their later life.
Find out all you need to know about NAS and more, including treatment options and help and support for those who may be/are or wanting to become pregnant, but are substance dependent or on a MAT program.
Drug and alcohol addiction cause a wide variety of complications as a result of their use. The longer someone uses or drinks, the more damage that will be caused to their body, ultimately cutting your lifespan short.
Use our interactive addiction calculator to see how much damage has been caused has already been done and how much time your previous substance use has cut short, and if you continue to drink or use, how much more time will it cutoff your expected lifespan.
For those of you who struggle during Christmas, try to turn this annual event on its head, try to see Christmas as a time to celebrate all of your hard work, determination and effort that you’ve put in throughout 2020.
We could even use our disappointment as an excuse to relapse. Others may also see this as a chance for you to buy your way back into their life rather than simply earning your way back into their life with honesty, hard work, determination, reliable and responsible.
It’s vital to make sure that you are well prepared to avoid any possibly negative eventualities that could possibly arrive and this article will help to ensure that you are well prepared, ready and able to enjoy Christmas without the worry of relapsing!
This article is packed with tips, techniques and strategies to get you through this annual event safely and hopefully, a little happier and more comfortable in the reassurance that your ground work is done and ready in case things don’t work out to plan.
If you’ve quit drinking alcohol but are still struggling with the negative and destructive attitudes, thoughts and feelings as you did during active addiction, you may be dealing with what’s called “dry drunk syndrome” (DDS) also known as Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAWS).