In the big book of alcoholics anonymous it says alcoholics suffer from an obsession of the mind.
People that suffer from addiction do so because they have a mind that torments them.
drugs or alcohol is their medicine that provides temporary relief. Drugs and alcohol in the early stages aren’t the problem, they are the solution. It is an addicts thinking that is their problem. Take away an addicts drugs and their medicine is gone. And addict can refrain from drugs but they are the same people sober that they are drunk. They still have the same dysfunctional thinking.The only thing that will cure their disease is a spiritual experience.
An addicts thinking is so dysfunctional that they are constantly in conflict with people and situations. Everything is taken as a personal attack. People or situations aren’t the way they’d like them to be so addicts get upset and need relief. If people only behaved the way they are supposed to everything would be great. But what happens they don’t and the addict gets resentful, self pitying, defiant, angry, and fearful.
Addiction is a brain disease that need to be treated daily just the same way that a diabetic needs insulin. If the addict doesn’t treat their disease of dysfunctional thinking they will suffer and not have any form of inner peace.
If an addict can come to believe that a power greater than themselves can take over their thoughts and actions they can temporarily treat the disease of addiction. Addicts are never cured of their mind disease all they have is a daily reprieve based upon the maintenance of their spiritual condition. They can have temporarily relief in the now if they let a power greater than themselves run the show.
Once the addict realizes they are powerless over people, places, and things, they can have inner peace. They can’t control how others behave or how certain situations turn out. Acceptance is the key.
Ernest Holmes does a great job of explaining this power greater than ourselves. If you are an addict or alcoholic you can take this power with you. You no longer have to run the show. You can allow this power to restore you to soundness of mind. You no longer have to suffer. The ego once you to defy this belief. One the ego is on the mind is closed. When the mind is open God is in control.
Not too long ago I was in an outpatient program for opiate addiction. It had been my third time in rehab. I was addicted to prescription pain pills (Percocet, Vicodin, Methadone, etc.)
We were required in this treatment program to urine test twice a week. Opiates will stay in your urine for four days at the most. I hadn’t used any opiates in quite a while so I wasn’t worried at all about a positive test.
Every time I’d take a urine test it would show up positive for Morphine. I didn’t know what the hell was going on, I couldn’t figure it out. Why did my urine keep testing positive for Morphine?
The counselors in the rehab called me at work on a conference call. They thought maybe I was lying to them and had been using because of the positive test for Morphine. I was perfectly honest with them and said no I haven’t been using Morphine. They said they believed me but it was a hard pill for them to swallow knowing I was an opiate addict.
I told them that I had been taking Naltrexone which had been prescribed by my psychiatrist. Naltrexone is a drug that blocks the opiate receptors in the brain. If you take opiates while on Naltrexone you won’t feel the effects so there is no point in doing them. This would give me a psychological edge against the drug, especially since I was going places where the drug was readily available. If I can’t feel the effects off opiates while on Naltrexone what’s the point? Naltrexone also helps minimize the opiate cravings too. It also works for alcohol and it’s similar to Vivitrol.
The counselors at the rehab figured that Naltrexone was what was causing my test to turn positive for opiates so they left it alone and never brought it up again. I was still puzzled. Deep down inside I didn’t think it was the Naltrexone causing the positive Morphine test.
Poppy Seed Drug Test
People in rehab had told me in the past about the poppy seed drug test, that poppy seeds in bagels will create a positive test for opiates in urine. I started thinking too myself, was there anything I was eating with poppy seeds in them?
I was eating Onion Bagels every morning from Noah’s Bagels before going to my inpatient program but those were Onion Bagels, not Poppy Seed Bagels.
I decided to take a closer look in my morning Onion Bagels and I eventually noticed the poppy seeds inside them. You couldn’t see them on the outside of the bagel, they were inside. I wish I had known poppy seeds were in Noah’s Onion Bagels ahead of time, it would of saved me a lot of grief. I stopped eating onion bagels from Noah’s and what do you know, I stopped testing positive for Morphine.
The moral to the story is, if you don’t want to test positive for Morphine in a drug test, make sure you aren’t eating anything with poppy seeds in it because it will show up as Morphine. That’s the notorious poppy seed drug test.
Addicts need tools that they can reach for when they are feeling uneasy because they no longer have their drugs to treat their disease. They need to make a new habit of using healthy alternatives.
There are several relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse that an addict in sobriety can go to to feel good naturally. Being happy sober requires discipline. Remember, we are building a new character. We don’t want to go back to our old addict character.
First and foremost, addicts need to stay away from dangerous situations. Addicts can’t hang out with fair weather friends they used to use with. Stay away from places where drugs are easily accessible. You sit in a barber shop long enough you are going to get a hair cut.
Addicts Isolate from other people, lack motivation, and have a pessimistic outlook on life. They look at the glass half empty instead of half full.
In order for relapse prevention you need to set aside time before and after work for personal self care.
One Common mistake is when people get out of treatment they dive into work. DON’T DO IT. You need to work a program and take care of yourself no matter what. You may think to yourself, I’m low on money, I can skip my morning routine to start working earlier. DON’T!
So Why Do Addicts Use In Instead Of Healthy Alternatives?
Once you get into a routine of using drugs it’s hard to get out of. It’s immediate relief.
Addicts find comfort in using drugs. They don’t want to “feel.” anything unpleasant.
Addicts want to be numb to the world around them. When addicts are angry or in fear they want to use.
When addicts wallow in self pity, feel less than, or carry resentments, they want to use.
Addicts don’t want to feel emotional pain, they want to check out.
Self care is vital in order to stay sober. The time and money spent on drug use needs to be transferred to positives things. What does this mean? Here are some examples of some relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse?
Be Active And Don’t Isolate
Isolating is one of the worst things and addict can do if they want to stay sober. When you isolate, you get in your head and listen to negative self talk. “Why am I home on a Friday night?” “I’m a loser” “People Suck.”
Be Involved In Group Activities:
When you are involved in a group and talk to others you are getting out of your head (a dangerous place for an addict.) Developing a network of sober friends that you can reach out to when you aren’t ok is vital in maintaining sobriety. You start to become more outgoing when you become sober and start meeting new people on a regular basis. Here are some different examples of great group activities to meet like minded people that are on the same path.
Find out what types of local activities are going on in your area.
Addicts need to develop a new character in order to be happy in sobriety. They need to change their thoughts from positive to negative. They have to do their best to live life without character defects like self pity, resentment, anger, fear. etc. The four books that have made a significant impact on my sobriety are:
Meditation is a great way to calm your mind and body. The mind is constantly in motion, thoughts come in and out. You want to be aware of the thoughts that come in and out of your mind but you don’t want to grasp on to them. Treat them like cars just passing by.
You want to do your best to remain in the present moment while meditating. I make my body feel like I’m melting in my chair after each deep breath becoming more and more relaxed. Keep your focus on your breathing. Breath in and out.
Pay close attention to different parts of your body. Focus on your feet, your legs. I know that when I start focusing on my hands I start to feel energy in them and they next thing you know, I can feel my pulse and blood rushing through them.
There are two great guided meditation apps that you can download for free. They are:
They have several guided mediations on different topics like gratitude, loving kindness, focus. They are great for beginners looking to get into meditation.
There are several more relapse prevention techniques for substance abuse. These four in particular have been key in my sobriety.
Exercise is also vital for relapse prevention especially cardio, I just haven’t worked it in to my routine yet but I need too. What’s most important to me right now is making sure that my mind is right.
Remember, surrender the old you and embrace the new you. Get your mind right first thing in the morning with spiritual reading and meditation. You make a habit of that and you’ll have more inner peace and serenity.
There are different types of opiate detox medications that are generally used to help alleviate withdrawal.
Suboxone is a common treatment for opiod dependence. It contains the opiate buprenorphine. It generally comes in a film now that you put in your mouth against your cheek which eventually dissolves.
It will give you a euphoric opiate high if you take too much of it so it should be used in a controlled environment. Suboxone is not something you want to take long term.
The goal is to be free of opiate dependence completely. it should just be used short term for detoxing and dealing with the cravings in the early stages of starting to get sober.
Is Suboxone Addictive?
The answer is yes
If you are on suboxone you are not sober. Try not to use other opiates like suboxone to ween off the opiates you have been abusing.
Suboxone Addicts will stay on Suboxone long term and begin to depend on it because they can’t rid themselves of opiates entirely.
Opiate addicts commonly think it’s ok to stay on suboxone long term because suboxone is much milder than the opiates they were abusing before. They can’t overcome the mental obsession of addiction.
Methadone is also an opiate. It is commonly prescribed as a pain pill but is also used for opiate detoxification. It is available on the street and in liquid form too. Methadone clinics are very common places for heroin addicts to try to ween off of heroin. A daily dosage of Methadone helps Heroin addicts with cravings and withdrawal symptoms.
Try your best not to use Methadone to get off of your opiate addiction. Like suboxone the opiate addiction can easily be transferred. It is intended to be a short term alleviation of opiate dependency
Clonidine was initially designed to lower blood pressure but has become very effective in easing opiate withdrawal symptoms.
Clonidine Opiate Withdrawal
Clonidine is highly effective in alleviating all of the common opiate withdrawal symptoms like sweating, muscle aches, anxiey, aggitation, etc.
Clonidine for sleep
Clonidine is not a narcotic. One of the most common side effects is drowsiness. Clonidine will make you feel very sleepy. Do not operate a motor vehicle while on clonidine.
Naltrexone is an opioid receptor antagonist used to treat opiate dependence. The opioid antagonist binds to the opioid receptors in the brain which blocks the effects of opiates so that they no longer give the opiate user any sense of relief or euphoria from taking opiates like heroin, hydrocodone, oxycodone, etc.
Naltrexone has also been proven effective to treat alcohol abuse. Naltrexone makes the use of opiates pointless therefore decreasing the interest in taking them.
A naltrexone implant is inserted in the body but only legal in a few places like Europe and Austrailia. A naltrexone implant hasn’t been approved by the FDA in the United States.
Naltrexone is available in injection and pill forms in the United States
There are other opiate detox medications out there on the market but these four are the most commonly used
Clonidine and Naltrexone are opiate detox medications that are not nearly as habit forming as suboxone and methadone.