Living our lives clean and sober

The Importance of having an Addiction Recovery Plan

One of the most gratifying things in my life is now living my life clean and sober. Its always good to have an addiction recovery plan and follow it.  this is often referred to as a Relapse prevention plan.  With out a plan we have no idea where we are going.

Its one thing to stop drinking or drugging, but its entirely another thing to start changing things in your life.  Many new comers say “Just tell me what i have to change, and I will do it.”  My response to them is this, “You have to change EVERYTHING in your life.” with maybe the exception of your wife and kids, and that may have to change as well.

SOME SIMPLE MYTHS – you will hear in recovery rooms

RELAPSE IS INEVITABLE – Understand that relapse is common, but it isn’t inevitable.  I am inclined to think that it is as a result of finding excuses, our brain wants a fix and will come up with great ideas why we should relapse.

RELAPSE MEANS FAILURE – if we relapse we certainly have not failed.  I like to think of it as a bump in the road.  It is a learning moment.  What weren’t we doing prior to the relapse.  We will talk more about that in another post.

RELAPSE CAN’T BE PREVENTED = We have to recognize the symptoms and we’re honest with our recovery community and our sponsor.

These are but a few myths about relapse, if we are working our program and looking after ourselves – there is no reason to relapse.  A great book written by a fellow I did some training with at the Betty Ford Center, Dr. Harry HAROUTUNIAN is a good read.  Simple language and great material. Dr. Harry is a medical doctor who really understands addiction as he too is an alcoholic.
The following is a write up on the book.  I do encourage getting it and reading it.

As Featured on The Dr. Oz Show in Special Addiction Episode with Steven Tyler**
The disease of addiction affects 1 out of 10 people in the United States, and is a devastating―often, fatal―illness. Now, from the physician director of the renowned Betty Ford Center, comes a step-by-step plan with a realistic “one-day-at-a-time” approach to a disease that so often seems insurmountable. With a focus on reclaiming the power that comes from a life free of dependency,Being Sober walks readers through the many phases of addiction and recovery without judgment or the overly “cultish” language of traditional 12-step plans.

It also addresses the latest face of this disease: the “highly functioning” addict, or someone who is still able to achieve personal and professional success even as they battle a drug or alcohol problem. Dr. Haroutunian tackles this provocative issue head-on, offering new insight into why you don’t have to “bottom out” to get help. Dr. Haroutunian is himself a recovering alcoholic and knows firsthand the challenges of sobriety. His background and expertise in the field of alcohol and drug treatment give him a powerful edge and perspective that is unparalleled in his field.

Using clear, straightforward language, Being Sober offers a proven path toward an emotional sobriety and a rewarding new life based on gratitude, dignity, and self-respect.
Including a Foreword written by Steven Tyler.

Are you an alcoholic – here is the questionnaire

wondering if you have drinking problem – here is a questionnaire to help.Are you an alcoholic?

These questions were developed by Johns Hopkins University Hospital to determine whether or not a person is suffering from alcoholism. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them as HONESTLY as you can.

Yes No
1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when     drinking?
8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?
16. Do you drink alone?
17. Have you ever had a loss of memory (blackout) as a result of drinking?
18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, that is a definite warning that you MAY be an alcoholic. If you answered YES to any two, CHANCES ARE that you are an alcoholic. If you answered YES to three or more, YOU ARE DEFINITELY AN ALCOHOLIC.

 

One drink is too many and 1000 aren’t enough

The question many people have is why me …. or why my son or daughter or my mom or dad.  The disease of addiction knows no boundaries.  It affects all life styles all cultures and economic classes.  It doesn’t discriminate.  We can all become addicted it has a lot to do with genetics and environment.   Other underlying factors could be childhood issues, trauma, abuse, bulling – you know the many things that happen to us that make us feel “Less than.” “Not as good as,” “I just don’t measure up.” “I don’t fit in.”

When we feel that way we often find that a drink or two helps.  Soon its three or four and then we are out of control.  The old saying “One drink is too many and 1000 aren’t enough.”  I know people who do not have the addiction do not understand us, and the way we think.  I have always believed the only reason to drink is to get drunk.  Our disease is progressive and terminal.  Things will get progressively worse over time and it will eventually kill us.  There is a solution to the problem, that i will get into more and more in these pages.

wondering if you have drinking problem – here is a questionnaire to help.Are you an alcoholic?

  1. These questions were developed by Johns Hopkins University Hospital to determine whether or not a person is suffering from alcoholism. Ask yourself the following questions, and answer them as HONESTLY as you can.

    Yes No
    1. Do you lose time from work due to drinking?
    2. Is drinking making your home life unhappy?
    3. Do you drink because you are shy with other people?
    4. Is drinking affecting your reputation?
    5. Have you ever felt remorse after drinking?
    6. Have you gotten into financial difficulties as a result of drinking?
    7. Do you turn to lower companions and an inferior environment when     drinking?
    8. Does your drinking make you careless of your family’s welfare?
    9. Has your ambition decreased since drinking?
    10. Do you crave a drink at a definite time daily?
    11. Do you want a drink the next morning?
    12. Does drinking cause you to have difficulty in sleeping?
    13. Has your efficiency decreased since drinking?
    14. Is drinking jeopardizing your job or business?
    15. Do you drink to escape from worries or troubles?
    16. Do you drink alone?
    17. Have you ever had a loss of memory (blackout) as a result of drinking?
    18. Has your physician ever treated you for drinking?
    19. Do you drink to build up your self-confidence?
    20. Have you ever been to a hospital or institution on account of drinking?

    If you have answered YES to any one of the questions, that is a definite warning that you MAY be an alcoholic. If you answered YES to any two, CHANCES ARE that you are an alcoholic. If you answered YES to three or more, YOU ARE DEFINITELY AN ALCOHOLIC.

 

 

The Disease of Addiction

WHAT IS ADDICTION Addiction is often defined as a “chronic, often relapsing brain disease that causes compulsive drug seeking and use, despite the harmful consequences to the addict and to those around him or her. We often say it is a physiological dependency on a substance, person place or thing – that when the harmful consequences come to light we choose to do nothing about it.

The disease is a disease of the brain. It affects the reptilian part of our brain. That’s the part of the brain that operates all our automatic body functions. All diseases affect some body organ. The organ affected here is the Brain. As this disease is chronic – it developed over time, in most cases it didn’t just happen but took a long time. It’s progressive and gets worse with time. We are never cured, so we are always in recovery. We can however put the disease into remission if we do certain things. We will discuss them in future blogs.
This disease is out of the addicts control. The first time they used them made a decision to use, after that because of the changes in the brain it was out of their control. This makes it almost impossible to quit with out support and assistance. Even with sever consequences, hospital, jail, loss of family, homes, jobs etc it isn’t enough for the addict to stop on their own. An intervention and treatment is usually required. We will talk more about Interventions in the next blog. For more information on the Drugs and the Brain take look at these publications.