What is a high functioning drug addict?

What is a high functioning drug addict?

The term “high functioning drug addict” is really a misnomer. Someone suffering with an addiction is not really functioning at all – they just seem to be functioning on the outside; but really, on the inside, they are falling apart.

I feel like I have the authority to speak about this topic because I consider myself to have been a high functioning drug addict before getting clean.

Just a year ago, I was in the tight grip of full-blown addiction. I was an IV user and I would shoot anything I could get my hands on. My first drug of choice was heroin but I also liked to speedball: shooting cocaine or crack and heroin. By the end of my run, I was taking suboxone to keep the heroin withdrawals at bay but, like a true blue addict, I was shooting or smoking copious amounts of crack and abusing sleeping pills, Xanax, and barbiturates. Right now, you are probably picturing the ‘typical’ image of a junkie: strung-out, half-naked, greasy hair, track-marked girl with dark circles under her eyes and passed out next to a dumpster or something. But that wasn’t the case. I was a high functioning drug addict.

Let me explain…

I was a college graduate with two degrees living in a nice neighborhood. I had my own car and a steady job with one of the top-five banking institutions in the country. Despite my tattoos and rapid weight loss,  physically I didn’t ‘look like a junkie.’ In fact, friends and acquaintances with which I shared that I used to shoot drugs (I was still using, I was just in so much denial that I would talk about my use in the past tense) would all respond in the same way: “you don’t look like a junkie.” To a sick girl like me, that was the ultimate compliment. And the green light to keep going, head-first into the turmoil of addiction.

Being a high functioning drug addict means living two lives: one that you reveal to others – your “perfect life” with the job, the house, the car, the family; and your secret life – the drugs, the stealing, the desperation. It is as if I was living a secret dual-life. One of productivity marked with high-achievement like job promotions, while my other life was one of escape through drugs. I was able to succeed in my life well enough to where the effects of my addiction had not impacted the life I projected to others.

Like me, other high functioning drug addicts may have been able to avoid serious trouble professionally or personally so far but it is only a matter of time before their addiction will lead to severe problems and consequences. Many of us in recovery call this “the big yet.” For example, I was lucky enough to avoid catching any legal charges, such as possession, in my addiction but, I am clear that, if I had continued to use, that I would eventually get into trouble with the law. I mean, come on, I worked at a major bank and was in charge of large sums of money on a daily basis. I was also feeding a very expensive drug habit. I never stole money from my job…yet. I’m clear that it would have happened eventually and that would mean a felony charge. I decided to get clean because I was not willing to let it get that bad.

I think, in some ways, being a high functioning drug addict is trickier than being the typical down-and-out junkie. A huge part of addiction is denial; it affects everyone who abuses drugs and is the major road-block to getting clean. It’s like this, if you don’t think you have a problem, then why get help? And if you’re a high functioning drug addict, it’s quite easy to fool yourself that things are fine and that what you are doing is normal. You have all the evidence you need to convince yourself of this.




Personal experience


Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms

Cocaine is a bitter, addictive pain blocker that is extracted from the leaves of Erythroxylon coca, also known as the coca scrub, a plant that comes from the Andean highlands in South America. Cocaine is the most powerful stimulant of natural origin. The name of “cocaine” came from the plant “coca”.

Cocaine overdose symptoms can come on suddenly, often with no advanced warning. Cocaine overdose symptoms may include seizures, tremors, and general shakiness. In those using the drug for the first time, often the substance will keep them awake for a long time. For others, there is less of an effect of being wide awake. Seizures and tremors can come on suddenly without warning, though they usually occur shortly after use.

Cocaine overdose symptoms: Behavioral

Some symptoms of cocaine overdose affect the individual’s behavior. Rapid speech, talking excessively, acting out violently, or having paranoid thoughts are all signs a person has used a substantial amount of the drug or is being severely affected. This is when others should be on the alert for more symptoms. It is also likely that when such states occur, the heart rate is also very high. Cocaine overdose can happen very quickly, so it is best to seek medical attention if a person’s behavior is different from ordinary. It is best not to confront a person exhibiting violent behavior or paranoid thoughts by trying to control the individual. This is likely to only agitate the person more and may lead to injury of others.

Cocaine Overdose Symptoms can cause permanent damage

Cocaine overdose can lead to permanent brain injury. This can occur either by causing a stroke or by causing severe seizures. The drug increases blood pressure and heart rate. Therefore, stroke and heart attack can occur at any time. In some people, sudden death due to cardiac arrest can occur the first time the substance is used. It is especially dangerous for those who already suffer from heart disease or high blood pressure, greatly increasing the risk of an adverse reaction with smaller amounts.

More cocaine overdose symptoms

Racing heart rate will occur just before nausea and vomiting. If vomiting occurs, it is important to make sure the individual is rolled onto his or her side to prevent choking, which is another hazard of cocaine overdose. Medical help should be sought immediately if vomiting occurs as this is a sign that more severe consequences may occur soon. Other risks from vomiting include dehydration and rupture of the esophagus, if vomiting is severe and lasts for a longer period of time.

The use of cocaine can lead to a high fever, due to increased muscle activity. When a high fever occurs, the individual may experience permanent damage to muscle cells. Permanent brain injury is also possible. Hyperthermia can also result in organ failure. If immediate medical attention is not sought, the failure can become permanent. Sometimes it occurs even with prompt medical attention. Knowing the signs and symptoms of cocaine overdose such as hyperthermia and high fever can alert friends and family members to the potential danger. Immediate medical attention is required for high fever.

What is Tramadol?

What is Tramadol?

Tramadol is a narcotic like pain reliever that is used to treat moderate to severe pain. Tramadol is an extended release drug that is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain when pain relief is needed around the clock or in other words for long periods of time.

The brand name for tramadol is Ultram. Tramadol was invented in the 1970s in Germany. Tramadol is different than other prescribed pain relievers like codeine or hydrocodone and is generally accepted as being less addictive although some people do become addicted to it. The drug has a similar effect as antidepressants particularly the medication Effexor which is a SSRI. Most often tramadol is prescribed to treat pain associated with different forms of neuralgia. Other conditions tramadol is prescribed for are restless leg syndrome, migraines, withdrawal of addictive medications, fibromyalgia, and OCD.

Tramadol may be the preferred drug for people suffering from chronic pain conditions because it is well tolerated without a huge risk of addition, serious side effects or overdose when used appropriately. However, there are dangers associated with tramadol. For instance many people who suddenly stop taking tramadol experience withdrawal symptoms. Tramadol is also a central nervous system depressant and shouldn’t be used in combination with other drugs that can depress the central nervous system. People who take tramadol should avoid taking alcohol, tranquilizers or any other drugs that can suppress breathing. This is how a tramadol overdose happens.

Some of the most common side effects of tramadol are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Constipation

Withdrawal symptoms of tramadol are:

  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Poor sleep
  • Pain and tremors

Anyone who takes tramadol for a long time should work with a doctor or a medical detox facility to begin a safe withdrawal from the medication.

Tramadol can be taken as capsules, tablets, suppositories and in injectable forms. Some of the types of tramadol include analgesics like acetaminophen or anti-inflammatory agents like aspirin. The recommended dose of tramadol is no more than 400mg a day. It is especially important to use tramadol exactly as prescribed for the length of time it is prescribed. It should never be shared with others or used in a manner unadvised by a doctor. Using tramadol other than prescribed is known as tramadol abuse.

Here are some signs of tramadol abuse:

  • Tramadol use resulting in a recurrent failure to fulfill work, school or home obligations
  • Tramadol use in physically hazardous situations such as driving or operating machinery
  • Tramadol use resulting in legal problems such as drug-related arrests
  • Continued use despite negative social or interpersonal consequences

Some of the symptoms of tramadol abuse are:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Euphoria
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dizziness
  • Constipation
  • Drowsiness or sedation

Physical tolerance can occur as the body becomes accustomed to tramadol; thus, more tramadol is needed to produce the original desired effect. Psychological dependence can occur as people believe that that they cannot function properly without tramadol. Individuals with a tolerance to tramadol are at risk of overdose due to the consumption of increased amounts of the drug.

Accidental Overdose

Accidental overdose

Everyone has heard of the accidental overdoses due to stories like Heath Ledger’s, Whitney Houston’s and Michael Jackson’s. These accidental overdoses were of course worse case scenarios because unfortunately these overdoses resulted in death.

Overdoses of drugs and chemicals are either accidental or intentional. An overdose occurs when a person takes more than is medically recommended. Overdoses can be on anything from prescription medications to illicit drugs that are purely used to get the user high. Overdoses can happen to anyone who takes too much of a substance. The most common accidental overdoses happen in children from months old to about 5 years and also teenagers. An accidental overdose can happen without any warning signs until it is too late because the person doesn’t know they took too much until the substances begin affecting them. That is why it is important to always take medications and substances as prescribed or to just not over do it. Luckily there are some ways to prevent accidental overdose.

In order to prevent accidental overdose always follow the directions! Reading the label of any medication before giving it is a good way to always make sure you are taking or giving the right dose.

Pay attention to what the active ingredient is in order to stop accidental overdoses. Many times people don’t realize they are taking two medications with the same active ingredient that can easily lead to accidental overdose on that ingredient. The active ingredient is always listed on medications and if you pay attention to it you can’t take two medications with the same substance in it.

Talk to a doctor, nurse, or pharmacist to find out what mixes well and what doesn’t. Not only can you end up taking two medications with the same active ingredient and have an accidental overdose you can also take two different medications that have a bad interaction with each other. Talking to a medical professional can help eliminate this risk.

Always make sure to use the right medicine at the right amount. Medicines with the same name can be sold in very different strength such as infant, children, and adult. The dose and directions vary based on what the strength of the medication is. So if you accidentally buy an adult version of a medication and follow the dosage and give it to a child you will have an accidental overdose on your hands. Pay attention to the packaging and you can avoid an accidental overdose.

Accidental overdoses happen all the time and they can be extremely dangerous and in the worst case scenarios deadly, but luckily they can be prevented with a certain amount of vigilance towards prescription and even over-the-counter medications. When it comes to any sort of substance always make sure to know your facts and to be as safe as possible. Follow any guidelines given by your doctor, pharmacist, and learn about the medications you are taking. If you do this you can be certain that an accidental overdose won’t happen to you.

Source: http://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm253338.html

List of Addictive Substances

List of Addictive Substances

There are dozens of illegal addictive substances such as cocaine and heroin but many others are legal and are actually easy accessible in almost every home. Caffeine, alcohol, nicotine, aerosols and prescription medicines can all be addictive. In fact any substance that is habit forming whether it is legal or not is addictive.

Addictive substances affect the brain in different ways. Stimulants make a person feel more energetic and depressants cause a feeling of relaxation. Hallucinogens change reality for the user. Addictive substances are can also be legal, illegal or prescription only.

List of addictive substances: Legal

Caffeine: Caffeine is addictive and a person’s body can begin to build a tolerance to it and experience withdrawal when they stop drinking it. Coffee, tea, soda, sports drinks and other sports beverages that have caffeine in it run the risk of being addictive. Coffee though, has twice as much caffeine as other drinks. Three cups or less of coffee per day is considered ok, going above that can cause nervousness, sleeping problems, increased heartbeat, headaches, anxiety and nausea.

Nicotine: Cigarettes, cigars, nicotine patches and nicotine lozenges. Nicotine raises the dopamine levels in the brain and stimulates adrenalin.

Alcohol: Alcohol is a depressant that affects neurons in the brain which leads to a feeling of relaxation, drowsiness, lack of inhibition, sleep, coma and even death. Addiction to alcohol is call alcoholism. Alcohol includes wine, beer and liquor.

Inhalants: Aerosols, solvents and nitrates. These inhalants can range from paint thinners to hair spray and even whip cream cans. The inhalation results in a high similar to that of alcohol, one time use of inhalants can kill or cause heart failure in someone.

List of addictive substances: Controlled

Amphetamines: Speed, crystal meth. Stimulants give a person more energy and boost alertness as well as concentration. Adderall, Dexedrine and other controlled addictive substances like this are normally prescribed for the treatment of ADD and ADHD.

Benzodiazepines: Benzodiazepines include prescription drugs like Xanax and valium. These are prescribed for insomnia, anxiety, seizures and symptoms of panic disorder.

Opioids: Morphine, oxycodone, codeine and other narcotic pain relievers are very helpful with pain but they are also very addictive. Opioids interfere with the way the pain messages are sent to the brain and how the brain receives them.

List of addictive substances: Illegal

Cannabis: Marijuana, pot, hashish, grass, bud whatever they are calling it is cannabis. Cannabis is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States. Long-term use of marijuana is addictive for some people.

Cocaine: Cocaine brings an intense euphoria and energy to its user followed shortly after with agitation, depression and mania. Cocaine is also known as powder, coke, and crack. Cocaine is highly addictive.

Hallucinogens: Hallucinogens can include LSD and ecstasy. Hallucinogens change the way the user perceives time, motion, colors, sound and their own thoughts. Hallucinogens depending on which they are can be addictive.

Phencyclidine (PCP): PCP is also known as angel dust. PCP is approved only for use in animals. It is a hallucinogen that has sedating qualities and also produces a dissociative state or out of body experience along with euphoria. Those who use PCP can become violent or suicidal.

Source: http://www.drugabuse.gov/drugs-abuse/commonly-abused-drugs/commonly-abused-drugs-chart

Common Personality Disorders in Addiction

Personality Disorders in Addiction

What are personality disorders in addiction?

Personality disorders are patterns of behavior and coping mechanisms that lead to chronic problems and maladjustment to life. Personality disorders are resistant to change. Personality disorders keep a person from finding a wide variety of coping strategies. People with personality disorders are usually unaware of any problem with their behavior and will use projection and blaming in a defensive way in order to not look at themselves and to avoid introspection.

It is in this way that those people with an addiction are very similar to those with a personality disorder. Personality disorders in addiction are quite common the difference is that the change in personality that is caused by an addiction will slowly gets better with recovery from drugs and alcohol. When addiction and a personality disorder are both present in a person, finding a lifestyle of recovery and growth can be extremely hard.

So what are the common personality disorders in addiction?

  • The most common personality disorder in addiction is probably antisocial personality disorder. People with an antisocial personality disorder have a hard time learning from painful experiences and tend to take risks. Someone with an antisocial personality disorder will have trouble relating to other people and their relationships are shallow and exploitive. People with this disorder, very often will become involved with criminal or abusive behaviors.
  • Another common personality disorder in addiction is paranoid, schizoid, or schizotypal personality disorder. The symptoms of this personality disorder resemble symptoms of schizophrenia. People with this common personality disorder in addiction have trouble with socializing and with their self-esteem.
  • Other common personality disorders are narcissistic, dependent, histrionic and compulsive personality disorders. These personality disorders in addiction have various neurotic traits that can lead to problematic interpersonal functioning and difficulties with jobs and academic achievement.
  • Borderline personality disorder is very common in addiction. Borderline personality disorder is a complex disorder that resembles other severe mental health issues. Borderline personality disorders in addiction can lead to instability in relationships, poor stress tolerance, self-destructive behavior, severe anxiety, periods of depression, and brief episodes of psychosis. A history of sexual abuse and trauma is closely linked and common in people with this disorder. People with a borderline personality disorder and addiction have trouble with the concept of themselves and also struggle with everyday coping. They are very sensitive to rejection and abandonment. Borderline personality disorder types in addiction respond to emotional threats by putting their negative feelings on others or by making the world black and white; all good or all bad. This can make those with this personality disorder seem manipulative and emotionally destructive.

It is common for those with an addiction to have symptoms of one or more personality disorder and to slowly get better the further they get into their recovery. For those whose personality disorder was apparent before the addiction they may need a dual diagnosis treatment to make sure they can achieve the same level of success as someone without a personality disorder in their recovery.

Source: www.hazelden.org/web/public/document/mh_personalitydisorder.p

What does it mean to be “Addicted”?

What does it mean to be addicted

What does it mean to be “Addicted”?

People often throw around the word “Addicted.” “I’m so addicted to this new iPhone app”, they’ll say, or “I’m addicted to green tea Frappuccino’s.”  But what does it actually mean to be addicted?

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Scientific basis

There is a scientific basis behind addiction. Addiction is closely linked to the “reward” pathway in our brain. This is the pathway that is activated when something good happens normally- exercise, sex, and chocolate can all trigger this pathway. Drugs of abuse cause an extreme reaction in this pathway, causing an overproduction of so-called “pleasure chemicals” in the brain. Over time, the pathway adapts to the constant influx of these chemicals. It stops producing as many chemicals in response to the drugs (and any other pleasurable event) and the reward pathway also becomes less responsive to the chemicals. When the drugs are stopped or significantly reduced, the individual experiences depression, anxiety, and drug craving.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? DSM-V

The American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), is the “bible” of addiction professionals, it is used almost universally to diagnose (and get insurance reimbursement for) behavioral-health problems. They lay out seven criteria for the diagnosis of an addiction to a substance. Basically, according to the definition, to be “Addicted” you must demonstrate a pattern of tolerance and withdrawal and continuing to use a substance despite negative consequences.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Behavioral addictions

For a long time, to be “Addicted” referred to an uncontrollable habit of using alcohol or other drugs. More recently, we have come to realize that people can develop addictions to behaviors such as gambling, shopping, eating, or sex. There is still some controversy about whether a behavioral addiction constitutes actually being “Addicted.” More research needs to be done, but as of now, these behavioral addictions are not classified as a disease by the DSM-IV.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? What makes it an addiction?

So if you can be “Addicted” to anything, what makes it an addiction? All addictions share two main characteristics. First the addictive behavior is maladaptive or counter-productive to the person. Instead of helping a person adapt to situations or deal with problems, it tends to undermine these abilities. fastest payout online casino nz

The second characteristic of what it means to be “Addicted” is that the behavior is persistent. When someone is “Addicted,” they will continue to engage in the behavior, despite negative repercussions.

What does it mean to be “Addicted”? Other characteristics

Other characteristics that are shared by people who are “Addicted” include:

1. Loss of control over the impulse to engage in addiction

2. Inability to stop addiction, despite sincere efforts. If the individual can stop, they are unable to stay stopped.

3. Continuing with addictive behavior even when the individual no longer enjoys the addiction

4. When forcibly separated from the addiction, the individual will either obsess over the subject of the addiction, or engage in some other obsessive behavior in place of the original addiction.

Signs of prescription drug abuse

prescription drug abuse

prescription drug abuse

Signs of prescription drug abuse

To some it may come as a surprise but to others who have been affected they are very aware; the use of illicit drugs has switched from cocaine and heroin to what may be in your medicine cabinet right now. Prescription drug abuse is now what you have to watch out for.

The drugs most likely to land people in the ER are not meth, cocaine, heroin, or crack. Studies have shown that prescription painkillers and stimulants are the biggest drug problem.

Prescription drug abuse means taking a prescription drug that is not prescribed for you, or taking it for reasons or in dosages other than as prescribed. Prescription drug abuse can produce serious health effects, including addiction.

Some of the most common prescription drug abuse pills that are prescribed are:

  • Xanax – Z-bar, Bricks, Benzos
  • Oxycodone – Oxy’s, Hillbilly Heroin, Dope, 40s, 20s, 80s
  • Valium – Blues
  • Ritalin – Vitamin R, Rid, Rittys, Rits
  • Adderall – Beans, Black Beauties, Speed, Uppers
  • Vicodin – Vike
  • Percocet – Percs
  • Sedatives and Tranquilizers – Chill Pills, French Friends, Tranqs

What are the signs of prescription drug abuse?

  • Stealing, forging or selling prescriptions…
  • Taking higher doses than prescribed…
  • Excessive mood swings or hostility…
  • Increase or decrease in sleep…
  • Poor decision making…
  • Appearing to be high, unusually energetic, revved up, or sedated…
  • Continually “losing” prescriptions, so more prescriptions must be written …
  • Seeking prescriptions from more than one doctor (also known as Doctor shopping).

Because there are different types of prescription drugs that are being abused there are different signs and symptoms of prescription drug abuse in relation to what kind of drug it is.

Opioid painkillers

  • Constipation
  • Depression
  • Low blood pressure
  • Decreased breathing rate
  • Confusion
  • Sweating

Anti-anxiety medication and Sedatives

  • Poor coordination
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Unsteady walking
  • Poor judgment
  • Involuntary and rapid movement of the eyeball
  • Dizziness


  • Weight loss
  • Agitation
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Restlessness
  • Impulsive behavior

So why is prescription drug abuse increasing so much? There are a number of reasons prescription drug abuse is on the rise:

  • Doctors are less restrictive in prescribing, especially pain pills.
  • More pills in the medicine cabinet means more access for others in a household.
  • Less social stigma—you don’t typically buy prescriptions on the street corner.
  • Some, especially teens, believe they’re safer than illegal drugs.
  • Because of the availability, more people are exposed to these drugs. The more exposed the more abuse.
  • According to research, 5% to 10% of the population are genetically pre-deposed to addiction. When these susceptible people start to use, their brain’s reward system tells them they can’t live without the drug. To them, the drug is like food or water. Addiction follows.


After knowing all about prescription drug abuse you are probably now wondering, well what do I do?

According to the FDA, to help with prescription drug abuse in America, you should follow these safety suggestions:

  • Always follow medication directions carefully.
  • Don’t increase or decrease doses without talking with your doctor.
  • Don’t stop taking medication on your own.
  • Don’t crush or break pills.
  • Be clear about the drug’s effects on driving and other daily tasks.
  • Learn about the drug’s potential interactions with alcohol, other prescription medicines, and over-the-counter medicines.
  • Inform your doctor about your past history of substance abuse.
  • Don’t use other people’s prescription medications and don’t share yours.


How to Create a Sobriety Plan

My Sobriety Plan

My Sobriety Plan

How to Create a Sobriety Plan

A sobriety plan is essential to a solid recovery from addiction. Those who achieve lasting sobriety create a sobriety plan and stick to it. Recovering alcoholics and addicts must have structure in their lives. Without structure, it is easy to slip back into old behaviors or get bored, which is an invitation to relapse. So how can you create a sobriety plan that will start you on the path to success? Here are some simple suggestions:

1. Attend 12-step meetings: A solid sobriety plan includes 12-step meetings like Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. 12-step groups suggest that you attend at least one meeting a day for the first 90 days of sobriety. These meetings will not only help you recover by allowing you to work the steps, a plan that has helped millions of people recover from addiction, they will also allow you to meet others in sobriety, build a support system, and give you something to do every day. Go to meetings, get phone lists, get a sponsor, and join a home group. Joining a home group gives you a way to get involved in the fellowship and it also forces you to be accountable, which is something every recovering alcoholic and addict needs.

2. After care: Even if you are not involved in AA or NA, it is important to participate in some sort of aftercare when you leave inpatient treatment. Regular meetings with a therapist will enable you to work through some of the issues that are common in early sobriety like cravings, stress, and triggers. If you go to a group therapy aftercare program, it will keep you connected with others in sobriety.

3. Take care of yourself: In order to create a sobriety plan that works, it is important to take care of your health. In active addiction, many of us did not take very good care of ourselves. When we come into treatment, our bodies have often suffered from years of abuse and neglect. It is so important in sobriety to learn how to be healthy. Many of our cravings in early sobriety come from being hungry, tired or sick. Make sure you are eating good food, getting enough rest, and exercising regularly. Exercise is doubly beneficial because not only does it keep us healthy, it releases chemicals called endorphins in our brains. Endorphins are the body’s “feel-good” chemicals, and often, addicts in early sobriety have low levels of these chemicals. Exercise helps to correct this imbalance.

4. Create a support system and use it: People in early sobriety need a support system. It is vital. So many of us are used to operating on our own, that it may be difficult to reach out when we need support. That is why it is essential to create a sobriety plan that includes a solid support system. One of the great things about recovery is that everyone needs a support system, so others in sobriety are great about giving out their contact information and being available when you need them. Get phone numbers and use them!

What does alcohol recovery look like?

Alcohol Drug Abuse


Alcohol recovery looks more like journey rather than a destination or ending point. Building dependence among alcohol does not happen overnight, it takes time, therefore alcohol recovery also takes time. Addiction and alcoholism are defined as diseases. Alcoholism is the physical dependence on any mind or mood altering substance and the continued use regardless of consequences. Alcoholism is not a moral deficiency but rather a disease of the mind, body and spirit. Most people who become alcoholic cannot stop using drugs or drinking simply because they want to or “will” themselves to. Most people who suffer from addiction or alcoholism must seek outside help or an outside solution to help them get sober and then remain sober as they journey into alcohol recovery.

What is alcohol recovery?

Alcohol recovery is the cessation of drug use or drinking after the disease of alcoholism has been formed. In order to remain sober addicts and alcoholics must find help from an outside source because they cannot find recovery or gain alcohol recovery on their own. Most of the time addicts and alcoholics who want to be in alcohol recovery have tried many times to be sober on their own and have not been capable of it. This is why drug and alcohol treatment centers are available to anyone suffering with disease of alcoholism or addiction. Recovery from alcohol and the help to get sober is offered in the form of detox, inpatient treatment, outpatient treatment, and support groups at these drug and alcohol treatment centers. Just merely staying clean during the stay at a treatment center is not true alcohol recovery though and in order to truly recover from the disease of alcoholism and addiction something more than just drug and alcohol treatment must be completed. This is where some kind of solution based therapy comes into play in order for the journey to true and real alcohol recovery to begin.

Most people who want alcohol recovery begin by looking into 12 step programs because the term recovered is used in such self-help groups. Alcohol recovery looks like not only just the cessation of drug use and drinking but also the ability to live life effectively and usefully without the use of drugs and alcohol. This is why alcohol recovery looks more like a lifestyle and not so much a destination that people reach once they get sober. Alcohol recovery looks like a way of living. More people than not find alcohol recovery in their 12 step fellowship such as AA or NA because it treats all three aspects of the disease of alcoholism. 12 step fellowships offer recovery from alcohol because they give the addict or alcoholic not only the chance to stay sober but also steps to live a more effective and useful life. The 12 step programs of recovery offer a spiritual solution to a disease which includes a spiritual malady or maladjustment to life.

Alcohol recovery begins as soon as an addict or alcoholic’s behavior, ideals, ideas, thoughts, and actions change for the better. Alcohol recovery does not merely look like living life and battling against the disease of every day but instead, finding the solution so they may never think of using drugs or drinking again. Alcohol recovery allows this because it teaches a new way of life.