Like any other chronic illness, addiction is a disease of remission and relapse.
Presented by Caron Treatment Center
It's common for addicts to turn to new and old addictions this time of year, but there are ways to help.
Two years ago, Niki and her boyfriend Jessey moved to Florida where they say they now exist day-to-day, chasing their addictions
When Kathy discovered that her son, Erik, was snorting heroin, she decided to give it a try, too. “I’m kind of embarrassed
Erik, 32, was living with his mom when she found out he was using heroin. “At first she was very angry about it,” he says
You are allowed to build a program of recovery that works for you.
Too many people are dying from accidental overdose in America today. If you even suspect that a loved one might be using, educate yourself on addiction. Intervene early and often. "Help" is letting the addict know that you care that they get treatment, today.
As anyone who gets sober after having spent most of his or her life drinking can attest, the original process is terrifying. I didn't admit to myself I was scared because I told myself I wasn't scared, let alone terrified, of anything. Without realizing it, I'd internalized the idea that I was not allowed to feel fear so instead it came up as other things: either that social anxiety or anger and sadness.
Yes, some addicts do walk into a treatment center or a 12-step support group and find that they are suddenly "struck sober," with the desire to drink/use/whatever swiftly and permanently removed. However, that is not the usual pathway to healing and a better life.
I bring these events up specifically because of how minuscule they are in a normal person's world -- going to bed at night, grabbing a beverage to hydrate. But in an addict's world, it's the small actions like this that can set off a string of memories associated with our use.
"We found all the cough medicine bottles in your desk," she said, flatly. "Either you drink as much water as you can until you throw up, or I'll be forced to take you to the hospital." Terrified of my secret getting more exposed, I opted for water. They fired me the next morning.
Because I am a college student and binge drinking is part of the culture, I think people assume that I didn't really have a drinking problem, that I wasn't an alcoholic, that I was overreacting to the situation. Hell, I was guilty of that thought process for a long time.
Not one of those hours was spent wasted drinking at a bar, being drunk, or hung over. I didn't make any trips to the emergency room. I didn't spend any nights in jail. I didn't waste one hour in court. I haven't wasted an entire day sleeping it off and feeling miserable because of drinking the night before.
"Addict'" is one of those words that so many of us use, largely without pausing to wonder if we should. We just take for granted that it's totally OK to describe a human being with one word, "addict" -- a word with overwhelmingly negative connotations to many people.
Methadone clinics are places that people with addiction to heroin and other opiates (pain medication) come to take methadone instead of heroin. All in all, it's a pretty darn good trade, and helps thousands of human beings break free of the shackles of heroin addiction and lead meaningful lives.