Key Principles for Meth Addiction Help in Recovery
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

What are some of the key principles for meth addiction help in recovery?

Like with any addiction, there are a few things that will allow an addict to successfully recover if they put forth the effort.  These things are outlined as follows:

* Surrender – the meth addict must come to grips with the fact that they cannot beat their addiction on their own and that they need help.  This has to be proven to the person after they have genuinely decided that they would like to be free from their addiction.  At that point they need to really try on their own in order to stop using drugs.  When they fail to be able to do so, they need to admit to the fact that they really tried.  If they fail to admit that they were really trying to quit, then this is denial.  Many people stay stuck here for years or even decades.  ”I could quit if I really wanted to, I just don’t want to.”  This is pure denial.

Crackhead LosAngeles Graffiti Art Close-Up

 photo credit: anarchosyn

The key principle for getting started with addiction recovery is in breaking through this denial and admitting that they have really tried to stop on their own, but could not.

* Action – Just because a meth addicted person surrenders and admits that they need help does not mean that their life is going to be instantly transformed.  They still have to follow through with action.  And the whole key to this is that it needs to be massive action.

Why massive action?  Because they had a massive addiction, that’s why!  Our addiction is not like this tiny little problem that just needs a tiny correction.  Instead, it is like a huge part of our life, something that consumes almost our every thought and all of our actions, to the point where we now have to reprogram our entire lives.

You cannot expect to spend an hour each day on your recovery and get anything out of it.  If you budget that much time and energy you will relapse for sure.  It takes massive action in order to recover.  Now granted, after you have been clean and sober for a while, you will no longer have to take deliberate massive action like you did in early recovery, but this is because you will already have established more healthy patterns of living.  In other words, you will be in the habit of taking positive action every day.

But in early recovery, you need to take massive action, or you will surely relapse.

* Holistic health – anyone who uses meth for a period of time does quite a bit of damage to themselves.  This damage occurs physically but it also affects a person spiritually, mentally, emotionally, and socially.  In recovery you have to work on all of these things in order to restore yourself to full health.

Many recovering addicts in traditional recovery programs do not believe this.  They think that the solution is spiritual.  This is a short-sighted view that will get you into trouble if you are not careful.  Holistic just means that you are seeking growth in many different areas of your life, not just in the spiritual realm.  To limit your growth to spirituality is a big mistake that too many people make.

One good example of this is with smoking cigarettes.  An holistic approach addresses this and the addict sees quitting as being very important to their recovery effort.  Pretty smart, considering that the number one killer of recovery addicts and alcoholics is lung cancer.  An holistic approach is not only about staying clean and sober, but also about improving the quality of your life in recovery.

The Best Advice on How to Live with an Addict and Convince them To Seek Recovery from Addiction
Jun 6th, 2010 by Patrick

If you live with an addict, what is the best advice on how to convince them to seek recovery from addiction?

Is it even possible to force an addict to get the help that they desperately need, but may not realize that they should pursue?

What can you say to them that will help to make your argument and state your case?

Let’s take a closer look.

First of all, if you live with the addict that you are trying to help, then you are probably enabling them in some fashion, even if you do think that you are.  In some cases, simply by staying in the situation with the addict you are allowing them to continue to use drugs, whereas you might be able to force a change by simply removing your support altogether.  This can be difficult to do, especially if you love the person and want to support them and help them.  But sometimes when we think we are helping someone, we are only keeping them stuck in their addiction.

Serious Conversation

 photo credit: mikecogh

Look at the way that an addict is motivated.  They are motivated only by pain.  This is not an intuitive conclusion, because all of us know that we can be motivated by positive things as well.

But addiction changes all that.  Once the addict is caught up in a cycle of addiction, they are no longer motivated by seeking the pleasure of their drug of choice.  This is the illusion that they tell themselves, this is part of their denial.  No, once they are trapped in addiction, the only motivation they really have is pain.  They take their drug of choice in order to avoid more pain, either emotional, physical, or both.

The addict is suffering in pain, and they medicate this with drugs and alcohol.  They are driven by fear and their lives are full of pain.

The addict is also terrified of sobriety.  They are afraid to get clean and sober and face the unknown.  It is a huge, massive fear in their heart.  They will probably not admit to this, so don’t try to argue with them about it.  But make no mistake: they are scared to get clean.

Now here is the key:

The addict will choose to get clean only when the pain they experience in addiction becomes greater than their fear of sobriety.

Think about that for a moment.  The addict is scared to get clean.  At the same time, they are experiencing pain due to their addiction.  But they cannot make that move and ask for help until the pain becomes great enough.

Their fear will remain constant.  They were born with that certain amount of fear; it is hard-wired into them.  Their level of fear about recovery is not going to change.

Therefore, the only thing that can really motivate the addict to get clean and sober is more pain in their life.

If you are helping them in any way that lessens their pain, then you are actually hurting their chances at recovery.

That does not mean you have to try to deliberately hurt them or make their life more miserable.  They can do that themselves.  You just need to stop rescuing them in ways that alleviate their pain.  This takes them further away from the moment of surrender when they might choose to finally recover.

Convincing an addict to take action does not happen when you “get lucky and say just the right thing.”  That is not how it works at all.  It happens when the addict has finally had enough pain in their life, and they realize that drugs can not really make it better anymore (even though they once did).

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