Addiction and recovery

Why abstinence is a must in recovery

Why abstinence is a must in recovery

I regularly have discussions with people who have been following me drug-free for six years now and believe that I am no longer addicted.

Apart from the fact that it is not true ('once addicted, always addicted'), it is also dangerous to say so. Because if you are an addict in recovery starts to believe in that, the way to a drink, a joint or a snuff has suddenly become a lot shorter. Like: I have been clean and sober for six years, I have survived hurricanes, then I will probably be allowed to take or use something again. It sounds crazy, but that's how your addicted mind works. Always looking for an excuse to indulge in your addiction. Even if you've been clean & sober for 20 years, that whispering voice is always in the background. And for that reason alone is complete abstinence from any drug or from which alcohol containing drink, a must in recovery.

Addiction affects reward system

Addiction is a disease, so medical science has investigated what happens when you drink or use again in recovery. And please note: you don't have to drug of choice to be. We are talking about any means. According to that science, addiction means that the reward system in the brain is not working properly. That system reacts extremely violently to all mood-altering substances. Moreover, if you take those resources while you are in recovery, that reward system reacts very unpredictably. Despite all the negative memories of active use, the reuse of substances and / or alcohol will affect the reward system in such a way that this experience wins from the previous negative consequences. In other words, you're crazy if you don't stay abstinent in recovery.

Abstinence is a must

When I look at myself, there is also something else that comes into play as to why abstinence is an absolute must for me. During my active use, a glass of whiskey made me crave coke, coke made me crave a joint and I thought with a joint that a XTC tablet would fit well with it. I would never risk that feeling and those actions to end up with daily use of substances. That is also one of the reasons why I am in Castle Craig Scotland have stopped smoking. Because a cigarette tasted like a glass of vodka or whiskey.

Abstinent just for today

This week someone asked me again, "But you don't have any problems with alcohol or drugs anymore, do you?" My answer was: 'Buy me a bag of candy from the Kruidvat. And then see how quickly that bag is empty. Then you know why me just for today am abstinent from substances and alcohol. '

Author: Mick Boskamp