So what is “addiction awareness?”
Addiction Awareness to me, means being aware of your behaviors and surroundings that may trigger a relapse. You always need to be aware of what’s going on inside and outside of you.
“To develop a new level of awareness after addiction, you have to step back and examine a problem or difficult situation without emotion, attachment or prejudice and then make an unbiased judgement about certain actions or behaviors.”
In the addiction world, understanding these tough questions might raise your awareness about why you may be struggling:
– Why can’t I quit drugs?
– Whats the best way to quit?
– What usually happens when I relapse? And why?
– What is my motivation for quitting? Do I even want to quit? Am I serious?
– Do I have a written plan with end dates?
– Do I have loved ones and/or a support group who can help me get and stay clean?
Remember this, awareness lets you look at things in a new way. It opens your eyes to other possibilities that you may not have seen previously. It also tips you off to other problems or nagging behaviors that may need modified soon before they become really bad habits.
My goal as founder of The OFC has always been to raise your level of awareness when it comes to easier opiate withdrawals, faster detox and developing a plan for a recovery that last.
Most addicts need to develop a new level of awareness and dramatically change there way of thinking about opiates like hydrocodone, oxycodone, oxycontin and other prescription painkillers in order to finally quit.
You need to know that drugs are not fun. Drugs will kill you. And Drugs and opiates don’t actually make you feel good, and that in fact, they make you feel horrible.
Do you remember the first time you did opiates?
I do, a friend of mine gave me 2 hydrocodone 10 mg pills, we called them robin eggs because of their blue color. I had a work Christmas party to attend that night and took those 2 at my friends suggestion.
WHAT A MISTAKE.
After taking those 2 pills I couldn’t make it to the party. I got sick as a dog and I could barely move. I couldn’t even get out of bed until the next morning.
My body hated those pills. They made me so sick I could barely move.
Your body also hates pills, narcotics, heroin and drugs and it truly wants to be free of them. Your body and mind wants to be clear so that you can function at a high level.
Drugs and all opiates make you physically, mentally and emotionally weak. They shatter your self-confidence, deplete your body of critical vitamins and minerals, lower your immune system and often make users physically ill.
My dear friend thought opiates helped him. He used to think prescription opiates made him bulletproof. He’d take pills, get all-talkative and start acting like he was invisible. He’d go to parties and act a fool because he thought they gave him more confidence. He thought they made him better looking. And he thought that people liked him more when he was on them.
Nothing could have been further from the truth.
People didn’t like him more, they liked him a lot less. Anyone could see through his fake persona. He wasn’t more confident, he was getting less and less confident the more he relied on them. And each time he needed a greater high to keep up that persona.
But we all know drugs create false confidence as well as dependency.
So the questions remains,
“How do you recover, when you’ve been addicted and using prescription opiates or heroin for years and years?
It all starts with your opioid detox.
You will feel terrible the first day you detox off opiates. And you will more than likely feel terrible the 2nd, 3rd and 4th day of opiate detox as well. This early detox stage is often when the urge to relapse becomes the greatest. This begs the questions,
Addiction Recovery Tip #1 – Know in your heart that opiates are poison and no good can come from them. They offer NO positive long term benefits. They destroy your mind. Your body. Your relationships and can actually change the who you are as a person.
Addiction Recovery Tip #2 – You must get your body and mind used to NOT Using. You need to learn to ENJOY being sober again. You need to find new activities that get you excited for life again.
Believe me, I know how hard that is. When I quit taking opiates I
substituted with the heavy use of alcohol and marijuana. I thought
I had to have something to take the edge off, I just couldn’t deal with
being completely sober after I had quit using opioids.
I was playing poker at a friend’s house and everyone was
drinking except one friend. Now I’ve known this friend for 10
years and he’s always been a heavy drinker.
So I asked him, “No drinking tonight?”
And what he told me floored me.
He replied, “I’m taking this month off.”
That blew me away.
I had always felt like I had a little bit more self-control than him. I also thought I drank less than he did too.
Boy was I wrong.
He clearly had more self-control that I did. He could sit in a room with a bunch of others
drinking and not drink, when he’d drank heavily his entire adult life.
He showed me through his example what was possible. He raised my “awareness” that night.
So I told myself that I’d quit drinking for the rest of that month too. It was very hard, but I was 100% committed to going the rest of the month without drinking alcohol. Sadly, I am human and I caved in and drank alcohol at about day 17.
And do you know what happened the next morning? I felt HORRIBLE. It made me sick as a dog. I couldn’t sleep that night and I woke up with a pounding headache, I was totally uncomfortable in my body.That hangover made me completely miserable.
During my break I had gotten use to sobriety and my body no longer needed or wanted drugs. And in fact, the drugs actually made my body physically sick. After this experience, it was always a little easier to stay sober because I’d remember the sickness I felt after the last time I drank.
Listen, if you can quit opioids for just 1 month, and do it 1 day at a time, I believe your body will get used to not having opiates and you wont want to go back. You will feel your body start to come ALIVE again! You’ll begin to FEEL emotions once more. The cobwebs in your mind will CLEAR! You will begin to gain self control and find confidence in your life and your decisions again.
This is part of what awareness gives you. It’s why “awareness” is such an important step to taking your life back! Get aware of your own situation and make a plan to make changes.