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There Is No Cure For Addiction, There Is Treatment

May 4, 2013

There is a very big difference between cure and treatment.  Anyone who tells you they have been cured of their addiction is either 487963_356423831130123_1218146759_nlying to you or to themselves.  Addiction is a deep complex disease.  It goes deeper then the symptoms of alcohol and drug abuse, gambling, sex and other addictive behaviors.  This disease affects more then just the addicted person.  It affects the person’s family, loved ones, friends, co-workers and society.

The symptoms of addiction varies with each individual.  Behaviors and distorted views of reality, and a twisted sense of morality, I think, are the core problems of addiction.  The behaviors are compulsive and obsessive, which we are taught in the 12 step programs.  To change a behavior takes time and practice.  That is why I feel that treating the disease of addiction is so complicated.  Each person, each addiction, is complex and goes deeper then the surface of abusing drugs, alcohol, gambling, etc.

Another problem is many rehabilitation centers seem to use the same techniques with each person.  I have never been to an impatient facility, I was turned away.  My insurance would not pay for it until I “failed” out of outpatient treatment.  That seems a bit backwards to me but I am also not a rocket scientist which is how they made me feel when I questioned their reasoning for the denial.  The woman told me on the phone, and I am paraphrasing this was years ago, that they need to save the beds for people who really need them. Well, I felt that injecting heroin into myself ten to twelve times a day constituted an emergency situation.  I felt there was an immediate need for detox and impatient of at least ninety days.  I was wrong, that is not how the system views it.

I was able to get clean but it was not for almost two years later when I entered methadone outpatient treatment.  It took five months to get completely clean.  I stayed there for another two years and was a member of Narcotics Anonymous.  I burned myself out with groups and sponsees, doing things and taking on responsibilities I had no business doing.  I was avoiding the work that needed to be done on myself and I eventually relapsed.

When I went back to methadone in September, I was ready.  I quit heroin a week and a half after I was admitted.  I have maintained my sobriety ever since.  It has not been without pain and agony.  My relapse cost me almost my entire family and all of my supports.  I was stripped done to nothing, evicted, no car and three kids.

I had to work from scratch, again.  This time I had my kids to worry about.  My sister had custody of my kids when I entered treatment for the first time. a few months later she gave them back to me.  I also had a strong support network of family and friends.  When I relapsed I lost all of that except my kids, I held onto them for dear life which was selfish.  My kids had to endure the rath of my relapse with me for the summer months last year.  They are teenagers and had the run of the house as I fell deeper into my addiction, locked away in my bedroom for months.  It was not fair to them because when I came back from the dead they were not happy to have me “in their face” again.  Things are better today but it is not perfect nor would I ever want it to be, I don’t think there is such a thing anyway.

I spent many more months isolated in recovery until I finally sought help in the form of therapy for the trauma I have been through since I was young.  I began to rejoin the 12 step world, attending meetings, talking with recovering addicts daily and reuniting with my sponsor.  I felt a spiritual pull and began to attend church and read up on Buddhism.  I feel that I would not be where I am today if I had not reached out to different places for treatment of my addiction.

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From → My Story, Recovery

11 Comments
  1. Great post. I’m always inspired by others vulnerabilty in getting ‘naked’ with their truth. In other words taking off the mask. Although addiction is a progressive and terminal disease, one size does not fit all. I work in the field and I’m a recovering addict myself. We use the bio, pysch, social model. Patients begin to look at and change, thinking feelings and behaviour. For me spirituality is every bit as important as identifying relapse behaviors and. stinking thinking. When I feel connected to my surroundings chances are I’m going to take better care of me. I belive in higher power. For sure evry person has the right to define what theirs is. Mine is unconditional love. It works for me.

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    • Unconditional love is truly a gift. I believe you get what you give. I try to emanate love and compassion in everything I do. I try to maintain my patience with others and live a life by example.

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  2. Cheering you on! Glad I found your blog. Keep going, sister.

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  3. helnbak permalink

    Hi, it’s really good to hear your blog. I’m trying to get off methadone and heroin and I’m training as a counsellor so it’s really interesting to read and gives me a bit of hope 🙂

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    • Thanks, I try to cut everything and everyone out of my life that poses a threat to my new way of life. I am also on methadone maintenance, it works for me. Only when I use it with other therapies and spiritual awareness though. I hope it gives you much more than hope, it is within you to stop using heroin, methadone will sustain you…you have to want to be clean and want it bad enough to change your entire life. You can do it, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t, screw them, they don’t know what it’s like…

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  4. monsterjesse permalink

    Reading this I felt like I was in a meeting, thanks for sharing.

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    • I hope that’s a good thing! Some meeting make you feel like using after hearing everyone’s war stories. I hope I don’t sound like that, I want to show that there is more then one therapy and meetings and programs to treat addiction and there’s no reason why we can’t dip into each one and see what works, and what doesn’t.

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Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Focusing on Clean Time Instead of Focusing on Working on Your Problems and Defects | A Path To Recovery
  2. Anonymity In Recovery | A Path To Recovery
  3. A Better Life: Full Introduction | A Path To Recovery

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