Moderation in Drug and/or Alcohol Addiction: Is it Possible?

»Posted by on Apr 10, 2017 in Addiction | 0 comments

Moderation in Drug and/or Alcohol Addiction: Is it Possible?

In most recovery programs, total abstinence is advocated. Is there another way, however? Is it possible for the alcoholic to drink moderately? Is it possible for the heroin addict to use heroin moderately? You may see how ridiculous that sounds.

In other areas of life, many people say that everything is fine in moderation. However, I would argue that this is not the case. While many people are advocating moderation management in the treatment of alcoholism and drug addiction, I believe moderation doesn’t work.

It should be noted that moderation management is only ever taught with alcoholics. No one believes you can moderately use heroin or crystal meth and still live a normal life. But the problem with “moderate drinking” is that for the alcoholic, having a beer a week will be fine until something stressful happens that would cause a relapse. The abstinent alcoholic will be forced to find some other way to cope with the stress. However, the “moderate drinker” may feel that because he or she is already drinking, it’s okay to just get drunk. It’s easy to fall back into the habit of drinking every day.

For a person who has no successful history of being a moderate drinker, moderation is extremely difficult to master. Having the self-discipline to stop at one drink is even more difficult than having the self-discipline to not drink at all.

There are many different opinions on the effectiveness of moderation management. Still, many addiction specialists continue to argue against moderation management. Studies have shown that programs that require abstinence see a much larger success rate in alcoholics and drug addicts in recovery. There is a reason 12-step programs are so popular. They work.

On the other hand, some people in 12-step programs do take it to the extreme, refusing wine at communion at church or refusing to use mouthwash that contains alcohol. Some people will refuse medications that would otherwise be helpful. While this is necessary for some, there is a difference between having a sip of wine at communion and having a beer once a week. You are not likely to slip and relapse because of communion wine or mouthwash.

Some people argue that 12-step programs are not for everyone, and this is true. You should find the recovery program that works for you. However, that program should almost certainly include abstinence from drugs and alcohol.

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Loving Someone Who is an Alcoholic or Addict in Early Recovery

»Posted by on Jan 28, 2017 in Addiction | 0 comments

Loving Someone Who is an Alcoholic or Addict in Early Recovery

Being a relationship with anyone can be a challenge. You have to constantly communicate what you are both feeling to each other, and you have to be willing to adjust your own behavior to meet your partner’s needs. Being a parent, sibling, or relative can also be difficult at times. This is especially true if the person we love–our partner, our brother, our sister, our parent–is an alcoholic or an addict. There are several things you need to remember when you love an alcoholic or addict.

Relapse happens.

Do not take it personally when the person you love slips up and relapses. Even though they know drinking and using drugs is destructive, addiction is still a disease. If someone is early recovery, it’s likely that they are going to slip up at some point. It may make you angry, but the best way to react to the situation is with understanding, kindness, and forgiveness. Be firm and encourage your loved one to start over again tomorrow with his or her recovery. Do not panic and end the relationship when your loved one relapses for the first or even second time. Allow them the space to relapse.

Addiction is a disease.

It’s important to remember that addiction is a disease just like cancer or Alzheimer’s. You wouldn’t leave someone or stop speaking to your daughter or son because they developed cancer and started chemotherapy, which made them violently ill. You wouldn’t leave your parent in a nursing home if he or she developed Alzheimer’s and could no longer remember who you are. You have compassion for people with these diseases, and addiction is no different. Do not take it personally. Your loved one is sick.

They need your support.

Your loved one needs you to be supportive. Do not drink or do drugs around your loved one. Be willing to go to meetings with your loved one if he or she wants you to. Be willing to read helpful and supportive literature with them. Maybe try going to church with them or getting them involved in some other activity.

The important thing to remember when you love an alcoholic or addict is that they really need your love. They need you to be compassionate, kind, and forgiving. Because like cancer or any other disease, addiction is a disease that they deserve to be able to fight.

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Drugs Statistics You Need to Know

»Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Addiction | 0 comments

Drugs Statistics You Need to Know

There are several institutions in America that conduct surveys related to substance abuse on an annual basis. These surveys contain valuable information on America’s substance abuse issues. Here are some statistics from the 2015 survey that you need to be aware of.

  • It’s estimated that illicit drug use and alcohol abuse have cost over $36 billion in health care costs (National Institute of Drug Abuse).
  • The number of total annual deaths because of drug use is well above 50,000 for 2015. That’s up from just 20,000 in 2002 (Centers for Disease Control Prevention).
  • 23.5 million people who are age 12 or older required treatment for a substance abuse problem in 2009 (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
  • The number of opioid prescriptions (such as oxycodone and hydrocodone) has gone up from 76 million in 1991 to 207 million in 2013 (Senate Caucus on International Narcotics Control).
  • In America alone, over 15 million people abuse prescribed medication (Foundation for a Drug-Free World).
  • Between 2007 and 2011, heroin use increased by 75% (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration).
  • 59% of teenagers believe that prescribed medication is safer than illicit drugs from the street (Foundation for a Drug-Free World).

It’s clear when we look at those above figures and statistics that drug abuse has become an epidemic in this country. It’s very important that people be educated and made aware of the ways drugs and alcohol are affecting our communities. Teenagers are experimenting with drugs and alcohol at a younger and younger age.

It may seem like a hopeless situation, but there are also a lot of positive statistics about addicts who have recovered. For example, while the relapse rate of drug addiction is around 40 to 60%, this is actually lower than the relapse rate of hypertension (50 to 70%) and the relapse rate of asthma (50 to 70%) (National Institute on Drug Abuse).

If you are an addict or alcoholic, do not give up hope. There are a ton of success stories about addicts and alcoholics who have overcome their addictions and gone on to be successful people contributing to society. The most important thing is that you get the help that you need in order to successfully conquer your addiction.

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