Monthly Archives: July 2013

We drink alcohol

We drink for joy and become miserable

We drink for sociability and become argumentative

We drink for sophistication and become obnoxious

We drink to help us sleep and awake exhausted

We drink for exhilaration and end up depressed

We drink to gain confidence and become afraid

We drink to make conversation flow, and become incoherent

We drink to diminish our problems and see them multiply

An alcoholic’s open letter

I am an alcoholic and need help. Don’t allow me to lie to you and accept it for the truth. For in so doing, you encourage me to lie. The truth may be painful, but get at it. Don’t let me outsmart you. This only teaches me to avoid responsibility and to lose respect for you at the same time. Don’t  let me exploit you or take advantage in so doing , you become an accomplice to my evasion of responsibility. Don’t lecture me or argue with me when I am intoxicated. And don’t pour out mu liquor. You may feel better, but the situation will be worse. Don’t accept my promises. This is my method of postponing pain. And don’t keep switching agreements. If an agreement is made, stick to it. Don’t lose your temper with me. It will destroy you, and any possibility of you with me. Don’t allow your anxiety for me compel you to do what I must do for myself. Don’t cover up or abort the consequences of my drinking. It reduces the crisis. But perpetuates the illness. Above all, don’t run away from reality a I do. Alcoholism, my illness, gets worse as my drinking continues. Start now, to learn, to understand and plan for my recovery. I need help. I cannot help myself. I hate myself, but I care for you. To do nothing is the worst choice you can make for me.

Please help me.

Sincerely ,

Your alcoholic

Characteristics of Sex and Love Addiction

The top 12 characteristics of sex and love addiction:

  1. Having few boundaries, we become sexually involved with and/or emotionally attached to people without knowing them.
  2. Fearing abandonment and loneliness, we stay in bed and return to painful, destructive relationships, concealing our dependency needs from ourselves and others, growing more isolated and alienated from friends and loved ones , ourselves and God
  3. Fearing emotional and/or sexual deprivation, we compulsively pursue and involve ourselves in one relationship after another, sometimes having more than one sexual or emotional liaison at a time.
  4. We confuse love with our neediness, physical and sexual attraction, pity and/or need to rescue or be rescued.
  5. We feel empty and incomplete when we are alone. Even though we fear intimacy and commitment not, we continually search for relationships and sexual contacts.
  6. We sexualise stress, guilt, loneliness, anger, shame fear and envy. We use sex or emotional dependence as substitutes for nurturing care, and support.
  7. We use sex and emotional involvement to manipulate and control others.
  8. We become immobilized and seriously distracted by romantic or sexual obsessions or fantasies.
  9. We avoid responsibility for ourselves by attaching ourselves to other people who are emotionally unavailable.
  10. We stay enslaved to emotional dependency, romantic intrigue, or compulsive sexual activities.
  11. We avoid feeling vulnerable, we may retreat all intimate involvement, mistaking sexual and emotional anorexia for recovery.
  12. We assign magical qualities to others. We idealize and pursue them, then blame them for not fulfilling our fantasies and expectations.

Digging Deeper

My name is Shawn and I am an addict.

I do not speak on behalf of any 12 step program I share only of myself and my experience I pray the message of my pain and suffering will help another addict and that you will gain hope of recovery

This is an account of my life.

I was born a very sickly child and for some reason the doctor told my parents that if I was shown any affection or attention it would cause me to become a gay so out of fear they did as he said and I was never held or heard the words I love I never got any toys to play with as a kid which did affect the way I deal with people too the day. At the age of 5 my brother and I become very upset staying with our parents and we decided to run away from home in the middle of one night the next day we needed to eat so I stole food from the shop and I can say that’s where my addiction began to show signs of life! I loved the feeling that I could take what I wanted from whoever I wanted without consequences, addiction to me is my flawed mindset and drugs is a symptom of it, I can date my addiction/mindset to that age {5 years old} with all the lies manipulation my behaviour pattern was a riot act. When I turned 9 years old we went to my family for a major holiday and with the majority of my family being addicts and alcoholics everyone was rather tanked by lunch time so my 2 cousin’s my brother and I went for a walk and as we turned the corner we saw two guys having a fight and the one guy pulled out a knife and stabbed the other once in the chest and as he turned he stabbed him twice in the back of the neck then he saw us and ran away I remember standing next to his head watching him choke on his own blood I can still remember clearly he was looking in my eyes but the colour began to change and fade away he began to look in my eyes but he was looking through me as if I wasn’t there any more then I realized he was dead later the ambulance arrived this was my first experience with raw violence I remember the medics taking out a blood stained R2 note from his pocket…so I never really knew what to make of it… so we went back to the house and told the family what just happened and every one being all out hammered they made some heavy crude jokes like “they should make dog food” so this coming from multiple grownups and family I took it as it was acceptable which caused many problems till date with violence because the mixture of I can take as I please and when people get offensive with me it would turn violent for example a few weeks later at school the ice-cream vendor person arrived at the school gates and I just took an ice-cream and he shouted at me so I took a pole and attacked him needless to say I was expelled from school the very next day in grade 2. The same day we saw this murder take place I was very insolent with my mother and demanded she gave me a cigarette and so she did and she tried to teach me how to smoke this being my first time it really hurt my chest and I coughed so the whole family was watching and began to laugh at me this was very embarrassing for me and to a large extent I victimized myself with peer pressure and decided to “show them all” I can do it… and this is where I am convinced my physical addiction took route as the nature of addiction is aggressively progressive I opened the door for it this way I began to smoke in private exposing to myself the cunning nature of addiction, with all the lies and deceit and manipulation. For people to buy me cigarettes as I was under age to buy it for myself. This is where I began to gain practice and skill at lying. At the age of 10 my brother came to me and asked if I ever smoked weed and I never knew what it was and I asked, so I was told its really fresh tobacco. It honestly wouldn’t have made a difference if I was told it was a drug because of my state of rebellion I think it would’ve been better for me at the time to hear it was a drug.

I really wanted to impress my peers at the time so off we went and I had my first experience with mild narcotics at age ten the first few joints never did anything but the last two hit me and I simply fell in love with it I just couldn’t keep my hands off it…

As time went on it never gave me the high it first did so I wanted something stronger and the people saw they could trust me so I was given “mandrax” to smoke at first I never knew what to make of it but I was assured it was safe and I would enjoy it and so I did this being my first experience with straight forward chemical narcotic’s.

This was the beginning of the end of me and I engaged it with a smile exposing to myself the insanity of my mind set and actions and the wilful destruction of my life on every level people became fearful of me because of my actions and mindset so they began to distance themselves from me and I truly never saw my faults.

I began to become resentful towards society as a whole which just made it easier for me to justify stealing from people and the violence against them my believes of this became stronger and I became more set in my ways up to the point where no one could control me, not even myself, so as it is said the law had no choice but to intervene.

My mother was on first name basis with the police station commander I was at age 13 only proving the literature of the NA program to be true.

When I was still a chid I was rather religious. One day I was told I had no say and I had to attend a church service at the time I would go to clubs in a place known as the “Bronx” or “hell’s kitchen” the next morning I climbed off the train from a heavy night of clubbing an drugging an walked across town and went to church. At the time I was a full street punk tight jeans punk T-shirt knee high boots and a very long Mohawk and around 40 to 50 piercings in my face and just walked into the church an sat down and pasted out…

Now being logical, there was serious reaction to that with my state of mind being the way it was. I found no fault in my actions and blamed them for it and the state of rebellion I was in. What was logical for me at the time I went to “war” with them, and the only way I could do it is by me engaging in Satanism, {for around 13 years} which seriously tainted my understanding of any good, clean, spiritual principle.

What I have come to learn and love about the 12 step program is patience and serenity it offers and delivers. This 12 step program delivers a true sense of love serenity that is undeniably real and strips me of the lies I chose to believe.  Through working the steps and teaches me to make peace with the things outside of my control. And understand I do not have to follow the dictatorship of my addict mindset I have freedom because of this an serenity a dream I chased for many years!

At age 14 I had my first encounter with rehab treatment and the NA program at the time I had no understanding of the term surrender, to me it was the ultimate form of weakness and I wasn’t ready to let go of the drugs, my friends, or the life style I had. It was all I ever knew and the idea of change was just too scary I now know this to be reservations, and the danger of holding on to them, so I was asked to leave the rehab centre as I was a danger to other patients. I had lost all sense of sanity and there was zero control over me or my life I was thrown out of the house a lot more frequently and for longer periods of time. I began to experience the full destruction of my addiction and its callas nature. The only way I knew how to attend to my needs like food clothes and of course my drugs was to resort to harder forms of crime the nature of my disease and mind set was at full term I was arrested on drug charges and convicted on 4 charges and sentenced to 3 years in prison with a 7 year suspended sentence of which I served 32 months and completed my suspended sentence.

Most people would say that would’ve done the job to bring me into recovery but as it is said the nature of this disease is powerful, cunning and baffling. The only lessons learnt in prison was to become a more successful criminal!

I came to see this through my own experience as I watched grown men get raped only a few feet away from me men getting stabbed and killed over issues like cigarettes gaining rank in gangs or plain right aggression.  When it is said there are only 4 ways out of active addiction this is the truth jails institutions or death and my favourite – recovery!

I did try many ways to come into recovery, but each of them failed.

I tried the religion route I studied to become a full time minister. I tried the psychiatry spending many years in counselling learning basics of physiology and how to manipulate it. I took myself as far away from society as possible and secluded myself in the mountains for many months {twice} and relapsed the moment I came back. Now understanding that my addict was alive and well never leaving me and not learning how to put any measure of control over it!

Where I saw the level of destruction and pain this disease can deliver to loved ones is when my little sister was shot and killed at age 15 by drug dealer turf fight.  I stood at the foot of my little sister’s grave holding my mother as we both wept bitter tears, swearing we will never touch another drug again. Not even this level of pain could halt our addiction. It was only a few weeks and we were as high as before, buried under our guilt and shame. But that only made it worse because now we had the tools to rationalize our using.

As is I needed to be crushed and broken in order to understand surrender and learn the true meaning of desperation.

The next few years did that for me. It was a build up of insanity and pain I yet to experience when I became so familiar with the street life gangs and so on. At this point I was a gang member for around 16 years I had seen an done things that still to the day cause me great pain to look back on! I lost 9 close friends through a gun fight 2 men with AK-47’s and 2 men with 9mm pistols came to a house we used an just opened fire… it was through the gang member days I learnt a warped sense of pride never to back down we were in an intense street fight and I saw a close friend of mine about to take his last hit he could barely stand up but yet he did only to take the last blow to the head and die with pride…

I became a full time member of a Nigerian syndicate where I was involved with local drug trafficking and trafficking of prostitutes my understanding of morals at the time was I would not take them as a working girl and make them sleep with me as the rest did and treat them as my property but I would put a price tag on them and sell them. Age race height and so on was how I made the price. I remember living in the one crack house I passed out in the room down the passage and woke up to the screams of the one prostitute. At first I thought she was getting attacked so I raced across expecting a good fight. As I got in I witnessed the full measure of the drugs I was trafficking and saw a boy had overdosed during the night and no one noticed because of their drugged haze. He was bloated and had changed to a dark purple colour.

At that moment I experienced the true insanity of my addiction. I was so angry that this kid died in my crack house wasting my drug time and causing the whole house hold to leave and find a new place to stay, because the police would come and close us down. I saw his brother a few weeks later in the next crack house we occupied….

A few days before I placed myself in treatment I was busy with a small heroine deal  of a quarter kilogram an old drug friend of mine tracked me down and spent the night with me there and he was speaking to me of coming into recovery.  So while I caused him to relapse, I got the details for the rehab centre, and about 3 nights after that there was another raid on the crack house and the police –  very well knowing who I was, got hold of me and proceeded to beat the crap out of me yet again.  I had broken ribs. I wasn’t able to walk for a few days after that round.

I remember sitting there looking around me at all the filth – as in ripped up rubbish bags garbage scattered around, people coming in and out as high as can be seeing the desperation to get more drugs people feeding their lust with the prostitutes and I asked myself plain out “what the fuck am I doing here like this? “

So I got hold of around 20 grams of heroin and decided to use it as fast as possible with the intention of suicide and if survived I would do literally whatever it took to come into recovery, stay in recovery and make a success out of my life.  I can only say it is purely by the grace of my Higher Power I survived not just the attempt of suicide but the whole ordeal of my prior life style.

When I came into the centre I still had a few reservations left, like I wasn’t ready to let old friends go the idea of 12 simple steps changing my life was just nowhere near enough, and meetings so often. I thought what was the benefit in sitting there and telling strangers my story and where I came from we had meetings every night of the week and in the meetings I kept hearing people from the outside coming in with good clean time leading happy and normal lives.

I sat there and said to myself this is what I wanted and I will follow the same measures they spoke of and so I did I got a sponsor and began to work the steps. I began to attend meetings every night. I began to work the program to the fullest extent that I could and I could see the changes within me begin to take place, I began to feel comfortable with in my own mind set and skin.

I began the journey of self acceptance and the daily surrender to my Higher Power every day I wake up in my own warm bed. I climb out the bed with the knowledge that no matter what happens I don’t have to pick up! Then as I make my way through the house to get some coffee I am greeted with smiles! I afford myself the opportunity to do the next right thing through the day and therefore I gain a level of control over the course of the day.

With the understanding of the concept “just for today” it becomes so much easier for me because I strip myself of the fear of futurising. Through working the steps I afford myself the chance to gain an understanding of who I truly am after years of running away from myself.  This way I get to build a solid relationship with myself. And I have! I now know who I am and love the “me” I have come to be I have a full understanding of my Higher Power and His will for me.

What I have found recovery is the dictionary word version I recovery my morals and my dignity and so much more and it is not just me who recovers, the loved ones around me recover too my brother and father! They recover from the pain and suffering I dealt out to them! They now have a brother and son as do I have a brother and father.

I recover my spiritual principles after 22 months of sobriety and clean time every day I still learn more of myself every day is a new opportunity to experience a life of serenity love and hope I was told because of the drugs I took and the length of time I used them for (21 years active addiction} I would never be a member of the society I would not accept that I would never be able to get a proper job and lead a good social life with friends who are clean and sober and I am on the very last stages of studies for world currency analysis using methods of high grade maths such as scare geometry and very successfully.

I now have the life that I have only dreamed of purely because I acted out on doing the next right thing and surrendering myself will to the loving Higher Power of my understanding.

I live in a state of gratitude and humble humility I found this way I remain teachable and I don’t lose track of where I came from and where I strive to be.

Thank you for affording me the time to get to know me and share of myself with you may your Higher Power be with you and your loved ones as you journey the road of recovery.

 

drugs

Drug effects and signs

Marijuana

Description:

Marijuana is a dry, shredded green and brown mix of leaves, flowers, stems, and seeds from the hemp plant Cannabis sativa. In a more concentrated, resinous form, it is called hashish, and as a sticky black liquid, hash oil. The main psychoactive (mind-altering) chemical in marijuana is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC

Forms of the drug:

  • Marijuana is the most common and least powerful form of cannabis. It is made from dried plant leaves and flowers. The flowers, or ‘heads’, are the most potent forms of the plant. Marijuana resembles chopped grass and ranges in color from grey-green to greenish-brown. It is usually smoked in a pipe, a water pipe (bong) or in a hand-rolled cigarette (joint).
  • Hashish consists of small blocks of dried cannabis resin. Blocks range in color from light brown to nearly black. The concentration of THC (delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol) in hashish is higher than in marijuana.
  • Hash oil is a thick, oily liquid extracted from hashish and ranges in color from golden-brown to black. It is usually spread on the tip or paper of cigarettes and then smoked. Hash oil is more powerful than the other forms of cannabis.

 Symptoms/ Signs of use:

Behavioral Signs of Marijuana Use:

  • Lack of motivation or ambition for activities that once excited the user.
  • In many cases, participation in sports, social groups, or other pursuits will wane or even cease entirely.
  • Performance in school or in the workplace will begin to decline, coupled with a sense of apathy towards this decline.
  • Withdrawal from the family system – This is most often the case with adolescents and young adults, but can be a warning sign for adults as well.
  • Drastic change in peer group – An addict will often abandon peer groups in favor of those who share similar desires and behaviors, namely those engaging in drug use.
  • Personal hygiene may begin to suffer as he or she is less concerned with their public appearance.
  • Depressive style of mood. Marijuana addicts manifest many of the same characteristics as those suffering from depression. An addict will have a flat affect and mood; he or she will appear lazy and day-to-day functioning will start to deteriorate on every major life level.
  • Aversive, avoidant behavior

Physical Signs of Marijuana Use:

Marijuana is a drug of convenience; for a relatively small amount of money, a person can buy enough that can be shared with several people but still transports easily in a pocket or bag. Furthermore, pot can be purchased in almost any neighborhood, thus contributing to the pervasive nature of the drug. It is also considered a drug of convenience because it is easily concealed, both for transport and use. This is why it has become widely popular with adolescents or young adults who have a lot of authority figures involved in their lives. Unlike alcohol, where the signs of use are often overt and overwhelming, a marijuana user can often conceal their use in the event that they are under scrutiny, often with such simple remedies as a quick shower or a few drops of Visine.

However, there are still some physical characteristics that can be used to identify if a loved one is using marijuana, available below:

  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Slowed speech
  • Averting eye contact or an unsteady gaze.Finally, many people ask about the smell of marijuana and whether or not that can be used as a distinguishing factor. The sense of smell is very personal; one person’s perception of a smell could be dramatically different from a friend or colleague even if they are investigating the same smell. It is recommended that you concentrate on physical symptoms to identify marijuana use than speculating on the fickle nature of smells.

Cocaine

Description:

In its most common form, cocaine is a whitish crystalline powder that produces feelings of euphoria when ingested.

Now classified as a Schedule II drug, cocaine has legitimate medical uses as well as a long history of recreational abuse. Administered by a licensed physician, the drug can be used as a local anesthetic for certain eye and ear problems and in some kinds of surgery.

Forms of the drug

In powder form, cocaine is known by such street names as “coke,” “blow,” “C,” “flake,” “snow” and “toot.” It is most commonly inhaled or “snorted.” It may also be dissolved in water and injected.

Crack is a smokable form of cocaine that produces an immediate and more intense high. It comes in off-white chunks or chips called “rocks.” Little crumbs of crack are sometimes called “kibbles & bits.”

In addition to their stand-alone use, both cocaine and crack are often mixed with other substances. Cocaine may be mixed with methcathinone (a more recent drug of abuse, known as “cat,” that is similar to methamphetamine) to create a “wildcat.” A hollowed-out cigar filled with a mixture of crack and marijuana is known as a “woolah.” And either cocaine or crack used in conjunction with heroin is called a “speed-ball.” Cocaine used together with alcohol represents the most common fatal two-drug combination.

Behavioral Signs of Cocaine Use:

Does the individual leave the room and then return in a different mood, appearing more confident or upbeat? Do you notice the following:

  • Increased activity
  • Hyper behavior
  • Violence
  • Decreased desire to eat or sleep
  • Impulsive decisions, or high risk sexual choices
  • After-effects of cocaine use may be lethargy, intense sleepiness and often depression.
  • Large amounts of cocaine may intensify the user’s high but can also lead to changes of behavior. Some cocaine users report feelings of restlessness, irritability, anxiety, panic, and paranoia.

Physical Signs of Cocaine Use:

  • Dilated pupils, increased light sensitivity, and traces of white powder around the nose are clues to recent cocaine use.
  • Regularly snorting cocaine can lead to a chronically inflamed, runny nose. Frequent nose bleeds or even damage to the nasal septum can also be signs.
  • People who inject cocaine have puncture marks called “tracks,” most commonly at their forearms.

Crystal Meth

Description:

Methamphetamine (“meth”) is an addictive stimulant that strongly activates certain systems in the brain. “Crystal meth” is a very pure, smokeable form of methamphetamine. Meth is a crystal-like powdered substance that sometimes comes in large rock-like chunks. When the powder flakes off the rock, the shards look like glass, which is another nickname for meth. Meth is usually white or slightly yellow, depending on the purity. Crystal meth looks like clear crystal chunks, like ice. Methamphetamine can be taken orally, injected, snorted, or smoked.

Forms of the drug:

It can come in several different forms – including tablets, powder, or crystals. The tablets are sometimes referred to as ‘yaba’ and the smokeable crystals are often called ‘Crystal Meth’ or ‘Ice’. On average, a gram of Crystal Meth is £40 – £45 and £15 for one hit on the street. 4-methylamphetamine has been reported as looking like damp paste or putty.

Behavioral Signs of Crystal Meth Use:

Meth symptoms vary with amount of meth used, method of ingestion and the other factors. General, psychological methamphetamine symptoms during meth use include:

  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety, irritability, aggression, paranoia
  • Increased libido
  • Energy, alertness
  • Increased concentration
  • Self-esteem, self-confidence, grandiosity
  • Sociability
  • Hallucinations, psychosis

Physical Signs of Crystal Meth Use:

Methamphetamine symptoms are also common physically, and again vary by individual. Physical methamphetamine symptoms include:

  • Restlessness, hyperactivity
  • Twitching, tremors, numbness, repetitive and obsessive behaviors
  • Anorexia
  • Dilated pupils, flushing
  • Dry mouth
  • Headache
  • Heart arrhythmias
  • Blood pressure changes
  • Increased body temperature, sweating
  • Diarrhea, constipation
  • Blurred vision, dizziness
  • Insomnia
  • Dry and/or itchy skin, acne
  • Convulsions, heart attack, stroke, death

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Description: MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), popularly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that has similarities to both the stimulant amphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. It produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth and empathy toward others, and distortions in sensory and time perception.

MDMA was initially popular among White adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene or at “raves” (long dance parties), but the drug now affects a broader range of users and ethnicities.

Forms of the drug:

Pure MDMA is a white powder but street ecstasy is usually pressed into pills, usually colored and stamped with different ‘brand logos’ such as Mitsubishi, Rolls Royce, etc.
Brands are meant to help users gauge what they are buying. Quality brands, however, are quickly imitated by inferior pills.

Behavioral Signs of Ecstasy Use:

  • Confusion
  • Depression
  • Insomnia
  • Increased aggression
  • Mood swings
  • Short term memory loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Loss of inhibitions

Physical Signs of Ecstasy Use:

  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Faintness
  • Muscle cramps
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate
  • Liver and kidney failure
  • Increased tolerance and dependence

Heroin

Description:

Heroin is a highly addictive drug derived from morphine, which is obtained from the opium poppy. It is a “downer” or depressant that affects the brain’s pleasure systems and interferes with the brain’s ability to perceive pain.

Forms of the drug:

Usually a powder containing heroin (diacetylmorphine) hydrochloride and some kind of filler. This can be snorted or injected, sometimes it is heated on foil to create vapors to inhale, rarely it is eaten.

Other forms containing heroin hydrochloride are available. There are many differently colors, consistencies, and potencies of powder heroin.

Black tar or tar heroin is a less refined form of heroin hydrochloride that is sticky like opium.

Sometimes heroin base is found which is often smoked on foil but can be injected if combined with acid.

A new form targeted at children is cheese which is a powder with a small amount of heroin mixed with over the counter pills, often cold remedies.

Behavioral Signs of heroin Use:

  • Distancing from family and friends, spending more time “out” without reason
  • Decreased performance in work of school
  • Decreased personal care, such as not showering or changing clothes
  • Unexplained expenses

Physical Signs of heroin Use:

  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Shallow breathing
  • Dropping in and out of wakefulness
  • Vomiting
  • Flushing of skin
  • Possession of drug paraphernalia
  • Restlessness (during withdrawal)

Alcohol

Description:

Ethyl alcohol, or ethanol, is an intoxicating ingredient found in beer, wine, and liquor. Alcohol is produced by the fermentation of yeast, sugars, and starches. It is a central nervous system depressant that is rapidly absorbed from the stomach and small intestine into the bloodstream. A standard drink equals 0.6 ounces of pure ethanol, or 12 ounces of beer; 8 ounces of malt liquor; 5 ounces of wine; or 1.5 ounces (a “shot”) of 80-proof distilled spirits or liquor (e.g., gin, rum, vodka, or whiskey).

Forms of the drug:

The three major categories of alcohol are beer, wine, and spirits. Other forms include Vodka, Rum, Bourbon, Scotch, Irish Whiskey, Tennessee Whiskey, Tequila, Irish Crème, Liqueurs (Coffee, Raspberry, Orange, Peach, etc.), Schnapps, Gin. The list goes on and on.

Behavioral Signs of alcohol Use:

  • Skipping class, declining grades, getting in trouble at school
  • Drop in attendance and performance at work-  loss of interest in extracurricular activities, hobbies, sports or exercise-  decreased motivation
  • Complaints from co-workers, supervisors, teachers or classmates
  • Missing money, valuables, prescription or prescription drugs, borrowing and stealing money
  • Acting isolated, silent, withdrawn, engaging in secretive or suspicious behaviors
  • Clashes with family values and beliefs
  • Preoccupation with alcohol and drug-related lifestyle in music, clothing and posters
  • Demanding more privacy, locking doors and avoiding eye contact
  • Sudden change in relationships, friends, favorite hangouts, and hobbies.
  • Frequently getting into trouble (arguments, fights, accidents, illegal activities)
  • Using incense, perfume, air freshener to hide smell of smoke or drugs
  • Using eyedrops to mask bloodshot eyes and dilated pupils

Physical Signs of Cocaine Use:

  • Slurred or incoherent speech
  • Poor balance and clumsiness
  • Delayed reflexes
  • Stomach pains, vomiting or nausea
  • Loss of consciousness or blacking-out
  • Redness of the face during or after periods of consumption

Phases Of Chemical Dependency Addiction And Recovery

Phases Of Chemical Dependency (Addiction)

Primary Phase Of Chemical Dependency

  • Using drugs to relieve tension
  • Increase in tolerance
  • Uncomfortable in a situation when they are not high
  • Continued use when others stop
  • Preoccupation with using drug
  • Occasional lapse in memory after heavy use
  • Secret irritation when use of drugs are discussed

Crucial Phase Of Chemical Dependency

  • LOSS OF CONTROL
  • Aggressive and extravagant behavior
  • Making excuses for use
  • Efforts to control use fail
  • Repeated memory lapses
  • Guilt and remorse about use
  • Promises and resolutions fail
  • Marked self-pity and negative thinking
  • Loss of other interests
  • Tremors and early morning use
  • Work and family problems
  • Using alone
  • Protecting supply

Chronic Phase Of Chemical Dependency

  • LENGTHY INTOXICATIONS
  • Geographic escape
  • Moral deterioration
  • Loss of tolerance
  • Indefinable fears
  • Using with inferiors
  • Medical help: hospitalization
  • Obsessed with use
  • Vague spiritual desires
  • All alibis exhausted
  • Complete defeat admitted
  • Continued dishonesty
  • Increased deterioration
  • Insanity

Phases Of Chemical Dependency (Recovery)

  • Honest desire for help
  • Stops using
  • Physical recovery begins
  • Learns that chemical dependency is an illness that can be treated
  • Positive thinking begins
  • Starts to react to group therapy
  • Makes honest admission over powerlessness over drugs
  • Spiritual needs examined
  • Makes personal inventory
  • Confession of character defects
  • Makes amends list
  • Diminishing fear and anxieties
  • Natural rest and sleep
  • Realistic thinking
  • Rebirth of self-esteem
  • Appreciation of spiritual values
  • Improved physical health
  • Increased interest in group therapy
  • Contentment in sobriety
  • Confidence of family, employers returned
  • Economic improvement
  • Continued practice of recovery principles

The Drug Poem

Letter from my drug to me:

To my son,

From the day we met, my love for you has been patient.
In your mind I have always been kind.
My love for you delights in evil.
Once you floated on dreamy blue skies, now all your life is based on, is more and more lies.
Getting your next hit was always a must and in the process you broke all trust.
I led you to bad company that corrupted your good character.
You have always been quick to blame, now I say this to your shame.
Our relationship’s flame was burning strong, and ever since, you have done everything wrong.
I would have a laugh while you were sinning and then lie back and begin grinning.
The thing I detested most, was seeing you happy and doing well in life.
I tried my best to destroy you ever having Carryn as your wife.
The times I am happiest is when you are all alone, lying in the gutter on the back of your bone.

Letter from me to my drug:

To the devil in my life!

You delighted most in seeing me in the gutter, with not even a word in my mouth to mutter.
Once I was an honest, kind & loving young lad, but with one hit from you, you took away everything I had.
Even though I knew that what I was doing was bad, the more I smoked you, you took away the feelings that made me sad.
Once I was a worry free dove, but it was you that ruined all the relationships with the people I love.
You followed me around like I was a young scout, but all you were trying to do was to get me to use you so you could see me down and out.
You never wanted me to have a relationship with God, you rather preferred to see me weak and scared.
So now every day I shall pray, that no longer will I let you lead me astray.
I realise you never had my best interest at heart and now it’s time for us to part.

Recovered Addict

For me, addiction was an all consuming, all overwhelming force which manifested itself early in my life. Yes, there were mitigating circumstances which caused me to want to numb the pain, and yes, in some instances I was sincerely an innocent.

But, to a larger extent, I was a youngster hell bent on exacting my justice on a world who at times, was unkind to me…..

My form of addiction was not only prone to the abuse of drugs.

I abused the world; I abused people, places and things. I was searching for an external solution to an internal problem.

My parents or circumstances, good or bad, were not my problem. I was my problem and clearly I could not see that.

I suffered from a victim mentality. I was always the one getting the short end of the stick. But, that was my perception of the truth. Unfortunately that perception was my reality, but it was not the truth. The truth was that I was a menace to society, a terrible husband, terrible father and a hardened user who at the end of it all was a totally self-absorbed, selfish monster. It was all about me and trying to fill a hole in my soul.

As using is an intensely personal phenomena that robs a being of his or her spiritual connection to God, it stands completely to reason that God is the only being that can fully restore such a connection. I tried for many years to stay clean through rehabs, NA, self-will, but self is still operating in depending on me and me only knows how to do one thing when I depend on self – that is to “self-destruct”!!!

I needed to make the connection of Letting Go and Letting God……

It’s such a cliché, but the day I gave my will and my life over to the care of Jesus Christ, my whole world started to change. The day I had an encounter with Jesus Christ, my life was never the same, because that is what Jesus does!!! He touches you and changes your heart forever. He fills the hole in your soul, He makes you whole.

And where I got to see this reality was at Sharp addiction centre… through a team of dedicated people, I got to see clearer after using for 21 years – HARD. I got to take my life that was one of complete imprisonment, slavery and give it to Jesus who freed me!!!

Lise’ played an integral part in my journey, always guiding and advising, counselling and being an incredible friend and prayer warrior alongside me and my family.

The walk has been riddled with serious highs and lows but, through God’s grace I am more than 2 ½ years clean and sometimes serene!!!

On a professional level as a counsellor, Lise’ is second to none as she has an intuition and an incredible no nonsense, no BS attitude and the truth is always spoken in love to me. For me, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and it gets better day by day!!!

Ashley Hellenberg – Recovered Addict