Thursday, February 26, 2015

Some Truths About Addiction

     People often say that my experience with addiction is only true for me and I should shut up for being so stupid and irresponsible, but despite the noise, because we pathetic junkies and alcoholics all share the same problem, it is reasonable to assume that we also share a similar experience in a host of other ways.

     Others hate that I mention AA and am "so public". Hold on, let me get you guys a pity pot to cry in. Let me also ask you, what's wrong with educating the general public about the miracle of the Twelve Steps? Are you feeling okay? Right, let's hoard this wonderful solution and prevent people from getting better. Great idea. Let's even prevent broken parents and spouses from finding peace. Please. That is selfish, misguided and idiotic.

     Some truths about addiction...

1) The notion that we never ever wanted to be taken over by this evil force is pure fiction. 

     Um, we wouldn't be addicts if we didn't love to use drugs. Addicts love drugs. Alcoholics love alcohol. That's why we're addicts. Addicts want to be addicts... until they don't, of course. If you have been convinced otherwise, please remove the 'everybody's a victim' collectivist propaganda from your brain.

2) Addicts are either recovered or not at all - there are no grey areas, no in between.

     If the obsession has been lifted, the risk of relapse is zero (regardless of the abnormal bodily reaction of an addict) and remains that way so long as the addict maintains his or her condition of sanity. If the obsession has not been lifted, they are subject to relapse at any time. 

3) No substitution or psychiatric drug has ever nor will ever change an addict.

     You may think some drug is helping your addict, but trust me, it is not. Relapse is guaranteed, unless you want to actually call being high as shit on methadone for the rest of your life sobriety, let alone recovery. Remaining jammed on methadone is no different than being high and addicted to anything else, and if your addict tells you differently, they have successfully lied to you in an effort to stay lit up like a Christmas tree while keeping you off of their back.

4) Behavioral science doesn't understand that treating the body of an addict and the symptoms of addiction isn't what keeps us sober. It is the mind that must be treated, not the body. The abnormal physical reaction to drugs and alcohol is permanent.

     The science of addiction - the body of an addict and his or her chemistry as it relates to drugs and alcohol - is irrelevant. The problem centers in the mind, and if the mind doesn't change, there is no recovery. If the broken mind is restored and we regain the power of choice, and if the power of choice is maintained by tending to our souls, we can simply choose to stay sober for the rest of our lives. And yes, most of the time, the truly hopeless addict will need to access the power of God to regain the power of choice.

     Science and current academia fail to address the very crux of our problem, the mental problem, which is astounding, though not surprising given the general view of academia that being jobless and 200k in debt but "well educated" means you are absolutely brilliant while actually working or becoming financially successful means you are an absolute moron. Ass backwards, yes, but in America today, failure is rewarded while success is punished... if you can fathom such a thing.

5) There is no such thing as a trigger... other than breathing (i.e. being alive).

     Nothing outside of us triggers us to use. Addicts want to use all the time - before, during and after exposure to any so-called trigger. If your addict is currently in treatment and the counselors are making them write down all of their triggers, you should have them come home and try to get a refund. Any list of 'triggers' is simply made up.

     Avoiding people, places and things that make us want to use is not a solution, a) because people, places and things aren't what make us want to use, and b) because even if that were true, you need to essentially imprison and isolate yourself to get through life, and um... WTF kind of solution is that?

    Should I go on? I have to be honest... when stacked up against the status quo, this is starting to feel like a waste of time. I will, however, finish the Anybody Can Take Steps book and after that, who knows. There are so few people who really want to hear someone discuss addiction honestly... 


  1. I wish you could write a manual that would be required by all drug treatment facilities that say what you said here. Its all so true. I haven't commented in a while but read every word you write (via email). You've helped me so much. Thanks

  2. I understand your frustration. It must be exhausting but I want you to know that you have helped me beyond measure. There is no one like you out here in blogland telling the truth. I have your book and will buy your next one and hope you keep this blog up - even if you never write another word because I re-read it all the time. Thank you for your service to us weary parents. God bless you Charlie. xo

  3. Here is the thing Charlie - And I will speak for myself and my experience being a POA. When we find out our children are experimenting we are trying to figure out what to do - when they are in active addiction we are still trying to figure out the first step - now the people that were telling me "not to worry - its normal" do not know what to say. But no matter what we do their addiction progresses - so we contact everyone and research everything - send them to rehab and we are told, "they wrote down their triggers (HA!) - relapse is part of recovery - (bring them back WHEN they do) and a million other things. So POA's continue in their desperation to find something that will work - POA's are rehabs best clients - be it methadone, vivitrol, sub's, so that they can function, maybe get a job, maybe quit stealing? The bottom line is we become desperate - we become willing to sell everything, lose everything to get our child better. My Husband said to me a few weeks ago, "I don't know what is right, I just want to keep my son alive so he has the chance to get better." There are few people who want to hear about addiction in general. You are trying to change what has been told to a lot of people for years and years and that isn't easy but it is very much needed. It took me a while to really understand some of what you were writing - its heavy stuff! :)

  4. People DO want to hear!!!!!! Keep moving forward

  5. Charlie,
    I agree with Bar and Tori.. My only child is an addict and in the beginning. I had no clue what to do, where to go, and I was in total denial. Your blog has been a God send to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  6. Thanks, have poerful information and you make a difference.

  7. We like our substance/behavior of choice so much that we lose our internal "off switch," the ability to say: "that's enough." We love doing something in a manner that's not good for us. So is it a matter of relearning? I'm still really struggling with overeating. I haven't yet found the Tao. At certain points in my life I've had that positive Tao going to the extent that I could loose extra pounds and keep them off for a good long time. But then my life will go through devolution and I end up back in my food addiction. I don't want to keep going around this same mountain repeatedly. Somehow I have yet to discover the higher life of how to properly feed my body and my soul. I'm very mixed up there. In some ways I feel unsure of what in my life is missing, the thing I long for that food temporarily fills for me. It could be the desire to be rewarded for hard work or suffering, to feel surrounded by easily accessible abundance, to have something accessible, comforting and nearby. And then my body image is wrapped up in it too, where I feel a false safety in being overweight and less attractive. But yet I long to look the best I can look. And I see photos of myself when younger when I was clearly not fat, yet at the time my image of myself was "I am fat." What a long strange trip it's been.

  8. Your writings have helped me so much..thank you and please keep writing!

  9. You have helped me so much! I wish you would keep writting!

  10. Watching my recovering addict in recovery has been very more drug but I do not know this person any longer. I raised her, but the last time I really knew her was when she took her first pill 12 years ago. The person I see today is not my daughter, I don't know who she is.


Anybody Can Take Steps - Chapter Three

* STEP 3 Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.           Soun...