I have my list for Step 8 from my Step 4 inventory. This step holds me accountable to the harms I have caused others. Step 8 awakens me to clarity. I have heard a common phrase in the rooms for years: “What is your part?” and I was asked to consider, could it all be your part? I discovered this to be more true, and I must take full responsibility for my thoughts and actions.
Al-Anon taught me that alcoholism is a family disease. The disease manifests as selfishness and self-centredness, not only in the alcoholic, but in the family member as well. I was also introduced to Al-Anon’s principle: “we can be happy, whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not.” I unfortunately did not heed this principle and suffered with the delusion that I could not be happy until Spencer, my son, was sober. My self reliance, driven by a hundred forms of fear and self pity, was how my disease manifested. I truly believed that I needed him to be different for me to be happy. I managed, manipulated, and mothered his life without awareness.
As my awareness of the disease grew, I was now on my path to recovery. I admitted I was powerless over wanting Spencer to be different, to be sober. And with this admission, I admitted the harms I had done. Because of this defect, I became obsessed with him and his life. The drama and pain were insurmountable for both Spencer and me. From the time he was 15 and for the next 10 years, I watched the disease progress from drinking and marijuana to OxyContin and injecting heroin. An inadvertent overdose of fentanyl finally took his life.
I am truly sorry that I worked harder on his life than on my own. My love was conditional, for it required that he get clean and sober. Little did I know that my disease had progressed just as fast as his.
Through the grace of God, the 12 steps, and loving sponsorship to guide me, I considered the question: are you willing to be happy whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not? Are you willing to change, to do the work, to experience happiness?
Brought to my knees, I admitted that I was a hopeless Al-Anon. I was open to a power greater than myself. It took Spencer’s death for me to realize my powerlessness — my disease. When I think anyone should be different than they are, I am causing harm to them and I will continue to make my list and be willing to make amends. I continue to ask God for help.
Through the process of the 12 steps, and Step 8 not being the least, I have recovered from this selfish self-centred disease, so long as I stay in fit spiritual condition. Thank you Al-Anon for showing me the path of happiness. Alcoholism is a family disease and I can be happy, no matter what. God is Good.
Contributors to Renascent’s Blog share their stories of addiction and recovery and/or their professional expertise.
In this brief, but powerful How to Recover with Cocaine Addiction Treatment guide, you will have the knowledge to get clean once and for all.
If cocaine has entered the life of someone you know – or is affecting you directly – you may already be aware of the reason it’s casually known as a ‘hard’ drug. Once it has taken hold, it’s a hard habit to break. It becomes hard for the sufferer to lead any semblance of a normal life. And it can harden the hearts of family members, friends, and employers toward the user as this addiction rages its way through relationships, finances and personal lives, with often devastating consequences.
If you didn’t think it was possible to recover from cocaine addiction, think again: while cocaine is certainly a very powerful foe, with cocaine addiction treatment, the habit can be defeated. Recovery is possible. It begins with taking the first step: admitting that help is needed, and accepting that help. Sometimes a cocaine addict has to be badly battered by the drug before they will take this step. But once taken, the journey to recovery from cocaine addiction has already begun.
What kind of a drug is cocaine, and what are its effects?
When cocaine made a big splash in the collective consciousness in the 70s and early 80s, it was known as a ‘rich man’s drug’ and ‘not physically addictive’ because of its cost, rarity, and a lack of the strong physical withdrawal symptoms characterized by other hard drugs such as heroin. We have learned much about this designer drug since then, and unfortunately, it has claimed many lives and fortunes in the intervening decades. Here’s some of what we know about cocaine.
- Cocaine is a stimulant derived from the coca plant. In South America, native people used to chew the leaves of the coca plant for more energy while working in the fields.
- Cocaine can be snorted, injected or freebased (crack cocaine)
- Cocaine is highly addictive. With a rush lasting just two to five minutes, a user needs to use almost continuously in an attempt to maintain their high
- In experiments done on mice, cocaine was found to be so addictive that mice will repeatedly press the ‘cocaine button’ to get a hit, to the exclusion of food and water, until they die.
So what happens when cocaine is abused, as it has a high potential to be? There are serious side effects to this powerful stimulant. It causes the heart to beat faster and blood vessels to constrict, which can lead to heart attacks. In fact, it’s an open secret that whenever a 20-or 30-something Hollywood actor or sports celebrity with no history of heart disease suddenly dies of cardiac arrest, cocaine was the likely culprit. Cocaine overdose can also lead to strokes, and habitual use can cause high blood pressure, weight loss, lung damage and kidney failure.
Despite its lack of ‘physical’ withdrawal symptoms (such as the vomiting and sweating associated with opiate withdrawal) cocaine withdrawal is very painful. That much is obvious – otherwise why would an addict do almost anything to get more, and keep using it even when the consequences are so negative? Cocaine withdrawal symptoms include intense cravings, severe depression, anxiety, fatigue, irritability, anger, mood swings and sleeplessness. It’s little wonder the relapse rate for cocaine is high.
Addicts can and do recover with cocaine addiction treatment
Recovery is possible. That’s great news for the person struggling with cocaine abuse who may feel hopeless. However, a certain mindset is generally necessary in order for cocaine addiction treatment to work. Some of the things that are generally considered a helpful prerequisite for successful recovery include:
- Willingness to admit there is a problem. As with addiction to other drugs, cocaine addiction often leads to denial. Users shrink from confronting what is actually going on, the toll the drug is taking on their lives and relationships, and the severity of the problem; owning the wreckage can be overwhelming and is often best accomplished in an intervention-type setting with the help of concerned and supportive loved ones. Admitting the truth about the impact of the addiction is essential to seeking help and ultimately recovering.
- A sincere desire to stop using cocaine. A person must not merely pay lip service to the idea of getting clean and sober; it doesn’t work that way. Of course, he or she may not feel enthusiastic about having to give up cocaine, indeed may be terrified at the prospect, but one must be willing to put cocaine aside in order to give treatment a fair shot.
- A willingness to consider complete abstinence as a means to successful cocaine addiction treatment. Someone with a cocaine or crack problem may not believe they have a problem with alcohol or any other drug, but generally speaking, those who are entirely abstinent have a much better chance of recovering from cocaine addiction because alcohol, marijuana and other drugs can be considered gateway drugs to cocaine.
How cocaine addiction treatment works
There is no magic pill, quick fix or single technique to help someone recover from cocaine addiction. You can change your life and recover from addiction, and be happier than you ever were before; it’s just a matter of doing the work. At Renascent, cocaine addiction treatment consists of a multi-disciplinary approach to the problem of cocaine addiction. It’s an approach that has helped thousands of people who once struggled with cocaine addiction, to achieve lasting recovery.
Treatment modalities for cocaine addiction include:
-Education into the nature of cocaine addiction and its physical, emotional, social and spiritual effects
-Cognitive behavioural therapy: Practicing techniques to change behaviour patterns that led you to reach for cocaine in the first place
-12-step facilitation therapy
-Additional therapies personalized to your individual needs and situation, including reality therapy, person-centred therapy, solution-focused therapy, mindfulness principles and art therapy
Treatment is facilitated individually and in groups by our team of registered psychotherapists and certified drug and alcohol addiction specialists, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery
At Renascent, the atmosphere is that of a comfortable home, not a bleak institution. You will be surrounded by loving, caring, experienced staff and peers who, like yourselves, are on a journey of recovery. We have found this to be the best possible environment to support someone as they recover. The bottom line is, cocaine addiction doesn’t have to rule your life anymore. For more information about Renascent’s programs and to find out why we are your best choice for lasting recovery, please call our Access Centre, day or night, toll-free at 1-866-232-1212 or text 1-647-691-4146 to speak confidentially to one of our counsellors.
The staff at Renascent is passionate about helping people with substance addictions so they can reach their full recovery – with compassion, respect, empathy and understanding. Our staff includes our counsellors, all of whom have lived experience of addiction and recovery.