Are shame and denial keeping you from aftercare? I ask because I just read an interesting research study on shame and addiction. To make it easy, addicts are self centered people by nature. When a normal person gets into trouble...they ASK FOR HELP. Addicts simply say I CAN DO THIS BY MYSELF. It's seems like a never-ending cycle. Two of the strongest emotions addicts feel when they're in active addiction are shame and denial. They're ashamed of their disease and in denial about it. They seem like contradicting emotions...how can we be shameful of things we deny are happening? The result is isolation as the addict reaches their bottom. I see so many people here reject the suggestion of aftercare. They think that they have it whipped this time. I am here to tell you that denial of the importance of aftercare will ultimately lead to relapse. Having shame about having a disease is irrational at best, and it shows just how powerful this disease it. I can promise you, the memory of withdrawal doesn't stand a chance against the memory of the high. The disease is just too strong. Don't let shame or denial about how life threatening this disease is deter you from seeing aftercare. There is no shame in wanting to get better.
I think its a mixture of both .I also think some people rely on" will power " and think its as easy as not taking a pill. I wish it were but that's not realistic we have to come to terms with our addiction and get recovery care .
I'm always open to hear another's view. With that said, aftercare is not exactly the panacea for addicts. There's a hug recidivism for addicts in aftercare as well. Your reading introduces some interesting ideas but you seem to be accepting them as fact. If that worked for you I think that's wonderful. If using a Ouija board works, use it. But I take issue with applying your suggestions to all addicts. Convince me.
Well said! I have a great deal of respect for aftercare as it works for many, But I agree that whatever works for some is their own answer. Going into aftercare is not a 100% full proof plan that you will not relapse. In fact, there are many posts that prove that as fact. Is it a higher rate for those who do not seek aftercare? Who knows? But in my opinion that proves that what works for some does not work for others. I do agree that just abstinence alone may not work long term, but many people couple that with their own methods of dealing with their addiction and are very successful at staying clean. I think a real issue on the boards is that it is hard to decipher whether an addict is saying they can do it alone to avoid aftercare or if they firmly have a plan . On here if you say I do not go to aftercare then that means to most you are ignoring your only chance at sobriety and for many that is just not the case. God forbid if you come back on and say you had a relapse it is immediately attached to the fact that you did not go to aftercare as the 100% solid reason you relapsed. Yet if someone who did attend aftercare relapse's rarely are there any reasons attached.
recovery care by no means means you wont relapse but yes there is a far higher rate of long term sobriety that get aftercare .Why would someone not want to do everything possible to keep themselves sober .Think about the lengths some go to to abuse drugs but they dont want to put any effort other then stopping there drug of choice other then not taking it .In the end its up to you what road you go down I have tried it both ways without it I made it 6 months with it 991 days so for me thats what has made the difference.
Where are rates that show the long term sobriety as it relates to aftercare? Respectfully, I am asking. Because when I talked to an addiction counselor he said they were very hard to validate because individuals who do not seek aftercare and stay sober go back into society and since they do not attend any meetings, i.e. aftercare they are not counted on either side. He mentioned that there are some numbers because when the non aftercare addicts relapse they come back and are counted as they normally attempt aftercare since there original plan, if there was any did not work. BUT there is no way to count the addicts who stay clean on their own. So the rates will always be heavily in favor of Aftercare participants since they are easily counted ( and available to be counted through aftercare providers). Also, the question Why would someone not want to do everything possible to keep themselves sober, assumes that for that person aftercare would keep them sober and that is the debatable issue, for some the belief is that it may not. When I came on the boards I wanted to seek aftercare because I understood it to be a reinforcement as you stated, but once I talked to a counselor and got evaluated he said I needed to go another route. Verdict is still out whether I will be successful, but in no know way do I agree that it means that I am any less dedicated to keeping myself sober than anyone else who is in an aftercare program. There are so many steps that I have taken before, during my taper and now after that are part of my commitment to myself and remaining sober. It is not a snub at aftercare or a will power issue for me it is just a different method
For me using was only a symptom of what was really going on with me. I tried for years and years to quit and only when i added recovery to the mix did i start to understand what was really going on with me. I no longer am running from me. I had to learn to love myself and deal with all the pain i had been harboring for years. I have come along way but i still have a long way to go as i will always be a work in progress. I believed at one time that once i stopped using it was done and over. Little did i know it was only beginning. I had lived for 46 yrs running from my problems and recovery care has given me the tools to use in my daily living. There is no right or wrong answers here, we are only giving others one of the tools that has worked for us and that is recovery care......sara
HI Pepper going to an addiction specialist counts as aftercare....I have been seeing a substance abuse conslor weekly for over 2 yrs if it wasent for him I dont think I would have ever even thought of coming off the methadone I was sorta stuck and content at the same time if that makes any sense to ya...Paul was the one person that actually challenged the way I use to think about it and played a major part in helping me get free from it now we focus on recovery we have been for well over 7 mo now...N/A and A/A our great there free and the 12 step programs work if you work them...as far as questioning dose aftercare work....let this forum and its membership speak for itself....anybody on this forum that has any major amount of clean time is involved in some sort of aftercare weather it be N/A or A/A or a substance abuse conslor ,therapist or even a church pastor but all are pluged into something you just need to figure out what works best for you ...we just want to see everyone succeed good luck and God bless.....Gnarly
i agree with some of the things each one of you have just said and i'm going to talk only by my experience here.
It's a plain truth that our first thought is the one that ga guy states: i can do it by myself, it's a matter of will power and i can do it by myself. And like avis, i stayed clean for 4 months the first time and i relapsed. Now and after finding this forum, i'm 607 days clean. I did 6 months great just by myself or with what's called willpower or whatever. During those months,I relied very much in the support and knowledge i found in this forum and what i learned from all of you has been a life saver for me. I really believe that i wouldn't have stayed clean for so many months by now without the forum, your advices and the great people i have found here.
But after the six months mark, i started going emotionally down hill because of the problems i was having in my life and because i was mentally unable of coping well with them without my old way of hiding behind a killing softly substance. I shut down and i stopped coming here cause i thought i couldn't help anyone or be helped by others and i felt that i had to tackle the roots of my problems and i didn't have a clue how to do it . i started thinking : is this thing of being clean really that good ? and worse, is living going to be that way?.... And i felt totally lost because going back to use again was not in my mind but going on feeling that way was a mental hell for me. I didn¡t want to hide ever again behind the pills and of course, i didn't want either to die slowly because of a substance abuse nor to feel a mental wreck like i felt at the end of my abusing years...wd's are a walk in heaven for me compared to my last 2 years of abusing pills.
at that point, i remembered what i have heard from the people here about aftercare and about dealing with the roots of the emotional reasons ... i went straight ahead to therapy. And this really has made a difference :) I'm feeling much better and in control and no more an emotional and mental mess and i'm still having a lot of problems going on in my life but that is what life's supposed to be with its ups and downs ... yes, i needed help and thank godness that i went for it.
so my opinion here is that going to the ROOT of our reasons and learning tools to deal with them via whatever works for us ( na meetings,addiction counselors/therapists... ) is a must if we're going to recover from our addiction in the medium and long term. Just by willpower is not the way. I'm talking to the people addicted to these substances because of the way they feel with them ( i'm not including people dependant on them only because of the pain and without feeling the high because i'm not one of them ).
sorry for the long text and for my english:) it's hard for me translating deeper issues and thoughts ...:)
The only type of aftercare I currently get is through 12 step programs, so I will only speak on that method.
AA and NA are designed so that the addict who uses the program and all of its tools will not fail. The cornerstone of this is willingness and faith. I have to first have willingness to do what is necessary to stay sober. I have to be willing to do certain things regularly; go to meetings, work the steps with a sponsor, help other addicts through the steps, read recovery based literature, and immediately talk to another addict if I am feeling the urge to use. These are all preemptive and premeditated processes that will help me stay sober. Relying on my own will power and trying to live in my own self-will-run-riot is what got me to the depth of addiction I entered. These are the ways that I get support and understanding from my fellows in the program, which is the first line of defense against relapse.
Secondly, and very importantly, I must have faith in a power greater than myself to rely on to keep me sober. Whether I choose to believe that this power is God, some sort of spirit of the universe, or my home group, is up to me. AA/NA encourages me to decide my own concept of a higher power. The faith comes in because at some point or another, I may become without defense to urge to use. Some drastic situation may arise (death in the family, etc..) where my human will power is non-existant. It is at this point that I must, through prayer and meditation, gain a more conscious contact with my higher power, and rely on it to keep me sober. This is the spiritual (not religious) aspect of a 12 step program.
AA has been around since the 1930's, and NA since the 1950's (I believe..). It has worked for a very many addicts and alcoholics. From first hand experience of going through a treatment center focused on 12 step recovery, I was one of the very few people who entered with me that has stayed sober (I had 1 year on the 5th of May!). It has given me a clear, visual explanation of why they relapsed and I didn't. Even though they attended meetings and started step work, all who relapsed quit working the program. They quit going to meetings, quit working with their sponsor, quit praying. This is not me judging what I think they did wrong, but what they told me happened.
So I'm inclined to believe in the words of the AA, "It works, if you work it!"
Thank you for responding to me. I only saw the addiction specialist 1 time. So I do not see him as a method of aftercare. Sorry if I confused you. Our initial conversation was after I joined the boards and he and I had a long conversation about it. Actually, my medical Dr. and I came up with a plan a year ago for me to taper and the other methods to begin the recovery process.
Studies show that women in treatment relapse less frequently than men, partly because women are more likely to engage in group counseling.-Caron Treatment Centers. 2003. Relapse & Recovery: Behavioral Strategies for Change. P. 6
Relapse rates from addiction (40 to 60%) can be compared to those suffering from other chronic illnesses such as Type I diabetes (30 - 50%), Hypertension (50-70%) and asthma (50 to 70%). Drug addiction should be treated like any other chronic illness, with relapse indicating the need for renewed intervention.-Stocker, S. Men and women in drug abuse treatment relaspse at different rates and for different reasons. NIDA Notes. 13:4. National Institute on Drug Abuse. National Institute of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Ibid.
In recovery from addiction, it is important to change one's lifestyle to include maintaining abstinence; involving oneself in healthy relationships; getting good nutrition, rest and exercise; and working to resolve one's personal problems. This can be maintained by ongoing counseling sessions and 12-Step recovery programs.-Caron Treatment Centers. 2003. Relapse & Recovery: Behavioral Strategies for Change. P. 15-17.
In a study of over 1,800 alcohol-dependent men and women (Schuckit, M.A. et al), abstainers were more likely than those who relapsed to have received treatment and to have attended Alcoholics, Narcotics, or Cocaine Anonymous meetings.-McLellan, et al., 2000. Comparison of relapse rates between drug addiction and other chronic illnesses (pie chart). JAMA, 284, 1689-1695.
A major outcomes study with 10,000 patients in both in-patient and outpatient treatment (Hoffman & Miller) found that 90% of patients attending AA meetings at least weekly and participating in aftercare for one year were able to abstain from the use of any alcohol at all during that year.-NIDA. Advanced recovery. Treatment manuals. National Institute on Drug Abuse. Naitonal Institute of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
There are thousands of research papers that show that relapse rates hover around 90 percent for those that don't seek aftercare. If I can change my percentages by 10 percent by attending aftercare...then, I'm not risking my life on the chance of being that 10 percent. These rates are for ONE year of recovery...not long term. The numbers go down from there.
Thank you for the knowledge, it is good information to have. Unfortunately, I asked Avis in regards to her come which was:"recovery care by no means means you wont relapse but yes there is a far higher rate of long term sobriety that get aftercare" Note she specifically talked about LONG TERM SOBRIETY and your stats were for ONE year of recovery... not long term. I think it is great that you are doing what works for you, that is what is most important.
Yes there are long term results but as you said you are just going to state there incorrect because people that don't get care are not counted for . So I am not sure what the since would be to post info ...There are so many people here that need help that want it, thats my focus .I hope you have things in place that will help you stay clean long term .
Thank you, yes that is the plan for long term sobriety. I do have something in place it is just not the accepted plans that are included in aftercare. Help comes in many forms but I am glad you are here helping everyone who wants it. Unfortunately, it is viewed that if you are not seeking aftercare, you do not want sobriety long term. I cannot speak for others but for me, that could not be further from the truth. Everything that is not black is not white, there are other colors....
i don't see as you've just put it...it is not all that there is here this sort of judgment you're stating...it's not that " it's viewed here that if you're not seeking aftercare, you do not want sobriety long term...not at all.
what we see here it's that people are told : look, without aftercare your chances of relapsing because of this and this and this...are really high. Apart from having our own opinon each one of us, sure. But there is not this judgment in the forum about how much desire of sobriety have the people but the intention of advicing about what is the best and the worst steps to take after detoxing and to sobriety.
there is a big difference, right ?
and you are talking of having a plan so you're taking into consideration some kind of aftercare in a way and if it works for you, well, great for you. no problem :)
Just etymoligical definition of the word "aftercare". It simply means the 'care' and measures you take 'after' you stop using. It does not imply a specific method of relapse prevention. So when anyone takes any further action or therapy regarding their addiction after they stop physically using, they are involved in aftercare.
What worries me about your situation is that you are going to a regular doctor to get advice on addiction and recovery. Did I understand that right? If so, a lot of the time, MD's do not have extensive training in addiction or addiction therapy. This can be confirmed by plenty of people on this forum.I mean, would you go to an addictionologist and ask him to check your ears for infection? Just not his specialty. Its the same way with a MD. An addictionologist is the best possible avenue to formulate the best recovery plan. Sometimes they tell us stuff we don't want to hear, but they are the experts.
I agree with pepper's comments. Just because someone doesn't use NA or an addiction counselor doesn't mean they're not interested in sobriety. Also, I'm very happy for people who use NA but not everyone believes in "denial" or that addicts are somehow more selfish by nature than other people, or that addicts have some moral flaw in their personalities that must be addressed. I always hear people say drug use is a symptom of a larger problem, but I had no problem with the drug until I took it. The drug use/withdrawals/cravings are the problem, not some suppressed memory from my youth or a larger spiritual void.
Nobody has said people are not interested in recovery because they don't go to na or a therpist .As i said the first time I stopped using I didn't get any care . I was just as interested in staying clean .I just did not have enough tools to keep myself clean all on my own .I needed help and I got it .
Well if it isn't a life-long disease and it's not spiritual than it has to be moral. Doing something that is bad for you regardless of the consequences to yourself and others around you is reckless at best. For me, it is a disease and a symptom of a spiritual malady. It makes me no difference how people see their addiction. I've used the 12 steps and have been sober more than a year now. So it obviously works if you work it.
Here's the point. People who engage in 12 step programs and addiction counseling, on average, stay sober longer than those who don't. If your a person who doesn't do those things, it doesn't mean you are inevitably going to relapse, it just means statistically, you are in the higher risk category. You want to see numbers on that, look it up for yourself, its out there. I've said it before, it makes me no difference what other addicts do, it just seams logical to me to use AA since it has been around over 70 years, and has proven through millions of recoveries, that it works.
I really do not want to see the stats on it, I was responding to the fact that someone said they existed. Please read my post to get what I really said. Also, I am not seeing a MD doctor ongoing for addiction. Again, in my post I said he helped me map out a plan to taper and begin the recovery process. Key word is BEGIN, He in no way claimed to be an addiction specialist. In fact, he sent me to an Addiction Specialist, I also refereed to me speaking with him in my post. Both Gnarly and GA GUY are really specific about what aftercare is, that is why I excluded myself. In their posts they say aftercare is NA, AA, Counselor, Support Group or Church Pastor. That is where I got the definition of aftercare as far as the Board is concerned . I am a work in progress and have nothing against aftercare as it is defined.
Bottom line here is if you really want to stay clean you will do whatever you have to do to stay a healthy clean. For me recovery care has saved my life. I have been an addict since my real early teens. I used for 30 plus years......lots of emotional baggage was carried all those years. Today i am over 2 yrs clean. I no longer just go thru the motions, i actually live now.......sara
1. Amnio Acid Protocol
2. Over the past year documenting exactly what made me take the pills other than pain( Triggers)
3 Long term taper plan that allowed me to take control of my life and repair my mind and make changes in my life.
4. Admit to my Husband, family, drs. and the pharmacy that I have a problem and cut off all sources.
5. Work my documented list #2 by owning the problems and committing to deal with them drug free in the moment and actually doing so by making changes in myself and in the way I handle the things I can not change around me.
6. Alot of mental conditioning on a daily basis of what my life is without the drugs, through hollistic approaches
7. Exercise and returning to the activities that I enjoy doing.
8. Increasing activities that enable my endorphins to naturally take effect.
9. Reading the Book Stop Addiction Now and understanding the damage the drugs have done and how I can take control to repair the damage.
10. Talking out loud and getting support from my family members who are recovering addicts, some who go to NA/AA and some who do not.
The key for me is that I took control of the process. My therapist felt strongly that my success at staying clear of the drugs would begin with me being in control, due to my history. As you know, I went to therapy for a few years in regards to how my Dad's death affected my life. I came to terms with a great deal of things before the pills came into play but once they did some of the same questions came up and some new questions. Not anywhere to the degree they were in the past, but still there. Control was a big issue. I use to let things happen to me and not take control, not speak up about what I liked or disliked and secretly be sad because things did not go my way. Always falling back behind the crowd. My therapist was concerned that NA/AA which supports that addicts do not have control would negate any work we had already done. At least at that time. He did not want to take it off the table just try to get me stronger if I had to go in that direction. So once my MD came up with the taper plan and the Amino Acids. I began immediately on working on the above items and I went back to my therapist who worked with me over the year on why I decided to take the pills when I was not in pain. Of course, this would be aftercare if I were not still taking the meds. I was down to 15 mg or less a day for the last year and no longer had any high and with that low dose I stopped taking them when I needed them emotionally. So it forced me to handle things head on. I took a week off each month. Once I took the last pill ( flushed the rest). I went to the addiction specialist who coordinated with my therapist on my status . So right now, I continue my daily routine, document my progress and live my life. I weened of of the amnio's and only take a multivitamin. My therapist who is not an addiction specialist is following up with me in June, then we will see what direction I need to go in. Whatever direction I need to go in, I will to stay clean and free. It is a process and a plan that is working for me, although I took my last pill just over a month ago, this process started last year and I feel stronger each day. Sorry for so long, just answering the question asked.
Funny you should bring that up!! What are YOU doing Avis to stay off drugs????
Avis, Are you not STILL using opiates? Correct me if I'm wrong but some time ago you had some minor surgery and told us that you were USING OPIATES and that your husband was holding onto them and giving them out to you correct? You even mentioned that you'd thought of asking him for some extra.
Whats REALLY FUNNY about that is that you preach to people here all the time that they can use NON NARCOTIC PAIN KILLERS. Yet you yourself are using NARCOTICS. What a hypocrite!!!!
You treat newcomers like garbage and sit on your high horse looking down at all of us yet YOUR STILL USING!! Even if you wanna BULLCRAP yourself into thinking your not "really" using. Fact is that you ARE and you know it!!
Your rude, arrogant, self righteous and worst of all a TOTAL HYPOCRITE!!!!
So AVIS WHAT ARE **YOU** DOING TO STAY OFF DRUGS?? OH YAH YOUR STILL ON THEM!! Better set that tracker back to ZERO!!
I asked as a response to the statement that they existed. If someone says it's raining cats and dogs and I say show me, its not like I want to see cats and dogs, it's that I want the person to prove what they said. That's it. I saw on another thread how you mentioned the stats for relapse do not tell the whole story as it relates to NA/AA. How you hated when they mention them. That was really my point here. They do not tell the whole story.
If I were where you are I would not trade it either, why would you and frankly I am not asking anyone to. Just to respect that there are different methods. Drugs are the enemy and each day anyone stays off them with any manner they do so is a wonderful thing. So I am truly happy for you and your recovery.
Here's my 2 cents on this issue and I'm totally speaking for myself.
In reference to the aftercare statistic quoted..,
"In recovery from addiction, it is important to change one's lifestyle to include maintaining abstinence; involving oneself in healthy relationships; getting good nutrition, rest and exercise; and working to resolve one's personal problems. This can be maintained by ongoing counseling sessions and 12-Step recovery programs.-Caron Treatment Centers. 2003. Relapse & Recovery: Behavioral Strategies for Change. P. 15-17. "
*Maintaing abstinence -
well I'm 60 days clean. Not sure if that signifies abstinence but I hope so.
*Involving healthy relationships -
I've already admitted to my wife (who alredy suspected it) and she's told my family, I've even told friends at work in which I found out one of them was an addict and seeking my help.
*Getting good nutrition -
lol if only you knew WHAT I DON'T EAT anymore and since quitting I've been a vitamin addict.
I don't take naps in the day anymore and go to bed at 9 or 10pm and wake up at 7:30 feeling fantastic and hopeful for the day and I know this is too much info but I've been waking up with erections which wasn't the case when I was on pills.
I can write an entire post and show before and after photos on this topic hehe
*Resolve one's personal problems -
Well this can get pretty elaborate but I will say this. I have the best job in the world where EVERYONE is grateful and constantly showing grattitude for my support and by the way, this job also allows my son to wake up and run to his parents bed and see his mom and dad every morning and also to see his parents pick him up after school. I have the most beautiful wife in the world... (she's russian lol). I admit she is way too pretty for me. My financial situation is now in order and now more promising than ever. I have everything going for me. This is really hard to describe because you have to be me to actually know. I feel so hopeful, I'm looking forward to a trip in June. I'm looking forward to Halloween, to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I look and feel great. I am content with my life. I've picked up my guitar again, I'm taking a Russian speaking class every Tues and Thursdas. I had a kick *** bbq yesterday that was a hit! lol I don't crave pills. I'm even still hanging around one of my "ex" dealers and sorta feel ridiculous as to how many times I used to call this guy and txt him for pills. It's like looking at your old high school photo and saying "what the hell was I even thinking?".
I could be full of crap because in the next minute, day or year or whatever, I could relapse but my point is there is still that %10 percent that don't use aftercare. I may or may not be one of them if I happen to relapse but the fact that I don't use aftercare cripples me from posting on here to newcomers who are total in need of help and advice during their first few days of withdrawal because I begin to think "Who am I to give advice if I'm not in aftercare?". So I back down from posting.
If I were to ask all the obese people on this site "are shame and denial keeping you from eating right and exercising everyday?" and then maybe backed that up with a study of how mice on opiates showed better progress on the exercise wheel during withdrawal then mice who didn't exercise... How would that make you feel as someone who just wants to help people going through what you went through? I went to one NA meeting at a church and read about the 12 step program. And by all means I don't mean to offend anyone, but I would rather not live my life thinking I have a life long disease. I don't feel like I have a disease. I don't want to live my life like some hypochondriac and think to myself when I'm with my son at the park "yeah I can't do this or that probably because of my disease". Lance Armstrong refused to become a statistic and instead became cancer's worst enemy. He refused to give in and chose to fight the disease with all that he had. I would rather "livestrong" lol. If Poochie is reading this, Hey I'm thinking of taking up road biking! lol need some advice!
So again, this is just me. There are people on here that are losing their jobs, house, family relationships are in jeopardy etc. Then there are people who aren't. Everyone is different and advice is only a suggestion relating to someone's personal opinion.
yeah, i'm following more or less those directions and for the moment they're working for me and i'm not attending na nor following the 12 steps. we need to make life's changes and follow them in the long term, that's the point.
ok, good luck to all of us with our recovery and plans :)
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