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Coping with Smoking Cravings in Addiction Recovery

Coping with Smoking Cravings in Addiction Recovery

On a warm October day, I hurried to to class, maneuvering around groups of slower-moving students. I checked my phone – fifteen minutes before class started, enough time to pop into the mini mart and buy some iced tea or soda. Approaching the entrance, I smelled the faint scent of fresh cigarette smoke from a passerby. Then my eyes caught the posters featuring cigarette brands on the mini mart door. All of the sudden, pleasurable memories wafted over me. I could feel the cigarette between my fingers and taste the hot smoke. I was experiencing a smoking craving.

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Potentially Addictive Cold Medication and Substance Abuse

Potentially Addictive Cold Medication and Substance Abuse

Getting sick raises questions and concerns for people in substance abuse recovery. As the leaves fall and the heaters turn on, colds, flus and other illnesses make the rounds. Personally, I am prone to developing sinus infections. Every time I come down with something, I have to consider what kinds of remedies are safe for me as a person in recovery. 

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Impulse Control and New Coping Skills in Addiction Recovery

Impulse Control and New Coping Skills in Addiction Recovery

Learning impulse control and new coping skills is challenging, and being in addiction recovery makes it necessary. Where do you start learning these things?

Early in recovery, a young woman who had gotten sober several years before me gave me some good advice. She said that when I felt like drinking, I should make a list of possible actions I could pursue and rank them in order from least destructive to most destructive. Actions such as praying or taking a bath would probably rank high on the list, while drinking and suicide would come in last. In the middle, I might list such things as shirking responsibilities to watch TV all day or going on a reasonable shopping spree. (I should mention, I have not struggled with shopping addiction.) When I felt the urge to drink or use, I was to start at the top of the list and work my way down.

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Regrets and Belatedly Making Amends in Addiction Recovery

Regrets and Belatedly Making Amends in Addiction Recovery

One of my biggest regrets from my drinking days is that I wasn’t a support for my grandfather when he was dying.  We were very close throughout my childhood and adolescence, but when he experienced a recurrence of cancer I was totally immersed in my alcoholism. My mother and I lived with my grandparents for some of his last months, but I was more harm than help. He died a few months before I got sober and for years, my wreaking havoc on my family during this difficult time pained me. For the last seven years I have experienced troubling recurring dreams involving my grandparents and their home, which was a happy and magical place for me growing up.

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Addiction is Selfish, and So Is Recovery

Addiction is Selfish, and So Is Recovery

Addiction recovery is selfish. It has to be. A recovering addict must be selfish and put sobriety first. Here's why selfishness is important to recovery.

A few days ago a good friend of mine, Leah, asked for my opinion on a situation she was having with a friend of hers, Sarah. Leah was struggling to stay clean and sober, but recently, she recommitted to substance abuse recovery. Leah wanted to help her friend with a history of drug abuse, who is on methadone, so she has been driving Sarah to the methadone clinic three days a week. Unfortunately, Sarah recently started using drugs again and is pressuring Leah for drug contacts and even to drive her to drug deals. Leah decided she needed space from Sarah and asked if I thought seeking temporary distance was okay.

My response — of course! As long as Sarah is overwhelmed by her drug-seeking behavior, she is not capable of being a good friend.

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The Debate Over Setting Quit, Clean and Sobriety Dates

The Debate Over Setting Quit, Clean and Sobriety Dates

I took my last drink of alcohol (hopefully for good) on February 19, 2007. I smoked my last cigarette (also hopefully for good) on December 31, 2010. In contrast, my friend quit street drugs and alcohol years ago, but she doesn’t know the exact dates.

12-step programs emphasize dates. Alcoholics Anonymous, Narcotics Anonymous and Overeaters Anonymous all celebrate sobriety dates, clean dates and abstinence dates, respectively. For me, my sobriety date is extremely important. It commemorates a miraculous day when I was given another chance to live. The day I quit smoking is important to me too, but I might not remember it if it didn’t coincide with New Year’s. Perhaps I care more about my sobriety date because my struggle with alcohol was much harder. Even so, for the clean and sober folks I know who do not commemorate a specific clean date, (mind you, this is the minority of clean and sober folks I know) it is not because their sobriety isn’t important to them.

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Addiction Recovery: A Spiritual Perspective

Addiction Recovery: A Spiritual Perspective

When it comes to recovery from active addiction, there are many approaches and treatments that have been tried over the years (see The Best Way to Quit Using Drugs).  Research has shown that addiction is a physiological disease that manifests itself in abnormal behavior.  Along with this is the idea that the addict’s disease actually began before the individual picked up the first drug.

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Keys to Addiction Recovery

Keys to Addiction Recovery

This video provides simple, easy to follow tips for addiction recovery including, having a belief in one’s recovery, reaching out for help, and replacing unhealthy behaviors with healthy ones.

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The Best Way to Quit Using Drugs

The Best Way to Quit Using Drugs

The best way to quit using drugs and alcohol is up for debate. Is there a best way to quit using drugs? What is the best way to quit drugs for good? Read this.

If I were to take a poll of 100 recovering addicts and ask them what method they used to get clean I would likely get a number of responses.  And that’s the point. The best way to quit using drugs is determined by the addict. What works for one individual may not work for another. The method you take to quit using drugs is best decided by you.

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Can Being an Addict Be a Good Thing?

Can Being an Addict Be a Good Thing?

Addiction is typically seen as being a bad thing but is it possible to take the negative aspects of addiction and transform them into something positive? This video explores this idea. Watch

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