First the good news about drug abuse recovery. You can do it.
There are any number of paths to chose from.
You might wake up one morning and decide that enough is enough and quit, and I have heard people talk about that model many times over the years.
There are any number of treatment facilities and models, and then there are the 12 step models of drug abuse recovery.
There is the CBT4CBT model which involves computerized cognitive behavioral therapy.
There are medical models, for example antabuse for alcoholism.
There are biofeedback models, for example the Peniston Protocol for alpha-theta brainwave biofeedback, which is an excellent tool, by the way.
You may involve yourself in a nutritional therapy, (ever heard of the CHIP program?) or with a naturopath or an acupuncturist or even a chiropractor.
There are non-traditional spiritual paths utilizing shamanic techniques, the study of Chi Gong, or meditation, and I know of a local yoga instructor who was once an heroin addict.
There are a number of books currently available speaking to long distance running as a key to drug addiction recovery.
And you may chose to involve yourself in a treatment center which exposes you to several of the above modalities while you are there.
Almost any of the models are going to speak to the value of attending to your health, through nutrition, sleep, stress management, physical exercise, and novel learning experiences.
One of the impacts of recreational chemicals is that neurogenesis, or the growth of new brain cells, is stopped.
Our brains typically take those new neurons and move them to the hippocampus where memories are made and kept, but our drugs block that process.
When we stop the drugs, the brain can then begin the arduous process of rebuilding so the early stages of drug abuse recovery will always attend to getting your body the tools it needs to rebuild, which will mean nutrition.
Yes, fruits and vegetables and grains and water and supplements like Omega 3 fatty acid for your brain. Your neurons are composed of mostly omega 3 fatty acids, and if that supply, which could come from ocean going fish, except that you might get too much mercury from those fish, is not kept up on a daily basis, your neurons get rigid and do not process incoming messages from other neurons very well. Garbled communications between neurons mean ineffective behaviors, maybe even relapse, so keeping your physiology on the mend will be a priority in the early days of recovery.
If you are interested in where I get my information about omega 3 fatty acids, then please read this book, Brainfit for Life, which explains the idea of brain fitness and how our current knowledge of the brain allows us to enhance capacities of the brain like neurogenesis and neuroplasticity, both important parts of the drug abuse recovery puzzle.
Physical exercise is a key piece of the recovery puzzle, and also an important part of the neurogenesis and neuroplasticity that we want to encourage in our brains.
Perhaps your body is going to ask you to minimize the physical exercise at first, just because it has taken a beating from the drug use, so in order to work your brain, you may want to look at tools like computerized brain fitness tools like Mind Sparke Brain Fitness Pro, or Lumosity, or the Posit Science Brain Fitness Program.
You can find the links below.
I know in my early days, I was anxious to make up for lost time and lost money, and I pushed hard to do that, trying to find tools that would enhance my standing in the world, memory enhancement for example.
Most of those tools did not work well for me, because they were not suited to my style of learning and were very labor intensive.
However, technology has accelerated the process of bringing me tools that actually work and work fast. One of those tools is the HeartMath tool, the emWave, or personal meditation trainer.
I can use the handheld emWave to access the brain in my heart (did not know your heart had a brain?), a very sophisticated nervous system belonging to the heart, composed of neurons, which can learn and make decisions independently of the brain.
When I access the brain in my heart, I actually open up the higher perceptual processes in my brain, which is good for neurogenesis and neuroplasticity.
To me, that fits with the 11th step of AA and NA, which is concerned with daily prayer and meditation, except using the emWave, I can do daily prayer with each heart beat, which helps my physical recovery, and now I am on a positive cycle of relaxation and healing.
Yes, drug abuse recovery is a multi-faceted process, physical, spiritual, emotional, and cognitive, and will take some initial effort to change habits, but the pay off is an increased self-knowledge and sense of efficacy.
I have seen many people chose not to answer the call and die, from an overdose, or a car accident, or murder, or suicide.
Drug abuse recovery is not for wimps, and it will truely teach humility. Thank the Higher Power for hard journeys and human resilience.
When I was beginning my personal growth journey, a wise person told me that when I was feeling resentful or afraid or sad, that I should remember the phrase "gratitude is the attitude" when I was ready to feel better. That phrase has helped me feel better tens of thousands of times.
Would you share what you are most grateful for? Your story could be just what another person is searching for to renew themselves? Thanks.