Wednesday, March 10, 2010

If you're smoking...

And you want to stop, this might help.

I have been to more drug & alcohol rehabs than anyone would actually want to admit to. From one of the very best rehabs in the country to one that might be the very worst. All are essentially AA indoctrination centers, but despite any misgivings you may or may not have about the 12 steps consider this fact:

Going into a rehab, regardless of it's ranking or amenities, gives you 28 days of safety from your drug. That's almost a month to clear the cobwebs out, get some healthy food into your system and an opportunity to consider your options. At the very least you are giving yourself a 28 day vacation from hell.

As an added bonus some rehabs actually offer alternatives to AA or NA. SMART Recovery, SOS, Harm Reduction and other groups are now being encouraged to bring meetings into facilities. This is to give those who are new to the idea of stopping their use a chance to see what is available.

I do not recommend any one type of support group. I've been to AA and was told that if I wasn't an alcoholic that I didn't belong at those meetings. This was after attending those meetings for over 5 years and being told that I did belong.

Talk about being rejected.

I went to NA but was nervous about all the drug dealers hanging around outside after the meetings. Added to that was the strict "company line" that NAers adhere to that gave me the willies.

To add to my discomfort was the fact that the religious content of 12 step meetings was troubling to me. I mean, God didn't get me high, why should I expect God to keep me clean, sober and all that stuff. Listening to drug and drunk-a-logs didn't help me keep my mind off using either.

SOS and SMART Recovery meetings did help arm me with tools that seemed more valuable to being sober than hearing war stories. Hearing about what someone did to not use made more sense and was more helpful than hearing about someones last 5 day crack binge.

Unfortunately there are no SOS or SMART meetings in my area.

Harm Reduction has had some value to me. The main thing that helped me was making a plan to facilitate minimizing my usage. Getting bills and obligations out of the way before getting a drug dealer on the phone.

I can hear it already. Why bother calling the Dope Man at all?

Needless to say, you wouldn't be asking that question if you were in my place. To those of you who understand, no explanation is needed. To those of you who don't understand, no amount of words will help you to know what it's like.

But if you're hitting the pipe and you need to take a break, think about it for awhile. No amount of invented bullshit from a drug and alcohol counselor can compare to the crap you get from a drug dealer who won't get off your back or a moocher who thinks you owe them a hit.

28 days of relative peace and quiet.



No kiddin'!

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