Many of our addictions progressed to the point of using hard drugs, like heroin or cocaine, and we are left wondering if it would be possible to return to the point where we were using “softer” drugs. Through experience, we have found this to be an impossibility. The problem lies in the progressive and chronic nature of the disease of addiction. Switching from one drug to another that we don’t believe we had a problem with is a common attempt at asserting control over our disease that always ends in failure for one suffering from the disease of addiction. Addiction is different than physical dependence. We may attempt stop using a physically addictive drug like heroin by switching to one that we perceive as less dangerous, such as alcohol or marijuana. Often, we feel that the unmanageability in our lives was the result of using a “hard” drug, but we will be able to control our use of a different substance. The disease of addiction, however, is not substance-specific. When we use any mind or mood-altering chemical, we quickly find that one of two things happen: we quickly move back to using our previous drug of choice, or we find that we face the same unmanageability and consequences from our “new” drug of choice. As men and women suffering from the disease of addiction, we can develop the “phenomenon of craving” when we take a drug in any form. The Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous explains, “This phenomenon, as we have suggested, may be the manifestation of an allergy which differentiates these people, and sets them apart as a distinct entity. It has never been, by any treatment with which we are familiar, permanently eradicated. The only relief we have to suggest is entire abstinence.” Substitution of one drug for another will invariably trigger this allergy and we will face cravings and mental obsession beyond our control. Complete abstinence, however, keeps us from falling back into the painful cycle of addiction, as well as fix the internal condition which led us to seek solace in mind and mood-altering chemicals.
Your story can be one of recovery from the hopelessness of addiction and alcoholism. Sobriety is possible if you make the decision to seek help now. Oceanfront Recovery, a treatment facility in Orange County, California, provides a variety of cutting-edge treatment methodologies and techniques designed to give you all the tools needed to achieve and maintain lasting sobriety. For more information about individualized treatment options, please call today: (877) 279-1777