There is something inherently self-harming about addiction. Despite the ongoing pain our drugs of choice cause us, the drastic effects it has in different areas of our lives, we continue to use them. The pleasure we get out of our favorite drugs of choice and alcohol outweigh any of the negative consequences, until they don’t anymore. Habits are hard to break. We carry on this theme of putting ourselves in situations that might hurt us in more ways than we realize. Some are obvious. Even when we get sober and go to treatment, we make decisions which are less than healthy for us, like getting into codependent relationships or picking up a new unhealthy habit through an addiction swap. Other forms of setting ourselves up for hurt are less obvious, like watching movies about drug and alcohol addiction, or any heavy abusive drug use. It’s a peculiar thing- addicts and alcoholics tend to really love movies about drugs and alcohol. As a favorite sub-genre of film it seems normal to want to watch some of your favorite movies with people who love them as much as you do. Together with your new peers in recovery you sit down to a watch a favorite intoxicated film. You notice a few things. You’ll first notice you’re somewhat uncomfortable. It doesn’t make any sense because you’ve seen this movie a hundred times, but, you haven’t seen this movie sober. As you start recovering, you start changing your perspective as you decide your morals, values, and principles. What you once thought was cool about the abuse of drugs and alcohol might not seem as cool now. Your chronic intoxication brought a lot of pain and misery into your life that lead you down a dark path until you finally found the light of recovery. Suddenly, there’s nothing glamorous about the substance abuse taking place on the screen. In fact, it’s a little scary. It scares you to realize that just a few weeks ago, that’s how you saw drugs and alcohol. Now that you’re making the climb through the other side, you are seeing it differently. The other part of your discomfort will likely come from the subtle development of cravings. Scientific studies use brain imaging technology to watch the way that people who have become dependent on drugs respond to cues or triggers, in their brain. Though you’ve been through detox and a bit of treatment, your brain is still healing. Just seeing drugs and alcohol, people using drugs and alcohol, or hearing descriptions of drugs and alcohol, is triggering for your brain and will cause activation in the areas of the brain which create cravings. Watching movies which heavily depict drug and alcohol addiction are triggering and can cause cravings over which you might not yet have the tools to manage. For the first few months of recovery, try to abstain from exposing yourself to too many triggers so you can stay focused on staying sober.
Oceanfront Recovery offers a full continuum of care and specialized treatment programs for men with substance use disorders and dual diagnosis mental health issues. Our belief is that when you change your story about addiction, you can change your life. Are you ready to start a new chapter? Call us today for information on our detox and residential programs: (949) 207-9899