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Addiction in the news

“I quit a year and a day ago and I want YOU to quit too!”

I just read a great post from an ex-marijuana addict on the uncommon-addiction forums. It deserves some more exposure!

I was you. I smoked at every opportunity, all the time for over a decade. Weed took precedence in my life, I could not bear to be without it for even a day. I always found money to buy weed, I loved the whole ritual surrounding it…or I thought I did until I realized I was numb. I no longer felt anything, I had become almost completely negative in my thinking, I hated seeing a dumb, grey skinned, red-eyed stoner moron staring back at me in the mirror. Then exactly a year ago I said ‘No more’ and I quit. So I wanted to return here, which was a great source of support for me in the early months of the quit to share everything I have learned in reference to kicking an addiction and what I experienced as a result of it.

1 – The first time I felt a benefit was about 2 days after quitting. I stayed up late one night watching a movie and afterwards had to just get some laundry out of the machine. As I folded the laundry, I felt a wave of melancholy wash over me…a kind of nostalgia, it was a subtle emotion I had not experienced for a decade, it was so subtle and so penetrating, I remember feeling overjoyed that I was feeling something real and not inducing a feeling via a 3rd party. This was just me and my emotions.

2 – I had incredibly vivid dreams, every night. I would wake up in pools of sweat, at first the dreams were persecution dreams with nightmarish qualities and gradually the imagery, though bizarre, became spectacular, like the most far-out and wonderful spectacle I had ever seen! When I got stoned, I just got blackness every night. No dreams. How can a person rob themselves of their dreams, they are a natural wonder.

3 – I became more sociable. I started to just appreciate the joys of communication with my fellow beings rather than hiding from them, or feeling some sense of shame or guilt at the fact I was stoned, or just social inadequacy at the fact my mind worked so slowly and my short term memory would embarrass me when I forgot what the hell I was talking about in the middle of a sentence! It truly is socially crippling. A stoner limits themselves to feeling the only people they are on a level with are other stoners. Combine this with the fact that the other stoners also have awful short term memories etc, it makes for a limiting social life.

4 – I had waves of misery and elation. Some days I would feel fantastic and almost hyper, other days I felt miserable and like I didn’t really want to face the world. In the early days, this was more extreme, after about 5 months I would say I felt as though I were on an even keel. This is psychological adjustment. If you are a long term smoker, you have left a relationship with the psychoactive effects of a plant that has influenced your world view and the way your very brain works. After five months, I felt like I was myself. Myself in a way I had never experienced, having been stoned since adolescence!

5 – Creativity. I work as an artist and marijuana always had appeal for me because I could easily work when stoned and I could do so to a high standard, enough to be regarded by my peers and respected for my talents. But I was terrified I would somehow grind to a halt creatively if I gave up marijuana. This is a huge misconception, to credit a plant with imbuing ones self with talent is to believe that anyone who smokes could become an artist, but the plan tis just along for the ride, it is neither here nor there, if anything it is a hinderance to the energy you need to be fully expressive. Also when you produce work with a sober mind, it is far more satisfying because you become aware of what is of you and this is liberating and life affirming. You are the vessel that creates and how wonderful to think that you were born with the ability and it is not attributed to anything else!

6 – Money. You just have more of it to do more worthwhile things with! This is a no brainer, but I would count it as a lesser benefit but it is enabling.

7 – Confidence. The feeling you are not burying your head in the sand or running away from anything. The feeling they you are yourself, eye to eye with reality. This is life affirming. You feel whole, that you are yourself and that it is enough.

8 – Relationships are just better. You feel more honest and as a result enjoy communication more and don’t have anything to play down in terms of an addiction. No more making up excuses for things because you are stoned and thus relegate your human relationships in favor of your relationship with a plant. The joys of just being with people and appreciating the simplest of sincere communications. Our relationships with our fellow beings are the MOST important aspect of any of our lives, a stoner loves, but not completely because they give that little bit less and we all know deep down that life is all about giving.

9 – The freedom from cynicism. I used to be cynical about so much because I think marijuana gave me a kind of arrogance regarding the nature of reality. I would look at the world around me, at all these straight people living their lives, going about their business and participating in the mundanity of everyday life and I wanted to remove myself from it because as a stoner, I always thought there was so much more that was more important and the majority of the world didn’t see this etc. As a result of this warped perception what I am describing here as cynicism actually seems to me to be a psychological mechanism of justifying ones weakness’ and fears and giving them a context in which they seem like some sort of superior insight, when in fact it is just warped, negative thinking. Now I feel restored to healthy cynicism about those things that require cynical thinking and healthy respect for those aspects of life that are mundane, but real!

10 – Now after one year, I look back and the whole idea that I made myself a vessel into which I could be filled with the generic characteristics of a plant and allow them to puppeteer my personality completely ridiculous! Clearly for years, I felt the need to do this for some reason, but a year after quitting I look back at all the wonderful things that have happened, I have moved into a great new house, I have rediscovered my passion for many interests and new ones and met people who have become excellent friends, people I would never have crossed paths with had I continued being a stoner! The value of this to me is immeasurable!

So if you are reading this and thinking about quitting, I hope something in here reaches you and helps to motivate you. Just bear in mind when you quit, the hard part is not being rid of the plant, that is easy, you just don’t ingest it or buy it etc, you just stay away from it. The hard part is coming to terms with yourself, which ultimately ends up with you feeling stronger, more complete and enriched. What more could you want for yourself? You will be better placed for that which life has to offer!

So good luck to all you people wanting to quit, if I could do it, so can you!


Kick the Habit by Surfing!

Hey just wanted to post a good news story about addiction i found while browsing.

In South Africa one adiction treatment program teaches people to surf as a way to reward them and find ways to enjoy life without drugs.

Sounds pretty cool … full story below:

Former South African addict helps others kick the habit – by surfing

Cape Town, South Africa – They’ve ridden the high and lows of addiction and now a group of recovering addicts is learning to surf the waves as an unlikely part of their rehabilitation program.

Patients at the respected Tabankulu Recovery Center in Cape Town are encouraged to take up the sport to help wean them off their various addictions and personal problems.

Once a week the assortment of people struggling with alcoholism, drug addiction, bulimia, and other troubles pick up their boards and learn to surf in the waters around South Africa’s “Mother City.”


Internet addiction made an official disorder in China

China could become the first country to classify internet addiction as a clinical disorder and plans to lead the world by registering the condition with the World Health Organisation.

Beijing’s Health Ministry is expected to adopt a new manual on internet addiction next year, based on the research of Chinese psychologists. It will recognise the condition as similar to compulsive gambling or alcoholism.

“China finds itself at the forefront of this research because we were among the earliest to set up clinics . . . we had a sufficient sample of patients so that we could carry out proper scientific analysis,” Tao Ran, who set up China’s first internet addiction clinic at the Military General Hospital in Beijing, told The Times.

He said that he had reached his conclusion by studying more than 3,000 people over four years.

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Kicking the habit

Former addict, ex-convict says road to recovery a difficult one

CORNER BROOK — Brace yourself. This is the story of Nicole (not her real name). She is a 25-year-old woman from Corner Brook, a drug addict.

She was born into a “well-to-do” family whom she said cared for her deeply. No family members even smoked cigarettes, let alone marijuana. Snorting Ritalin or injecting Dilaudid. Well, was that even possible?

Nicole smoked her first joint at the age of 12. She was smoking cigarettes and saw the “cool” kids doing pot and tried it. She didn’t even like it at first; said it made her feel weird and scared. She began dating a guy, she called him a “bad boy,” a “regular pot smoker.”

Nicole become a regular pot smoker. She had draws with friends at school during lunch, afterwards in the evenings and on weekends. She was still 12.

Eventually weed “wasn’t cutting it anymore.” Oral Valium and Atavan, prescription drugs of choice on the street, followed.

“You name it, I’ve taken it,” she said.

Nicole remembers times at high school, being “whacked.” She ate pills during school hours, again on evenings and weekends. She saw the school’s guidance counsellor about her problem, was taken to the Humberwood Addiction Centre, but it didn’t do her any good. She wished her teachers and school counsellor had done more for her at the time; she believes they could have because they had to have known the extent of her problem.

She started to snort Ritalin, “the cheap man’s cocaine,” as she calls it. She got it from people at school, and in the community.

“Unfortunately, there are so many people out there getting drugs from doctors and selling them to children, which was my case,“ Nicole said.

She remembers being at school, trying to crush a pill, with the bell ringing for class, and snorting pieces of pill among the finer powder.

The Ritalin made her sociable at first. She said she became the life of the party. But it changed her. It made her “weird” and quiet, and she said things were getting worse and worse. She dropped snorting Ritalin; it was easy for her to stop. The weed and eating pills continued.

Nicole went to her high school graduation, but not as a graduate. She didn’t get all the required credits. She says she didn’t know what she wanted to do with her life.

In 2002, she went through a break-up and became depressed. She said she didn’t care about herself or anybody else. At 18 years of age, a much older man injected her with Dilaudid. It was something she swore she would never do. She was afraid of needles and knew the consequences. Immediately, she said she was addicted.

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