Monthly Archives: January 2016

Your Addiction is Your Responsibility

Author, and group member, Jason M.S. wrote an article “Taking Responsibility” in which he says that embracing responsibility for addiction is the key to overcoming it. “We alone got ourselves into our addiction, we alone can get ourselves out of it. Much like admitting we have a problem in the first place in order to solve said problem, we must also claim responsibility of it being our problem to solve.” Listen to this group of former opiate addicts discuss responsibility.

Discussion Guide:

Is addiction a disease or a choice?

To what degree are you responsible for your drug addiction? Partially or fully?

Do you have to accept full responsibility to overcome it?

The author said “the drug had affected me to such an extent, that I was spiritually, physically, and mentally corrupted.” Did it effect you in this manner?

What was the turning point in which you took responsibility for your recovery?


Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “Taking Responsibility”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.


Dissolving the Barriers Between Drug Users and Non-Drug Users

People who don’t abuse substances have difficulty understanding those who do. They just don’t get it. And yet, people who are in recovery from a drug addiction would like to be understood, rather than judged. Recovery is made easier within a supportive network of family and friends. Podcast recovery group member and writer, Jason M. S. wrote an article called “Dissolving the Barriers”. Listen in to this recovery group as they discuss the concepts in his article.

Discussion Guide:

Is it important to dissolve barriers between users and non-users?

Should non-drug users be sympathetic and empathic to people who become addicted to a substance? Why?

If your family or close friends are not understanding or supportive, does it increase the likelihood of relapse?

Author, Terence McKenna, says that heroin addiction is “the soldier’s disease”. What does he mean by this?

When comparing alcohol and heroin, which is seen as more “evil” in the general population? Why? Do you agree?

Opiate withdrawal can lead to immoral or illegal behavior. What behaviors have you engaged in to avoid withdrawal symptoms?

The characteristics of euphoria and nodding out are distasteful to non-users. What is so compelling about the experience that you were unwilling or unable to stop?

“Dope fiends are sick people who cannot act in any other way than they do. A rabid dog cannot choose but bite.” by Terence McKenna. Do you believe that an addicted person has no choice but to act in any other way?

Group member and author, Jason M. S. wrote, “The way a diabetic might disregard others’ needs while in a state of shock from having low blood sugar as they desperately obtain their insulin, is the same way a heroin addict may disregard another’s need when in withdrawal.” Is this a good analogy and valid explanation for immoral or illegal behavior from people who are in withdrawal?

Supplemental Reading:

Food of the Gods: The Search for the Original Tree of Knowledge a Radical History of Plants, Drugs, and Human Evolution by Terence McKenna

Credit and appreciation is given to author, Jason M. S. for his article “Dissolving the Barriers”. However, his identification is withheld for purposes of confidentiality.

Stages of Addiction and Stages of Recovery

Many people experiment with substances and never progress through the stages to addiction. But some do. There are predictable stages of both addiction and recovery. The stages of addiction are drug experimentation; social drug use; problem and/or risky use; addiction and dependency. The stages of recovery are awareness of a  problem; consideration of a negative impact to self or others; exploring recovery options; early recovery of developing new skills; sustained recovery; maintenance to avoid relapse.

Discussion Guide:

Can you identify the stages you went through?

Why did you continue through the stages of drug use to the point of addiction?

What stage of recovery are you in?

What is your next recovery task?

Supplemental Reading:

Stages of Addiction, by Discovery Place

The 5 Stages of Addiction Recovery, by CRC Health Group

Street Methadone, Street Suboxone

Methadone and Suboxone are useful tools for an opiate addict. It alleviates withdrawal symptoms, decreases cravings, and blocks euphoria if someone takes an opiate on top of it. When methadone is sold or given to someone for whom it is not prescribed, it is dangerous. Methadone is a federally controlled substance that is highly regulated. If you know of someone who is selling their prescription of methadone, please contact a methadone authority. Your report could save a life.

Discussion Guidelines:

If someone asks to purchase your prescribed Methadone or Suboxone, what do you do?

If someone asks you if you want to purchase their prescribed medication, what do you do?

What are the risks of using Methadone or Suboxone, if it is not prescribed to you?

Do you know the signs of overdose, and do you know what action to take if someone is in overdose?

Have you been honest and trustworthy with your doctor and counselor?

Have you ever cheated a drug screen, withheld information about a relapse, or sold your prescription?

If so, how did it impact your recovery?

Supplemental Reading: 

Straight Talk: Street Methadone     PDF

Stages of Change

Change doesn’t happen overnight. It typically happens in stages. Prochasska and DiClemente described a model of how people change addictive behaviors – Precontemplation, Contemplation, Preparation, Action, Maintenance, Slip/Relapse/Termination.

Discussion Guidelines:

As you think about your recovery, can you identify the stages you went through?

In your recovery program, is it your intention to refrain from all substances, or just some?

Are you honest with yourself and others about your substance use?

Is there another change that you would like to make?

What stage are you in regarding this goal?

How will you handle a slip or relapse?

Supplemental Reading:

Motivation for Change: The Stages of Change Model, by Horvath, Misra, Epner, and Cooper