What Does it Take to Be Drug Free?

Patrick
  • By Patrick

    What does it take to be really drug free?  How can an addict achieve long term sobriety from addiction, and maintain it as they move forward in life?  What are the secrets to a lasting recovery? Let’s take a look at these questions, and see what we can learn about recovery.

    What does it take to be drug free?

    Obviously, physical abstinence has to be the first priority in a person’s life. Now this may be obvious to most people, and it might even be obvious to the recovering addict, but how easy it is to forget this over time.  Physical abstinence has to be the number one priority.  Huge red flags and warning indicators should be going if at just the thought of ingesting a mood or mind altering substance.

    Some people think that they have to give up cigarettes and caffeine in order to be truly drug free.  This is debatable, of course, but when it comes to hard core drug addiction and alcoholism, cigarettes and caffeine are NOT directly related.  Yes, cigarettes will kill you.  Yes, they are extremely addictive.  However, they do not lead people back to their drug of choice.  Smoking a cigarette does not lead the coke addict back to cocaine.  Smoking a cigarette does not lead the alcoholic back to the bottle.  Therefore, they are separate side issues, and don’t really pertain to this definition of being free from drugs.

    Drug Free Zone
    Creative Commons License photo credit: Iburiedpaul

    When we talk about being drug free, we are seeking to be free from mood and mind altering substances that can reactivate our addiction.

    How can an addict achieve long term sobriety from addiction, and maintain it as they move forward in life?

    The key to staying drug free has to come from a manner of living. Think about it: any addict can potentially be drug free.  In fact, most addicts are drug free all the time, and stop using drugs for brief periods (such as when the may go to jail!).  The problem is in remaining free from drugs.  How to stay clean in the long run.

    This requires a new way of living, one in which the addict stops self medicating.

    What are the secrets to a lasting recovery?

    The secret, in my opinion, is in holistic growth.  That means that a person must continuously push themselves to grow holistically, in all areas of their lives.  Spiritual growth, emotional balance, physical fitness….ALL of it is important.

     

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