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Thread: Recreational Use After History of Addiction. Is it possible?

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    Recreational Use After History of Addiction. Is it possible? 
    #1
    Weed
    I've been in recovery for over 2 years, abstinent from mind/mood altering substances after a 15 year on/off relationship with Heroin and many other substances. I liked using drugs, and could give up most everything else, but it was dope that brought me to my knees every time. Now I'm not considering using again, and have gotten so much great stuff from being clean, but has anyone sustained a life of "normal" recreational use of drugs after a history of addiction? How did you do it? I'm afraid that if I ever did smoke cannabis again, it would open the flood gates into my drug(s) of choice, probably not right away, but perhaps down the line. How do you combat that if you have successfully used for recreation after a history of addiction?
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    #2
    Take some advice from a friend you haven't met yet - don't tempt yourself if this is what you are considering. If you got addicted once, it will be just as easy the second time - if not easier. Remember that feeling just as the drug is wearing off - and you never intended to use again, but then you do just a little more - just once. Then it's just once again with a promise to yourself of no more - but it happens again because too much shit is happening and you don't want to feel it. Addiction doesn't announce it's here until after it's got a choke hold on you.
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    #3
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    Good stuff. Another thing to consider is, "If I don't have a problem using weed...then I shouldn't have a problem NOT using weed either". You just don't have to smoke it today...
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    #4
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    Can I, as a person who has had problems with drug addiction, use something like cannabis without risking a full-blown relapse? ... I think each of us has to answer this question for him or herself. I'm not trying to be cheeky; I just feel like the issue is deeply tied up with our own personal motives for using drugs.

    Personally, I've smoked pot more or less daily since quitting heroin (about 18 months ago, with a couple lapses since then). In my own case, I've always felt that weed takes some of the pressure off that would otherwise go into cravings, so I feel like it's worth it for me.

    Just as a counterpoint, I'll also mention that other drugs don't work like this for me. Over these 18 months, I've dabbled a bit in some other drugs (booze, coke, adderall, a little meth) and those were bad fucking news for me...getting on that train always signaled that I was gearing up to stumble back into dope. I guess maybe that's the big difference for me--am I taking this drug bc I like it and it adds pleasure to my life, or am I taking it bc I'm subconsciously setting myself up to use heroin again?
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    #5
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    This song sums it up for me,



    Also I am what you call an "all or nothing" person so I kind of have to view it as not an option these days but the thing is I lost the itch to use any drugs for recreation and simply do not want to anymore. That is not to say I still don't have my personal demons to face and am not at risk of relapse.
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    #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by olderblue2 View Post
    I've been in recovery for over 2 years, abstinent from mind/mood altering substances after a 15 year on/off relationship with Heroin and many other substances. I liked using drugs, and could give up most everything else, but it was dope that brought me to my knees every time. Now I'm not considering using again, and have gotten so much great stuff from being clean, but has anyone sustained a life of "normal" recreational use of drugs after a history of addiction? How did you do it? I'm afraid that if I ever did smoke cannabis again, it would open the flood gates into my drug(s) of choice, probably not right away, but perhaps down the line. How do you combat that if you have successfully used for recreation after a history of addiction?
    My gut is to say no to this, but the truth is more nuanced. I abused every sort of downer I could get my hands on (mostly alcohol). I am still prescribed benzos for acute panic attacks. Even though it seems counterintuitive that a psychiatrist would do this, both of us know that if I don't have access to benzos when I have a panic attack, I will drink. So even though I don't take benzos recreationally anymore, I am still using them therapeutically, and taking benzos doesn't cause me to want to drink. On the other hand, when I have alcohol, all bets are off. I will get disinhibited to the point where I will take not only benzos, but also gabapentin (also prescribed) and whatever else happens to be laying around. I only know this because when I wake up afterwards, there are empty medication bottles on the nightstand. So I second the advice that's already been dispensed. If in doubt, don't do it. Because things only get worse. The first time I ended up in a hospital due to alcohol poisoning, I thought that was bad. Until I got robbed blind during a blackout and thought well, at least things can't get worse. Until I ended up temporarily homeless and thought, well, at least things can't get any worse. Until I woke up in jail after being arrested for DUI...You get the picture.
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    #7
    Gardenmeister
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    I guess it's a matter of assessing where your life is, how it feels to you. Are you happy enough with where you are? With relationships, work>play balance? Do you feel engaged on a daily basis? I think you can make a bad habit out of anything really when your life is not really fulfilling you. My worst vulnerabilities come when I am feeling trapped or dissatisfied with my life in general.

    Substance use needs constant monitoring in a lot of the same ways that diet does. As an analogy, It's OK to eat for comfort every now and then but when it is a nightly habit it not only becomes a problem but compounds itself with weight gain and other health issues that become their own problems. Not to mention that you are setting up the whole anticipation/reward cycle in your brain again.

    I guess if I were you I would err on the side of caution. 15 years is a big chunk of your life. I'm with Simco on this, though, I really think it is different for everyone.
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