Getting unaddicted vs. hiding from


Nov 10, 2018
I'm so worried about going on a crack binge again. When I think of the last time I smoked and how good it felt, I can almost smell the stuff and the feeling it gives me. I only live a 40 minute drive from where I usually cop. So it all comes down to mitigating the urges I get if I have any hope of quitting all together.

This morning I got a call from one of the girls that I smoked with who shoots heroin and she asked for a ride to a hospital. She had a horrible abcess on her hand. On the way to the hospital, she smoked a rock in my car. It made me sick and my stomach started to turn. If it was later in the evening, I would have driven straight to where I cop and spent the whole night with a pipe. Thankfully I had to head to work and couldn't afford to do that. The smell that came from her lighting her pipe just wouldn't leave my mind but at the end of the work day, I went straight home and hid under a blanket. The heroin calmed me down but I've already lowered how much I snort. I left the apartment only to go to Planet Fitness and deliberately left my wallet at home.

If I am exposed to the sight, the smell and even people and things that I associate the drug with but DO NOT ACT on it, will it weaken the "neural circuitry" (not even sure what I'm talking about) and therefore weaken my urges? Will I be able to drive right through the areas where I cop without having intense urges to stop by my dealer? Will I someday not have that feeling in my stomach when I relive the feeling smoking from the pipe gives me?

I also found a pipe on the floor next to the dresser. It's still there. I'm doing my best to shrug off the urges and the voice in my head telling me I can drive down to Detroit and get just a few hits and make it back in time to get a good night's rest. Ridiculous logic... i know.

I have the money to cop but It's late, I don't want to get dressed and I'm afraid of going broke and not being able to afford rent. I'm even more afraid of bingeing on crack than going through precipitated withdrawals after taking my first zubsolv which I know is going to happen soon.

So what do I do? Do I live around the temptations - A pipe in my possession, chore on the floor, my dope fiend friends checking to see where I am, driving in my car and that way build my resistance to urges or do I alienate myself from the temptations and be completely unprepared when I get urges or am driving near to the place where I cop from. Sorry for the long post for one question.


Staff member
Feb 14, 2010
"exposed to the sight, the smell and even people and things that I associate the drug with but DO NOT ACT on it, will it weaken the "neural circuitry" (not even sure what I'm talking about) and therefore weaken my urges? Will I be able to drive right through the areas where I cop without having intense urges to stop by my dealer? Will I someday not have that feeling in my stomach when I relive the feeling smoking from the pipe gives me?"

Although definitely not advisable in early recovery without supervision of someone like a sponsor, counselor or trusted friend. It's the basic principle of exposure therapy, that continued response to the stimuli associated with negative(or positive) with removal of consequence/result will reduce the overall response. Essentially desinstization in a way. The key being removal of consequence or result- in this case getting high.

It can be very unpredictable as far as results go, as well. Like you mention, had it been a different time in the day then you would have most def got scored and got high. Also, exposure therapy is meant to be subtly introduced, starting with less provoking stimuli and then gradually moving towards more triggering stimuli. For example, maybe driving through the old neighborhood you used to cop in WITH a sponsor or counselor so you can talk about and address those feelings. Do this 10-50+ times, and you'll notice your thought process and emotional responses will start to change(if done right). You will start to associate those places with the consequences and all the negativity that it brought, rather than the instant euphoria.

Alienation and isolation is not really a great idea either. While removing yourself from toxic or negative environments(housing, city), and distancing yourself from negative influences(possibly friends and family) can provide temporary relief from things like cravings and urges to fall into old habits...inevitably, the problem follows you- as the saying goes. Until you address the root cause(past trauma, substance use disorder, etc) then these old problems will keep popping up in new places.

As far as direct advice for you... get rid of all drug paraphernalia. Why do you need it if you are not going to get high? The only reason to keep it around is because that thought quietly in the back of your mind trying to convince you that you might need it and will regret tossing it.

And it's understandable for desire for companionship, as well as concern for people you know who are in dangerous living conditions. The hard truth is though, that you will have to put a fair amount of distance between yourself if you want to get healthy and then truly help and look out for your struggling friends. As it stands.. neither are positive influences on each other, although some companionship may be comforting.

A lot of health is in our daily habits. Basic ones like showering, brushing our teeth, eating healthy, and exercising all seem fairly obvious as far as benefit and consequence. The same is true with mental and emotional health though as well. Paying attention to things like self-talk can play a big role in mental health- if you are always saying you are stupid and worthless it is likely you also have low self-esteem. Compare that to telling yourself "yes, I am struggling with these problems but these are the things that I can and am doing about them, and eventually I will overcome". The outcome of emotion and behavior will be noticeable.

A lot of people who enter recovery start out with the mindset that they can control and moderate their use. For some this may be true, and it is a widely debated subject even still. I don't doubt that moderation is possible, but for people who have let their drug habits get out of control, a period of abstinence is not only highly beneficial, I believe essential to true recovery. It is not just about moderating or controlling drug use, it is about finding greater purpose for living besides just living to get high.


Senior Moderator
Staff member
Feb 8, 2006
I agree with Mafioso that you should get rid of all of your paraphernalia immediately. I was addicted to opiates for 10 years, so I know that the mental cycle of addiction involves self-rationalization... giving yourself a way to use in the future, "just in case", means that you WILL use in the future, it's only a matter of time. The concern for friends is noble but it's going to be very difficult for you if you keep hanging around people who are using. The way to beat addiction, once you're past any acute withdrawals, is first to establish good habits to replace the bad ones. Working out is really important, which is sounds like you're doing. It would be very beneficial for you to get involved in some sort of program, be in NA or something else, so that you have the support of other people in recovery. Then, as you recover, try to identify what things in your life are not working for you, that you're using drugs to deal with or cover up. Work to make those things better. At the same time, think about what things would make you feel good about yourself and fulfilled, and work to bring those things into your life. When you're spending your time doing things that make you feel happy, you can get good feelings without drugs. For me, I was using opiates to cover up a bad/abusive marriage, and I was never able to stop using them until I got out of that. And then I started playing music again which was something that had left a big hole in my life, and spending a lot more time in nature. With these changes, I was able to leave opiates behind forever and I am a tremendously happier person. :)