With the recognition of alcoholism as an actual disease that can be passed down both culturally and genetically from one generation to the next, more and more outstanding work has been done to shed light on the numerous causal factors and impact of addiction on people, families, and communities. The sense of shame and hopelessness that people often feel is sometimes a stumbling block as they recognize their problems, but then go through denial and lose sight of how to begin the recovery process.
Everyone is in denial about something; just try denying it and watch friends make a list.
Varieties of denial include inattention, passive acknowledgment, reframing and willful blindness.
For Sigmund Freud, denial was a defense against external realities that threaten the ego, and many psychologists today would argue that it can be a protective defense in the face of unbearable news, like a cancer or addictive diagnosis.
D – Don’t
E – Even
N – Notice
I – I
A – Am
L – Lying
In the modern vernacular, to say someone is “in denial” is to deliver a savage combination punch: one shot to the belly for the cheating or drinking or bad behavior, and another slap to the head for the cowardly self-deception of pretending it’s not a problem.
Yet recent studies from fields as diverse as psychology and anthropology suggest that the ability to look the other way, while potentially destructive, is also critically important to forming and nourishing close relationships.
The psychological tricks that people use to ignore a festering problem in their own households are the same ones that they need to live with everyday human dishonesty and betrayal, their own and others’.
And it is these highly evolved abilities, research suggests, that provide the foundation for that most disarming of all human invitations, forgiveness.
LISBON, Portugal – These days, Casal Ventoso is an ordinary blue-collar community — mothers push baby strollers, men smoke outside cafes, buses chug up and down the cobbled main street. Ten years ago, the Lisbon neighborhood was a hellhole, a “drug supermarket” where some 5,000 users lined up every day to buy heroin and sneak into a hillside honeycomb of derelict housing to shoot up. In dark, stinking corners, addicts — some with maggots squirming under track marks — staggered between the occasional corpse, scavenging used, bloody needles. At that time, Portugal, like the junkies of Casal Ventoso, had hit rock bottom: An estimated 100,000 people — an astonishing 1 percent of its population — were addicted to illegal drugs. So, like anyone with little to lose, the Portuguese took a risky leap: They decriminalized the use of all drugs in a groundbreaking law in 2000. Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/world/2010/12/26/portugals-drug-policy-pays-eyes-lesso…
Past year drunk driving rates topped 20 percent in some states.
The survey’s state-by-state breakdown of drunk and drugged driving levels shows significant differences among the states. Some of the states with the highest levels of past year drunk driving were Wisconsin (23.7 percent) and North Dakota (22.4 percent). The highest rates of past year drugged driving were found in Rhode Island (7.8 percent) and Vermont (6.6 percent).
Physicians generally display better health and have lower rates of all-cause mortality than the general population.1 However, their education, nutrition, and lifestyle do not offer similar protection from substance abuse and dependence. Prevalence rates of alcohol abuse and dependence among physicians are about equal to those seen in the population as a whole, while prescription drug misuse and dependence rates are far higher.2,3 Addiction impairs more physicians than any other disease.4
Defined as “a primary, chronic disease with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. . . . [Addiction] is characterized by impaired control over drinking and/or drug use, preoccupation with the drug or alcohol, use of drugs or alcohol despite adverse consequences, and distortions in thinking, most notably denial.”5 The recognition that addiction is a disease, rather than a character flaw or failure of willpower, has led to the development of effective treatments and has helped reduce the stigma associated with rehabilitation and recovery. This model promotes the acceptance of treatment in persons with addiction disorder and results in increased satisfaction with care and improved prognosis.
- Disturbing Denial (recoveryissexy.com)
- Addicted lawyers can overcome barriers to recovery (recoveryissexy.com)
- Addiction in the Family (recoveryissexy.com)
- When Painkillers Become Dangerous (recoveryissexy.com)
Overview of Marijuana Anonymous
Marijuana Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share our experience, strength, and hope with each other that we may solve our common problem and help others to recover from marijuana addiction.
The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop using marijuana. There are no dues or fees for membership. We are self-supporting through our own contributions. MA is not affiliated with any religious or secular institution or organization and has no opinion on any outside controversies or causes. Our primary purpose is to stay free of marijuana and to help the marijuana addict who still suffers achieve the same freedom. We can do this by practicing our suggested twelve steps of recovery and by being guided as a group by our twelve traditions.
Marijuana Anonymous uses the basic 12 Steps of Recovery founded by Alcoholics Anonymous, because it has been proven that the 12 Step Recovery program works!
The Twelve Steps of Marijuana Anonymous
The practice of rigorous honesty, of opening our hearts and minds, and the willingness to go to any lengths to have a spiritual awakening are essential to our recovery.
Our old ideas and ways of life no longer work for us. Our suffering shows us that we need to let go absolutely. We surrender ourselves to a Power greater than ourselves.
Here are the steps we take which are suggested for recovery:
- We admitted we were powerless over marijuana, that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God, as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, as we understood God, praying only for knowledge of God’s will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to marijuana addicts and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
Do not be discouraged; none of us are saints. Our program is not easy, but it is simple. We strive for progress, not perfection. Our experiences, before and after we entered recovery, teach us three important ideas:
- That we are marijuana addicts and cannot manage our own lives;
- That probably no human power can relieve our addiction; and
- That our Higher Power can and will if sought.
To let go does not mean to stop caring, it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to enable but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness, which means the outcome is not in my hands.