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A New Year is Here – Put Addiction Behind You

This past year was very challenging for everyone. COVID continued to disrupt lives, economic struggles with soaring inflation, global uncertainty regarding the virus, economy, and many other areas. Particularly disturbing is the fact that drug overdoses reached record levels. The number one cause of death for adults age 18 to 45 is now fentanyl overdoses. That is correct, fentanyl overdoses now kill more adults in this age group than car accidents, guns, other diseases, or anything else.

2022 calendar

At times like these, people suffering from drug and/or alcohol addiction, are even more susceptible than non-addicts to depression and other psychological/mental disorders. People in active addiction have very few coping skills to deal with the real world so they escape it with substances. The worse they perceive their environments and situations, the more substances they consume to further blot out any semblance of reality. With drugs like fentanyl pouring into the country like never before, plenty of supply to satisfy the demand. And the demand is increasing.

Simply put, active addiction is a death spiral for most. In particular if the substances are more powerful like opioids, for example. Additionally, these substances are also more addictive. Seemingly, anyone can become addicted to opioids even those in their later years with absolutely no previous substance abuse problems and no family history of addiction. Once a person is addicted, the process of coming off drugs such as these is incredibly painful, both physically and mentally. Without help, many find they cannot stop if they try themselves. The withdrawal is simply too much to take. Many will look for more powerful forms of the drug to satisfy their growing dependence. Fentanyl is readily available and is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. The tiniest amount can kill a person instantly.

While the opioid crisis appears worse than ever, the same can be said for other addictive drugs such as alcohol. Alcohol and other addictive drug use has increased substantially during the pandemic.

The New Year is an ideal time for those suffering from addiction to put this horrific disease behind them, this year in particular. 2020 was a very stressful year. Many found 2021 to be even worse. With Covid and economic uncertainty running rampant to start 2022, the stresses of life will likely increase for everyone. And stress can be like poison to the suffering addict. In times like these, it is even more critical that those suffering from addiction do all that they can to make the decision to get well.

In recovery, people learn to live life despite increasing stresses, more matter what they might be. They learn to live life on life’s terms. They learn to be ok with themselves – no matter what. In recovery, people learn that it is not outside world that rules their internal condition. It is their reaction to the outside world that will largely determine the nature of their internal condition – emotions, etc. In reality, no situation is greater than a person’s reaction to it. To the suffering addict, these concepts seem impossibly hard to grasp and in fact, they seem untrue.

When a person enters recovery and gets to work, sometimes even very quickly they begin to grasp that that these concepts we have been discussion are not only true but are the very essence of reality and life. We as human beings have no choice but to live life on life’s terms if we are to be happy. What is the alternative? Life is life! It is full of ups and downs for everyone. In recovery, people learn that if they do the next right thing more often than they do the next wrong thing, things for the most part will turn out for the better. These people also learn to not get hung up on the outcome of situations. All anyone can do is their best and the outcome will be what it will be.

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