Scientific American writer Nina Bai spoke with Sally Satel about quitting drugs without professional treatment. Dr. Satel, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research and lecturer in psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, was formerly a staff psychiatrist at the Oasis Clinic in Washington, D.C., where she worked with substance abuse patients.
Okay, so you cannot say she’s under-qualified.
Continue reading So, you’re telling me I can cure myself of meth addiction? (Really?)
New research is validating what many of us have believed all along: one of the most powerful ways to fight addiction is to find something in life to get super passionate about.
I know that once I engaged fully with my passions, recovery was so much, well, easier. If I was to immerse myself in rewriting my novel, which is what I did, there was no room for crystal meth in my life. The more my writer’s passion grew, the less control ice had over my life. I chose life, not meth.
For most of us, freedom from meth doesn’t happen overnight. Quitting is not an “event” that occurs (voila!) and is done with. Quitting is a process — a sometimes long, sometimes slow process. It happens over time.
The question: How do we encourage and facilitate the quitting process? What actually helps us stay clean?
Continue reading Go Ahead, Get Super Passionate About Something
According to research, the single best action you can take to increase your odds of still being clean a year from now is to move away. In recovery lingo, it’s called “doing a geographic.” You really can’t overstate the value of literally, physically removing yourself from your old using environment.
But since most of us don’t have the means to up and relocate our lives to another city or country, we have to do our best to get clean while staying local. How does one do this?
Here’s a few ideas:
Continue reading Doing a Geographic (without moving to another city)
It’s my great privilege to introduce our new online course: “I’m Ready to Quit!”
The content of this course is current. As new scientific studies on meth treatment come along — and they do all the time — the course material is updated accordingly.
I believe there is no “one size fits all” cookie-cutter way to do life or recovery. I’m for what works.
Continue reading I’m Ready to Quit! – Online Course
Mark Twain once said, “Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” Don’t we know it, too?
If you’ve been struggling with crystal meth, you’ve probably come to realize that quitting—even though difficult—isn’t nearly as difficult as staying quit.
After withdrawal ends, the question for us is no longer “How do I quit?” The critically important question becomes: “How do I stay quit?” And there are many different valid ways to answer that question.
Continue reading Mourning the Loss of Crystal Meth
If you combined sex and crystal, the idea of having sex might seem overwhelming at first. But thousands of recovering meth users have relearned how to have healthy — even hot — sex without crystal meth. It’s just going to take some time and effort.
First, the harsh fact: Life without meth means life without meth-fueled sex. It’s okay, even necessary for many of us (it was for me), to mourn this loss.
Continue reading Done with Meth-Fueled Sex?
A friend a mine doesn’t understand why he can’t stop using. He’s in his mid-fifties, lives in West Hollywood and like many of us gay men — like many straight men and women, for that matter — we mixed our meth with some serious sexploits. The sex/meth connection makes giving up meth harder for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation.
He struggles. And, as I’ve written elsewhere, I believe with most gay men and all other “sex tweakers,” that until you are completely okay — and I mean truly, really, okay — with the fact that you never get to have meth sex again, you will continue to relapse — over sex, of course. Once you’re truly okay with letting go of meth sex, letting it go completely, then your odds for successfully quitting are much higher.
Continue reading It’s an Inescapable Fact: at Some Point . . .
Feeling “done” with crystal meth?
Done with a high that isn’t a high anymore, but is more like daily maintenance? Done with focusing EVERYTHING IN LIFE around your dealer and getting more ice?
Done having to lie again and again to your family and friends about why you missed the wedding, graduation, funeral, birthday or whatever? Done with tensing up every time a police cruiser drives by? Done with having complete strangers you meet online inside your home just so you can host the party and play? Continue reading Done?
You probably don’t remember when you first heard the phrase “chronic relapser” bandied about accusatorially at a 12 step meeting. I certainly don’t remember. It seems like some words have always been there from the start — those certain words and phrases exclusive to recovery. Like addict, enabler, and chronic relapser.
Yes sir, when it comes meth, we might get a week or even a month of clean time, only to toss it all away and use again. And again. And again. And again. And…
Continue reading 5 Things to Reconsider With a Chronic Relapser
This is the first blogpost in a series titled: Common Misconceptions About Recovery. Yep, at least two ways to interpret that title. The first goes like this: “Springing from his years of experience, Joseph reflects thoughtfully on recovery.” (That’s the interpretation I prefer and intend.)
The other read of Common Misconceptions About Recovery is: “Joseph gets in touch with his resentments about ‘the program’ and rants in a series of posts.”
Let’s lean toward the first interpretation. Though I recognize that some of the beliefs espoused by 12 step programs are out of date and, medically speaking, factually incorrect — still, Crystal Meth Anonymous saved my life back in 2011. Continue reading Common Misconceptions About Recovery, Part 1