What is Meant By Preoccupation Wiht Alcohol and Other Drugs
Dear Dr. Steve:
I have been drinking and drugging since I was fourteen years old. First it was a few
beers on the weekends with a few of my friends. Next, it was reefer. By the time I was
nineteen I was dealing reefer and cocaine so that I could pay for what I was using myself.
Im now twenty-three. My whole life has become about getting high, recovering from
the four night binges, swearing Ill never do that to myself again, and then hitting
the streets so I could get more money to get high. All I think about is figuring out when
and how I can get high next. Im running so many schemes, shooting so many different
angles, I can barely keep it all straight. The paranoia that all of the plotting and
scheming creates is unbelievable. But no matter how much I try and get out of the life, it
keeps pulling me back in. I feel driven by something within me that isnt a part of
me. Even when I dont want to anymore, I keep going back out there for more.
Its on my mind day and nightbeing high, getting high, how to get over on whom
in order to stay high. I feel like Im losing it, like Im under some kind of
mind control by an alien from a parallel universe.
One sign of
alcoholism and drug addiction is spending large amounts of time in activities necessary
to obtain, use, or recover from the effects of alcohol and other drugs. This is
because all addictions consume time, thought, and energy. They are not mere pastimes. They
are obsessions and preoccupations that demand more and more from the person who uses
alcohol and other drugs. The obsession and preoccupation with obtaining, using, and
recovering from the consumption of alcohol and other drugs intensifies over time because:
1.) As the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction progresses, one experiences an
impaired ability to control their consumption of alcohol and other drugs. Impaired control
leads to the increased consumption of of alcohol and other drugs.
2.) As the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction progresses, tolerance for alcohol and
other drugs consumed increases. This leads to the increased consumption of alcohol and
other drugs to achieve the desired effect.
3.) As the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction progresses, the onset of withdrawal
symptoms begins. This leads to the increased consumption of alcohol and other drugs to
prevent the onset of withdrawal symptoms.
4.) As the disease of alcoholism and drug addiction progresses, a mental obsession, a
thought process over which one has no control, develops. This mental obsession creates a
physical compulsion to consume alcohol and other drugs.
5.) As the compulsion to consume more alcohol and other drugs
is satisfied, impaired control over the consumption of alcohol and other drugs as well as
physical dependence (increased tolerance and onset of withdrawal symptoms) develops and/or
increases. This leads to the increased consumption of alcohol and other drugs.
These five factors combined explain the web of alcoholism and
drug addiction in which an individual becomes ensnared. As a practical and logistical
matter, once an individual becomes entrapped by: 1.) Impaired control over consumption of
alcohol and other drugs, 2.) The mental compulsion to consume alcohol and other drugs, and
3.) The physical addiction that fuels the continued consumption of alcohol and other
drugs, they must necessarily: 1.) Spend more time planning when and how to get more
alcohol and other drugs, 2.) Spend more money on alcohol and other drugs, 3.) Spend more
time in the acquisition of money to buy more alcohol and other drugs, 4.) Expend more
mental energy to ensure that they are not caught in the activities required to continue to
consume alcohol and other drugs.
There is one way out of this vicious circle of
self-destructiontotal abstinence from all mood altering substances. If you are
unable to quit by yourself, you should consider seeking treatment for your condition.
Contact a qualified healthcare provider who can help you assess and evaluate the extent of
your problem and the treatment necessary to help you manage your problem. Contact
Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous to find the time and place of support group
meetings in your community.
You can contact Alcoholics Anonymous at:
In the U.S./Canada: Look for "Alcoholics Anonymous"
in any telephone directory. In most urban areas, a Central A.A. office, or
"Intergroup," staffed mainly by volunteer A.A. s, will be happy to answer your
questions and/or put you in touch with those who can. Or, you can write to: A.A. World
Services, Inc., P.O. Box 459, New York, NY 10163 - (212) 870-3400.
Outside of U.S./Canada, write or call the General Service Office located closest to you.
contact Narcotics Anonymous at:
World Service Office in Los Angeles
PO Box 9999
Van Nuys, California 91409 USA
Telephone (818) 773-9999
Fax (818) 700-0700
hours are Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM local time
how to prevent and recover from chemical dependency as well as the aftereffects of
chemical dependency on you and your family. Read Dr. Frischs, Psy.D. series of
Insanity to Serenity.
1.) Contact a qualified healthcare provider.
2.) Contact your local chapter of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous.
3.) Read as much as you can about the disease of alcoholism.
4.) Read as much as you can about Recovery.
5.) Meet as many people as you can at Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous meeting.
6.) Integrate the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous into your