Do you Have to become a Pastor?

I am not trying to be controversial here, neither do I have anything against Pastors, I just want to talk about something I have observed.

I have been privileged to work with people in recovery from Substance use Disorders for a number of years and still counting. I noticed a trend right from the outset of my career which seems to be dying down a little but has not quite died off yet; not that I want it to die. I just think it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure and stress on people in recovery who may feel obligated to go on this path probably because that is what their treatment programme of choice requires or simply because that is what everyone else is doing.

What I am talking about is the trend of people all of a sudden being called to become men of God, to Preach the gospel after leaving treatment.

Maybe you are thinking about going that same way, but before you do, here are a few questions to help you do a little introspection before you get on with it.

Why do you want to do it?

Is it because that is what you have always wanted to do? Or it is just because you feel becoming a Pastor will encourage you to live a moral life full of righteousness and thus help you overcome your temptations to take up the drug again?

What you should understand if that is your mind-set is that, substance use disorders have a lot more to do with ‘works’ than wishes. Becoming someone who admonishes and encourages other people to stay away from temptations does not give you automatic immunity from your own. You need to learn about the nature of your sickness and work hard at dealing with it.

Do you know what you are doing?

Does it give you joy to do what you do? Or are you are just doing it because your treatment program says so? This happened to someone I know.

After treatment from that particular facility, he was made to believe that, becoming a Pastor was the only way to ‘freedom’ from his disease. He went along with it for a few months, preaching to all of us about the immorality of our ways and the sure fact that we were all headed to hell. He however did not understand how to take care of himself because he was not taught how to do that at the facility. Not long after, he could not handle the stress and pressure of being the leader of a new congregation struggling to grow, he burned out and relapsed. He has not been seen in a while.
I am not saying this will happen to everyone, but do you understand what you are getting into?

Are you ready for the role?

Being a Pastor comes with a whole lot of expectations. You have to help other people deal with all sorts of problems; financial, marriage, health. You have to be prepared to be there and present for everyone at all times and at all occasions.

You may not be ready to get into all that stress and take up all that responsibility just yet. Assess your stage of recovery and be sure that you are ready to take up all that work.

Take Away

All I am trying to make you think about is: are you sure that becoming a Pastor is the next step for you? Maybe you feel there is a ‘calling’ for you to do that, or maybe you are just very passionate about sharing the gospel. If those are your reasons, go right ahead, prepare yourself by getting the necessary training that is needed to fulfil your purpose. However, if you are doing it just because you feel it is a good avenue to hide from your temptations, then think again; Jesus was tempted by the devil, He prevailed because he had ‘eaten’ the word of God and was ready to do the work.

Are you ready?

5 Ways to Stop Anger from Eating You Up

Sometime ago, I was very angry about a whole range of issues. From work, to my landlord, and about some other things I do not even remember now.
I was particularly mad at work because, I felt the ‘system’ was not helping me to grow and develop my potential to the fullest. I chose to focus on everything that was not going well, instead of looking at all what was going very well. My thinking made me mad, sad and bitter.

One day, I was talking to a friend, then I said, ‘you know, I don’t even understand why I’m so angry. I think I should just try to fit into the system; I cannot do anything about it anyway, unless I leave, and I am not ready to leave. Maybe I can make use of my abilities elsewhere’.

That was it, I was awake! I realized that the system was not fashioned against me after all; (I find myself laughing at that).
Since that day, I realized that I could always choose to feel a certain way about certain situations and conditions in my life, no matter how dire they may seem.
Life is rough, we will surely feel angry sometimes but holding on to anger does not solve anything. It just eats at us, takes away our loveliness, definitely causes us harm and may lead us to adopt certain unhealthy coping strategies like drug use.

Let us explore healthy ways of managing anger instead of resorting to drug use and other unhealthy coping mechanisms.

1. Reframe your Thoughts
This is hard to do, but that is what worked for me. I decided not to let anger control me and destroy my loveliness, take away my beauty, destroy my relationship. I chose to allow myself time to do an honest introspection of the whole situation and the people I was holding responsible for my anger and bitterness. Then I decided not to be like them, I took responsibility for my role in the matter. I just have to do my part and hope others also hold up their end, after all, remaining angry won’t change a damn thing. Being able to let it go changes, everything.
It makes you see better, think better, look better, feel better and eventually be healthier. There are too many things one can possibly die from already, let’s take anger off the list.

2. Talk to Someone
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), the best way to deal with this kind of anger that eats at you and makes you miserable is to see a professional. It is very important to talk to a neutral person who is trained to take care of emotional troubles.
Just like it is necessary to take your physical pain to the Medical Doctor, it is equally important to tend to your emotional pain: see a Psychologist, so you do not make things worse by self medicating with drugs.

3. Relax
Sometimes it is easier not to take things too seriously. Learn to take things easy when you have to, take time off work if you need to. Listen to music, go to a quiet place and think things through. Just do what you love. This is likely to take some of the negative angry feelings away.

4. Write it Down

According to research and through my own experiences, I have realized that writing your emotions down on paper is like throwing up unpleasant things that are stuck in your throat. It is an incredibly relieving exercise. Writing your feelings down helps you understand them better because you are forced to put them in words, to express them, which is very therapeutic.

5. Take the High Road
Sometimes some people just want to piss you off. They do that because they probably have problems with other people they cannot stand up to, so they think they can use you as a punching bag instead. Avoid those people if you can. If you have to deal with them on a daily basis, try not to engage in fights with them, ignore them. They don’t have power over you. If they are being consistently unbearable, report them to the authorities wherever you may be, whether it is at work or school. Do not be like them and get aggressive, be classy, let your ‘lawyer’ handle them.

Have a lovely weekend!

15 Inspirational Songs for Your Recovery Playlist

Music has always been an avenue for relaxation for most people. Some have a favourite genre of music that they listen to. Some do not have any favourites per se, they just enjoy the composition, others prefer lyrics that speak to them; which is my personal preference.

I always encourage my clients to listen to music to help them deal with their cravings and keep a clear head. I also remind them to be mindful of the lyrics in the music, since any music full of drug fuelled language could become a trigger and in effect, cause exactly what we set out to prevent: cravings which could lead to a relapse.

I have come up with a list of songs that I think are inspirational enough to help deal with cravings, relax the mind and inspire hope for recovery.

Here they are!

1. Don’t Worry, Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin

2. What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

3. Happy by Pharrell Williams

4. Can’t Stop the Feeling by Justine Timberlake

5. Try Everything by Sharika

6. Hall of Fame by The Script

7. Never Say Never by Justin Bieber and Jayden Smith

8. Firework by Katie Perry

9. When You Believe by Whitney Houston ft. Mariah Carey

10. You Raise Me Up by Josh Groban (Westlife Cover)

11. One Day at a Time by Cristy Lane

12. Jesus Take the Wheel by Carrie Underwood

13. Adom by Diana Hamilton

14. I can see clearly now by Johnny Nash

15. Amazing Grace by John Newton

Enjoy them and let me know if you found them useful.

12 Daily Affirmations to Enhance Motivation in Recovery

A few years ago, I was part of a training group in which we had to do a lot of role plays. In one of those role plays, the exercise was to practice affirming each other. After the exercise, the instructor asked everyone how it felt to receive those affirmations. Each one of us reported to have felt very good and appreciated; these feelings stayed with most of us for at least the rest of the day.

What if you could do that for yourself everyday. What if you reminded yourself everyday about how amazing you are and about all the things you have been through and come out alive, and about all the more wonderful things you can go on to do with each day and the rest of your life.
The practice of using affirmations daily to boost motivation for success in any endeavour has become very popular in our time.

What are Affirmations?

Affirmations are positive statements that can be said to oneself to acknowledge a goal which has been achieved and also to encourage the achievement of future goals. When these statements are repeated daily and visualized in the mind, can eventually propel the achievement of those goals. If you are a spiritual person, you will call it FAITH.

It does not however mean that, any random affirmation will work to boost your motivation to remain in abstinence. Whatever you are saying to yourself has to be true to you and your situation.

Here are a few examples that could be useful.

1. I am alive and in charge, not my cravings
2. I can be confident all by myself, I don’t need drugs
3. I am sober and loving it
4. I can make it through today without drugs
5. I am strong enough, I can do without drugs
6. I went through yesterday without drugs, I can do it again today
7. Kings and Queens don’t do drugs, they rule. I am going to rule the day!
8. I am a champion, I won the battle!
9. I am too strong to let stigma get me down
10. I am a survivor, I will keep going strong
11. I am these number of days sober, hurray!
12. I will celebrate today with a, ‘Oh my, I am alright’.

Are you already practicing affirmations, let me know about them in the comments.

The Beauty of Relapse – 3 Points to Consider

Whenever beauty is mentioned, we think about pleasant things, places and experiences, women. People do not refer to anything unpleasant or undesirable as beautiful, at least as far as I know.
Concerning the word ‘Relapse’, What do we think of when it is mentioned? Let me know in the comments.

What does it even mean in this context?

Relapse in relation to substance use disorder simply means that, an individual who had stopped drinking or using drugs for a period has returned to a total state of using, which has started to affect every area of their life and thus is causing them not to function optimally.

So, you would be wondering, what could possibly be beautiful about relapse? It depends on what you choose to see. The Beautiful or the not so pleasant side?
Let’s look at some of the beauty in it.

1. The Individual is Willing to Make a Change

For someone to be said to have relapsed, the person must have been abstinent for a period. That is good news! It means that, the individual thought carefully about his/her life and realized that it was not going in the right direction and therefore, made the decision to get into treatment.

This fact is a good foundation to build on. Now the individual has experienced ‘life in active drug use’ and ‘life in active abstinence’, and has the ability to assess both situations. This assessment when objectively done sometimes with the help of a professional or a loved one, will highlight the benefits of ‘life in active abstinence’, (examples are improved health and well being and others which may differ for each person), which will eventually serve as motivation for someone to go back into treatment.

2. It is Not as Disappointing as it sounds

Yes, exactly, it is actually very kind of common in all chronic diseases.
If you are not new to my blog, you would know by now that substance use disorder is a chronic disease.
As a matter of fact, the statistics on relapse for substance use disorders are not as gloomy in comparison to other chronic diseases like Asthma and Hypertension. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), percentage of clients who relapse for substance use disorder ranges from 40% – 60%, for Asthma and Hypertension, relapse is likely to occur in 50% – 70% of patients.
Relapse in persons with substance use disorders should be seen as a need to offer another round of treatment, just like it is done in other chronic diseases and not seen as a failure in treatment.

3. An Opportunity to Try Something New

Substance use disorder is a very complex disease. It does not only affect an individual’s physical body, or brain. It affects the individual emotionally, mentally, socially, spiritually and in many other ways that can not be imagined.

This is generally so because, the reasons why people may start using substances may be borne from a need to satisfy certain physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual needs.
These factors, in addition to the fact that, every individual has unique needs and therefore needs very specifically tailored treatment means that, an initial treatment plan may become inadequate or redundant when initial needs with which the individual entered treatment changes.

Instead of looking at relapse as a failure of the individual or the treatment program, it should be seen as an opportunity to try out new techniques and coping skills to address current needs.

After a storm there may be flooding, there may also be a beautiful rainbow. The storm of a relapse is no different!

5 Ways to Become Your Cure Pill

‘Madam, if you say Substance Use Disorder (SUD) is a disease, can’t you give me a pill to take away all these cravings and make me better so that I can be cured from it?’
Many people I have encountered in my practice in Ghana have asked this question.
This is a very genuine question because if there is medication for treating and curing other diseases, why can we not provide same for those suffering from SUDs.
In other countries like the United States, Europe and some African countries, there are pills for treating Substance Use Disorders. These pills are given to reduce or stop cravings so that patients can go to work and perform their daily functions. This is referred to as Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT). They are mostly combined with Psychotherapy (counselling) for better treatment outcomes.
This therapy is mostly used for Opioid, Alcohol and Nicotine use disorder. However, medication is available for Cocaine Use disorders as well in some places.
In Ghana, we do not have these medications for treatment (except for alcohol and Nicotine in some health facilities). However, most treatment facilities do have psychotherapy available for clients to help manage cravings and live normal lives as well.
The difference here though is that, some clients find having to go through therapy without medication a very daunting task, especially at facilities that do not provide access to detoxification.
The point which must be emphasized here is that, medication does not guarantee that a client will not relapse; SUD is a very complicated disease which is surely going to be properly managed if the client is not able to follow coping skills that will help him/her work out his own recovery. Medication without, ‘working out’ one’s own recovery almost certainly leads to relapse.
So, what can you do to work out your own recovery in the absence of pills and do for yourself what the pill could have done for you?

1. Find a good Treatment Program

The first step to becoming the pill is to pick out a treatment program that can get you started in the right direction. This should be a program with highly trained staff who can help you understand the disease you are suffering from. What a pill does is to treat a particular disease for which it was made. Knowing your disease, how it came about, what is happening in your brain and body will make you aware of what to do and what not to do so as to have the best treatment outcomes. This will also help you understand some of the reasons why certain rules that are put in place at the treatment program are necessary.
Contact me for a list of good programs available in Ghana if you need one.

2. Commit to the Treatment Program

The pill does a job. To become the pill, you have a job to do. You have to be consistent in meeting with your counsellor, speaking truthfully about your drug use history, which will allow for a proper assessment to be done so as to help write up a good treatment plan for you.
Then the next job is to follow the treatment plan to the letter; nothing should be ignored or seen as irrelevant. The counselor cannot do for you what you are told to do. Doing it yourself is how you work it out; look at it as ‘swallowing the bitter pill’, that is how you get results.

3. See the Rules of Recovery as a New Way of Life

Some of the rules you will hear in treatment are; avoid triggers (people, places and things that may directly or indirectly lead to using drugs again), practice coping skills to deal with cravings and other unhealthy emotions, share your experiences, learn from others in recovery.
These so-called rules are not just noise, they actually work and should be practiced all the days of your life if you want to remain abstinent. Take charge of your life and improve your general wellbeing.

4. Join a Community of People in Recovery

One of the usefulness of the pill is to help maintain retention in treatment. The aim of the recovery community is to find support and growth from a group of people going through the same disease. This community of people will not only serve as your support in treatment but also throughout your whole journey of recovery.

5. Read, Read, Read

This is very important! Your counsellor will definitely not know everything there is to know about Substance Use Disorders. New information is coming out everyday that you can learn about. New ways of coping with cravings are coming up every day. Read books, articles like this one, journals and research on SUDs. Knowledge is not just power; it is incredible power. Look for it, empower yourself, improve your life.
Do you not go looking for relationship tips in books and online to improve your love life? Do the same for all other aspects of your life!

4 Reasons Why You Should Tell Someone About Your Recovery Journey

Most of us want the people closest to us to know about any new journey that we decide to embark on. We may even invite them to come along with us.
Why do we do this? Tell me about your reasons in the comments.

A couple of the most popular reasons are that, we want to have someone to share our experiences with. Also, we want someone to kind of watch our back. Another reason may be that, we want to have someone to share the costs with (for instance, you want to go on a trip but can’t afford it by yourself so you invite a friend and then share costs ). It could also be that you want to cheer them up, that is why you are taking them along on a trip.
On the recovery road, you can equally ‘invite someone to come along with.’ This simply means, you can rely on a spouse or partner, trusted friend, sibling, professional SUD counselor or a support group who will give you all the help and support that you would need like on a literal journey with them.
Why then is it necessary to let tell someone about your recovery journey?

To share your Experiences

Bringing someone on your recovery journey gives you the opportunity to have a good and safe outlet to talk about your struggles, successes, failures, wins, insecurities, flaws, the good and exciting days and any other subject you may wish to discuss.
Substance Use Disorder is a disease that many people do not understand and do not care to learn about, they are satisfied with their understanding of it and use those mostly inaccurate perceptions to judge people who are suffering from the disease.
Whoever you bring along on this journey should be open minded and ready to learn about the nature of what you are going through and be ready to attend recovery engagements with you if necessary. This is the only way that the person can truly understand your unique experiences and be able to listen without judgement so as to give you the support that you need to enjoy the journey.

To watch your back

Sometimes we need trusted friends around us to protect us from getting ourselves into dangerous situations or give us advice about some bad habits we may be engaging in. In the same way, we need friends to come along with us on the recovery journey to ‘warn’ us when we seem to be driving off onto a road which is not going to lead to our destination; roads which may lead to people, places and things which could be a trigger for relapse, turn you around and take you back to where you were before the journey began.

To share the costs

Treatment, which is mostly the beginning of the recovery journey is not free, it could be expensive and therefore you may need support from someone to help take care of the financial costs. Other costs may come in the form of taking time off work to get into treatment; in this case, you will need permission from work, meaning you have to tell your supervisor about your journey so that you do not end up loosing your source of livelihood while trying to get well to become a better employee. Even if you run your own business, you will need someone to take care while you are away. Another cost may be child care. If you have children, you may need your partner’s support to cater for them while you are away or you may need to get another family member or trusted friend to care for them if you are a single parent.

To have fun and cheer them up

When you are in the throes of substance use, you tend to ignore most of your responsibilities and obligations to your family, job and community; that is a symptom of the disease of substance use. This situation tends to bring about a lot of tension between you and everyone around you.
Bringing the very closest ones with you on the recovery journey and allowing them to see the amount of work you put in to become yourself again, will definitely serve as a source of joy which will cheer them up and make them extremely happy, which will in turn make the journey fun and cheerful for you too.

So why not bring someone special on your recovery journey today, it will surely be something worth looking forward to.

5 Values for a Sustainable Life in Recovery

What are Values?

These are principles that an individual holds dear and runs his/her life by.
The way a person lives life can certainly determine the type of values the person has.
For anyone in recovery, it is very important to live by values that will seek to help the individual fit in and be acceptable into the society.
Some important values to consider are;

  1. Independence

A person in recovery should be ready and willing to stand on their own two feet and do things for themselves.
Depending on people all the time for food, clothing and shelter is not sustainable. Find something profitable which can earn you the ability to acquire your most basic needs.

Do not become a burden!

2. Honesty

In everyday life, the people who are seen to be truthful, genuine and consistent in that behavior are the ones who are given opportunities.
The goal of recovery is not just to stop using drugs but an opportunity to turn a new leaf and build a new life.
Choosing to be honest, is not just a way to reintegrate into the society but also a way of getting new doors open so as to start building life again.

3. Patience

Giving up drugs will eventually bring about benefits such as good health, job opportunities, rebuilding of broken relationships and making of new and healthy alliances.
However, these things take time. Some people think that, just a few weeks after stopping drugs, they will get all these things in place and therefore often fall into despair when it takes longer.
You need to understand that, it takes time to make quality happen. Patience is very vital in these situations.

4. Integrity

What do you do, where do you go, who do you talk to when you know you will not get caught?
Always do what is right even when no one is watching, that is the key to remain abstinent.
Integrity will protect you from doing sketchy things which could lead you into trouble with the law or into relapse.

5. Courage

Unfortunately, there is still a lot of stigma associated with drug use even if a person has been in recovery for a long time. Persons in recovery have to therefore be very strong and develop a ‘thick skin’ to discrimination and stigma.
That is the only way to move forward.

Bonus : Commitment

The road to recovery is neither straight, smooth, nor short, and that is life. Anyone interested in succeeding in any venture or undertaking in life must be committed to staying true to the mission until the goals are achieved.
Stick to your guns, practice your coping skills, attend recovery meetings with discipline and diligence.

Stay on the road and you will surely get where you want to be!

Recovery Is Not Rosy – 3 Obstacles and 3 Opportunities To Expect in This Journey

In this context, recovery refers to returning to a normal state of life after suffering from Substance Use Disorder (SUD). For some clients, recovery just means ‘quitting or cutting back on the use of substances’. They do not understand the need to take care of other basic things like proper nutrition, personal hygiene, mending broken relationships, dealing with shame and guilt, money management and even something as basic as what sorts of leisure activities that are appropriate for them.
As a matter of fact, recovery is not complete until all those other aspects of life mentioned earlier are taken care of.
However, there are certain obstacles that may hinder a client form receiving timely and quality treatment. Let us take a look at a few.
Obstacles
Access to Treatment
Unfortunately, unlike other main stream health facilities, Substance Use Treatment Facilities are kind of hard to find in Ghana. Apart from the few concentrated in the capital Accra, and a few others in the Ashanti Region (New Hope Wellness Centre and others), there is one Psychiatric Hospital in the Central Region (Ankarful Hospital) which also does treatment of SUDs, one in the Western Region (Holy Family Health Centre), another one in the Upper East Region (LOAD Ghana) and as far as I know, there are not really any specifically dedicated treatment facilities in the rest of the other eleven (11) regions. Clients in those places therefore have to travel long distances and sometimes be on a waiting list to get into treatment.
This situation has turned off so many clients who may have gone into treatment immediately if there was a place ready for them as soon as they decided to go into treatment. You would ask, ‘why would they not wait to get in if they were really ready?’ The answer to that is, ‘Substance Use Disorder is a brain disease which affects all aspects of the clients life, including motivation, which is very necessary for anyone to make and sustain any decision.’
Cost of Treatment
Residential treatment is not free. Detoxification which is usually done to help clients handle withdrawal symptoms better and safer, then prepare them for treatment ranges from GHS 1,000 to GHS 2,500. Treatment which usually lasts for about 90 days, costs between GHS 1,000 and GHS 4,000 every 30 days. That’s something not every one can afford, making it practically impossible for some people desperately in need of treatment to get.
There are however a few ‘free’ treatment facilities around who are providing shelter, food and some form of security for people who cannot afford to pay for the treatment but are ready to get into treatment. Remar Association Ghana is one example of such facilities.
Quality of Treatment
The other day I was telling a colleague that, ‘drug addiction treatment is the only field in which most people of any background, without any training, certification or experience feel that they have a right to jump in and help because they think it is just about providing food, shelter and advice and that settles it. If they did that in any other areas of the health sector, they would be arrested and prosecuted for being quacks’.
Because of that mentality, some ‘treatment centres’ are just temporary shelters and some drug addiction counsellors are just caretakers. Other facilities treat clients like mental health patients; so its all about anti-psychotic medication all through the 90 or more days, both situations increasing the likelihood of relapse in clients exponentially.
I must admit however that, in recent years, some facilities have invested in training their employees and are doing excellently well. A good example is the Drug Treatment Facility at the Pantang Hospital in Accra.
Opportunities
Improved Health
Drugs are like slow acting poison, gradually destroying the internal organs and eventually ending the individual. The human body is however able to recover a great deal after drug use has stopped, leading to an improved health and a general feeling of wellbeing.
Improved Quality of Life
Good health brings with it the strength and power to pursue good jobs, educational opportunities and better relationships that will lead to a better quality of life.
Better Life Prospects
Good health and quality of life puts an individual in a position to access the very best opportunities.
I always tell my clients that, ‘no employer will employ or keep an employee who is deep in the throws of SUD, no sound man or woman will be in any serious relationship with anyone deep in SUD, nobody respects people who are actively using drugs. However, the hope of recovery, opens new windows of opportunities and possibilities that cannot be imagined’.
It is not too late, reach out if you need help. If you have no money, you can try Remar Association, a Christian NGO which tries to provide shelter, food and social support while you go through the process of recovery. Some people have gone through those doors and have been successful, why not you?

Disclaimer
This article does not aim to promote or criticize any facility, it is just serving as a source of useful information for those who may require it.

Online Addiction Recovery Programs Can Help You Achieve Sobriety

Recently, during the COVID-19 partial lockdown in Ghana, I gained a lot of weight. So much so that I am in the process of getting new clothes tailored. Unlike most people, I wasn’t working virtually because I couldn’t meet with my clients at the rehabs for consults. All the work had to be handled by the staff in those institutions.
It took just a few weeks of isolation and inactivity from the last week of March to mid-June to start losing a body I had been so proud of. It was freely given to me by God, but I lost it in just a few weeks because I took what I put in it for granted and it messed me up.
After the lockdown, I was a little nervous to go back to work because I knew everyone would notice my weight gain. It happened exactly as I had anticipated. Everyone kept talking about it, I felt very ashamed in my skimpy old clothes. I had to hold my tummy in because it had protruded. In addition to the nose mask I was wearing, l felt very uncomfortable and out of breath. I spent the whole day of our new normal lives beating myself down because I had failed at something I thought I had a hold on.
After work that day, I decided that I had to do something about it. Going to the gym was out of the question; COVID-19 restrictions and honestly, I would not be comfortable working out in public.
I knew I had to find a program that would help me easily commit to a routine that I could follow, which had to be affordable as well. It was time for me to practice what I kept preaching to my clients and just about anyone who asked about recovery from drug use: Do something about it!
So in these normally strange times, I looked online and a found an app with a perfect thirty day challenge for me. It is filled with a lot of exercises that I can do daily; 20 minutes for one workout including tips for doing other things that could help maximize results. Most importantly, there was a soothing voice of encouragement throughout the workout which always congratulated me after each workout. I think it is pretty amazing!
I am 18 days into the 30 day weight loss challenge basic level work out, I feel better already. I have not quite seen any visible weight loss but I have hope because I still have a long way to go. After the basic level, I will graduate to the intermediate and advanced levels.
You will be thinking, what has weight loss got to do with drug addiction and recovery?

As a matter of fact, it has a lot to do with it. Making a decision to loose weight has a lot to do with making a decision to quit using drugs. It is both about making a decision to try new ways of handling one’s self in terms of the things we put in the body, learning new ways of doing things to keep it healthier and in better shape so as to live healthier and free of self-consciousness. Both have to do with deciding to do new things that will result in a healthier body and mind.
The conditions under which we live now in the midst of a deadly pandemic and restrictions are forcing us to live in isolation thus making life much harder. This could result in dire consequences for drug users because of probable job losses which could lead to hunger and even homlessness, as well as the likelihood of contracting the disease while going out into the streets to look for, prepare and use drugs. Fatalities may also occur in instances where an individual who lives alone overdoses in these times of isolation and social distancing, where there may be no one available to offer any assistance.
Unfortunately, it is also getting harder now to get into treatment due to Covid-19 restrictions which has prompted most drug treatment centres to also go into lockdown to prevent new clients who may have the virus from coming in to infect those who are already in the facilities. But in the midst of all this gloom, a helper remains and is offering a lot of assistance to many of us in various ways.
Like I found my weight loss app on the internet, you can also find treatment online for your drug use. Yes, you can.
You can check out the ‘SMART Recovery Program’ which is fully online. The ‘Celebrate Recovery’ program which has an app and can also be found online will be a good fit for you if you are a Christian. Or you can simply type in ‘Addiction Recovery Online’ and a lot of good options will pop up. You can also type in ‘Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous Online’ and you will find a couple of Zoom meetings to join.

Search for ‘Certified Addiction Counsellors’ in your area and you would be surprised at what you can find. You get to talk to a professional who would help you through the process.
Apart from all these, there are also a couple of Apps that you can find in the google play store that can be very helpful. Just type in ‘Addiction Recovery app’.
Take a leap of faith, take the step and do the search. You will be surprised about how helpful it can be for you.
Most of the time we try on our own and fail to make major changes in our lives because we often do not have any structured approach to it. This is the reason why we seek the help of professionals since they enroll us onto recovery programs with structured exercises and new routines that are likely to achieve better results.
Keep in mind that, it will take longer than you expect to be able to see positive results in the process to recovery, so please be patient, follow instructions of the recovery program you choose and it will work out for your good. Make up your mind that giving up is not an option!
When you fail and lapse, do not just get stuck there, just continue following the recovery program, gradually you will move through the stages and eventually get to the ‘advanced level’ where you will be able to maintain your sobriety and sustain your recovery.
Let’s go, the time is just right!