Free Relapse Prevention Worksheets

14 relapse prevention workbooks from US Drug Rehab Centers

Table of Contents

How About Using Other Drugs And Alcohol Except My Drug Of Choice?

The use of alcohol and marijuana decreases inhibitions and decreases the likelihood that abstinence will be maintained for all other substances, particularly cocaine. The research  shows that clients who have been addicted to cocaine will need to stop using all other drugs, including alcohol and marijuana. Social use of cocaine is not safe for people who have been addicted. Once you have become dependant on cocaine, the only way to regain control of your life is to stop using completely. The path to cocaine addiction at some point becomes a one-way street and the road back to occasional use is blocked. Virtually everyone who enters treatment because of cocaine abuse has already tried to cut back  dozens and dozens of times. Therefore, complete abstinence, not controlled drug use, is the only option known at this time for cocaine addiction (Weiss, Mirin, & Bartel, 1994).

People who are in the early stages of problem use of alcohol benefit most from controlling their use with the objective being to cut down on their alcohol consumption or stop drinking altogether. For individuals who have progressed to being unable to stop drinking or to decrease their use, and have unsuccessfully attempted several times to decrease or stop use, abstinence is the target as opposed to limiting or decreasing use.

Limited use or social use of any of the legal or illicit drugs that you can become addicted to is strongly discouraged due to the extremely high rate of relapse when this is attempted. The reason for relapse may be that limited or social use brings you back into contact with all of the using cues, not just the drink or the drug. Successfully managing a full set of cues, environment, drugs, alcohol, places, people, feelings, sounds, sights, is not possible for long, when you add that judgment is impaired by drugs or alcohol.

So you have crossed the line biologically and psychologically. Perhaps at sometime in your future, there will be research that demonstrates how to return to moderate use. At the present time, moderating use is only an option for those persons who have experienced early problem use. Early is the operative word. If you have been experiencing considerable life problems, and negative mental and physical side effects from your drug and alcohol use, your problems have probably progressed to dependence. Problem use is often a  wish rather than a reality for people who are addicted, because people who are addicted use dysfunctional beliefs to allow them to keep using, even when they are in trouble.