drug addiction

Understanding the Importance of Drug Rituals...

and how to design a plan that works for you.

We use rituals every day in some way or other. Using drugs is exactly the same. The user participates in a specific activity and this is sometimes the hardest habit to break. Any part of this activity or anything used in connection with drugs will act as a trigger. You have to completely abandon all traces of things connected to your previous drug use.

This program involves creating other activities for you to replace what you do when you use drugs. It is essential to replace your drug using actions with some other action. This is why people trying to quit, whether it is drugs or cigarettes or any other addiction, have such a hard time if they have no replacement activity.

All of our senses; smell, taste, sight, hearing and touch are involved any time drugs are prepared. To be able to get away from drug use, we need to find a replacement which uses all the senses.

Here is my formula for creating a Drug Abandonment Ritual - (DAR) - which will work for you. Once you understand the principal, you will be able to build a program for yourself.

Your sense of Smell;
There will be certain smells associated with using any drug, so a strong and very different smell needs to be used. Our sense of smell can carry some deep and vivid memories in ways that can surprise us. Use smells that are quite different from anything you may ordinarily smell. For example scented candles, perfume, scented oils, wick sticks, cloves or cinnamon, or incense can be used. You will have to decide if, for example, using a lighter to light a candle is going to be helpful or if it will be a trigger for lighting a pipe. Be honest with yourself. You success depends on things like this.

Your sense of Taste:
Drugs often give a particular taste in the mouth so a strong different taste is needed. Our sense of taste tells us that things are either sweet, salty, sour, pungent, astringent, or bitter. Try strong cough drops such as Fisherman's Friend or peppermints, candies flavored with violet or cinnamon, hot chocolate with a shot of flavored syrup. Also chocolate, strong cheese, liquorish, pickles, salt and vinegar chips, in fact anything that has a strong pleasing taste and which has no associations from the past drug use.

Your sense of Sight;
Fixing a drug contains much visual stimuli so equally strong visual stimuli needs to be substituted. Colored lights or candles, bright colored table cover, bright mug, flowers, pictures, photographs etc. Setting up your DAR will give you good visual input but you can also include anything you like to look at such as photos, statues, colored glass, a bright colored bandana to keep your DAR in or anything which does not carry reminders of previous drug use.

Your sense of Hearing;
Sounds play a big part in our lives although we don't always notice them. You may not be conscious of the hiss of a lighter but at a subconscious level it may trigger the need for a hit. I suggest music of some kind but make sure it is quite different from anything you have been used to listening to. Change to country if you usually listen to rock or to New Age if you listen to jazz. Chose something different from any which may have accompanied your drug use and which you enjoy.

Your sense of Touch;
Touch is an important part of anything you do. If you chose well on the things listed above, then setting up your DAR will involve a certain amount of touch but if you need more things to do with your hands, try the following. Sand, pebbles, polished stones, fishing flies, beads, modeling clay, stringing paperclips, silly putty. Use what feels good to you. Doing your DAR in a place which is totally unlike the place where you used drugs will help greatly.

Now plan your ritual with as much care as you did with getting your drug stuff together.This is important. If this is going to work for you, you need to take this part seriously.
Chose the things you are going to use. Put them together in something, a box or bandana, but not something that looks like your drug kit. We are changing things remember! Make your kit as easy to move around as possible.
It might help you to read about Paul who used this system to help him quit meth.

Now you understand about the Drug Related Ritual, continue on to Making a Plan. You CAN do this, but you do need to plan carefully and get as much support as possible.

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This page updated 2013