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Addiction Questions

I have tremendous guilt when I get high. I know I should want to stop, but I’m just not sure I can. Why is this such a struggle for me?

The Freedom Model for Addictions discusses this topic in great detail and will provide you a path out of what we call the “should’s”. You “should want to stop,” is a common “should” that we are told by those around us if we habitually drink or drug. “Should” and “want to” are two completely different motivations for personal change. Take a look at the excerpt from The Freedom Model below that begins to address this common struggle:

“Is it any wonder that your previous attempts at quitting or reducing your substance use with this kind of negative start ended in failure? You know full well that you can keep on doing the very things you’re trying to demand, shame, and should yourself out of doing. So you stop for a while, hating it and feeling deprived the whole time, and that deprivation becomes so unbearable that you go back to your habit. Why do you go back? It’s no mystery; you go back because you think it’ll feel good or satisfy a need. You think you’ve been missing out. You never really found moderation or quitting as being more attractive. If you’ve been powering your quit attempts with deterrents and avoidance-based strategies—shame, should, I can’t—then your mental state upon quitting is exactly like that of the 19-year-old who’s been told he has to quit smoking pot. You really don’t want to make this choice, but you feel cornered into making it. There is some motivation, but it’s minimal and paired with an equal or greater sense of loss.

There is no joy in feeling cornered, coerced, shamed, or obligated to do something. If there is no joy, there is no lasting motivation. So jumping the gun on deciding to quit forever is the wrong way to go about this. Knowing you are free to make whatever choice you see fit and then carefully reassessing your options is the way to proceed with happiness, confidence, and resolve.”



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*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Freedom Model Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.


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