You Asked, We Answered

Addiction Questions

I keep smoking crack even after losing my kids. When will the consequences be enough? When will I hit bottom and change?

No one has to hit bottom. Besides what does “hitting bottom” even mean? The real “bottom” is death, and it does not make much sense that death would be required to “recover.” This is why it is important to question the recovery society terms such as those you have stated in your question above. But of equal importance is your use of the word consequences. Let The Freedom Model for Addictions help answer your question:

“Here’s another statement: “I keep using cocaine even though the consequences are that I can’t pay my rent at the end of the month. I am out of control.” This language also obscures what’s going on. It makes not having money for rent seem like a chance happening, an unfortunate, unpredictable result, when in fact, it was clear as day while you spent your paychecks on cocaine that you wouldn’t have enough money at the end of the month to pay your rent. The truth is you were willing to pay the price of dealing with a shit storm at the end of the month so you could get high in that moment. Own it. Though you haven’t wanted these little disasters, they have been the price you’ve been willing to pay because you really preferred cocaine that much.

If you want to make something seem accidental, call it a loss: “I lost my _______ because of drinking.” Is that really accurate? When the outcome of a choice is so easily predictable, it’s not a loss. It’s a price you were willing to pay. In short, losses are, for the most part, unexpected. In contrast, the costs of our choices are usually known and agreed to at the moment we carry out the choice.

Prices and costs are terms that describe what’s going on much more clearly than negative consequences or losses. If you have experienced some costs that weren’t so easily predictable, then go ahead and call those “negative consequences”; there certainly are exceptions. But in the spirit of fully owning your substance use and recognizing the freedom you hold over your choices, you might want to start thinking of the results of your substance use as the price you have been willing to pay for the benefits you’ve seen in substance use.


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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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