ALCOHOL AND MARIJUANA
Marijuana is a potent drug, and alcohol is a mind-altering chemical in liquid form. Many people don’t realize that these are no different from any other drugs regarding the potential to get us into trouble. One drink is never enough; just as one puff, hit, fix, bump, pill or snort is never enough. We are masters at combining and substituting one drug with another to get high.
Has getting drunk or loaded ever been the unintentional result of “just” one drink or “just” a beer? Have you ever experienced the consequences of impaired judgment or decision-making ability as a direct result of smoking “just” a little pot? Did one of anything ever lead to two or three or more of something harder or stronger?
Many of us never thought that alcohol and/or marijuana were part of our problem, but upon honest examination and working the Steps, we usually find a need to re-evaluate that notion.
The use of prescription drugs may be medically necessary at times. However, old patterns of thinking influenced by the presence of a mind-altering substance in our system can soon have us convinced that we need to take it more frequently than prescribed. An informed prescribing physician, placing our medication in control of someone we can trust, and honest communication with a sponsor or another recovering addict can be helpful in preventing abuse.
Our bodies and minds don’t know the difference between drugs used for legitimate reasons and drugs used for recreational pleasure. It’s a sound practice to enlist the support of all of our physicians and/or mental health care professionals in continuing on the path to recovery. Abruptly stopping the use of tranquilizers, antidepressants or other prescription drugs can be dangerous and even deadly, and should only be done under the guidance of an informed physician.
OVER-THE-COUNTER AND COMMONLY USED LEGAL DRUGS
Over-the-counter and other legal drugs (such as cough syrups or pain relievers that contain alcohol and/or codeine, diet pills that act as stimulants, and antihistamines that act as depressants) can be just as big of a problem for us as street drugs. We suggest that you become a label reader. There are many products on the market that can be dangerous to an addict who has the potential to abuse just about any mind-altering chemical.
Uninformed addicts can be a hazard to themselves and others. We encourage you to ask your doctor or pharmacist if you have any questions regarding medications. Be honest with your sponsor about what drugs you take or are prescribed to you.
Remember, we’re powerless over cocaine and all other mind-altering substances. Step One is a beginning, but be sure to move forward. A spiritual awakening as the result of working all Twelve Steps is the solution to the problem of addiction.