Quit all vices?

Old 11-25-2009, 05:02 AM
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Quit all vices?

My son is entering rehab on his own accord (this time). He is going to the same one that he was kicked out of previously, for using. The program is only 60 days and he agrees that he needs a longer program. This program allows smoking, but no caffiene (sp?). He wants to quit all his vices (opiates & cigarettes). He agrees that this program did not work the first time, yet seeks the same path.

There are 3 programs nearby that do not allow any vices whatsoever. They feel that if you are going to quit the bad it all at once. Yet he does not want to go into this program. It is a 10 month rehab comittment, in comparision to the typical 60 day program. This is a christian based program, which he is not opposed to, but he is just choosing the easier, quicker one.

If anyone has any feed back as to going cold turkey on all vices simultaneously vs. one at a time, please let me know.

Also, any feed back on a state run rehab vs. a christian based? I kind of think in the state programs, that you may be just a number, due to the high volume of court ordered patients and may get more one on one from a christian or private ($$$$) based rehab center.

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Old 11-25-2009, 06:18 AM
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I never understood the residential treatment programs that will force an addict to quit smoking and or caffeine as well as drugs//alcohol.

I dont smoke but I do enjoy a soda when I wake up in the morning and usually one at lunch and dinner. I am not going to overdose one day because I drank to strong of a coca-cola.

My view on this subject (being a former addict) is that it was hard enough for me to quit shooting dope, I dont know how harder it would have been had I not been able to drink soda as well. Probably would have left me very irritated and uncomfortable. I also know, from viewing others in my treatment stays, that they all looked forward to their smoke breaks like it was a little vacation.

It helped them relieve stress, a means to unwind from dealing with all the new feelings and discoveries they were making during sessions. Think of it like this, if you get admitted into the ER room with a fatal gunshot wound(the drug addiction) as well as a broken finger(caffeine + nicotine addiction), what would you rather your doctor do? Concentrate and use all his skill and intelligence on the possibly fatal gunshot wound AND then after that is complete worry about the broken finger. Or, would you like him to split his efforts in half and work on both the finger and gunshot wound simultaneously and possibly risk screwing up and failing.

Im not saying to keep smoking 2 packs a day and chugging 8 cups of coffee a day. There is just a much more sense of urgency to quit the drugs and alcohol than there is the caffeine and nicotine. He can worry about that stuff later on down the road when he has a handle on his drug affliction. If he needs it as crutch right now to help him stop the REAL dangerous be it.

hope that helped some ~~ Scott

p.s is he entering CARP or DAF by any chance?? I have some experience with the latter.
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Old 11-25-2009, 07:30 AM
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hi, i had to go to state funded rehab, could not afford the private ones and by the grace of god, i've been clean now for a few yrs. like they say " the program works if you work it." i think it depends on whether or not the addict really really wants it and really commit to continue the work after rehab. its really the beginning of the journey. they provides the tool needed to continue the work.

as for the smoking, i agree with d-boy, i had the same thought about quitting the drug and smoking at the same time but i found it too hard to concentrate on both. still, maybe if he really wants to try, he may/may not be able to pull it off and if he can, thats great, if not, he can always try that later. his choice though.

my esp. with rehab is they offered decaf, no caffeine but there was always caffeine at the meetings we would attend.
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Old 11-25-2009, 08:04 AM
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I would agree as well - these people are trying to major-ly change their lives, let them smoke!! Besides, there is a cultural aspect as well: the guys hang outside together, bum smokes from each other, at AA and NA meetings, coffee and cigarettes are actually a pretty big part of the scene. Not condoning, but in his time he will quit those things too. Mine put down the cigs a few months out of treatment.

Your son is likely frightened, and I don't blame him. This is huge. Personally I don't think 60-day programs are enough for people who are hard-core; you have time to get clean and be introduced to new tools, but not long enough for indoctrination. I would encourage the longer one, but it is of course his choice.

Treatment facilities have different details but core concepts are the same (unless you go to a "Health Realization" type program)
It works if you work it.
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Old 11-25-2009, 03:17 PM
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My son has done the short private rehabs (30 days) a few times and relapsed shortly after. Then we sent him to a private 30 day program that was wonderful. And they recommended he go to another state for a long term program. He was in that program a year. Some allowed smoking but no coffee some allowed both. Long story short he relapsed and now is in a state run rehab for a year. I don't know if it was the hitting bottom (I hope) or the fear of going to jail if he screws up but he is getting a lot out of this program and seems to be thriving in the strict environment. We have spent thousands on rehabs and this one is just as good as any of them. One thing we have learned is they need a long term program and it is best if they do not come home. They should be in a sober living house with other people in recovery. They will find the support they need there. There is no short cuts to recovery they have to want it and be willing to do the work.
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Old 11-25-2009, 06:52 PM
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I sent you a PM, but wanted to add..........short term never helped my husband.............but some people find recovery without ever even going to rehab.......

his williness is a good thing.
no matter where he goes or what program it comes down to the person and their willingness so it sounds like hes on the right path

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Old 11-25-2009, 07:40 PM
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It has helped me to tackle one demon at a time in my life. As I get a handle on one, I feel strong enough to begin another. I would have a hard time being throwin into a pool and told to bob for apples if I couldn't even swim. One crisis at a time for me, please.

When smoking turned out to be least of my demons, I went after that one first. That was probably out of fear of my bigger issues. I think any smoker who has tried to quit would shake their head in confusion that smoking would be the least of my problems, but it actually was. Having quit 'em, I felt the confidence to move forward.

IMO, if he's serious about recovery, he'll make the decision that keeps him moving forward for the long haul. If he's an all or nothing kind of guy, then get out and go where all vices are addressed. If he wants to put his energy, as D-boy said, where it matters the most right now, then quit the dope and move onto cigs when the bigger demon has been tackled.

Much love,
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Old 11-26-2009, 04:36 AM
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Well, I think the logic behind it is to sever the association between drinking/drugging and smoking since they do go hand-in-hand. Caffeine is also addictive so, apparently they are attempting to encourage cessation of all addictions so that you can build new "reward pathways" in your brain. As I recall, it takes 90 days for the brain to really even start healing and rebuilding pathways, so that's why it is believed that if rehab is going to be effective, it needs to be a minimum of 90 days. After that, it is essential that NEW people, places and things take the place of the OLD ones so that the new reward pathways can continue to build and the old ones will continue to deteriorate. This is what the term "trigger" is all about.... if you stimulate a well-worn (but unwanted) pathway, then you run the risk of re-invigorating it and the addiction raises its ugly head again.

Great info here: Drugs Alter the Brain's Reward Pathway

and here HBO: Addiction: Understanding Addiction: Addiction and the Brain's Pleasure Pathway: Beyond Willpower
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Old 11-26-2009, 05:53 AM
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I just want to thank everyone who responded. Concentrating on one problem at a time, in order of severity sounds very logical, but I also think that if I was going to be miserable and sick from quitting drugs and then again when trying to quit smoking, I think I would want to just get it all out of my system at one time.

I triage approach makes the most sense. My AS does not want to quit everything all at once.

Thanks - a confused mom
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Old 11-26-2009, 11:31 PM
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Originally Posted by helpformyson View Post
I just want to thank everyone who responded. Concentrating on one problem at a time, in order of severity sounds very logical, but I also think that if I was going to be miserable and sick from quitting drugs and then again when trying to quit smoking, I think I would want to just get it all out of my system at one time.

I triage approach makes the most sense. My AS does not want to quit everything all at once.

Thanks - a confused mom

When I was in treatment we had to give it all up.
Maybe because that is always how I have been taught, that is the only way that makes sense in my head and what works for me. I've done it several times.
Never been a smoker, but had plenty of other vices.......

But you have to really be ready to give it all up, it's a huge mental stress,
that my therapists were really trained to help us deal with when we did it.
That was my experience.

((((Confused Mom)))))
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Old 11-27-2009, 08:12 AM
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I will say that my husband smoked a lot, drank and did meth. He cut the meth first. Now, he rarely drinks (just wine on occasion) and has just now put away the cigarettes. I think the cigarettes are challenging because they become ingrained in your habits: i.e. after dinner, after sex, first thing in the morning, etc. He admitted that after a meal, he would get a rush of "anticipation" in looking forward to his next smoke.

I think someone mentioned the idea of finding it hard to focus on both the drug addiction and the smoking addiction. That makes sense to me. My husband's words were something like, "I'll quit the smoking, but let me get some time under my belt with the drug addiction first."
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