Steps Four and Five of AA: Moral Inventory Necessary for Addiction Recovery

addiction recovery

The first three steps of the AA twelve steps are focused upon surrendering to the power of addiction and reaching out for help. One of the reasons addiction is so powerful is due to a growing, rigid denial system. As the term denial system suggests, reality is “denied” or blocked out, or veiled – the intensity of which corresponds to the strength of the addiction.

Steps Four and Five

Steps four and five, force the person in recovery (if the addict is willing to live in a sober state), to take an honest look at the addiction and assess the damages, internally and externally. This is crucial, because, the addiction, never wants to leave. That is one of the long-term damages of addiction. The denial system will look for any reason to relapse. It is the nature of addiction, whether the addiction be to alcohol or other substances.

Like it is the nature of a female sea turtle to return to the ocean after laying her eggs, it is the nature of addiction to want to continue using and return to the old ways. There is no cure for this. That is why a person is never fully recovered, but in a state of recovery.

Strength of Addiction

Whenever someone drinks an alcoholic beverage or ingests some kind of a drug, the purpose is to self-medicate. Self-medication may be on the unconscious level, since in many countries, social drinking, for instance, is acceptable and negative consequences are minimal or nonexistent.

However, even on the social plane, once the chemical is in the system it has its impact. When the chemical has run its course, a person returns to normal, internally, no negative repercussions.

The addiction begins, when, after the chemical has had its impact, the person does not return to normal – there remains emotional and mental pain. As the addiction strengthens, so does this internal pain. The user, to relieve the pain, takes the drug again, whether it be alcohol or some other substance. A punishing, circular pattern is set in motion.

To emphasize, the user does not return to normal. Instead, the internal pain increases. Relief is fleeting. Over time the internal pain increases to a level where the user is drinking or using just to carry on with life, but not really living. All through this process the denial system is strengthening and becoming rigid as well, not to mention the physical ramifications of the growing addiction.

Process of Addiction

For some substances like alcohol, in adults, this process can continue slowly for years. When the process happens slowly, the person will probably not be consciously aware that something is wrong, relative with the drinking or drugging. The denial system and addiction grows slowly and insidiously.

With the use of other substances, like cocaine, the process happens very quickly. Though denial is there, and strong, because the negative consequences are generally so immediate, the user is usually able to see the resulting dysfunction.

Of course, there are a wide range of scenarios, but these are examples.

Facing Truth

Though the situation is different for every alcoholic/addict, there is an underlying truth, which is, someone has been hurt in this addiction process. Certainly, the identified addict has been hurt, but if the addict were to draw a circle and add to that circle all of the people associated with his/her life, they, too, have been hurt.

Working steps four and five may be exceedingly painful, but necessary. Truth must be realized, if the addict is to have a chance at achieving meaningful sobriety.

Steps One, Two and Three of AA: Admitting The Addiction is Stronger and Tougher Than the Alcoholic

admitting addiction

For the duration of this article, “addict”, will be used to identify both the alcoholic and drug addict. “He”, will also be used to denote male and female.

Excessive use of alcohol as well as other substances causes the person to enter a sphere of disconnectedness with oneself and the surrounding world. This happens due to an ever growing rigid denial system. The first three steps of AA address this – surrender to the inability of controlled use.

Definition of a Denial System

Denial is not peculiar to addiction. Basically, denial is the inability, if not stubborn refusal to see reality. All humans use denial depending upon the circumstances from time to time.

Denial with a growing addiction becomes rigid over time. If allowed to develop long enough it can lead to an extreme disconnectedness with self and the surrounding world.

Denial is further marked by thinking disorders or delusional thinking. Therefore, a person’s ability to reason normally becomes impaired to severely impaired.

Examples of Denial

The addict may say, “I don’t have a problem. I drink because, you don’t know how difficult it is to live with my spouse,” (blaming someone else instead of taking responsibility for the drinking).

Another example may be, “I wasn’t intoxicated. I only had a couple of beers when I left the bar. I never drive drunk,” yet, this is the person’s third or more, OUI (Operating Under the Influence).

Reality is, the person trapped within the growing addiction, knows deep inside that something is wrong, but just does not possess or is losing the internal strength to face reality. That internal muscle becomes flanked with intense shame and guilt. Picture someone trying to shoulder the Rock of Gibraltar.


As long as an addict thinks use is controllable, relapse is inevitable.

Acceptance of this concept allows the recovering person room to grow in recovery. Acceptance of the inability to control substance use produces humility, which, in turn, allows someone to be teachable.

Humility and Recovery

Taking responsibility and accepting that the addiction is more powerful than the individual frees that individual in recovery to accept help from others. Someone may need to relapse a number of times before coming to this conclusion.

A doctor, before becoming a doctor, attends medical school to learn about medicine and everything that subject encompasses before practicing on his own. If the individual refuses to be taught, refuses to learn, how qualified would that individual be to practice medicine?

The same holds true for recovery. The newly sober addict must attain attitudes of surrender, humility and willingness in order to be instructed about the nature of addiction as well as what is necessary to maintain sobriety. The humility will not come without the surrender to the power of addiction.

After Surrender, Trust

When one needs surgery the services of a qualified surgeon are sought after. The patient trusts that the doctor knows what needs to be done. The patient trusts his life to the care of the doctor.

As in addiction recovery, to grow a sober lifestyle, the newly recovering addict must trust those who have a solid recovery foundation. These individuals can become the Higher Power, and/or, if the recovering client has a belief in God, God as He is understood, becomes the foundation supplemented with the knowledge and experiences shared by the members in recovery.

As in any teacher/student relationship, the newly recovering, even the more seasoned recovering individual, if he truly wants to remain sober, has the best chances of maintaining sobriety by allowing himself to be taught and supported by others.

Drug Addiction and Treatments

Drug addiction can be treated when the treatment is tweaked for individuals. It is possible for patients to lead normal lives, despite their addiction. Just like people living with any other disease, people must do their part to deal with their addiction. This might include simple behavioral changes or possibly taking medication.
Often in overcoming addiction, people must make changes in their behavior. They might have to undergo counseling, join support groups, or attend therapy sessions. This is not uncommon in dealing with any kind of addiction. Medication can be helpful when the addiction includes a physical craving.

Generally, treatment programs must be followed and completed in order to get the best results. A person who has completed all twelve steps of an alcohol program is less likely to relapse than someone who only completed seven or eight of the steps. There are no permanent quick fixes to drug addiction.

Often mistaken for a quick fix, medication can be helpful in treatment. Along with proper therapy and support, for instance, methadone hydrochloride can be useful in treating heroin addicts. These controlled doses of methadone hydrochloride can help stop the cravings for the heroin. It allows addicts to stop being dependent on heroin so that they can lead normal, productive lives. While methadone clinics tend to be successful, the clinics that provide counseling and psychotherapy along with the methadone are more successful than those that provide minimal services. Fentanyl Addiction Treatment, is often one of the hardest as it is so addictive and can have longer and rougher withdrawals.

Other forms of therapy also exist. For people who have only had a short history of drug abuse, outpatient, non-medicated treatment is useful. This type of treatment usually involves some sort of counseling, whether it be group counseling or individual sessions.

For people who have a longer history of drug abuse, residential treatment centers are usually the answer. The programs at these treatment centers can vary from weeks to months, depending on the individual’s level of dependency. Most people who have not been to detox and rehab, often wonder, “What Is Detox and Rehab Like?”. Someone with a serious, long-term addiction might have to stay in one of these communities anywhere from six to twelve months. For people who have had less trouble functioning in a normal society, three to six weeks might be sufficient. In either case, the stay at the treatment center is followed up by extensive outpatient therapy.

Choosing a type of treatment can be a difficult task. Every individual is different, and this must be taken into consideration when choosing treatment. No single treatment works for all individuals.

When someone finally takes the step to get treatment, it may or may not be the best time or place for such a life-changing event. That is why the treatment must be readily available. Some form of treatment is better than none. For instance, if a heroin addict decides to seek treatment, it wouldn’t serve him/her to go in search of a methadone clinic in the middle of the night. However, waiting to seek treatment of some kind could result in the addict changing his/her mind and not going through with treatment at all. No matter what, finding some form of treatment is most important. Changing treatment in daylight hours is much easier in the long run.

Drug Addiction: How Dangerous Is The IV Route?

Injectable Drugs

Drug abuse can be in various forms; some prefer to take drugs by the mouth, while others snort them by the nose. A few others choose to use it as a smoke and then there are those who inject them. Injecting the drugs in the bloodstream, also known to others by the term “Shooting Up,” is often fatal.

Intravenous Route & It’s Supposed Indication

The intravenous (IV) route is commonly used for patients, who cannot take oral medications. Not talking about Prescription Drugs particularly here, but this article, is very helpful for knowing what it is like going through a prescription detox. It is administered through injecting the substance right into the vein using a syringe. In the hospital setting, physicians use it to aim for a faster drug absorption, especially when the effects are needed to take effect instantly.

With drug dependents, the most common reason of injecting the substance is the same in the medical field- for a faster manifestation of the effects. Typically, the effect is felt in as swift as 10 seconds right after the drug is injected. Drug dependents, who continually use IV drugs are at high risk of vein overuse and could eventually cause it to collapse sooner.

IV Drugs That Are Commonly Abused

Here are some of the most commonly injected drugs:

  • Heroin
  • Morphine
  • Cocaine
  • Opioid painkillers
  • Barbiturates
  • Buprenorphine
  • Benzodiazepines
  • PCP

Just like all other drug effects, the continuous use of these can make the addict “high” and want for more.

The Risks of Injecting Drugs

Whether the drug is injected into the vein, muscles or skin, they will have associated intermediate and long-term effects on the individual’s health. The following are the results of continuous abuse of injecting drugs:

  • Skin infections
  • Collapsed veins
  • Cardiovascular infections
  • Swelling of the extremities

Other drugs also have more dangerous side effects that what is usually expected of an illegal substance abuse. Black tar heroin, for instance, has tar-like components. These causes clogged blood vessels and multi-organ damages, which could involve the kidney, lungs, liver and brain.

There are also long-term health risks for people who continuously abuse and inject drugs:

  • AIDS or HIV
  • Severe weight loss
  • Chronic hepatitis
  • Seizures
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Psychosis
  • Malnutrition
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke
  • Death

Needle Sharing Adds To The Danger

One of the issues of injecting drugs is needle sharing. Since addicts do not care about being safe anymore and concentrate only on getting the drugs, most of them do not mind sharing needles anymore. The danger exists in the exchange of bodily fluids that could also cause exchange of infectious diseases. The people who share needles are at high risk of HIV and AIDS, hepatitis, tetanus, tuberculosis, as well as blood infections that could be bacterial, viral and fungal in nature. Don’t risk getting infected. Don’t destroy your family with your addiction. Seek treatment asap. Like right now.

Millions are struggling with addiction, included in the population are those that inject drugs. If you or a loved one suffers from substance abuse, do not forget that help is always available.

There are a lot of facilities that provide the right treatment programs to help people, who are struggling with substance abuse. We all have the choice to make our lives better, and if it means going through a rehabilitation program that is best suited for you, go ahead. Seek help from medical professionals who are trained in delivering healthy and fast rehabilitation results.

Khat Detox and Rehab

Khat, a shrub normally found in the eastern provinces of Africa has been a constant source of bath salts, which is a highly addictive opiate found in America. There is a lot of controversy over the need for any kind of treatment that is to deal with Khat addiction. Since most of the people believe that Khat is basically an herb and is chewed in order to increase concentration of the user, it is not classified as an addiction. There are many people that believe this to be a drug which is a stimulant. The arguments go on and on, but it is basically the truth that Khat addiction is something which is terrible. It causes long-term damages to the body, and only proper treatment can save the person in the nick of time.

Khat has been banned by Netherlands

What are the signs of addiction to Khat?

Since most people use Khat as a stimulant, there rarely realize that they have become addicted to this product. It is illegal to be used in the United States of America, but even then people find ways to procure this product. Some of the signs of addiction to Khat are;

  1. Undue aggression.
  2. Paranoia
  3. A noticeable increase in energy.
  4. A visible loss of appetite.

Normally, Khat addiction subsides within 90 minutes; however, when consumed in enormous quantities, its effects can last for up to 24 hours. This high that is found in its consumption can also lead to severe withdrawal symptoms like depression, anxiety, fatigue, as well as a mentality inching towards suicide.

Proper withdrawal symptoms for Khat addiction

Due to a lot of support for people using Khat, there are many that simply skip over the multiple withdrawal symptoms that can be found with the prolonged use of this item. Amongst the heavy users, some of the symptoms are;

  1. Lucid nightmares that is pretty vivid.
  2. Suicidal thoughts at an alarming frequency.
  3. Severe depression that only increases as time progresses.
  4. A virtual loss of interest in any kind of activity.

If such symptoms are left untreated, then suicide becomes the ultimate consequence for the person addicted to Khat. Fortunately, there are various detox and rehab centers that can take care of Khat addicted patients.

Rehab and detox facilities for Khat addiction

The treatment for Khat addiction is similar to any other treatment in dealing with a stimulant. The program comprises of undergoing detox which couples with antidepressant and anxiety drugs which should be administered whenever there are any withdrawal symptoms in the patient. Active monitoring will need to be done on the vital organs of the person, and if there are any issues, it should be handled immediately. Chronic damage can be pretty common in patients, and it is to be taken care of at the earliest possible instance.

Rehab should be undertaken so as to control the cravings and ensure that people can learn to cope without the use of Khat in their daily lives. It is through group therapy as well as individual talks with trained professionals that people can get rid of Khat addiction.

Kratom Detox and Rehab

Kratom is a mind altering drug that comes from a plant which is found exclusively in Southeast Asia. The plant, which goes by the name Mitragyna speciosa mainly has its leaves and the stamps dried as well is brewed in that tea to be consumed by its users. It contains a stimulant that has opiate -like effects, when it is consumed in high doses. According to the drug monitoring agency in Europe, Kratom is particularly popular in places like Thailand, where in caffeinated drinks is consumed in mixture with Kratom, so as to create an artificial high. It is this euphoria that takes place within 5 to 10 minutes of its ingestion that leads to people making use of this drug.

The high may last for at least five hours after the consumption of Kratom. In the process, it increases the energy within the user, and also creates excessive alertness within the person. Its medicinal properties also include pain relief when it is taken in moderate doses. According to the United States DEA, it is a drug that can be a cause of concern for many. It can be purchased from various stores in New York, North Carolina and Colorado, and can most likely be also purchased from online. However, the rising of use associated with Kratom has also led to many states banning this product.

Kratom and the addiction it causes

Whenever there is a dependency on a particular drug, it leads to addiction. Any dependency that leads to physical change as well as in the chemistry and the physiology of a person due to its regular use can be constituted as abuse. Since Kratom is considered as an alternative to the opiate drugs, it means that there are some sorts of neurotransmitters that are acting towards creating a sort of artificial high when this product is consumed. Kratom has been known to lead to the production of serotonin, which leads to the artificial high. It also enables withdrawal symptoms that include fatigue, depression, as well as troubles feeling any form of pleasure.

The long-term users of Kratom feel anorexia, a constant need to urinate, as well as discoloration in various parts of the face. It is also accompanied with insomnia, and a lot of aggression.

Kratom detox and rehab services

Generally speaking, treatment for any form of drug abuse can be undertaken in any treatment center. It has a basic physical stability, recovery time frame as well as proper therapeutic medications that can lead to the person getting rid of the addiction. There are different forms of physical rejuvenation in the body like medication as well as monitoring of medicine. Many people have struggled with multiple drug therapy, which is why treatment centers do not make use of such solutions associated with Kratom addiction anymore. Instead, they rely upon therapy and counseling as a form of therapeutic model.

The formation of a lot of stress due to the withdrawal symptoms of Kratom addiction can be easily controlled with a proper environment for the patients.