Addicts in recovery, although they may have been clean for months or years, retain some level of awareness of the “addict brain.” This is the part of your head that thinks your boss won’t notice if you come to work high. Or that it’s not a big deal if you just crack one beer after a long day. The addict brain rejoices at small opportunities to bend the rules of recovery. No matter the consequences. So in light of the upcoming holiday, we’d like to make a PSA: don’t let your addict brain tell you that 420 is just some harmless fun. Because the addict brain is what led you to rock bottom, and it will take you there again faster than you can realize you even relapsed.
Permission is a Slippery Slope
Partaking in a little 420 may not seem like a big deal. And if the sentence actually stopped there, it probably wouldn’t be. After all, taking a few hits off a pen barely even gets you high enough to notice.
But in your experience, how often does it stop at “just a little?” And when do you notice that those few hits feel nice enough that you’re looking through your contacts? Although some people can successfully play with fire without going into a full-blown relapse, all too often, these cases are the exception rather than the rule. Giving yourself permission to take that first hit just opens the door leading back to your drug of choice.
Instead of 420, Play the Tape
“Just a little 420” is tempting. There’s no point denying the allure. Instead, focus on one of the main tools rehab teaches you to stay safe: playing the tape.
Playing the tape means going through the whole scenario of what would happen in your head. Over and over. Sparing no gruesome details. No sugarcoating, being completely honest about the consequences of when you lose control. And how hard it hurts when you hit rock bottom again. Play the tape enough times, and skipping 420 completely becomes much easier.
If you or a loved one is seeking help for a substance abuse problem, our addiction counselors are available 24/7 by phone: 855-737-7363