What Is Addiction?

The History


Have you ever struggled with letting go of something that has such a hold on you? Have you ever tried to stop doing something and it keeps coming back. Does it seem like every way you turn something reminds you of what you want to forget.  That yearning in your gut feeling comes to surface and the next thing you know I’m back at it again. Why can’t I shake this thing this feeling that keeps getting me down? Why does it have such a hold on me?  I’m not weak, why can’t I shake it and take control?  

Using Dreams 

Have you ever woke-up in the middle of the night in a panic, shaking and drenched in water thinking you had just used. In your mind you could actually taste and smell the drug as though it was real. You’re saying you yourself this can’t be real because I just woke up. What’s going on? What does this mean? Am I on the verge of relapse? 

Research Data 

Is split when it comes to the connection between using dreams and actual relapse. Some studies show that those who have frequent using dreams are more likely to start using again Other studies show that individuals with recurring using dreams are more likely to stay sober. Because of the varying facts, experts are saying that using dreams are not as important as how an individual reacts to the dreams. Those who feel relieved after waking up and realizing it was just a dream, tends to become more committed to their sobriety. On the other hand, those who respond to the dreams in other ways are more likely to relapse. So being mindful of how you respond to the using dream is very important while in recovery. 

Per Science Daily, "Anecdotally, the occurrence of drinking and drug-using dreams is a known phenomenon among people in recovery, but very little is known from an epidemiological standpoint about the prevalence of such dreams, their relation to relapse risk, and how they decay with time in recovery," says lead author John F. Kelly, PhD, founder and director of the Recovery Research Institute. "Given that these dreams can be deeply unnerving, more information could help treatment providers, those in recovery and their families know what to expect going forward. 

Recovery from every kind of substance use disorder -- alcohol, heroin, cocaine, cannabis -- has been characterized by dreams that follow a common pattern: in the dream the person has a drink or ingests their primary substance. They experience disbelief and are overcome with fear, guilt and remorse until they wake up, relieved to realize it was only a dream.” 

Triggers:  Dreams are often time considered to be interpretations of events from our daily lives. Your using dream could be the result of an encounter during your day that subconsciously reminded you of using. It doesn’t have to be something obvious. It could have been something simple like music, a song, a picture, an aroma or a place that brought back a memory.  These are all triggers. So how do you recognize your triggers and what’s your plan of action to prevent relapse. 

Reasons people use or relapse:  If stress, anxiety, depression or even trauma was the reason you started using and you are experiencing recurring using dreams, it could be a sign that you are not managing your emotions as well as you think. This would be a good time to evaluate your life circumstances and try to narrow down what’s causing the stressor in your life.