Part two of a three part series on the first step to recovery.

Step One:“We admitted that we were powerless over our addiction, that our lives had become unmanageable”

Most addicts understand that by continuing to live in active addiction, it is a slow and painful suicide. Given time, the body will shut down and the addict will die. The body can only handle so much. The constant abuse of substances will eventually lead to permanent damage and eventually death.

Many addicts have tried in desperation to end their own lives. These attempts are usually feeble and result in more guilt, shame, embarrassment and feelings of worthlessness, which causes the addict to use more to eliminate these feelings of failure and worthlessness created by the failed suicide attempt.

Many recovering addicts that have attempted suicide have said they felt that, “I couldn’t even do that right” which caused them to use more and more drugs.

Constant Obsession

The constant obsession to use and find ways and means to use more is described by many recovering addicts, as a continuous, all consuming and constant thought.

The obsession to use never ends for a person in active addiction and may lead a person to do things they never ever thought they were capable of doing. Theft and prostitution are some of the common means used to fund an active addiction.

The using addict may experience complete moral bankruptcy which ultimately causes the death of the spirit.

A Spirit Broken

The spirit of an addict in active addiction dies the moment that the obsession and the desire to use take over every other thought. The addict is totally self-centered in the obsession to find ways to use more.

Family, work, friends cease to exist for the using addict. The addict has already rationalized and justified their using. Isolation gives the using addict “permission” to use more and more frequently, which always ends in “jails, institutions and death” (Narcotics Anonymous: The Sixth Edition, 2008).

Although the disease of addiction is fatal, it can be arrested and freedom from active addiction can occur. However, like any challenge faced, the first step is to recognize that there is a problem.

Check back next week for part 3 of this 3 part series.