This is a story I don’t share too often with many people, but I feel like it relates to motivation and the book “The Power of Habits” I read for my book report. My best friend is one year into recovery for her heroin addiction, which I could not be any more proud of. However, reading some of the slides and parts of the book made me look at the process in more detail. I am a person who does not do any type of recreational drugs, drink coffee, smoke cigarettes, and I rarely drink alcohol, so I was unfamiliar with how addiction really worked. I only knew from health class back in high school that you should never try any type of drugs or you may become addicted and ruin your life.
My best friend began by smoking marijuana occasionally, then started taking Molly and snorting cocaine. By the time she stopped talking to me she was doing heroin. The short film “Heroin Addicts Speak” really hit hard for me because I knew what my best friend use to do so she could get high. She did not have a regular teenage job, but she would find other ways to make money. Ultimately, she had cravings for these drugs and relied on them to get her through the day. However, drugs are not pleasure incentives like water or food. They take a lot longer to get to the pleasure areas for an individual.
I really found the “personality disposition” slides interesting. Reward deficiency syndrome is when the brain’s pleasure center is less sensitive to dopamine, a chemical related to pleasure. This causes people to turn to drugs for pleasure. When doing things together, I would find pleasure in some of the things most people would find pleasure in; relaxing on the beach, getting your nails done, etc. However, she was always bored with that unless drugs were present. She only enjoyed going out for drinks, going to a club, sex, and drugs fun. Now, she is coming home in a week and she cannot wait to go to the park and play with her family's new dog with me.
As I stated, she is one year into recovery and this is where I found “The Power of Habits” an interesting read. It discusses AA meetings and how they help people with alcohol abuse find a new routine to receive the same reward. In the book, it states, “AA provides a method for attacking the habits that surround alcohol use. AA is a giant machine for changing habit loops. And though the habits associated with alcoholism are extreme, the lessons AA demonstrates how almost any habit can be changed". I use to always wonder how AA meetings really helped people overcome their addictions and this part of the book really explained that for me. It explains how people rely on these meetings to continue their recovery. I hope that there is never a “huge trigger” in my best friend’s life that will immediately send her back into her addiction because bad habits can always occur again. These slides and the book have really helped me relate to her and understand her situation.