Our Perceptions Seem Real
Addiction and recovery have multiple definitions throughout the helping professions and self-help environments. However, the term addiction has always received a negative connotation, and as a result, those dealing with addiction have incorporated a negative view of themselves.
Addiction is a chronic brain disease, and we must acknowledge contributing factors that precede active use:
- Family History
- Mental Disorder
- Abuse (Sexual, Physical, Psychological)
- Other Forms Of Trauma
Recovery Is Possible Through Hard Work
Recovery is the return to a normal state of health, mind or strength. Or, it’s viewed as the action or process of regaining possession or control of something that was lost or stolen. Looking at these definitions would allow us to look deeper into the lives of the person and begin to assess all areas of the person’s life to find what can be returned to its normal state and where they may regain control.
- Family Members
- Perception of losses: children, jobs, freedom, or life
- Health Related Matters
- Involvement In The Criminal Justice System
- Accountability Courts And Other Alternatives To Incarceration
Where We Begin our Recovery Doesn’t Matter
- Continued Use, Regardless Of Consequences
- Criminal Behavior
- Loss Of Family
- Possible Loss Of Life
Reflecting on The Point of Reference
- Be honest
- Have faith
- Acknowledge the harm we have caused others
- Admit our wrong
- Make amends
- Be of service to others
Life, Lessons, and Looking at Yourself
The Steps are all related to life itself. I encourage people to look at the Steps and acknowledge how they apply to life in general and how we were taught many of these ideas as young children.
Transformations, Spiritual Awakenings, and Purpose
Reflect on This
- What is your purpose?
- Can you change your negative assessment of yourself through your recovery efforts?
- Can you see where your experiences can motivate and encourage another on this journey of recovery?
Combining his passions with a purpose is one of his goals. He has worked to help marginalized populations understand their addictions and introduce them to the benefits of recovery, as a Case Manager for the homeless, and those in Drug Treatment Court.
He has also counseled adolescents, adults and couples over the last 14 years in various agencies, and worked extensively on Alternatives to Incarceration, to offer treatment and not incarceration for non-violent offenders.
Craig is an Adjunct Professor at Hudson Valley Community College, where he brings his personal experience of 17 years in recovery as well as his education to his students ensuring that the next generation of substance abuse counselors understand knowledge of addiction, but more importantly, know a representative of the addicted population.