Santa Cruz, California - A new study shows an intricate link between shame about alcoholism and chances of relapse. A research team at the University of British Columbia set out to discover if feelings of shame about a past drinking problem would increase the chances of relapse, and their speculations were correct.
Through a series of interviews, UBC researchers interviewed a group of newly-sober recovering alcoholics. On film, participants were asked to describe the last time they drank and felt badly about it. They were also examined on the status of their physical and mental health.
Four months later, participants returned for another session in which they reported their drinking habits and provided information about their physical and mental health at that time.
The findings revealed that participants who reported feelings of shame about drinking habits were in poorer health at the beginning of the study. Additionally, they were more prone to relapse than those who did not feel shame about drinking.
The Vicious Cycle
Shame and regret in a recovering drug addict can be like having two demons on his shoulders, never allowing him to fully move on. He may return to drinking to drown out these feelings, or he may use it to punish himself for past behavior. And so begins the downward spiral as further alcohol use leads to greater shame and regret, until there is not an ounce of self-respect remaining.
This is also why those mired in alcohol abuse often turn to other drugs. After time, alcohol no longer numbs the pain like it used to, so harder substances like cocaine, heroin or prescription opioids are necessary to do to the trick. A number of studies show that those who abuse alcohol, especially during the teenage years, are more than twice as likely to turn to harder drugs.
Dealing With the Past
Drugs tend to hold pieces of one’s attention in the past. One may feel shame about his drinking habits or things he did as an alcoholic, he may have flashbacks when he least expects it, or he may not be aware of how much of his attention is not in the present.
According to Narconon Vista Bay a tool called Objective Processes which enable a recovering drug addict to return his attention to the present are a great solution to ending relapse. Many Narconon graduates say they had no idea how much their attention was anchored in the past until they completed their Objective Processes and truly “awoke”.
Narconon supervisors are fully trained in the correct delivery of Objective Processes, which consist of directing a recovering addict’s attention to their present time environment. The most surprising things can turn on, including past effects of drugs, but continuing through the procedure with the help of the supervisor will allow those effects to disappear forever. The graduate will be very happy, very aware, and will no longer feel shame or regret about past behavior.