liz (dystopiate) wrote in recovery_debate,

help, i'm being forced to do a 12 step rehab program which again ruins my chances of starting school

Hi, I’m liz. I’m 23 years old, and I’ve been shooting heroin since I was 15. whether or not I’m an addict depends on your definition. I’m told I’m “in denial” if I don’t call myself an addict, though, so, sure. Go with that.

I don’t use daily. I do in once in a while. How long that “while” is depends on what else I’m doing in my life. If I’m busy with school and stuff, then it can be several months. If I’m doing nothing, it can be once or twice a week. Usually, it’s somewhere in between those extremes. Sometimes I’ll binge for a week or two. Then I’ll run out of money and have to stop. My longest binge lasted four months, because I was selling weed and could afford more dope than was healthy for me. I don’t do other drugs besides opiates and cannabinoids. No alcohol, no cocaine, no LSD.

That binge ended with incarceration. I did two months in prison, because I was volunteering at the needle exchange and got caught with almost 400 syringes. Obviously, those weren’t all for personal use, but whatever. I chose prison time over rehab. I don’t believe in rehab. Now my parole officer is making me do rehab anyway. 

I’m a harm reductionist. Hence my needle exchange work. I don’t believe that complete abstinence is possible or even necessary for everyone. I despise the 12 steps. I don’t consider myself powerless or my life unmanageable. Not everyone can do heroin without doing it every day and such. I can; I do; I have for eight years. I’ve never compromised my dignity or values for a fix. I don’t blame drugs for some of the stupid stuff I’ve done before. I don’t have a higher power. Not only am I an atheist, I’m an existentialist. That’s valid, because I truly don’t believe in an objective reality outside of my mind. Of course, I’ve been conditioned to live as if the world doesn’t revolve around me. and I’ve been conditioned to have morals. But I know I’m only following them to make myself feel better.

Anyway, more importantly, I have no real desire to quit. The only way that drug have interfered in my life is by getting arrested for drug charges. For some, I guess this would be enough of a deterrent. But I guess it’s not for me. If they want to drug test me every day for the rest of parole (10 more months), I could pass every test. But I’d use again when I was done.

Hope is my anti-drug. I hope to do a lot of things with my life that aren’t drugs. I want to finish college. I have worked my ass off in the past couple months to get scholarships. And now my parole wants me to do this inpatient program that will last up to 90 days, meaning I won’t be able to go back to school until next year. But if I act right in the program, I can get out after 30 or 60 days. I am a bad liar. How the hell to I pretend to buy into the 12 steps when I don’t believe anything about them? Addiction isn’t a disease; it’s a lifestyle maybe. For me it’s not even that, because 99% of my eight years of shooting dope have not been spent actively in addictive behavior. I don’t even believe that most people ever really quit for good. I’ve never tried to quit. I’ve tried to take a break for a few months, and succeeded every time. I’ve never used when I didn’t want to, and I’ve never done something I didn’t want to in order to get drugs or while on drugs.

Anyway, I’ve got to pretend that I am going along with this rehab program so that they’ll let me out sooner and I can register for spring semester. Otherwise I’ll be really discouraged by having to put it off yet again. I’ve already done two years of college, and I’m old enough that I really should have my degree by now. I would like to finish school, because I love school, and because I hope that a degree will help me with many of my life goals, which include getting my books published, as well as working for drug policy reform and even establishing alternative treatment facilities for addicts, one that are based on more of a harm reduction philosophy. But like I said, drugs aren’t my only interest. I’m an anthropology major, and I’d like to be a college professor when I graduate.

So …. I just need help with how I’m going to not show my attitude in rehab. If possible, I’d actually like to learn something from it. But I’ve been to rehab before, and I didn’t enjoy it. What can I say there? How do I not show my attitude or beliefs that disagree with theirs? I don’t think I’m capable of putting on a façade for 30-90 days. I hate lying.
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