What is Recovery and How Do We Define It

Cannabis Tails in Altered States

Chapter 88

What is Recovery and how do we define it

addictionIt appears that everyone has their own take on what recovery is and how they define it. Just the word “Recovery” implies an illness and probably helped bring the Disease model into being. I believe that all addiction is the same and I, personally, see addiction as being everywhere and involves so many things not just drugs.

Once upon a time a so-called Alcoholic was a “Wine-O” sitting propped up against a wall in the alley of the 7th. St. Greyhound Bus station with a bottle of Thunderbird wrapped in a small paper bag. They were almost always men who wore dirty suits, ties and hats. My uncle was just as much an “Alcoholic” but lived in a nice home, was very successful and wore clean clothes. So if we want to show an Alcoholic person in a bad light we show a photo of the guy in the alley and if we want to show an alcoholic person in a good light we show photos of million dollar wineries in the some location like the Napa Valley or a family photo of someone like my uncle. We seem to do this with everything in our modern world.

We have all seen the commercials for Pharmaceuticals where everything is clean and pristine and the actor playing the doctor seems so concerned and helpful and the actor who plays the patient seems so relieved that they can go on with their life now.

But of course we don’t show the person who becomes addicted to the pills, can’t afford the pills anymore and starts taking Heroin because it’s cheaper and then adds things like Alcohol and any other drug they can find and eventually OD’s.

Now after about fifty years we have a huge Pharmaceutical drug addiction problem and lots of people dying from overdosing that we blame on heroin alone because that protects the pharmaceutical industry the best, when in fact most people who are said to have OD’ed on heroin have OD’ed on mixing drugs with heroin. Heroin that is “Pure” and not taken in excess is not harmful to the mind or body and can be taken for life with little to no bad effects, if taken as prescribed. What kills people on the street is impurities and overdosing, just like everything else.


We now have some fairly new approaches to recovery in programs like Harm Reduction (http://www.hamsnetwork.org/) for lots of drug addiction issues. One for Alcohol, one for people who inject their drugs and more, we have SMART (http://www.smartrecovery.org/), we have the Sinclair Method https://www.addiction.com and also there is a Facebook page, that I belong too, called Marijuana Maintenance Recovery ( https://www.facebook.com/groups/ganjausersinrecovery/) this is a group of people who get together on Face Book and support each other and use Cannabis as a substitute for much more harmful drugs like alcohol and pharmaceuticals or for issues that require medication and they have decided they don’t want to become prescription drug addicts taking them.

This paradigm shift of new modalities is the result of fifty years of misinformation and outright lies that are now being exposed as the world is finally waking up to that fact.


Recovery for me, is holistic in nature and requires much more that just abstinence. iI that’s not true then how do we get someone who is obese to abstain from eating food, how do we get someone who is Anorexic to start eating food? Without a holistic approach to all addictions, and that would require a global conciseness, we stand little chance of any long-term Recovery for the human race.



I am a semi retired Drug & Alcohol Counselor and Educator. I live in Chico, Ca with my wife Xia (Shaw)

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I am a semi retired Drug & Alcohol Counselor and Educator. I live in Chico, Ca with my wife Xia (Shaw)

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