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Step 2 in Addiction Recovery

Step 1 is to admit you have a problem.

Let's see what we can do about it then. A 30 day break from your behaviour or substance seems to be the way to go according to the research. 30 days of total abstinence lends itself to your best chance of managing your behaviour after those 30 days are over. You may decide to re-introduce your behaviour or substance after that. But the 30 days gives your body time, enough time, to recover and reset your dopamine and serotonin system.

Finding the balance between pleasure and pain, is something few of us have achieved. We live in a 'dopamine nation' , a phrase coined by Professor Anna Lembke MD. More more more. Pleasure is the goal and the motivation.

Dopamine is not the pleasure molecule, people assume it to be. It is a molecule of motivation and movement. For example, you think of a cup of coffee. Dopamine is released. The dopamine causes you to get up (engages your muscles to move) and to go get the coffee. Dopamine drives you to get what you want. Motivation. It causes you to move. To be able to go get the thing.

Addiction behaviour causes trouble for your dopamine system. Chasing the next fix, no matter what it is, causes untold damage on our mental health and on our society.

A 30 day break, gives the body an opportunity to return to homeostasis and balance. Where dopamine will fire in a 'baseline' manner, whatever that baseline used to be for you, before you developed your addiction. Everyone is different. Genetics predisposes people to different dopamine baselines. Are you quite dopamine driven. Whats next, whats next. Or are you more of a contented person, happy with your lot. Not driven. However, all of us can be addicted to god knows what. And all of us, from time to time, need help.

Try the 30 day break to restore yourself to balance. I highly recommend, "Dopamine Nation" by Professor Anna Lembke. A truly fantastic book, and so readable. She walks you through the in depth (but easy to read) science behind your dopamine system and what to do about your addiction. A must read.

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