There’s a Reason it’s Called AMA (Against Medical Advice)

Sunshine by a lake
(To preserve privacy, the photo does not show the Narconon student.)

Treatment can be a daunting experience. As addicts, we accumulate a lot of mistakes, harm a lot of people and burn a lot of bridges. All these things are painful to look at when it comes time to handle them and it is these very problems and painful memories which play a big part in keeping someone addicted to drugs.

They just sit there if you never take the proper action to move past them. And when these painful memories come to the surface, an addict might find it necessary to use drugs not to suppress them. Drugs become a solution for these painful memories of past mistakes and transgressions.

There is a first step to getting sober and that is to make it through the physical withdrawals of drugs. As much as this is an accomplishment, it is only the first barrier to a drug-free life that addicts have difficulty getting past. The next barrier comes even after the person is through the withdrawal symptoms.

In my experience, getting through withdrawal and the first initial phase of treatment was very rewarding. It laid the foundation and handled the physical aspects of my addiction. However, I still had painful memories and past transgressions I did not want to look at. Though, I felt amazing and like I could take on the world, it was followed by my leaving treatment before completion.

Through sober eyes, I went home and experienced life for the first time in a long time. All the same problems and hurdles of life were still there, and I now had to face them head-on. I still had unhandled conditions with my girlfriend and family. Because I left treatment early, there was still a lack of trust, no matter what I said. I had created many problems for my family and never took the opportunity in treatment to sort the difficulties out and reestablish healthy communication with them. I then ran into the same issues that led me to drugs in the first place, and I was honestly unequipped to handle them. I stayed sober by the skin of my teeth long enough to return to treatment to address my underlying issues.

At Narconon, I was welcomed and given the opportunity to handle the conditions I had created. With the Life Skills Courses, I was able to take responsibility for the harm I had done and identify the negative people in my life. After laying everything out to my family, I felt much better and realized they accepted me for who I am. The Personal Values Course allowed me to get relief from my past transgressions, so they are no longer affecting me. Finally, the Changing Conditions Course gave me the tools and showed me I could lift myself out of the holes I’d found myself in.

Coming back and seeking treatment better equipped me to handle life’s daily hurdles and pitfalls with a clear conscience. In summary, we can handle the physical side of drug addiction, but we risk making the same mistakes until we address the problems we can’t get past. These may be hard to look at and confront, but following through is one of the most rewarding things you can do for yourself.

If you or a loved one are struggling with addiction, you are not alone. It is a tough thing to overcome, but it can be done. No one wants their past mistakes brought up, but the thing is, you have to acknowledge they happened, see the damage, and learn from it. The only way out is through. So reach out today to start your journey to sobriety and recovery.


Alina Snowden

Originally from Kentucky, Alina decided after changing her life that she wanted to help others understand the dangers of addiction and help families know what to do if their loved one is struggling. She now writes articles to spread awareness and positivity about how those with addiction problems can turn their lives around.