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The Deadliest Catch and Drug Abuse

NEVER Risk Your Own Sobriety

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Even on a show that is known for edge-of-the-seat real-world tension and excitement, it was a powerful scene. On the Discovery Channel's Deadliest Catch, rookie Captain Jake Anderson had to deal with two crew members showing up late. Even worse, they came to work after drinking, making their dangerous job even more hazardous.

But for Captain Anderson, it was much more than that, as evidenced by the exasperation in his voice when he said, "This is a serious offense, because I'm a (bleeping) alcoholic myself. You compromised MY sobriety by drinking around me like this."

Let that sink in for just a moment.

Professionally, Captain Anderson was rightfully angered by the irresponsibility shown by his workers when they showed up two hours late. Their behavior put his ship in jeopardy when they weren't at their posts.

But personally, he was even more livid because their drinking endangered his sobriety. According to his official show bio, Anderson overcame a "crippling" opioid addiction in 2010. And like anyone in successful recovery, he evidently realizes that his sobriety has to come FIRST - before his position, his ship, and even his personal relationships.

Avoiding Potential Triggers Is Crucial to a Successful Recovery

One of the first lessons that a person in drug or alcohol rehab learns is that if they want their sobriety to last, they will have to make a number of lifestyle changes. One of the biggest changes is learning how to avoid anything that might "trigger" cravings or behaviors that could lead to a rematch.

These triggers can be almost anything -

  • People -A recovering alcoholic or addict should make every effort to stay away from others who are still actively drinking and/or using - former "buddies" they used to party with, loved ones who are themselves addicted, and in Captain Anderson's case, drunken coworkers. This can mean temporarily - or even permanently, if need be -cutting someone out of your life, if they are not willing to respect your efforts at recovery.
  • Places-Likewise, a person in recovery should keep away from any environments that are not conducive to their continued sobriety - bars, nightclubs, liquor stores, office parties where alcohol is being served, etc. Sometimes, it may even be necessary to change your normal route, so you don't drive by places where you used to drink or use.
  • Things-Powerful cravings can be brought on by literally anything that you associate with getting drunk or high -drug paraphernalia, empty liquor bottles, or even certain smells, for example. For this reason, many people in early recovery will get together with a few sober friends and completely clean their home from top to bottom, getting rid of every potential trigger in the process.
  • Ways of thinking-None of the other measures matter if the person in recovery is still clinging to old dysfunctional behaviors and ways of looking at and dealing with life. In the past, drinking and/or using drugs were the preferred coping method. One of the primary goals of recovery is to learn better, healthier, and more productive ways of processing stress and other negative emotions- meditation, exercise, more effective communication, etc.

Why Are All of These "Lifestyle Changes" Necessary? Isn't Abstaining Enough?

Simply "not drinking or using" is only the beginning of true sobriety. Without strong support, the cravings resulting from unchecked triggers can overwhelm a person's resolve and best intentions. When an individual in recovery begins to make these changes, they start to craft their own support system, by:

  • Making new friends/repairing old relationships with people who are supportive of their recovery.
  • Going to 12-Step meetings instead of old haunts. This also helps with making new, sober friends.
  • Discovering new hobbies and activities that don't revolve around drinking or drugging.
  • Finding healthy outlets for stress and disappointment.
  • Reading recovery-focused literature. The more they learn about their disease of addiction, the less control it has over their lives.

The disease of addiction is characterized by dysfunctional, destructive behaviors that are learned over time, and conversely, recovery can be described as learning new behaviors, and this will also take time.

Northpoint Recovery offers Idaho's premier addiction rehab program, and by using recognized, evidence-based strategies, they can give you the tools and assistance you need as you discover a whole new way to live your life free from the influence of drugs and alcohol.

What do you think about The Deadliest Catch and its crew?