You Can’t Get Heroin While Fishing in the Middle of a Lake


You can’t get heroin while fishing in the middle of a lake. That’s what my patient told me when I asked how he has stayed ‘clean’ for the past several years. He said he had to completely change his environment. By changing his environment, he was able to radically amputate the triggers that would inevitably lead to his drug use.  So, he moved to the suburbs, stopped hanging with his old friends, and took up fishing.

Addiction is a not a disease that is cured through detox, support groups, and medications. Yes, those things are all a part of recovery, but addiction to opiates, alcohol, or other substances means that despite a successful recovery, there is always, ALWAYS the possibility of relapse.  For some it happens in a few days, others a few months, years, or sadly, decades later.

You can’t remove the hedge of protection.  A recovering addict should never say,

I can resist the temptation.  I’m a different person, trust me, I’ve learned.  I will never use again….

To say such things is hubris.  It’s stupid. Dangerous. Deadly.

Get rid of the triggers.  Unless you bring it with you, you won’t find any drugs in the middle of a lake. An old shoe maybe, or if your lucky – a nice 20 pound walleye.