Abstinence Experience Begin in Week 3 for Week 10 Discussion This exercise

Abstinence Experience

Begin in Week 3 for Week 10 Discussion

This exercise is designed to enhance your understanding of abstinence and the thoughts and feelings people often have when they first quit their addiction. For this exercise, you will need to give up a substance (e.g., nicotine, caffeine, alcohol, sugar/sweeteners, carbohydrates) or a behavior (e.g., playing video or computer games, watching television, texting, social media) for a period of 7 weeks. Your abstinence experience will begin Week 3. It is important that the substance or behavior be important to you and is a consistent presence in your life; in other words, you should abstain from something that you will truly miss and use daily. There will be short check-in quizzes in most weeks to help you keep track of your experience. You will discuss your experience with abstinence in the Week 10 Discussion forum.

To prepare for the Week 10 Discussion and to maximize your abstinence experience, the following is recommended (not required; for support and insight only):

Reach out to your course Instructor if you are struggling to identify a substance/behavior or wonder if your topic is appropriate for this assignment.

Think about a plan, how you will follow through with your abstinence experience?

Keep a journal dedicated to thoughts and reflections about your experience. (This does not need to be submitted but may help you write your Discussion post.)

Track your progress, note any lapses/relapses that may occur.

Consider internal and external influences on success or lapse/relapse.

Consider the influence of life stressors on your efforts.

Consider stages of change theory as it relates to your experience.

Consider developing a relapse prevention plan prior to starting your experience. (See ideas below.)

Identify 5 things you can do to prepare to give up your selection (e.g., tell family or others your plan, recruit a “sponsor” or someone who agrees to hold you accountable, buy a book on meditation, read a vegetarian cookbook, go grocery shopping, download guided imagery scripts).

Identify 5 triggers (people, places, or things) or high-risk situations that may lead you to lapse in your behavior change.

Identify 5 people you can contact to help you through a “craving.” How will you contact them? Note: People tend to do best when their support networks are larger.

Identify 5 coping skills to keep you from lapsing in your behavior change (to help you manage your triggers).

Develop a daily self-care plan.

The Week 10 Discussion content related to this project is below:

Post by Day 3, Week 9

A summary of your experience with abstinence, including its effects (positive and negative) on those you live with or those closest to you (family, friends, etc.). Include your overall progress, such as successes, relapse(s), or even failure to abstain.

Explain how internal influences such as individual traits, such as age, gender, and personality, affected your overall experience.

Explain how external influences such as family, culture, and other considerations you affected your overall progress.

How might this experience apply to working with clients with addictive disorders, or with clients who are affected, directly or indirectly, by addictive disorders?

Be sure to support your postings and responses with specific references to the Learning Resources. 

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings. 

Respond by Day 6 to at least two of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:

Discuss how the insights your peer shared might add perspective to your clinical skills in working with clients who have addiction diagnoses.

Identify any additional insights or perspectives you gained about your own experience by reading about or sharing the experience of others in your class.

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