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Why do we have Drug Dreams?

Recovering alcoholics or drug addicts may sometimes suffer from reoccurring dreams about the drugs of their choice. While this may be troubling to individuals in recovery, it is typically not a sign of a relapse waiting to happen. Learning about the way the mind reacts when in recovery will help those to understand what triggers they might face in terms of relapsing as well as how to deal with vivid drug dreams.

drug dreams

While someone in recovery may be doing well and have sworn off drugs or alcohol, their subconscious mind could have a whole other feeling about the subject. The conscious mind of the individual might know that trying even a sip of alcohol or a drug is relapsing and would damper the whole recovery process by setting the individual back again. However when the individual falls asleep, their subconscious mind could bring forth very visual drug dreams of one actually drinking a glass of alcohol or consuming their drug of choice. This can be due to the person’s subconscious mind working through the phases of the recovery process.

Although drug dreams may be harmless to the person, they can seem so real that the individual might wake realistically thinking they have consumed or are in possession of their favorite drug of choice or alcoholic beverage. This can be so frighteningly real that some people will have convinced themselves they will not be able to recover completely. However, it is important for one to know that this is only a phase as the mind is recovering and relearning how to adjust without stimulants. It is also beneficial for those who are having vivid drug dreams to speak about them with their counselor or therapist to help them realize specific triggers.

There are some things that one may do to help them have less chances of inducing a dream-induced state thereby eliminating drug dreams. While trying these techniques may work well for some, they may not work as well for others as everyone is unique. By helping to eliminate drug dreams, this will also help the person along in their recovery process by removing the temptations the subconscious mind may bring about. One important thing one may do is to of course speak with either their counselor or therapist about all of the details about their drug dreams. Intense drug dreams may even prompt the person to try a 12-step meeting so they may recover from the realistic feelings of their drug dreams better. Lastly, another important thing one can do is to perform exercises before bed time. This will help to drastically reduce the ability for the subconscious mind to enter a dream state. By doing this, the person will help themselves stay away from such a visual, vivid representation of engaging in activities in their drug dreams.

Comments

  1. ann says

    i still have drinking dreams after 6yrs and 3 months can still wake up feeling the shame as if it was yesterday but then realise it was just a dream and the relief is great .i was told it instills a healthy fear of alchol ..

  2. ann says

    i still have drinking dreams after 6yrs and 3 months can still wake up feeling the shame as if it was yesterday but then realise it was just a dream and the relief is great .i was told it instills a healthy fear of alchol ..

  3. leslie says

    I have been off of opiates for almost a year om jan 29 2014. Yet I have very very vivid dreams of having pills on my or going and getting them and giing through the breakdown process or dream about the fun times I had. It has not caused me to relapse but I do wake up rather bummed because I had to tur n my back on that life and create a whole new life and forget about my past. I had to create a whole new identity. So when I dream about my past it really s addens me. I wish the dreams would cease. In love this article and think a lot of people probably relate to it. Everyone should share!!

    • gabriel goza says

      Hey I’m going thru the exact same thing I just had a oc dream last night an I’ve been clean a little over a year now and it made me wanna relapse bad but like you I moved away from my past and live in a new town in stuff now .. it’s crazy but I found jogging long distances really helps and gives you a natural high so I do that, plus I go to college here so that helps. I think the key is to stay busy, plus I found God when researching Buddhist and other eastern religions and I learned about how real the laws of karma really are… But Ya I just thought I’d share that

  4. leslie says

    I have been off of opiates for almost a year om jan 29 2014. Yet I have very very vivid dreams of having pills on my or going and getting them and giing through the breakdown process or dream about the fun times I had. It has not caused me to relapse but I do wake up rather bummed because I had to tur n my back on that life and create a whole new life and forget about my past. I had to create a whole new identity. So when I dream about my past it really s addens me. I wish the dreams would cease. In love this article and think a lot of people probably relate to it. Everyone should share!!

  5. mk says

    I have been addicted to crack cocaine for almost 3 years off and on. It sucks I want to stop and I read the na book in jail it really helped I stayed strong for almost 90 days but drinking assisted my relapse. I stopped drinking to try and get back on track but it seems like the drug has taken ahold of me again. I’ve never been to rehab and am trying to get myself into a rehab now. I need to go before I get stuck in my old ways too long then I’m afraid I can’t stop until I’m either dead or in prison. I hope one day I can look back at this comment years from now…clean andwith my family.

  6. mk says

    I have been addicted to crack cocaine for almost 3 years off and on. It sucks I want to stop and I read the na book in jail it really helped I stayed strong for almost 90 days but drinking assisted my relapse. I stopped drinking to try and get back on track but it seems like the drug has taken ahold of me again. I’ve never been to rehab and am trying to get myself into a rehab now. I need to go before I get stuck in my old ways too long then I’m afraid I can’t stop until I’m either dead or in prison. I hope one day I can look back at this comment years from now…clean andwith my family.

  7. sd says

    I have been clean for a yr on april 29th I have the most horrifying dreams I was an iv user and in my dreams I watch the blood go into the needle and I cant ever push it, my ex bf who was also my addiction is always in my dreams too especially when im getttin high in them, they drive me crazy and it just makes for a really hard day. idk wat they mean I wish I could just get some straight forward answers. :(

  8. sd says

    I have been clean for a yr on april 29th I have the most horrifying dreams I was an iv user and in my dreams I watch the blood go into the needle and I cant ever push it, my ex bf who was also my addiction is always in my dreams too especially when im getttin high in them, they drive me crazy and it just makes for a really hard day. idk wat they mean I wish I could just get some straight forward answers. :(

  9. mike says

    @ mk it sounds like you have the desire to stop using and therefore through thevfellowship of na and with the help of a sponsor and a higher power, it can happen as it did for me! God bless, I hope you find your path again. I have been clean for nearly 5 years and I also have been having these messed up using dreams cos I’m going through
    Some tough times. The triggers from the past are playing up! Better get myself back to a meeting quickly. As they say! This too shall pass…

  10. mike says

    @ mk it sounds like you have the desire to stop using and therefore through thevfellowship of na and with the help of a sponsor and a higher power, it can happen as it did for me! God bless, I hope you find your path again. I have been clean for nearly 5 years and I also have been having these messed up using dreams cos I’m going through
    Some tough times. The triggers from the past are playing up! Better get myself back to a meeting quickly. As they say! This too shall pass…

  11. Not dreaming of peace says

    I have also been having using dreams. In June I will be 4 years clean from using meth intravenously. I have the dream where the blood is going into needle. I couldn’t push it in at first and then I did and I felt the high in my dream. I have had using dreams before but this is he first one where I could actually feel the high. It’s scary and horrifying. I will never go back there but it is so upsetting to have to feel that in my dream and know I can never have that feeling again. Whole day is disturbed now.

  12. Not dreaming of peace says

    I have also been having using dreams. In June I will be 4 years clean from using meth intravenously. I have the dream where the blood is going into needle. I couldn’t push it in at first and then I did and I felt the high in my dream. I have had using dreams before but this is he first one where I could actually feel the high. It’s scary and horrifying. I will never go back there but it is so upsetting to have to feel that in my dream and know I can never have that feeling again. Whole day is disturbed now.

  13. Chell says

    I have not been clean for a long time but for 50 days. I continue to have reoccurring dreams that I am using heroin intravenously when I wake up it upsets me to think I used and feei scared. I want this to end

  14. Jessica says

    Ive been on mmt for a little over two years now I got clean off of heroin and pills the second month I started.latley ive been having dreams of using again I dont know if its a sign of relapse becauae in real life it seems like my mmt isnt holding me all day and sometimes I want to take more.i dont want this to continue in my dreams or me dipping into my bottles and that becoming a habit I cant stop.

  15. Brittany says

    My clean date is March 3rd 2015. I went to rehab for 38 days and had a few using dreams while there but nothing too bad. I left rehab on April 8th and last night was the first night I have had a using dream since I’ve been home. But in it I didn’t even actually use, I just fought with myself throughout the dream and in the end I ended up not using. I also haven’t had any serious cravings since I’ve been home either, but when I woke up this morning from that dream I felt extremely guilty and it made me question my recovery. It had me thinking that maybe I have been wanting to get high when I know I really haven’t. Our mind/addiction is such a powerful thing.. like they say “cunning, baffling, and powerful” I really let that dream shake me up for a little while this morning but I think it’s a good thing I had it because it just reminded me that my disease didn’t go away just because I quit using. Its still right there waiting for me to slip up so it can take control again. And that makes me wanna stay clean even more now because I REFUSE to let addiction kick my ass any longer. My Higher Power is in control now and as long as I look to Him to remove the obsession and keep doing what I know I need to do then I never have to get high again and that’s such a wonderful feeling of relief. This way of life really is the “easier, softer way” I’m figuring out.

  16. Brittany Sherrill says

    My clean date is March 3rd 2015. I went to rehab for 38 days and had a few using dreams while there but nothing too bad. I left rehab on April 8th and last night was the first night I have had a using dream since I’ve been home. But in it I didn’t even actually use, I just fought with myself throughout the dream and in the end I ended up not using. I also haven’t had any serious cravings since I’ve been home either, but when I woke up this morning from that dream I felt extremely guilty and it made me question my recovery. It had me thinking that maybe I have been wanting to get high when I know I really haven’t. Our mind/addiction is such a powerful thing.. like they say “cunning, baffling, and powerful” I really let that dream shake me up for a little while this morning but I think it’s a good thing I had it because it just reminded me that my disease didn’t go away just because I quit using. Its still right there waiting for me to slip up so it can take control again. And that makes me wanna stay clean even more now because I REFUSE to let addiction kick my ass any longer. My Higher Power is in control now and as long as I look to Him to remove the obsession and keep doing what I know I need to do then I never have to get high again and that’s such a wonderful feeling of relief. This way of life really is the “easier, softer way” I’m figuring out

  17. noname says

    Sober 5 years off blow. Had a super vivid dream and I woke up like it was a nightmare. I am in the midst of actively pursuing a passion of mine that I put on the sidelines for almost 20 years because I was on drugs. I feel so powerful knowing the cause of the nightmare and it makes me glad to know that I am doing the right things, changed my life and have been given the opportunity to turn my life around. It makes the nightmare of relapsing less frightening and I laugh it off, as if it were an annnoying trick my brain is playing on me.

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