Kava bars are the new coffee shops for addicts and alcoholics in recovery. They are drawn to the psychoactive effects of the plant which produce feelings of relaxation and even a little euphoria. Completely natural and medicinal, many feel that Kava is an acceptable alternative to drugs and alcohol. Maintaining a ritual of meeting friends at the “bar” for a “drink” to “take the edge off” at the end of the day or hangout on a Friday night still has all the spiritual themes of recovery, with an added drink involved.
Kava can’t cause an addiction. Psychologically, one might associate the patterns of behavior for drinking kava with escape, relief, or pleasure. Long term, they might come to “depend” on kava much in the same way the dependence upon drugs and alcohol. However, there is no chemical dependency to create.
Participating in such behaviors as these are controversial topics in recovery. Should it be okay to act the same way you did when you were drinking and using? Shouldn’t it be considered completely different since there aren’t any drugs and alcohol involved? Is it bad for people to keep up routines which mirror their using days? Or, is it better for changing brain chemistry and memories by creating new associations? Some feel that true recovery means not having to engage in any old behaviors which were affiliated with drinking and using. Relying upon sentiments like nothing changes if nothing changes, they urge those in recovery to avoid turning to mind altering substances for anything other than urgent needs.
The brain is incredibly sensitive to suggestion and influence. Continuing to depend on a substance for a good time, a social additive, or a chemical way to feel relief from uncomfortable feelings could be bad for brain chemistry. You might not give your brain the chance to heal and make serious changes if you continue mimicking old behaviors. Many might say that in a difficult moment, the brain might not be able to recognize the difference between turning to kava or turning to drugs and alcohol.
Learning to live life in a different way full of more meaning and fun is the speciality at Lakehouse recovery Center. Our residential treatment program provides detox and inpatient services followed by a unique 12 month aftercare program. For more information or to schedule a tour, call 877.762.3707.