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Saol Project

Mission Statement
Saol is a community project focused on improving the lives of women affected by addiction and poverty

Vision Statement
Saol is working towards transforming the way in which Ireland responds to addiction and poverty.

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Text Transcript of Cocaine CD Tracks

 Track 1

Cocaine has many street names. You'll maybe recognise some of them: coke, snow, marching powder, devils dandruff. It's also known as 'more', 'cos as you know, one bag is never enough. You just want more and more and more. But for the purposes of this CD I'm gonna call it coke.

This CD is gonna give you some practical skills to help you get a handle on your coke or crack use. The first step is to decide if you really want to stop your coke use. Get your life together. So here's some things to ask yourself.

If you answered yes to any of these questions and you want to get your head together, then this CD is for you. You may not think it now, but you have the ability to take control back over your life. This CD is gonna take you through two steps to help make this a reality.

Thinking about the problems that coke has caused you, and the steps you need to take in order to move on, can be difficult. Before you listen to the rest of the CD you might want to think of someone that you can call who can give you some support in case you need it.

 Track 2

Are you ready for change?

Let's look at what your life is like at the moment. This is a good time to be honest with yourself. Do any of these problems sound familiar?

Coke affects everyone differently. Think about any other problems it's causing in your life. Now ask yourself - do you want to change? Is it the right time for you to get your head together? As you probably know, change only works if you're doing it for yourself. You need to do this because you want to not because somebody else wants you to. Remember, you've been without coke before. Even if you only stop using for a couple of days, it shows that you can get by. It may seem difficult for you but you can do it.

 Track 3

Dealing with your triggers.

The first thing you need to do when you stop using coke is to identify your own personal triggers. Let me explain what I mean by that. A trigger is something that sets you off wanting to use. Or said another way, your triggers are the Faces and Places that you associate with using. For example, people that you would have hung out with, and the places that you know you can score. Another example of a trigger could be feelings you associate with using coke: boredom, depression, guilt and so on. For some people, a trigger could be music that reminds them of using, or being around drug paraphernalia.

OK, so there's the idea behind what triggers are. Now you're gonna take some time to think about your own triggers. We're gonna do this by breaking your personal triggers down into four categories: People, Places, Things and Feelings. Then this CD will help you to come up with a plan so that you know how to avoid these triggers in the future. This plan is your 'get clean' plan and will be the map that you need to guide you on this journey.

Firstly, let's think about the people that you associate with using. These may be drug buddies, mates, neighbours, or just people you know in general. If you gonna stay away from coke, your probably gonna have to stay away from certain people. Whose the first person that comes to mind? This person is your main trigger. They may be very close to you, or someone who you often use with or even a dealer. Ask yourself:

Now lets look at the other people in your life who may also be triggers for you. These may be your mates, or people you use with. Do you hang out in places where you know people will be talking about drugs and it's easy to score. So now you have a better idea of your people triggers and you can come up with a plan to avoid them. Let's look at some of the practical aspects of the plan. Do you need to delete your dealers number from your mobile? Should you do this today? Secondly, you need to think about what people you need to avoid. OK, so you've thought about the people you need to avoid for a while.

Let's look at what supports can help you do this.

You may want to find somewhere quiet to think through your plan in a bit more detail. Some people like to talk it through with a key worker. And others prefer to write it down. Have a think about how you'll best be able to do this.

 Track 4

More triggers: Things, Feelings and Places.

What places trigger you to use coke? This could be

Take a minute to think about the places that trigger you to use. What can you do to avoid these places? Remember, if you put yourself in these places there will be more pressure on you to use.

Now we're gonna look at the things around you that give you a strong urge to use. This might be

Think for a moment about yours. Do you need to get rid or certain items around you which remind you of using? Do you need to get rid or your works, tooters or pipe? Finally, do you need to make sure that you do not carry large amounts of money when you go out? One why to deal with this is to budget each day and only carry enough cash to get by.

Certain feelings can be a trigger for you wanting to use. For instance, in the past you may have scored as a reward for yourself. Or you may have scored because you were feeling depressed, or bored. Making changes in your life can be difficult. You need to look at how you're gonna get the support you need to get through this time without turning back on your old crutch: coke. Think about the people in your life who might be able to provide some support or encouragement.

Remember, a worker would be happy to discuss your triggers and your 'get clean' plan with you. Often people have a lot of time on their hands when they stop using. Have a think about how you will spend your time in the next week.

Recap on step 1: Now you have an awareness of what people places, things and feelings can trigger you to want to use. This awareness is your most valuable tool in winning the head game that coke plays with you. Think of this knowledge as your get clean plan. You may want to listen to this part of the CD a few more times to help cement these ideas. Remember, you've lived without cocaine before, and with help you can do it again. In the next part of the CD, Step 2, you're gonna learn how to deal with unexpected situations and look at how to say no and walk away.

 Track 5

Step 2 Unexpected Triggers

You have made the first step in winning the head game with coke by looking at the immediate changes you need to make in your life. Some of your personal triggers are things that you can and must avoid completely. For example, People and Places that make you want to score coke.

So far, by listening to this CD, you've figured out what your triggers are and come up with a plan for how to avoid these. If you've not got a plan fully worked out in your head, go back and listen to the first bit of the CD again, or speak to your key worker.

Some triggers are more difficult to prevent or avoid simply because you can't prepare for them. It's very important then that you prepare yourself for dealing with obvious triggers but also the ones that you will not be able to plan for. This step will look at what you do when an unexpected or tricky situation makes you want to use.

Facing up to unexpected triggers.

It's important to know that you won't always be able to avoid all of your triggers. Sometimes you'll unexpectedly run into people or situations that make you want to use. You'll need to think on your feet to get out of these tricky situations. To give you an example of what we're talking about let's think about a common scenario. You're walking down the street and you bump into an old drug buddy who starts talking about some great coke that they can get their hands on. They keep asking you if you want to share a bag. Obviously, you couldn't have avoided the situation, but is doesn't need to end up with you scoring.

When you are faced with an unavoidable situation like this you'll need to have thought about and practiced some way to get yourself out of it. The first step in refusing drugs is not letting the idea of using take over your mind. You need to focus and keep control of your thoughts. This means managing what's going on in your head and not just acting without thinking. So how do you do that?

An easy thing to start with is to take a few deep breaths. This can often give you the few seconds you need to think clearly. Stopping to think for a second will help you to be more in control of the situation.

The next tip in dealing with an unexpected situation, is coming up with a statement or a mantra that you can repeat to yourself over and over when you're faced with a trigger. A mantra is basically a thought that you would say to yourself when you're faced with a difficult situation. Saying a mantra gives you more confidence and inner strength. It should summarise what you want or what you believe. Every time you say it, your beliefs become stronger and more real. Here are some mantras that other people repeat to themselves when faced with a trigger.

Your mantra should remind you that you have decided you don't want to use any more.

Close your eyes and take a moment to think of a mantra that you could say to yourself when faced with a trigger. This mantra and the act of repeating it over and over will help strengthen your ability to say no.

The last tip to help you refuse cocaine is to remember why you wanted to stop and how coke has ruined your life. Some people find it useful to remind themselves of all the reasons they wanted to stop using in the first place. These reasons are easily forgotten when coke is in front of you. Take a minute to remember your reasons for wanting to stop.

The next thing to do is to get yourself out of the situation. Often the best way to do this is to be honest. Tell the person that you are not doing cocaine anymore and that you would prefer if they didn't offer it to you in the future. If they can't do this or continue to talk about coke, you'll need to avoid them for a while.

Close your eyes. You're now gonna think about someone that might offer you coke. This might be on the phone, or on the street or at a party. Now you are going to imagine yourself refusing this offer, in a clear and direct manner. Think of yourself being really certain about your decision not to have coke, and communicating this really clearly. Now imagine yourself leaving the situation.

Saying no and refusing drugs even in your imagination can be difficult, however the more times you practice this the more natural it'll become. The when you're in a trigger situation, you'll have the strength to handle it and walk away.

 Track 6

Using your triggers as an excuse.

Some people can use their triggers as an excuse to use. What I mean by this is that some people can set themselves up to walk right into their own triggers. Let's look at an example of this. You've probably heard something like it before. Your mate Cathy, who's being doing really well not using coke, says to you,

'Jeez, I can't believe I used last night, I dropped over to my mate and before I know it I was lashing the coke out if it. I've no idea how it happened.'

Now, let's look at what's really going on here. If Cathy had thought about it she would have realised that the friend she called over to see was one of her triggers and that they'd often used coke together in the past. Which makes you ask the question: Did Cathy call over to her mates hoping that there'd be coke, but not acknowledging this to herself?

What Cathy's doing here is not taking responsibility for the fact that she, at some point, made the decision to go and use. In fact, Cathy made a series of decisions that led her to use that evening.

Remember, it's easy to blame others for a relapse but more often than not, it's about decisions and choices that you make yourself. As you probably know, getting clean is about taking responsibility for your own actions and not playing the blame game.

 Track 7

Finding the supports you need.

If you've got this far in the CD - Well Done! You have thought about and decided on making a lot of really good changes in your life. The next step is to identify what supports you'll need to help you stay clear of coke. OK, first things first... let's look at the people who can support you now. This may be friends, family members or others who are clean. It's important to have plans for how you will spend your time so that boredom doesn't set in.

Next you will need to look at what services can help you. Can you link in with any of the following:

You have a much better chance of getting clean and staying clean if you've really thought about what supports you'll need and have a network of people behind you.

 Track 8

Dealing with your cravings.

It's very normal to experience cravings for something you've given up. Cravings come and go and you should learn to expect them. They are not a sign of failure. The longer you stay away from coke, the more your urges and cravings will weaken and you'll be much less bothered by them as time goes on.

There are a number of things you can do to deal with cravings: The most common are:

 Track 9

You've now completed this CD. Let's look at what you've covered. In Step 1 you looked at the trigger situations that made you want to use coke and you came up with some really clear ideas and the changes you can make in your everyday life to avoid these triggers. You also looked at what supports you need to put in place to help you to do this as you now know your always going to run into some unexpected triggers. But you have the strength and the skills to handle them.

In Step 2 you realised that you have the power to get yourself out of these tricky situations. You know that taking coke does not just happen - it's your choice. You also know that you have the ability to take control over these choices and to make the ones that are best for you.

Making changes is scary but by working through this CD you've already taken the first and most difficult steps. Well Done!

 Track 10

The next track is a relaxation exercise. Many people find that doing a relaxation exercise once a day or even every few days helps them to stay calm and focused. This could be really useful in the first couple of weeks of making big changes in your life.

For this relaxation exercise you'll need to be sitting in a chair if possible, although sitting on the floor or a bed would be fine also.

In your own time, I'd like you to make yourself as comfortable as possible. You may wish to close your eyes - some people find that it helps them to focus better. You may open them again at any time during this relaxation exercise.

In a few moments you are going to go on a journey to a beautiful place. But first, I would like you to become aware of your breathing. I don't want you to change it in any way - I just want you to be aware of the pattern of it, as you slowly breathe in and out.

OK, now for every breath that you take I want to you breathe in and be aware that every breath in is having a calming effect on you. Every time you let your breath out, you'll find that you feel more and more relaxed. So keep breathing in calmness, and as you breathe out you will feel your body relaxing even more. You don't even need to try to feel relaxed, it'll just happen by itself.

I want you to become aware of your feet on the ground. And you may notice that your breathing has slowed down a little. So when you're ready I want you to take a journey in your mind to a beautiful place.

For some people the beach may be their calm place. They may visualise themselves walking down a sunny beach, with the waves lapping at the shore and the hot sun warming every part of their body.

Other people's beautiful place may be a forest surrounded by trees and hearing the sounds of the woodlands.

So now I'm going to count to ten and as I count your body is going to feel more and more relaxed. And as you see yourself in a calm place, you'll feel yourself drifting into a deep and tranquil state of relaxation.

OK, now, I want you to again become aware of your breathing pattern, and as I start counting from 1 to 10, you may already be on your journey.

I'm going to talk now and you can listen to the words I'm saying as you drift off into a deeper state of relaxation.

I want you to now think about that strength that is in you and how you're going to be able to focus your mind on making decisions that are good for you in your day to day life.

I would like you to think about how you can feel a sense of power and control over your life and how the decisions you make are the ones that can make life better for you.

I also want you to be aware that you can tap into this sense of relaxation any time you like and that you are capable to dealing with stressful situations in a calm and relaxed manner.

Ok now, I'm gonna count back from 10 to 1 and as I do this you will continue to hold onto these beautiful feelings of relaxation. So by the time I get to 1 you will be fully aware of your surroundings and feeling positive and energised

When you're ready you may open your eyes again.

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