Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Counting the Cost of THC (This has nothing to do with marijuana)

Almost everything comes with a cost. There is some type of sacrifice needed for the vast majority of choices that we may make, both good and bad.

For example, consider some choices people make that are most often viewed as positive that carry a cost.
  • Although starting a family can be extremely rewarding when you have the resources, there are still sacrifices that must be made including time, money as well as possibly giving up on some other life goals that are easier for single people with no kids

  • Having a career can be rewarding but nowadays there is a sacrifice of time, effort, education, focus, and other life pursuits in order to advance in a career.

The same is true when it comes to substance use; there is also a cost to consider. If you are in a treatment program of some kind right now, it is extremely likely that you have already witnessed some of the potential and actual cost of substance use. This is especially true if some kind of negative outcome related to substance use lead you to being in this substance use program (Such as a legal, family or work problem related to substance use, for example)
In spite of whatever your personal situation is that brought you into treatment, everyone has a choice when it comes to how you choose to navigate a treatment program. There are many variables in one’s attitude that can affect the outcome in substance use treatment. Below we will consider three important personality factors that truly guide the path through treatment.
The initials for these three factors is THC. In this case, these letters have nothing necessarily to do with cannabis however the initials THC are just easy to remember in a substance use program.

Rule #1 – This is not about judgment! – There is no benefit to anyone in this group pointing fingers at one another and making accusations about personality traits. Instead focus on self-assessment and introspection when you discuss the following:

A person may choose to be tricky and use clever deception to get through a program (Faking urine tests, using substances on the sneak, etc.). Particularly when it comes to substance use, what may be the long term cost of choosing that course of action?

Even though it may be harder to do, what can a person gain from being transparent about their motives and actions? How can this help you learn more about yourself and gain some valuable insight?

What is the downside of being headstrong and insisting on having it your way? How can that end up holding you back from growing as a person?

What can you gain by striving to be humble? What is the benefit to being teachable and open minded to learning and considering the suggestions of others?

Some people choose to be closed because of fear of what will happen if people get to know their true selves. What are some of the things closed people may be missing out on?

What is the long term upside of having the courage to be open and candid about who you really are?


  1. Hi Ken,
    I found this excercize to be particulary interesting and I can see how it can be useful, I bookmarked it so I can utilize it one day. When I speak about my experience with my friends in and out of AA, I always say that I did not choose to stop using and go to treatment, but today I choose to stay clean and in therapy. I don't think anyone really wants to be in treatment and that is definitely one of the major costs (emotional and financial and time consuming) of a SUD, which more often than not leads to some kind of interaction with the legal system.Ten years ago I was taken off the street and thrown into jail and, subsequently, the court system started to manage my life for me because I was not capable of doing that on my own. The THC model above can be seen as taking a negative (or a lot of negatives) and turning them into something positive. Cleaning up the wreakage of the past and the skill set that goes along with that is what one can build their future on by becoming "transparent, humble, and candid". It is all about learning how to handle all those situations that used to baffle us (as they say in the promises of AA). I really like this.
    Thank you,
    Cheryl Kempton

  2. Wow Cheryl, thank you so much for such great insights. Coincidentally, I was literally just thinking about RAFTS today and how great of a group of people you have over there. Thanks again for reading my blog Cheryl. Your story is amazing and inspiring and its so great you are out there using your experience to help people

  3. Thank you so much for emailing me and letting me become a part of this. It truly means a lot to me.