Using Dreams (In Addiction Recovery)

Some love em’. Some hate em’. All want to know, “What the f*&k do they mean?”

We as dreamers are the only ones who can make the final call about what our dreams mean to us. If we pay attention to details in both waking life and in the dream world, we can gain a better understanding about our self, our relationship to our past drug of choice and our recovery.

Using Dream Addiction Recovery Drugs

Using dreams aren’t pleasant for someone who is in recovery. They raise questions like, “Did I relapse?” “Do I want to use?” “Am I about to relapse?” and “Why did this happen?”

When you have a using dream that causes concern, realize it was just a dream and don’t let it throw your mind into a whirlwind. Instead, see it as an opportunity to gain insight into your life.

1) How is the general state of your waking life?

Is your waking life going perfect? Smooth? Or, are you having more rough patches than usual? Using dreams might be trying to tell you to take a closer look at you daily life. Ask yourself…

Using Dream Addiction Recovery Waking Life Dream interpretation

Am I indulging in unhealthy things that cause my midbrain to release excessive amounts of dopamine. Am I drinking too much coffee? Smoking too many cigarettes? Eating too much sugar? Watching too much porn? Am I not sleeping enough?

When you have a using dream, I recommend analyzing your routines and habits and ask yourself if they line up with what your heart truly wants.

2) Are you emotionally attached to the drug?

I used to have a lot of using dreams when I was still emotionally attached to the drug. Dean, my counselor in rehab once said, “We attract what we believe on an emotional level.” This goes for the dream world too. Look at the bright side though, better in the dream world than in the real world!

“Decisions” by Valerie Patterson

“Decisions” by Valerie Patterson

Don’t stop there though. Take the dream as an opportunity to get honest. Ask yourself what is your relationship with the drug. Negative dreams have a purpose. There is always a positive wrapped up in the darkness. Having a realization that you are still emotionally attached to something so repulsive can be a liberating experience.

3) Keep a dream journal.

It’s a good idea to keep a dream journal so you can refer back to it to gain different views, see progress you have made, and see if patterns are emerging.

Dream Journal art using dreams addiction recovery

Example: If I have a recurring dream about clinging to a meth pipe, it’s possible I’m emotionally attached to that drug or that lifestyle (on some level).

But then, if in my dream I shatter that pipe, rejoice at no longer being a slave, and reconnect with a family member who I had been on bad terms with, it’s possible I’ve shattered that attachment on an emotional level and am ready to reconnect with healthy people/things.

To know where we stand in the dream world allows us to more consciously navigate routes that will be beneficial to us…

If I am aware I shattered that pipe and reconnected with a family member in the dream world, I can be aware of that in the real world, maybe even while talking to that same family member. I can then take note on how the terms between us are not bad at all, and my faith in the two worlds lining up with give me faith in the process of learning from dreams. I’ll take note that Good Orderly Direction perpetuates Good Orderly Direction.

Using Dream Addiction Recovery


In a more general sense, if I am aware that I am ready to reconnect with healthy people/things, I can consciously begin seeking out a new hobby, because I’ll intuitively know I’m ready to fill that space with something beneficial to me. Or, if I meet a person who resonates with me in a positive way, I can link that with the insights from my dream to further assure me I’m traveling in a beneficial direction.

All in all, don’t let a using dream ruin your day. If anything, they have the power to make them more fulfilling so long as the right perceptive is taken while analyzing it.

Have you had any using dreams lately? How did you view them? Did you learn anything from them?

Thanks for reading.

Dream on y’all!

Jacob O’Cain The Addict with a Thousand Faces

Jacob O’Cain is a recovering drug addict and teaches ESL to kids in China. He’s the author of The Addict with a Thousand Faces (not yet published) and believes we are all on the hero’s journey. He is actively looking to connect with people in the recovery community. Send him a message on Instagram @jacob_ocain or contact him through