Beware The Establishment

     A tough illness calls for tough love…  

     Earlier this year I spoke at a support group for parents, and as usual, I was tough when it came to the question of drug treatments. First of all, listen to that: Drug therapy for drug addicts. One more time: Drugs for addicts. I’m not sure my message was that well received, as, not surprisingly, I haven’t heard from them since. Don’t get me wrong, they were gracious and many thanked me personally for sharing my experience, but meds are always a touchy subject.

     Dear parents, I’m trying to help you. I’m trying to spare you from the false and harmful ‘solutions’ peddled by the Establishment. They manipulate you emotionally, psychologically and financially in much the same way your addicts do. But regardless of the various reactions, I’ll keep trying to educate addicts and parents alike. I’ll keep trying to provide some hope and happiness where some prefer to remain in the comfort zone of pain and darkness.

     The Establishment will never get it. They will never understand the nature of addiction and thus the natural solution. There are plenty of remedies out there but not much in the way of solutions.

     Remedies failed me. A spiritual solution did not.

     Why?

     Because someone who is powerless must be restored to power and nothing earthly can do that. And it’s only through this restoration of power the he or she may regain their willpower, their ability to choose not to drink or use drugs.

     I’ve never met a true addict or alcoholic out there who can remove their desire to drink without having a spiritual transformation, without having a profound psychic change, without the help of God, and without maintaining that relationship with God by adopting and living by spiritual principles.

    If anyone can prove me wrong about that, please, by all means, go ahead. If Narcanon atheism works, if Rational Recovery hubris works, if Smart Recovery CBT nonsense works, if McLean’s psychotropic cocktails work, if Methadone or Suboxone zombieism works, if sweat lodge orgies work, if stealing from taxpayers for unearned recovery high school diplomas and image-infirm principals work, if clueless doctors, social workers and addiction specialists work, if whatever you heard from the brainwashed media works, or if that over-priced, framed degree on your wall works… just let me know, k?

God, help the addicts and alcoholics and their families who still suffer find their way to You… 

Addiction 101

     “There is no such thing as making a normal drinker out of an alcoholic. Science may one day accomplish this, but it hasn’t done so yet.” -Alcoholics Anonymous, p.31

     Translation: Physically, we are screwed. Oh, and science still hasn’t done so… but even if it did someday, I would refuse such a procedure with a resolve as strong as gold. I think I’ll take the incredible and mystical life that I have now as opposed to muddling through as a mundane zombie, locked inside my small, narrow, 3-dimensional world.

     You can turn a non-addict into an addict, but there is no turning an addict back into a non-addict. We have an ‘allergy’ to drugs and alcohol that we will die with. It doesn’t matter if we are sober for half a century. Give us a drink and we will react physically as does any chronic alcoholic. It won’t be long until we are falling down drunk 24/7 and back in detox. This is what both addicts and families MUST understand. Our bodies NEVER recover. We will never drink normally once we break our bodies. And there is nothing on this earth that can change us back into a normal drinker. Nothing. No person, no pill, no book, not even a profound spiritual experience. Bottom line: We will die with the body of an addict.

     What we can do away with is the insanity that makes us drink despite knowing that we respond abnormally. We can recover from the mental obsession – thoughts to drink or use that do not respond to ration or reason. Knowing that we are abnormal and yet continuing to drink is surely a form of insanity. We somehow think that it won’t be the same this time around. We have a very special form of lunacy where we somehow forget who we are and how we react once the thought to drink saturates our minds. Our entire history of chaos and disaster just disappears from our consciousness. And even if our history is not lost on us, it certainly doesn’t have much weight when compared to our new idea to start drinking again, because this time we can control it! Like when I told myself that I didn’t really have a problem with OxyContin because I bought a few 80s and cut them up into little pieces for each day of the week to be controlled and moderate… um, until three o’clock in the morning when I had plucked them all from their hiding spaces, crushed ’em up and inhaled them like a pig.

     So an active addict is broken both physically and mentally. He will NEVER recover physically and thus can never drink or use again. If he does, he will have an allergic reaction and will break out into more and more. His only choice is lifelong abstinence. However, if we have an entire psychic change, then we will never have to worry about drinking or using ever again because any thought to do so will have ZERO power over us. We will always be free from drugs and alcohol so long as we maintain our spiritual health through right action. Small price to pay, if you ask me.

     To note, that doesn’t mean we need to beat ourselves up 24/7. On the contrary, we need to rid ourselves of guilt and self-pity, as that is selfish and prevents us from being useful to others. Achieving recovery and health is about balance – sometimes we help ourselves, sometimes we help others, sometimes we focus on our families, sometimes we focus on our jobs, and sometimes we just relax and go have some fun.

God, teach me what I can do and what I can’t do…

Drugs For Drugs?

     Guess what the best, Harvard educated minds gave me to solve my problem with drugs? Drugs. Yes, I’m aware that such advice sounds like a ridiculous joke. And yes, the best and brightest of an entire medical community know little more than nothing about addiction and treating addiction. Doctors and psychiatrists think that addiction is purely a bio-chemical issue. They also think that addiction should be part of a dual-diagnosis (hoax), sitting beside some mental illness. The truth is they haven’t the faintest clue how to treat your addiction, so they just treat you for mental illness (and usually fail at that as well, especially since much of it is induced by the substance use).

     Take some of the drugs I’ve been offered just for the drug-related portion of my problem: methadone, suboxone, ativan.

     Methadone and suboxone are opiates, like heroin or oxycontin. The argument is that at least you’re not buying dope off the street and we can ween you off in a clinical setting. So the solution is to remain an absolute junkhead, but hey, at least it’s prescribed… and after years of methadone ‘maintenance’, I can try to ween myself off it once the withdrawal effects have become so bad that I’d rather just kill myself or shoot dope again.

     I was given Ativan to calm down and sleep at night, and it took all of a week to become a full blown benzo addict. Benzodiazepines such as valium, ativan, xanax and klonopin are the modern equivalent of barbituates. They have replaced old-school barbiturate tranquilizers because they don’t depress respiratory functioning. Why is this important? Because they pass these things out like Skittles. Everybody with anxiety has xanax in their pocketbook. But doctors assume that people with anxiety also drink alcohol, and if you were to drink on a barbiturate, it could just stop your breathing altogether, especially once you pass out.

     Now for the psychotropics. When I worked at an alternative recovery high school, many of the kids were on some combination of hardcore psychotropics. Seroquel was as common as cell phones. Very popular. But there are also mood-stabilzers like depakote, anti-pyschotics like zyprexa, and of course a slew of SSRIs and MAO-Inhibiters, commonly known as anti-depressants. These are powerful bio-chemical drugs that literally rewire your brain. The end result is that I become nothing short of a zombie – emotionally, psychologically, creatively etc. After years of use, you need to embark on a recovery program just from the physical and psychological effects of the drugs you took to help yourself. Plus there’s a good chance you may have irreparable brain damage. And remember, these were the drugs that were supposed to help you with the other drug problem you had.

     Finally, many of the kids were on stimulants for ADD or ADHD, such as ritalin and adderall. Pumping kids or addicts (or anybody) with speed is one of the dumbest things a doctor or parent can do. You might as well just give them cocaine or crack. Long term, consistent use of these drugs, as well as seroquel and other anti-psychotics, can lead to permanent brain damage. Seroquel et al can cause Tardive Diskenisia, an irreversible neurological disorder that includes such permanent symptoms as tongue protrusion, grimacing, rapid eye blinking, lip smacking, rapid arm movement and other involuntary movements. Try going to a job interview and sticking out your tongue at the interviewer about a hundred times uncontrollably. Great solution.

      So that is what one of the best psychiatric medical teams in the country had to offer me. Or I could have just been treated for my alcoholism. Is it any wonder they don’t prescribe a spiritual program of action that may work wonders but offers no financial incentive???

God, make me willing to take action to get better, and give me the power and the strength to act without more drugs…