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Treatment - Why is addiction so bad? We need food every day, right?

Discussion in 'Opiate addiction' started by MonarchX, Sep 28, 2010.

  1. MonarchX

    MonarchX

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    Seriously, when SWIM thinks about the number of things a modern human being needs on every day bases in Western society, something like opiate addiction doesn't seem all that bad. Now an addiction where a person continues to up the dose until overdose is not a functioning one...but one where a person continues to use same amounts to get some hi or take opiates to just be OK can work, right? We live from meal to meal, why not from dose to dose?
     
  2. zombiefan123

    zombiefan123

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    Because Addiction is a progressive disease. It is almost impossible to keep doses the same time and amount for a lifetime, especially opiates, in which tolerance develops almost immediately. More of your day/money/thoughts has to do with the drug(s), until it is your life is essentially based around it, or is ended by it.

    Food can be used and abused until addiction/death as well, but it is an essential of life.
    Drugs are a want, not a need.
     
  3. chem

    chem Silver Member

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    It doesn't work like that. It will have very negative effects after a time. You will want to stop at that time, but it will be hard. For a lot of us this is a journey we have to go through unfortunately.

    Most swims here mentally challenge the societal status quo like you did in this thread, but they eventually learn they were wrong. There is a reason certain beliefs endure through the centuries. There are universally established truths. One of them is that an addiction can not be a good thing.

    It can only be acceptable, and only for a short time.
     
  4. Neznam

    Neznam Silver Member

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    It would be a hell of a lot more difficult for someone who is addicted to an opiate to go 2-3 days without say Heroin, than someone who hasnt eaten 2-3 days.
     
  5. MonarchX

    MonarchX

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    Well....SWIM has severe pain...that may never go away...so at some point SWIM will have to stop taking oxy and just deal with the pain? Its been many months, the rush is long gone, but SWIM could care less because the pain killing effect is still there.

    OK, maybe SWIM did not phrase it correctly - would every long term opiate user be considered an addict? SWIM did stop to take breaks to reduce tolerance, several times, to keep the dose low and it worked. Ultra Low Dose Naltrexone is amazing - SWIM can taper off in 2 days without a single sign of withdrawal.... and oh yeah - its very cheap for SWIM ($7 a month) and SWIM's behavior is not one of an addict. SWIM couldn't go out and have fun and meet people and just live a life without opiates because of pain and fatigue and depression coming from the pain. SWIM's physician prescribed pain patients opiates long term and some stayed on same does for decades and died natural death.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  6. chem

    chem Silver Member

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    Did SWIY try non opiate pain management? That might help SWIY have a better life. SWIY having chronic pain makes things a little different. Even in that case taking opiate over a long time an addict makes. If SWIY don't feel the problem with use of pain meds yet... Maybe not time to commit yet...

    SWIM finds it difficult to drop absolutes to some one with bad chronic pain.

    What does SWIY feel about day to day on opiates? That might be key here.
     
  7. MonarchX

    MonarchX

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    SWIM experienced a tough childhood and at age of 14 began developing chronic pain - myofascial pain syndrome (not fibromyalgia). SWIM spent 10 years of going from doctor to doctor, trying treatment after treatment after treatment (acupunctures of all kinds,piills, electric muscle shocking, MRIs, X-rays, PET scans, ton of $) all kinds of anti-depressants (which made SWIM feel far less happy than without!) and after 10 years of no life SWIM gave up and said "F*ck it!" and went for oxy- now SWIM is like a whole new person. SWIM also uses MJ but MJ costs SWIM a whole lot of $$$ bc its illegal in the current state - moving to Cali is planned to further reduce opiate use.

    SWIM tried morphine, hydrocodone, and oxycodone. Morphine was just not working for SWIM at all, hydrocodone was becoming a problem (very drowsy, very addictive effect) so SWIM tried oxy, which is not relaxing at all, does not even bring up the "warm" feelings - it just takes most of pain away (not all). Oxy is stronger than hydro but SWIM can easily control oxy and take as prescribed while on hydro SWIM was running out 1-2 weeks sooner, so....its the right opiate for SWIM - no psychological addiction.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2010
  8. dyingtomorrow

    dyingtomorrow R.I.P.

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    SWIM also believes there is nothing wrong with the concept of addiction.

    First of all, addiction does not have to be progressive, and from SWIM's experience and what he has seen in long term heroin users, is not at all. Most people start with a period of increased use, largely due to an ignorance about the drug and its effects. Heroin for example is most pleasurable in small doses, and shots can be easily timed so that the user is both high all day long, and able to get a rush every time. SWIM personally has had no trouble keeping to a very low dose, 2-3 shots a day, for years. All of the heroin users SWIM has met in their 40-50s have this exact same routine - it becomes natural after a while since it is the most natural and efficient way to use heroin. Also, at least with heroin, the long term side health related side effects are almost negligible compared to other vices like drinking and smoking. Again, to relate some personal experience, all the older heroin addicts SWIM knows are healthy and youthful looking. Of course they work minimum wage jobs and have had homes their whole lives, and obviously disease or homelessness would negate these health factors - but speaking purely in terms of the chemical effects, it is possible to use heroin over the course of your life and maintain your health to the same degree as an average person does. This takes care, and especially knowledge of safety information, but it is possible.

    People seem to have just latched on the imperfect food analogy, but obviously there is a lot more to it than just that. There are millions of people who are told they have to take a drug for the rest of their life, for this or that reason. Personally SWIM has to be on 3 separate drugs for the rest of his life according to psychiatrists, to control his extreme depression and bi-polar mania. All of these drugs cause withdrawals if they are discontinued.

    The only difference for SWIM between heroin, and these 3 drugs, is that heroin is cheaper, and actually works. It's the only thing on this planet that makes SWIM sincerely able to feel deep emotions of happiness and positivity.

    It is not the case for everyone that addiction is a superior way of life - but it is definitely true for some people, even considering the legal dangers involved. Now if heroin was legal, 90% of the negatives of addiction would go away - mainly cost, jail time, impure street heroin, and the limited access to treatment when one decides that they do not want to be addicted. We completely and utterly rely on society and the mechanisms of economics to provide us with our wants and needs. There is nothing wrong with relying on it for something that makes you happy, if it does infact make you happy. That is a decision for people to make, and it is undoubtable that some people with find an addicted life of a superior quality to a non-addicted one.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2010
  9. missparkles

    missparkles Platinum Member & Advisor

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    I've said it before, so I'm gonna say it again...look at all the rock stars who have access to an unlimited supply of drugs, they can legitimately use. Even Sparkles could find a doc willing to prescribe for her if she had the money and status. How many of these rock stars manage to use in a controlled way? In the 60s and 70s Sparkles was a registered addict and as such was scripted for diamorphine, as were her friends. They didn't suddenly gain some self control , use responsibly. The reason they couldn't was because they were addicts, they loved the rush. And when you love that rush you wanna feel it as often as possible. So you always increase your dose.

    Look DT, his friend has tried controlled using, chipping, and it was a disaster. So what makes him believe it would be any different if he had unlimited access to pure pharma products legally? It wouldn't, cos an addict is always gonna push the boundaries, always think..."a little more this hit, but the next one, I'll cut back." Yes, providing legal pharma heroin would improve health, might cut down on the crimes that are committed. But please, don't let your friend fool themselves into thinking that if they had as much pure heroin as they desired, their troubles would disappear.

    Most addicts self medicate cos they have other problems that couldn't be resolved conventionally. Well when someone is given pharma heroin, these problems don't just vanish. They still need medicating. And with each shot tolerance grows, so they're always worrying about dealing with this, so are still constantly worrying about heroin. If an addict just needs enough opiates to stay feeling well, methadone would be enough. But it isn't cos they need that rush, as Sparkles used to. It wasn't enough for her to just "feel well."

    Hope these thoughts I had make some sense?

    Sparkles.:vibes:
     
  10. Spucky

    Spucky Palladium Member

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    AW: Why is addiction so bad? We need food every day, right?

    The Pom-Poko Raccoon felt no annoyed of his Heroin Habito
    the first 10 Years, in fact he argued like the Ts. :)
    It is like food, my Insulin, my Love, etc. :laugh:

    We have something in German, called "Krankheitseinsicht"
    the translation is "acceptances of the disease condition",
    this need a few years to developed!
    But without this every Therapy is futile!

    Edit: ps. there are many things more horrible than a addiction!
     
  11. dyingtomorrow

    dyingtomorrow R.I.P.

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    The faulty analogy here is assuming that the majority of people would benefit. They probably wouldn't, and SWIM never said they would. Rock stars are also a terrible example to use - they generally don't do anything right, least of all use drugs.

    I can't speak for the addicts you know, but SWIM and all the older addicts he's known, basically everyone SWIM knows who has used heroin for over 5 years, has a very simple and low dose routine that they've stuck to for years or decades. Not out of financial necessity, but because it is the most pleasurable and beneficial way to use heroin. There is also the fact that in the heroin clinic trials in Switzerland, they've found that addicts lower their doses on their own, again because it is the best way to use heroin naturally. I have the article links in other posts on the subject but don't feel like digging it up right now. Keeping your dose low and steady is not something you have to try to do after you've been on heroin for a while, it's something you'd have to artificially try not to do.

    It wasn't a "disaster" - more like it was impossible personally for SWIM, because you can partially acclimate yourself to feeling like shit every day (at least temporarily) as long as you don't realize what it is to feel good. Being in limbo doesn't work, because you remember that you don't have to just give up on life and feel like shit - there is an actual solution to the problem.

    Also, SWIM doesn't think that it makes your troubles disappear. Rather, for people who are severely mentally ill, or unable to feel any kind of pleasure, it puts them at the baseline that normal people begin at, where it is possible for them to feel happiness and fulfillment in their daily life. From that point they can work to solve the problems that everyone has.

    It's hard to respond to some of this because of assumption of the type of user you are making. SWIM is not talking about people who use because of some traumatic event in their life that they would be better off getting over than using heroin to medicate about. Or someone who "accidentally" got addicted by trying too many things. SWIM is talking about those extreme type of heroin users who never are able to quit, who are typically very mentally ill or have extreme personality disorders, always accompanied by incurable anhedonia. When you simply cannot feel joy or a sense of accomplishment, and worse, you feel like you want to die every day - not for any solvable reason, but because that is your very nature and the way your brain biochemically works - you are probably going to get severely addicted to heroin if you try it, and you'll never get off of it. At least not until they invent some kind of drug that works better than heroin for curing things like bi-polar and severe unrelenting natural depression. For these people, addiction is a superior way of life as opposed to dragging themselves around wanting to die every day (having already tried everything doctors and psychiatrists are allowed by the government to prescribe).
     
  12. MonarchX

    MonarchX

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    Great post. SWIM has no experience with heroin, but SWIM wants to stay on oxy for life if SWIM's pain persists for life.
     
  13. Code9

    Code9 Titanium Member

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    I must say, this is essentially why DF can be so positive for society. There is no mainstream opinion about the positives of addiction, because there is no true place for the 'success stories' to be heard. It's much to risky and unprofitable for the mass media to portray the positive sides of use. Advertisers do not like truly controversial material, which is why you see so little of it.

    It's difficult to judge whether the majority of the negatives of addiction are due to prohibition, but I have a feeling that this is mostly the case. Not only is the cost so absurdly high that it can put addicts on the street but it forces them to live outside the law and prevents proper treatment if use becomes troublesome.

    On the other hand, perhaps addiction is problematic if/when the user wants to or has to stop. I'm no expert, but addiction must certainly put some difficult restrictions on one's life. For example, would it not be more difficult to travel? Would it be irresponsible to take high-stakes jobs (piloting, traffic control, etc)

    I saw a great movie a few years ago. In short, its about a guy who starts procuring heroin for his dying father because he wants his father to be pain-free and happy until death. Of course he encounters the darker side of use as he procures for his father. I won't spoil the film but it's a great exploration into the ethics of drug use. I highly recommend it:

    http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/barbarian_invasions/
     
  14. Roads

    Roads

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    I think what SWIY unearthed here is the fact that every human is functionally addicted to something, and that our society allows complete facilitation of addiction to a large variety of things, but holds substances aside from that list for very selfish reasons.

    SWIMs dad is addicted to sweet tea. The astringent properties; the taste; the sugar; the caffeine. If you took it away from him he would probably be pretty depressed until he found some other sweet thing to fixate on.

    He's getting a dopamine surge in his nucleus accumbens every time he sips that sugary shit. And on top of all of it, it's made him very obese and he's suffered a minor stroke and had triple bipass surgery. Yet he continues to shovel fat and sucrose down his gullet with the complete support of our society and the people in it. SWIMs dad is completely against the use of drugs, but if SWIM ever tries to sit down with him and explain the psychoactive effects of the caffeine he consumes, his dad would be angry and offended for labeling him a drug user.

    It's entirely unfair to say to people that they can seek a dopamine release from one substance (sugar) but make it illegal to seek it from another (illegal drugs); regardless of how damaging those substances are.

    By rationale of the DEA, sex itself should be illegal simply based on the massive neurochemical reactions that it triggers in the brain.

    People who are in love should be BANNED from driving and operating machinery because the neurochemical surges they feel could affect their judgment.

    By the same logic, people who obtain "runner's highs" while jogging should be thrown in jail for activating their mu opioid receptors with endorphins and enkephalins.

    All 3 of those examples, sex, love, and strenuous exercise are ALL COMPLETELY ADDICTIVE as well!

    Addiction isn't bad, it's actually intrinsic to the way every human lives their life.
     
  15. bige1030

    bige1030 Silver Member

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    It really depends on the drug whether or not one could just live with an addiction. As I see it, addiction is continued use of a drug, compelled by a hedonistic desire, despite serious negative effects that the drug has on one's mind, body, or socioeconomic status. Addiction is a psychological phenomenon distinct from tolerance and dependence. Tolerance is the adaptation to a certain dose of a drug to the point that it has no effect. Dependence is the physical need for a drug, which, if not satisfied, will lead to withdrawal symptoms.

    Tobacco is perfectly legal almost everywhere, and most people addicted to tobacco are perfectly able to lead a productive life, whether they use or not, until it makes them ill.

    Alcohol is also perfectly legal, but alcohol addiction causes more problems than does tobacco addiction. Not only are there physical illnesses, but also there is a general inability to function at a certain level of alcohol assumption. Many who are addicted to alcohol cannot work, for instance, simply due to a constant state of intoxication. They also might drive a car despite their intoxication, or do other things which can lead to devastating results.

    Really, addiction in and of itself isn't a bad thing. The drug of choice, manner of use, and ill effects are what make the addiction bad or not.
     
  16. FreeBliss

    FreeBliss Silver Member

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    Because it changes your brain so instead of chasing the "good" things that bring health like food, water, sex you are chasing a substance which tricks your body and provides no nourishment. And your body becomes adapt to it to the point of needing the substance to be normal and without it you are royally fucked for a long time.

    And so the truth about it is that you are really fooling your self because yes you are extremely high and in heaven for some time but you cannot get away with it without equally spending time in hell and misery. So your better off staying level minded and living meal to meal and try to enjoy life without it.

    On the other hand i can understand dyingtomarrow. but if you can go without it what I say above is true.
     
  17. Code9

    Code9 Titanium Member

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    I don't know, sounds like a pretty boring life. From what I'm told, you've only got one to live.

    Isn't there room for safe use to enhance the quality of people's lives? I mean, isn't the whole medical branch of psychiatry a profession that is dedicated to making people happier through chemical use?

    Isn't is true that anything worth doing in life also carries risk in some way?
     
  18. FreeBliss

    FreeBliss Silver Member

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    Na man swims been through addiction he wishes he never got to greedy trying to get high, life was ok with out it. You can have hobbies and things you like to do you to have fun without drugs. but after you start using addicting stuff you can no longer enjoy the simple things.

    oh and the psychiatric industry is corrupted by money. There's natural vitamins and amino acids that can help people with mental illness, without so many side effects, everything from depression and anxiety to bi polar and schizophrenia. Drug companies cannot make money on these they need to create something unnatural in order to Paten it.

    Im not trying to say don't use drug because every swimmer out here ain't gonna listen to me because swim wouldn't have listened to anyone either. But all I'm saying is the truth about it is you cannot get high without paying the price some how, its all karma. You get high you use up those chemicals -> you feel the come down or depression ->you wanna get high again

    It is a risk if you can just smoke pot occasionally or whatever do some psychedelics rarely that's cool. but most of us cant we keep hitting that button like those rats in the cage
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010
  19. chem

    chem Silver Member

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    Over time it darkens the light in your eyes to a faint shimmer. If you want to live for that shot, or need to because your in some chronic pain, it's your call.

    There is two sides to everything.

    If you don't think there is a problem, there isn't one.
     
  20. Code9

    Code9 Titanium Member

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    My badger has certainly been there also. Recovery does happen but it takes time. He actually had to move to a new city to really get moving in a positive direction. Best of luck recovering to swiy.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2010