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Old 08-07-2007, 05:42 PM
  # 21 (permalink)  
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I think my addict friend started out self-medicating, at least in part I think. A few months before she started using, she said that she needed to see a psychiatrist to prescribe something for her. She didn't know what she needed, but she said she just needed to be on "medication". Well, I can't stand anything stronger than aspirin and think our society in general is waaay over-medicated. So when she told me this, it was so foreign to me. I suggested that she talk to a therapist about some major changes that had recently occurred in her life, and recommended that she try to avoid any medication if she can. Well, she didn't see anyone, said she felt fine and everything appeared to be normal. A few months later, while traveling in Europe, she met some drug users in her travel group. In just a couple of weeks, she had a daily habit and the rest is history.
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:03 PM
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The choice isn't in becoming an addict. The choice is in becoming a recovering addict, it's in the practice of non-use. For all of us this is an issue close to our hearts and so of course, we think differently about it because most of our perception comes from knowing that person "before" the addiction. None of us wants to say there was some choosing involved because it's too painful to think about but I believe free will plays a major part.

You've all said and I know that when she's ready to go into recovery she will. So there in lays the choice. However I also know that she has mental problems (depression, anxiety, OCD and bipolar) and comes from a dysfunctional family (her mother's a recovering addict 20 years). Perhaps there is a biological predisposition for the "disease". But some addicts do use the premise of "disease" as an excuse because they lack the willpower to change the "behavior". And the only way it progresses into a disease if if she chooses not to stop, again a choice.

She's not weak. She had the resources to succeed. She was becoming educated on her mental problems, on drug use and recovery so she can't claim to be ignorant of the causes or the consequences. She was learning to talk about her feelings and how to regain some positive sense of self-worth. We all went out of our way to help her adjust and make the transition. She had her counselor and fellow group members on speed dial! These aren't my assumptions; these are things she said to me.

I don't believe that she's just some puppet powerless to the drug (coke). I think she got too comfortable in her recovery. She let her guard down and she got snagged again. We both did. And for each of us whether it's active addiction or recovery our stories are different and so are how they began and will end.

Last edited by newblue82; 08-07-2007 at 06:05 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:12 PM
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When the pain of using is greater than the pain of quitting. I guess she has not experienced enough pain yet. Some never do. Hugs, Marle
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Old 08-07-2007, 06:16 PM
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Originally Posted by newblue82 View Post
I don't believe that she's just some puppet powerless to the drug (coke). I think she got too comfortable in her recovery. She let her guard down and she got snagged again. We both did.

I've heard that many addicts start out highly motivated in their recovery, but then hit "the wall". They are strong in the beginning because as they work their program, they experience all these new positive changes in their lives. But as their system and emotions and relationships start to stablize, they experience a lull. They continue to do the work, but they no longer get that reward of the change as they did in the beginning. Apparently, this is a common point of relapse.
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Old 08-08-2007, 09:28 AM
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addicted here too, i've read through most of these post and i thought at first to not post on this one, cause i know that regardless of what a non addicted person might think, i know that i didn't purposely set out to be addicted.

i was an honor student, very active in school activities, brought up in the church, with a very strick and protective single parent, who didnt drink or allowed drinking, drugging or smkoking cigs in our home, yet out of 6 kids, only my brother and i found away to become addicted.

i do believe that it was a choice i made to first use. i mean like most teens, i experimented like the rest of my friends but i didn't like feeling high so i would just try it and never pick up again, until i tried crack. i thought that i could do the same thing with that drug but not so. i was addicted the first time and didn't know how to say no and not give in to that urge.

yes i thought i was fighting to stay clean, i mean in my mind, i was doing all i knew to do, after a while, it was like my body and my decision maker was taken over by that drug. i needed help in order to make the decision to recieve help, then i needed help to act on the help that i became willing to recieve, then i need help on staying willing

on the other hand, my brother, who was alcoholic, died an alcoholic, after being warned that he only had so long to live unless he stopped, couldn't find his way to do that. i watched my brother suffer serious physical pain while his organs literally deteriated, while his brain told him that he couldn't say no to his doc.

don't know if this makes sense to anyone but i don't believe that my brother chose to die, he choose to drink while young and couldn't find that nick that it took for him to find that fight that he needed to be able to say no.

i think that as much as a non addict tries, they can never fully understand what its like to be addicted, unless they become addicted themselves. sorry, just thought i'd throw in my 2 cents. hope it makes a little sense
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Old 08-08-2007, 03:53 PM
  # 26 (permalink)  
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It makes perfect sense, Teke. Thanks for sharing and I'm sorry to hear of your loss. You're absolutely right that a non-addict would never understand an addict's mind or struggle. Although I'm starting to wonder about that as well because an "enabler" as many of us are also share an addiction to some degree. We find it difficult or even impossible to say no to the addict(s) in our lives, much like a drug though it brings us incredible pain and suffering. There in lies the addiction and the struggle for a non-user.

As for me I drink; probably more than I should. Do I think I have a problem with drinking? Yes, I do. I haven't stopped drinking but I have cut back considerably. But I also know that if I really made up my mind to quit drinking I could; no doubt it'd be difficult but if I wanted it bad enough I could succeed. Again I don't believe the choosing is in becoming an addict; I think the choosing is in becoming a recovering addict. And because I'm not choosing to stop or ready to stop, I continue to drink.
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Old 08-15-2007, 08:35 AM
  # 27 (permalink)  
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Mertze I agree 100% on people being overmedicated!!! I work in a pharmacy and sometimes I just want to go outside with a 10 gallon bucket of hydrocodone and toss handfulls to people and yell "come and get it"! We have a machine that fills most of our meds for us and the Hydrocodone 7.5 and 10 dispencers are worn out and we have to fill manually now. And to see these people begging, I mean literally begging for us to refill there scripts early is so sad. Most of these people are on government sponsered health care programs and coulden't find a job if they wanted to because of these "legal" addictions. I was working in a richer part of town and the drug of choice there was adderall, daytrana, and alprazolam, now I have transfered to another smaller town and it's lortab, lortab, lortab. Parents need to educate themselves on the dangers of putting there children on CII drugs. CII, locked in a safe!! and they are given freely to our children!! And then when the chilren grow up and the doc doesen't want to give them these very addictive CII drugs anymore what do the children choose to do....self medicate. It's so sad. Sorry for the rant but I can't help it I see it 8 hours a day everyday...maybe I should get out of this business lol
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Old 08-15-2007, 09:24 AM
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I type medical reports. Just became somebody is diagnosed with a disease, they do not have to accept treatment for it. And some people with some diseases (like hypertension or diabetes) can decide to lose weight or eat healthy - such that they can then stop taking medication for it - or they can just stay overweight and eat unhealthy and keep taking medication, or they can choose to do nothing. Or someone diagnosed with high cholesterol numbers can change their eating habits and lower their numbers, or they can keep eating the way they do and take medication, or they can do absolutely nothing. (NOTE: SOME PEOPLE RESPOND TO BEHAVIORAL/DIETARY MODIFICATION.)

For these diseases, I do not believe that an outsider can "force" a person to get medical treatment. But for diagnoses such as dementia or Alzheimer's or mental illness, family members can get "system" permission to force treatment or force a person into the hospital or nursing home setting.

Is addiction a disease? Maybe the benefit in classifying this as a disease is that the legal and medical systems are freed up to sometimes have the authority to "force" treatment. And how many times has forced treatment been an instrument in breaking through the denial of our loved ones' (and even our) denial.
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Old 08-15-2007, 10:35 AM
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I believe that many relapses occur because after finding the early stages of recovery - as Mertzie spoke of - that the underlying core issues rear their heads. If they are not dealt with then relapse is highly likely.

Many active addicts would love to stop doing what they are doing...however, their brain chemistry has been changed and the neural pathways and responses don't allow that. It takes time for the brain to heal and the addict has to be away from the using environment to allow the brain healing to occur which then allows them to learn the coping mechanisms and responses of recovery. If it was simply something as simple as a choice, most addicts would quit.

great discussion!
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