Smack, crack, ecstasy – sounds like fun before we even get into the diversity of available alternatives. I am reliably informed that taking some of these ‘stimulants’ creates such a feeling of wellbeing, such a ‘high’ that you feel so confident, you could achieve, well anything, until the down kicks in that is.....
Heroin and cocaine are the stereotypical addictions
Name Your Poison
Smack, crack, ecstasy – sounds like fun before we even get into the diversity of available alternatives. I am reliably informed that taking some of these ‘stimulants’ creates such a feeling of wellbeing, such a ‘high’ that you feel so confident, you could achieve, well anything, until the down kicks in that is.
Incredible work is being done by using hypnotherapy in Drug Rehabilitation Programmes. One of the ways they do this is by enabling the recovering addict to experience ‘at will’ the incredible highs they experienced on their various trips, locking this into the sub conscious mind and being able to call this feeling up whenever required, ideally when a really bad craving for a fix occurs. It works alongside orthodox rehabilitation programmes and treatments.
Heroin and cocaine are the stereotypical addictions we are familiar with, along with other hard and soft drugs whose labels we hear booming through our television screens, but what about addictions that we are less comfortable with. Like painkillers. Sugar.
Sugar addiction is becoming well publicised, but painkillers less so. And it is such an easy path to slide down. There is pain after all. A pain that caused you to be reaching for the pills in the first place, a pain that caused the doctor to write you up for stronger meds and an on-going pain that only goes away or becomes bearable after you have taken your 4 hourly doses.
Pain is often treated with a mix of paracetamol and codeine. Codeine is highly addictive – it is used as an alternative to heroin for addicts suffering withdrawal symptoms. In its original form it was derived from opium poppy heads, these days it is synthesised.
There is no doubt that there is a pain or is there? In certain circumstances, very definitely there is no doubt, try banging your head against a brick wall for two minutes (don’t really try this at home folks) and I am pretty certain the pain will be quite real. In this instance we can clearly define the cause – head hits wall, wall bites back equals pain. Depending on how hard you banged your head, the pain could be mild or severe and even bring about a concussion. That is fairly obvious. What about nagging pain, a headache, backache, or some equally vague pain without any perceived cause?
The human mind is an amazing thing, just tip in a bit of stress or a dash of chemical imbalance and it can have you reaching for the co-codomol. Trouble is we don’t stop to address the cause.
Pain is the guardian, if you just saw it as that instead of something to be gotten rid of at any price, you would start to listen and take more notice. It is there to advise you – ‘Houston, we have a problem’. It maybe that the ‘problem’ is in actual fact 30,000 neuronic light years away from where the pain is actually being felt. The point here is that not all pain is due to injury.
So how do you know that you’re addicted? The pain is real enough, the pills work fine, maybe need them a bit more often though. There is no easy answer to that question and the hardest thing is that we all associate being addicted to drugs with the stereotypical street addict.
If you find that you are taking pain killers for an extended period of time, it could be time to ask whether you are addicted or not, or maybe look for an emotional cause. Pain is your friend and should be respected as such, your advisor that something needs attention, and be aware that your friend – pain - can also put in an appearance as a symptom of addiction.