What would you say if I told you that I had Cancer, and was treating it solely with prayer? It would be an interesting choice, for sure, right?
According to the CDC, I have a disease, addiction. Do you know what the cure for this disease is in most American’s opinion?
Visualize for a moment that a dear friend or family member comes to you concerning a drug addiction. They want help and need some advice. What is the first program that pops into your mind? I bet you thought of NA or AA. 12 step programs have dominated the addiction treatment world for many years. It would be difficult to find an inpatient treatment facility or outpatient program that doesn’t follow those wildly popular 12 steps.
So what does AA treat addiction with?
FAITH – that is the main component of AA/NA. If you read the steps you can see that if you take the “higher power” out of the equation you aren’t left with much. Several times I have asked around at meetings, what if someone doesn’t believe in God or hasn’t found him? How do they let go and let God? Use a doorknob if you have to, fake it till you make it is a favorite of mine.
40 million Americans ages 12 and older—or more than 1 in 7 people—abuse or are addicted to nicotine, alcohol or other drugs. This is more than the number of Americans with heart conditions (27 million), diabetes (26 million) or cancer (19 million).
With the number of people addicted to substances so high, shouldn’t we be using some scientific means to fight this disease? So far I have found three scientific ways to treat my type of addiction, which is opiate, for those that don’t know. Opiates are anything from Heroin to prescription pain meds. Methadone, Suboxone, and Vivitrol are the three medical solutions to the disease. Methadone and Suboxone are both just as addictive as heroin. These medications are used to maintenance my addiction. Basically, keep me from withdrawing while trying to keep me from getting high. It is a very fine line. One that few have mastered.
I have used both of these methods and I must say that they work. I mean think about it, as an addict the one thing I was always chasing was a substance that would keep me well. If I could get high in the process it was a great day. The main goal is to stay one step ahead of the horrible flu-like symptoms of withdrawal from the opiates. The best thing about these two options is the safety net that it casts. It is invaluable to many. Believe it or not, but you can’t get high off of heroin if you use these. You would have to plan carefully to face the monster of withdrawal first. (Plan three days of sickness and after that you might be able to feel the heroin.) Drug addicts typically wouldn’t do that. We don’t want to get sick that is the reason we take suboxone or methadone in the first place.
Here are a few problems with these two methods.
- They are just as addictive as the heroin or pills were. You are trading one addiction for another.
- It is expensive
- Do you use them forever?
However, they are legal; so we aren’t breaking the law anymore. That’s a plus. Yes, they are expensive, but not as expensive as a heroin habit. That is the thing about these two methods, you may never come off of them. They are extremely addictive and I just don’t know if I will ever be able to live without them. That means the rest of my life.
Is that acceptable? I mean, diabetics use insulin forever in many cases. Diabetes is a disease that many times is brought on because of eating habits and/ or not getting enough exercise. That makes this disease the closest relative to drug or alcohol addiction. It starts with a choice and turns into a disease.
Vivitrol is new and who knows what little secrets it hides. It’s very expensive and personally, I know no one that has used it. From what I hear it works wonders and is not addictive. That is also what they told us about Suboxone. The clinic actually conned me out of an extra seventy dollars a week with this little lie for over a year. Only to find out the very harsh reality that after all of this “treatment” I was just as addicted or more than before I walked through their doors.
In the end, what is the right answer? I have tried and tried to put it down and leave it alone. More years have passed where I was fighting to get clean than trying to get high and here I am. So do I give it to God, even if he is a door knob? What if I can’t fake it until I make it?
Is this healthy? Who is the expert?