Saturday, April 5, 2008

Recently from Cross Addicted....

Hi, everyone.

It's Wednesday of Spring Break week, here, and MAN, am I ready for the kids to get back into school!!!!! I've never heard so much whining and crying, pi**ing and moaning, "it's too cold to go out! It's raining again! When does school start back up again??!!"---oh, wait. That was ME. Nevermind. xp

Well, I've been slacking on my schoolwork like CRAZY, so I felt that I would at least try to make this post somewhat educational, in case anyone should find it, while looking for info.

Last semester I was taking a class that was about the family and how they deal (or don't) with addiction, and it was striking to me that the textbook really seemed to "poo-poo" the idea of getting particularly concerned when the addict/alkie relapsed. It was saying that it's going to happen, so when it does, the addicted person needs to just pick themselves up and move on. Maybe try harder next time. WHICH, I'm sorry, am I the only one getting this?---smacks of the illusion of "self-control", to me. Reading these things, I remember thinking, "well, sh*t, then I can just go out and have a couple, and get up the next day and hold my head high and get that "slip chip"---coz, shoot, it's what we're s'posed to do! That chaps my ass. If it was all that nice and neat why would anyone ever need to quit?!

Anyway, that's not what I was going to write about today.
It amuses me to no end when I read things in Psychiatric journals adn the like, letting us all in on their latest discovery: "recovering tweakers more likely to have major depression"! (My translation, I'm pretty sure they don't use terms like "Tweaker" in their journals) Now granted, maybe this is only a no-brainer to me, b/c this is my area of specialty, and I've always tried to learn as much about drugs as possible. But it kinds really just makes sense, when you stop and consider it: Your brain is getting overloaded with FEEL-GOOD chemicals, for however long you are using coke, crank, Ice, meth, uppers in general, or whatever you wanna call it, then it stops getting all that sweet tweaky goodness. All of a sudden, the parts of the brain that are already built in, to make you feel good when good things happen, are NOT getting any assistance to do their jobs, and they have become essentially atrophied. I mean, it's just common knowledge, isn't it, that if you have a muscle that you don't use for a long time, it will get smaller until it can't possibly do the job it was made for?
And so it makes perfect sense to me, that I would tend to be even more of a "depressive" personality now, after having HAD the incredible highs that those drugs bring, for so long, and removing the same drugs.
But, I just wish I knew one thing, at least with some reasonable assurance:

Does your brain ever get balanced out again? I'd bet nobody has done all the testing necessary to really research this, for the simple reason that it would require the depressed person to be off of their meds for an extended period of time, and if that wasn't reason enough, think of the havoc it would reek(sp?) in the pharmaceutical empires, if it turned out that we COULD eventually be done with their fat, wallet-padding lineup.(???) I just want to be done with needing THE MAN, which is what it feels like, if I might be so brash. But today, right now, I am unable to remove the need for the chemical adjustments that the medical companies can only give. I detest this dependence. But until a whole lot of my situation changes, this is how it's gotta be. If only God would give me a big, towering, undeniable sign, and REMOVE the problem, so that I could just put them down and be ok.
I comfort myself, when thoughts of "what did the world do BEFORE they had antidepressants?" run through my mind, with this reply:
Maybe the world wasn't as completely morbidly depressing then. Maybe it wasn't.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Crossing Over

There are those who have said that they drank or drugged for years without harmful consequences of their use. Then one day they somehow "crossed over the line". They became unable to control their chemical use. Crossing the line is when the brain adapts to the chemical use and overrides the rational or reasonable thought processes. The chemical use-reward sequence that leads to the euphoria in the pleasure center becomes "hardwired" or imprinted into the brain. Once this occurs normal drinking and social drug use are impossible. They have crossed the line into addiction. They no longer can control the use.

People who are chemically dependent do not crave particular drugs but rather they crave the euphoria that a drug produces. While each person may have a favorite drug, the person is actually addicted to the feeling of intoxication.

I was recently asked why a recovering opiate addict could not drink alcohol. This is the answer. A chemically dependent person cannot replace one drug with another because it is not the drug but the feeling of intoxication that is the problem.

Addiction is a progressive terminal disease. Left unchecked the addiction can take a life either through accident or from physical complications. However, how many addicts really think about this in the early stages of their chemical use?

Alcohol & drug use becomes progressively worse over time as the tolerance to the chemical increases and to obtain that feeling of euphoria becomes more of a challenge. The higher the level of toxic mood altering chemicals in the body, the more damage is done to the organs & nervous system. The liver has a harder time detoxifying the chemicals. The body can no longer function in a normal manner. The health deteriorates. Consumption rises. All hell breaks loose.