Category: Holy Addiction (Blog)

What Is The Real Reason 12 Step Programs & Treamtment Centers Hate Suboxone/Methadone?

Twelve Step Programs & Treatment Center Vs Methadone & Suboxone

Treatment Centers & 12 Step Programs vs Methadone and Suboxone Treatment

Have you ever wondered why the majority of treatment centers and 12 step programs are dead set against maintenance drugs like Methadone and Suboxone?  Even though I was on maintenance drugs for almost fifteen years and suffered because of the stigma attached I never really thought about why.  Recently I came across a post, posted by recovery advocate Chad Sabora.

Post by Chad Sabora about Suboxone

It was posted on Overdose Awareness Day and I had seen countless posts and pictures of people that shouldn’t be gone.  Young people who didn’t get the chance to find recovery.  I used for twenty years, these kids were lucky if they made it two years.  There is a big difference in my story and most of those who lost their lives to opioid addiction.  I was on either Suboxone or Methadone for fifteen years and because of that I never graduated to heroin.

I didn’t go to twelve step meetings and all the years I was on methadone I used other substances, that is my experience, but I lived.  I am here to write this blog, and without a doubt, if I hadn’t taken that path I would have found heroin and more than likely I would be dead.

So if Suboxone and Methadone work so well, which they do.  Why are they so hated?  Why do many treatment centers steer people away from these treatments?  Why isn’t everyone with opioid addiction taking advantage of the single most successful treatment available today?

Let’s see what they offer you instead of Methadone/Suboxone/Subutex Treatment…

If you haven’t looked into putting someone into treatment recently you might be in for a few surprises.  Did you know that it isn’t uncommon for the monthly rate to be between 15,000 and 30,000 a month for a moderate treatment center?  The higher-end centers can run as high as 53,000 a month.  Now that price is cash pay.  When the insurance is being billed they are often seeing bills for as much as 100,000 a month.  So what do you get for all that money?  Here are the most common therapies being used in treatment centers as we speak.

12 Step Programs

Most treatment centers revolve around the 12 steps.  The patients go to meeting after meeting during treatment.  They also take their patients out to community 12 Step meetings several nights a week.  Don’t get me wrong, 12 Step Meetings are awesome and it saves many lives, including my father.  The problem is that it’s not for everyone.  Some people don’t believe in a higher power, as much as people don’t want to hear that.  It’s true.

AA or NA works for not even 50% of the people that enter their doors.   There are some who say the numbers are more like 5% get help in these programs.

Treatment centers take their patients out at night to meetings in the community at least a couple nights a week.  How much does this treatment cost the treatment center?

ZERO, meetings are free, unless you are in a treatment center, cause you are being charged.

 

AA is Free

 

Massages

Now I love a good massage but I don’t think it’s going to keep me from chasing dope.

Equine Therapy

Doesn’t that sound fun?  Especially when they show the horses running along the beach.  The rider looks free don’t they.  Except that isn’t reality.  Really you are going to visiting horses, not taking them off by yourself down the beach.  You will get to pet them, brush them, feed them some corn or an apple.  You might even be asked to shovel some shit while you are there.  Now don’t get me wrong I love horses.  I used to ride myself but it’s strange to me that for 200 or more a session anyone believes that this is going to have anything to do with someone like me finding recovery.  IF THIS WORKED I WOULDN’T BE HERE WRITING THIS.

IF THIS WORKED I WOULDN’T BE HERE WRITING THIS.

Equine Therapy

So what do treatment centers, Big Book Thumpers, and some “advocates” think about using Suboxone and Methadone along with these other options?

It is only speculation, but one obvious answer is that residential/inpatient programs have a financial incentive to detox people and tell them that recovery without medication-assisted treatment is better. If a patient is choosing to go on methadone or Suboxone, inpatient treatment is unnecessary in the vast majority of cases., many of the staff in these programs are recovering from alcohol use disorders (AUDs). They simply do not understand that opioid use disorders (OUDs) are substantially different, though of course there are some commonalities.

rehabs-shutter52162402-suboxone-pills-coming-out-of-container

 

Research shows that maintenance or long-term use of Suboxone (prescribed by specially certified physicians) or methadone (dispensed by special clinics that must be visited daily) not only helps individuals remain free from addiction to such opioids as prescription painkillers and heroin, it lowers death rates and prevents complications of addiction such as infections. The National Institute on Drug Abuse provides background information on these medications and how they work, as does the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHSA).

Here are some of the responses I received from representatives of the rehabs I recently queried about whether they use or recommend Suboxone past the detox phase of treatment:

  • “Short answer, no. Suboxone is a temporary solution for a permanent problem.”
  • “You can get strung out on Suboxone as badly as on heroin.”
  • “Oh no, absolutely not. We do not discharge them on Suboxone.” When I mentioned that the scientific literature reports that people do better on maintenance Suboxone than not, I was told, “The scientific literature is false. I’ve been doing this for 20 years.”
  • “We’re abstinence-based. Our success is getting to the underlying issues and we can’t get to those when they’re under the influence of narcotic or other medications.”

Technically, Suboxone and methadone are opioid medications, and opioids are sometimes called narcotics. (Suboxone is a combination of buprenorphine and the medication, naloxone, which is added to decrease its potential for misuse.) Both block cravings and drug seeking – they do not produce a high or impair functioning when properly prescribed.

The notion that these are ‘narcotics’ that prevent people from doing intensive therapy when used properly is ridiculous; the converse is true.-DR. MARK WILLENBRING

If someone treated with them uses an opioid such as heroin, the euphoric effects are usually dampened or suppressed. “The notion that these are ‘narcotics’ that prevent people from doing intensive therapy when used properly is ridiculous; the converse is true.”-DR. MARK WILLENBRIN, -founder, and CEO of Alltyr treatment clinic and former Director of the Division of Treatment and Recovery Research of the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Another reason is the fear of Suboxone Diversion, which means selling to other people. Studies suggest that most diversion occurs when people addicted to opioids are trying to get off them and don’t have medical access to Suboxone. It is very rare in the U.S. for people to use Suboxone in an attempt to get high.

  • How is Opioid Use Disorder ( OUD) different than Alcohol Use Disorder (AUDs)? According to Dr. Saxon: Opioids affect the brain (and the body—because we have opioid receptors on our smooth muscle and our gut) differently than alcohol. So the substance effects, the intoxication, the withdrawal and the ultimate changes that occur long term in brain and body after years of exposure are bound to be different. Fully explicating the differences on a cellular or molecular level is probably a Nobel Prize-winning endeavor! But it all means that treatment needs are not just the same as for AUDs.
    • Is there any evidence that residential treatment is valuable for OUDs?

    Dr. Saxon: There is no evidence that I know of for the standard 28-day programs, and we do know that risk of overdose is high after leaving one of those programs if patients are not continued on Suboxone or methadone. There is evidence for therapeutic communities – residential facilities where patients stay six months or longer. Of course, such programs are few and far between.

    • The CEO (also an addiction psychiatrist) of a company that owns a group of prominent rehabs directed me to a large Australian study, pointing out that one-year outcomes showed that medication maintenance treatment and residential treatment were equally effective. Why do we seldom hear about this study?

    Dr. Saxon: One cannot generalize from Australia to the U.S. – they have a very different health care system than we do. Also, there were multiple problems with the study design – for instance, it was not randomized, and the researchers don’t even report if there were baseline differences between the groups. And all outcome data were based totally on self-report so we have no objective findings.

    • It’s often stressed that whenever maintenance medications are prescribed for OUDs, counseling is also important. But haven’t a number of recent studies shown that counseling confers no added benefit to the medication alone?

    Dr. Saxon: Such studies relate specifically to office-based treatment with Suboxone and not to methadone maintenance. The findings are consistent in showing that outcomes were not improved when either drug counseling or cognitive-behavioral therapy were added to use of Suboxone and medical management alone. So in early treatment, it is the medication (Suboxone) that is causing the majority of change. Keep in mind that these studies only look at patients in the first several months of treatment, so we really don’t know the effects of behavioral interventions later on.

    Moreover, it’s important to realize that the physicians prescribing the medication in these studies received training on how to do gold standard medical management which includes important behavioral components. So the real message is that if you have a caring and competent physician prescribing buprenorphine who asks the right questions and makes the needed suggestions, adding on more behavioral interventions may not make a huge difference. All physicians out in practice may not have these skills, though they are not difficult to learn. In methadone treatment, it is pretty clear that the medication plus standard drug counseling is better than simply giving medication alone.

    • What if people with OUDs have co-occurring psychiatric problems? I would think this is a big exception to the “no counseling benefit” finding, one that impacts many individuals.

    Dr. Saxon: Very good point, and we don’t fully know the answer because individuals with severe psychiatric disorders are mostly screened out of such studies (many in the studies might have mild to moderate psych disorders.) However, patients with psychiatric disorders need psychotherapy and/or pharmacotherapy directed at their psychiatric disorders, not more behavioral interventions that address their addiction per se.

     

    • Some rehabs prefer Vivitrol to Suboxone, arguing that “head-to-head,” they are equally effective. Is this true?

    Dr. Saxon: Actually, there is far more evidence supporting the efficacy of Suboxone (and methadone) than injectable naltrexone or (Vivitrol). Only one clinical trial was done in Russia (which does not permit Suboxone or methadone) supports injectable naltrexone, and that’s the one on which the Food and Drug made its decision to approve Vivitrol for OUDs. Right now, an ongoing study funded by the National Drug Abuse Treatment Clinical Trials Network is comparing the effectiveness of Suboxone versus Vivitrol for OUDs. Using naltrexone does require withdrawal off opioids for about a week before starting it, so it is more complicated in that way than using the other maintenance medications. However, if someone can make it through the withdrawal and wants to try Vivitrol, I wouldn’t have any qualms about it but would monitor the person carefully and be quick to switch to Suboxone if the person isn’t doing well. (The risk of overdose may be higher with naltrexone than with Suboxone or methadone if clients drop out or stop medications, but it’s a risk with any of the medications, and all patients should be warned.)

    • The CEO of the rehabs defended not using Suboxone at their “abstinence-based facilities,” by saying that their patients will be going to AA and NA in the community and that 12-step programs don’t see Suboxone and methadone users as abstinent, even though the medical world does. He said, “We don’t control how the recovery community sees the world. So our big focus has been on Vivitrol.”

    Dr. Saxon: So their reasoning is that the AA groups are not following the actual precepts and stated policy of AA, which is to accept people who are on medications prescribed by physicians? And the rehab program is not doing the medically correct thing so as to make their patients fit into AA groups that are running AA incorrectly and judging people? They should be out there trying to get AA groups to practice AA the right way. However, if they can get Vivitrol to work, wonderful, I’m all for it.

    • How do costs compare between the various forms of maintenance treatment, and how likely is insurance to cover them?

    Dr. Saxon: Methadone costs between $300-400 per month, which includes medication, medication dispensing, medical evaluation, counseling, and urine testing. Suboxone medication cost would be about $300-400 per month retail. Physician and counseling fees would be additional. Vivitrol is about $1000 per dose with one dose per month. Physician and counseling fees would be additional. Medicaid covers all these treatments in many states but exact coverage varies from state to state. Private insurance often covers them (variations from policy to policy, obviously), but what I hear from physicians in private practice is that it is a huge hassle to get prior authorization at times.*

    *Costs for primary care treatment [initial phase] at the adult residential facilities I checked into ranged from 5,000 to about $55,000 for a 28- to a 30-day stay.

    Dr. Saxon: I agree. I will have a commentary coming out in the journal Addiction this year, which makes the very same point. We need to improve our retention rates dramatically. However, saying that one treatment is suboptimal does not mean the other treatment (rehab) is necessarily better.

    Twelve Step Meetings, aside from treatment centers have in my opinion interpreted the Big Book in a way that Bill W. and Dr. Bob didn’t intend.  Of course, I could be wrong.  I just cannot imagine the Dr. Bob would be ok with people stopping their psych meds, that end up committing suicide or all the people that don’t use Suboxone or Methadone due to the stigma.  So many of those people end up dead because of an overdose.  They would not want that.

    Let me also just say that I am not against rehab. I have just met so many families whose loved ones have gone through rehab many times and continue to use opioids. Rehab alone probably works for some, but when it doesn’t, we need to be quick to try medication.

    I am also not saying everyone needs these meds.  I just want people to have choices, we are all different.  We learn differently and we recover differently.

    Dead people don’t recover…ever…let’s keep them alive and not beat them up more in the process.

    AA's Views on other forms of recovery

 

 

 

 

 

Letter To My Child In Long Term Recovery

As I sit down to write this letter today memories come rushing back to days and years that I wrote to you, but from an entirely different place in our lives.   I was writing to you in rehab after rehab, jail cell after jail cell, in hopeless desperation for a life I would hope you would some day have.  Finally, after all these years, we are there.  I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of the person that you are today.

You are the strongest person I know.  I have witnessed the sad, pitiful, skinny and hopeless person you were while you were using.  Now I see the struggle, strength, and faith of a person fighting their way to sobriety.  I have watched this cycle over and over.  You have taught me more about life, through your suffering and times of pure desperation than I learned any other way.  You are my inspiration many days, and today is one of those days.

The journey I have been on with you has brought a lot of tears and gut wrenching sadness, but it has also brought a lot of joy, understanding, and knowledge.  It has helped us to grow to be the people we are today.  It sounds odd I know, but I am a better person because of your addiction and then recovery.  For that, I will always be grateful.

Going to classes before visitation at treatment centers taught me acceptance and understanding of addiction.    Visits to jail taught me humility.  Twelve step programs showed me there was always hope for you to get clean. Alanon was the best teacher of all for me.  It taught me that discipline and no more excuses were the way to go with you.  If I ever wanted to see you done with this.

Now I have you back, better than you were before it all began.   I never gave up on you.  I always knew deep down that you could succeed in recovery and that your life would be a gift to those who suffer the way that you did.  You have a kind heart and compassion for people who need help and hope, but most of all faith.  The example of your faith has made mine even stronger, and again I thank you.  You have so many people who love and respect you for all you have been through.

You have accomplished so much and did it all the hard way.  Your family loves you more than you will ever know.  You were special to me before you were ever born.  You will always be my baby.  I am so proud that you are my child and I can say I am your mom!

I love you!

 

Not everyone has someone to write a letter like this to them once they find long term recovery. This letter is dedicated to those people who deserve to hear these words but the people they need to hear them from are either unable or unwilling to say them.

Marijuana Laced With Fentany Causes Overdose

BOSTON — Police in Yarmouth used two doses of Narcan to revive an unresponsive man Saturday afternoon and investigators believe the man may have been experiencing an overdose after smoking marijuana laced with the powerful opioid fentanyl.

At about 2:49 p.m. Saturday,  police were called to a home for a report of a medical emergency involving a young adult male. Officers found a man without a pulse and not breathing on a bedroom floor.

Yarmouth police and fire officials administered one dose of Narcan in the home and a second while en route to Hospital. The man regained consciousness after the second dose.

The man and his girlfriend had smoked marijuana earlier in the day “but did not realize it may have been laced with another drug which caused the overdose.” Officers took a grinder and glass bong from the house as part of their investigation.

In a statement, the Yarmouth Police Department said its officers “believe that it is possible that the marijuana was laced with fentanyl, which police are starting to see more and more across the country.”

Fentanyl is a powerful opioid that can be legitimately prescribed to treat severe chronic pain. In recent years, law enforcement officials have seen a surge in clandestinely produced fentanyl being mixed with heroin or other drugs to give it a powerful — and increasingly deadly — boost in potency.

 Earlier this summer, an Ohio coroner said her office had seen evidence that some cocaine and marijuana in Ohio had been mixed with fentanyl.

“Essentially, the message we’ve tried to get out there is if you are using any form of street drugs, count on them having some form of synthetic opioid mixed in,” the coroner, Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco said in June.

Some doubt has been cast on Sammarco’s statement, and a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman told the Cincinnati Enquirer in a follow-up to the coroner’s comments that he had heard of no such cases but offered that “there could be” some.

In a statement Tuesday, the group behind the successful effort to legalize marijuana in Massachusetts pointed to the Yarmouth incident as a reason towns should not ban legal and regulated marijuana retail shops.

“This is a frightening example of what can happen when consumers are forced to buy street marijuana from illicit sources. It’s impossible to know who grew it or what’s in it,” Jim Borghesani, spokesman for the Yes on 4 campaign, said. “Voters and town officials should be aware that bans will do nothing to keep marijuana out of their towns. All the bans will do is keep criminals in charge of sales and drive consumers into markets where they might be exposed to dangerous, even deadly, product.”

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using Drugs While Pregnant

Using drugs while pregnant

Everyone has a strong opinion about those who continue to abuse substances while pregnant.   Even those who suffer from the same disease.  Drugs aside,  women are hard on each other.  Mothers are even worse.  Mothers judging one another is out of hand when drugs aren’t in the picture.  We have all been guilty of it in some way or another.  “OMG, JoAnn lets Jake drink apple juice, it’s full of sugar,  I only give my girl water!” said one of the perfect moms in my family.  You would think I was giving him heroin or something.  Add drugs to the situation, and everyone becomes judge and jury.

Imagine you are suffering from the disease of addiction and find yourself pregnant.

We aren’t talking about smoking pot or drinking now and then.  Your drug of choice is opiates.  It doesn’t matter what form you take them in, pills or heroin.  If you wind up pregnant, you have a serious problem on your hands.  If you are an addict that used opiates ask yourself.  Would you be able to lay the drug down?  It’s true that some women could and do.  They find out they are expecting and they stop never to look back again until sometime after the child is born.  There are a few that never touch the drug again.

Most in this position will end up on Methadone or Suboxone.

There are lots of expecting mothers at the Methadone Clinics in Louisville, KY where I took either Methadone or Suboxone off and on for fifteen years.  These women while waiting in line told me that withdrawal while pregnant is very dangerous to the baby.  So much so that doctors feel that allowing the mother Methadone or Suboxone is safer than quitting cold turkey.  With Methadone/Suboxone dispensed at a clinic the OBGYN at least knows what drug is being introduced to the baby and how much.  If these women were buying drugs off the street, there’s no telling what their dealer is cutting the drug with, not to mention the threat of Fentanyl now.  The clinics also drug test regularly so her OBGYN doesn’t have to bother with any of that.  In the end, the baby is indeed born addicted to Methadone but had the mother continued to use on the street the chances are too high that both mom and baby could die of an overdose.

What if there are no Methadone/Suboxone Clinics around for you to use this safety net for you and your unborn child.

Would you be able to put the drug down and walk away?  My first reaction to this question is yes!! I would just put it down no question.  The truth though isn’t that simple. There is no way I can say that honestly though.  I believe that addicts are compassionate people.  After they take drugs or drink for the first time, they discover what it is NOT to have their feelings exploding with emotion.  If an addict is in love,  IT IS dark LOVE.  If you hurt them, IT HURTS BAD.  More often than not just say sorry and give it some time.  They will forgive you.  Once we find a substance that makes a living with our immense feelings bearable, we aren’t giving it up easy.

The problem is that drugs have such a horrible stigma that now we are numbing those old emotions but are also developing massive amounts of shame and guilt because of the using.  Now we have to use more to cover those feelings up too.  If I found myself pregnant and continued to use the pain that would cause within myself would be debilitating.  Which would cause me to use and use hoping against hope to forget even for a moment the situation I was putting my unborn child in.

What happens if a woman is caught using while pregnant?

Put her in jail and throw away the key, right?  Do you think she wanted to harm her baby?  No, she didn’t.  It doesn’t matter though because in America we call Addiction a disease, but we don’t treat it like one.  If she had diabetes, one of those severe cases, while pregnant and continued to eat cookies and drink soda putting her unborn child and herself in danger no one would suggest jail for that woman.   That is because we treat Diabetes like a disease and Addiction like a moral failing.

Female addicts are some of the harshest critics of mothers who continue to use.  

We have to stop doing this to one another.  We need to stick together.  All of us have done at least one thing that we are not proud of while using.  So I had sex for money, and she used drugs while pregnant.  Who am I to judge her?  We were and are sick.  We made and make mistakes.  Why not work together?  We have enough people judging and hating us simply for using drugs.  Our people should be a safe spot.

To the mothers reading this,

Whether you have the disease of addiction or not.  STOP BEING SO HATEFUL TO OTHER MOMS.  Parents need to uplift one another.  Addicts need to remember just how hard it was to quit using and how many times they slipped up.  So what you were lucky enough not to find yourself expecting a baby in the middle of it.  Thank goodness huh, cause it’s more likely than not that you would have continued to use too.

You can never go wrong with kindness.

Sponsors Get Your Shit Together

Sponsors Get Your shit together

Sponsors Get Your shit together

Are you in a 12 step program? If you are,  I hope you have a sponsor, and you sponsor others.

More and more when a newcomer asks someone to be their sponsor some of the responses are terrifying.

Here are some of the worst:

Are you willing to do whatever it takes?

I tell you what, go to 90 meetings in 90 days and call me every night at 8 pm and if you do and I believe you are ready I will be your sponsor.

I can’t sponsor yet I don’t have a year under my belt

Those are the perfect example of why our Fellowship’s success rate is so bad.

Imagine for a minute that instead of the disease of addiction you have cancer. You are fed up to here with this cancer, so you go to the doctor.

The doctor looks at you and says are you willing to do whatever it takes?

Then he says go to 90 support group meetings in 90 days and call me every night at 8 pm.  If you do that I will treat your cancer.

That would be crazy right? Well no more crazed than a sponsor who has the knowledge to deliver this poor suffering soul but instead they wanna to put the newcomer to the test.  The problem is that many newcomers might not live another 90 days.

Well, I’m not willing to risk the lives of people to test their willingness.  They are going to tell you that they are ready to do whatever it takes whether they are or not.

A sponsors job is to take newcomers or sponsees through the steps, do it. It’s  not about you.

I’m writing this for two reasons.

  1.  I heard Chris R. talking about this very thing, almost word for word.  I laughed because it was funny in a that’s insane,  kind of way.  Then it happens to me personally.

That leads me to the second reason,

2.  I have had the toughest time finding a decent sponsor.  Somehow I’ve made it a little over a year without the guidance of a real sponsor.  I started working the steps but hadn’t  made it past step three.

Now some of this or all of it is my fault.  After going through hell in the last six months I decided to buckle down and get me a real sponsor, you know the kind you can meet at a meeting or out for lunch.

To my astonishment right in front of me stood the sponsor Chris R. talked about.  At that moment I wanted to say look I don’t know if I have 90 days to me.

I had just had a year of hell on top of being clean for a year without a lick of recovery.  If you don’t know how that feels, it sucks.  There was no way I could wait another 90 days.  It was impossible.  At that moment I was closer to a relapse than ever.

I needed a sponsor right now.  Not in 90 days.  I planned to be done with the steps with any luck in 3o days.  I was prepared to focus, and I needed the solution, not a test.  The past year was the test of a lifetime already.

This is a pervasive thing in our fellowship, and it needs to stop.  Someone gave you the solution when you came into the rooms, and now it is up to you to pass it to those who come after you.  Chris R. says that as soon as you do the steps, you can start taking the next person through the steps.

You don’t have to be clean for X amount of time before you can sponsor or chair meetings.  Nowhere in the book does it give a timeline for these things.

If you are reading this and have worked the steps, please don’t do this to our newcomers.  If I hadn’t had a year already, I would have used that night.  Thankfully I asked another woman at the same meeting who was 6months clean, and she is a godsend.  I am so grateful.

We have to do better.

They Say Addiction Is A Disease But They Don’t Act That Way

They Say Addiction Is Disease But They Don't Treat It That Way

They say addiction is a disease, but they don’t act that way.  If people believed addiction was a disease things would be different in our Country.   Yes, the doctors and the government officials all call addiction a disease but they don’t treat it like it is a disease.  If they did when someone overdosed they wouldn’t be let back onto the streets in four hours.  The hospital would know that they need to keep the patient until a long-term bed could be found.  Acknowledging that someone with the disease of addiction who just overdosed is much more likely to die than any other patient they will see besides the trauma patients.  They don’t do any of these things though.  Because they don’t treat addiction as a disease.

If law enforcement viewed addiction as a disease then surely people wouldn’t get arrested for addiction related issues. People wouldn’t be spending their lives in jail over drugs.  The police would get people into treatment instead of placing them in prison. Every police officer would carry Narcan.  The officers time would be spent providing hope and support instead of handcuffs that do nothing besides adding more stigma and guilt.

Everyone says Addiction is not a disease, its a choice.  You have heard this argument, and even if you have never said it out loud, you have thought it.  At least I have, and I am an addict

.

Did you know that people with diabetes can relapse?  They sure can.  They stop following doctors orders by not checking their sugar and not eating properly.  People with diabetes relapse all the time but doctors don’t shame them.  They go out of their way to get that patient back on track.  Why? Managing disease is hard.  That includes heart disease.  How many of you fail to take your blood pressure meds correctly?  Are you following the diet that your doctor set out for you?

Let me guess you don’t think that heart disease and diabetes is anything like an addiction because addiction is a choice, right?  Well isn’t most diabetes brought on by diet and lack of physical activity? Type 2 diabetes is caused by the choices that the patient made and continues to make.  What about heart disease?  Isn’t that often brought on by the same things?

Addiction is caused by using that first drug.  Most of us made that same choice at one time or another.  How many people can honestly say they have never had a drink, smoked a joint or taken a pain pill?  If you didn’t get addicted then awesome for you.  You are lucky.  That means you don’t have the disease of addiction.  See I know many addicts that can eat as many donuts as they want and their sugar won’t spike at all.  That is awesome for them…that means they don’t have diabetes.

Cookies and fast food are causing Diabetes all over the world.  The last time I checked cookies don’t force you to eat them, so the person with diabetes is making a choice, that led to their disease. I don’t know about you but not once when I was buying ice cream, and white bread did I worry that a police officer was going to pull me over and catch it on me.  Why is that?  If the argument is that addiction is a choice, then let’s declassify diabetes and heart “disease.”

So why do they call addiction a disease when they don’t believe that it is?  Is it a new concept?  No, it’s been classified as a disease since the 80’s.  Maybe that is still too new; I don’t know.  Maybe they are trying to train us into believing that it is a disease. I know what some of you are thinking.  You think that calling addiction a disease is something that addicts want and you refuse to buy into that bull, right?  I get it.  I used opiates for twenty years, and I would laugh when people would tell me addiction was a disease until I listened to Dr. Ruth Potee giving her talk called Addiction is a Brain Disease.  Dr. Potee breaks it down, and I found not only understanding of myself but peace knowing that I wasn’t just a bad person.

Please take the time to watch Dr. Ruth Potee explain exactly why addiction is a disease and ask why we aren’t treating it accordingly.

I never wanted to be an addict.  When I had my first drink or drug, I planned on having fun like everyone else and not looking back.  Something happen though, I felt for the first time happy and what I imagined normal was.  Even though I wasn’t addicted that first time, I knew by the end of it that I wanted to feel it again.  So I did, over and over until I had not only a mental addiction but a physical one.

So like Richard Jones said in the rant that inspired this post…Stop calling it a disease if you aren’t going to treat it like one.  It’s almost as insulting as when you use words like junkie.  It’s time to demand that addiction is treated as a disease.  Just calling it a disease isn’t enough anymore.

Please follow Richard Jones.  He runs the recovery and activist group called, Recovery Cartel on Facebook.