Sunday, May 6, 2012

Leads to harder stuff, no doubt - a gateway to what?


  1. Thanks for posting this, Legendary. Some of it is absolutely sickening and depressing, but it should show folks addiction ought to be treated as a health problem.

    It makes me thankful I am old and passed through the teen and young adult years before prescription pills were so available and accepted. Most do not jump right into heroin these days. They start with pills and the pills are truly the gateway to heroin.

    What good does it do to put these addicts in jail as opposed to treatment/maintenance? The addict is the very lifeblood of these nasty drug dealers.

    Other than law enforcement officers (who certainly have their livelihoods at stake), I hope that the public and legislators will soon recognize that to put money into treatment/maintenance is much more effective than putting it into law enforcement efforts.

    There is big and quick money in drugs for the dealers. Reduce the number of addicts and you will reduce the demand and the drug dealers will just naturally fade away.

  2. Okay, Anonymous, but remember that just throwing money at a problem as diverse and pesky as substance abuse and addiction is no answer. For a person who is addicted to recover under the disease concept of the medical model, that person must first see addiction as a problem.

    So many do not see a problem. They perceive a world hell bent to persecute them for their habits of drinking or using drugs - not just compulsively or obsessively, though that is a key component - to satisfy a craving over which they have no mental control and not a shred of behavioral defense.

    Old timers in recovery from addiction to alcohol or drugs of any type have always put it this way.

    1. Either you are, or you aren't addicted.
    2. Either you do, or you do not wish to recover.
    3. Either God is, or He is not a power greater than yourself.
    4. Either He will, or He will not relieve you of your disease.

    That fourth proposition might just be the one a candidate for recovery has not yet tried.

    We see a situation in which a person who really and truly wishes to recover cannot be prevented once their mind is made up; by the same token, a candidate for recovery who really and truly does not wish to recover can in no way be persuaded to do the things that will surely lead their recovery.

    There is really very little need for money, because the solution is spiritual. Once a person has become detoxified, they are in a position to make an informed decision about what to do. To recovery, the answer is simple - abstain from the substance of choice, and all other substances that lead to a physical dependency compelled by a phenomenon of craving.

    This takes various amounts of time, depending on the addiction - but to what substance and to what degree? It is by far the most dangerous time of all in the story of recovery because of the various complications of withdrawal symptoms. They are usually very severe, and without medical supervision and some help, most are unable to stand the pain.

    Believe me, law enforcement officers won't suffer a slow down in their work. Here is why. The numbers of those who can commit to recovery and complete a detox program are very, very few, percentagewise.

    Those who will not or cannot stick with a regimen of recovery and complete abstinence may as well be prosecuted and warehoused in custodial detention or incarceration. Just going through the motions by court order is completely ineffective. Less than 1% complete the period of probation drug and/or alcohol free. How dismal a recovery rate is that? So much for ordering folks to get well. It just doesn't work. Healing is an art based on scientific principles, accurate observations and record keeping, horse sense and effective communications. Any idea how difficult it is to maintain those elements in one package?

    Try it. You will see.

    No, throwing money at the problem is not the solution. Skillful application of healing arts is the key, and it's not easy. Let's find a way to increase the potential for experimentation, by all means, but don't give away the store.

    - The Legendary

  3. OK, Legendary, I totally understand the AA model of total abstinence is the gold standard in the solution to this problem and agree the recovery rate in that mode is dismal. I am not suggesting every addict be run through some high-dollar 30 day residential treatment program.

    There is another treatment option out there which is maintenance. My preference is that those who cannot abstain be given a fix in a controlled setting rather than going out to steal my stuff and creating this incredible demand upon which these drug dealers thrive.

    We now have exceptional product out there for maintenance which is far better than the outdated methadone. It is Suboxone and is even available as a monthly injection, but with limited private availability it costs about $1000. per month. Even at that current price, it is a much better deal for taxpayers than the price of warehousing massive amounts of our population.

    Most people do not understand the magnitude of our drug problem, especially with prescription painkillers. These drugs that have emerged over the past few decades are synthetic heroin to which a segment of our population, because of their physiology, will become almost immediately addicted. Overdose death by prescription pills is now TEN TIMES what it was in 1970.

    These pills make it a completely different problem than what it was back in the 70's and 80's. It hits people from all walks of life, all occupations and educational levels and obviously drives good people to do things they would not normally do. It is a silent epidemic and most, outside the drug dealers and the pharmaceutical companies, haven't a clue about its magnitude.

    We recognize STD as a public health problem and provide treatment to the masses. And, by the way, sweet McLennan County has an STD rate which is twice the state rate. No doubt total abstinence would be the best solution for that malady, but we recognize it as a health problem and treat it as such.

    Addiction is a health problem. When we change our mindset about it and approach it as a health problem, much more expensive things like incarceration will subside. So will the associated criminal activity. Our society will be much better for it.