I wanted to invite you to stop for a minute and take some time to look at some pictures with me. They reveal what words cannot. Words are unable to capture the agoninizing pain revealed to you. Many of you have not seen the the outcome of addiction. If you haven't - then it is time you take a look at the "Faces of Addiction."
The pictures were used as part of a Drug Prevention Campaign in the United States and spanned a little over ten years. Their optimism in helping to combat the ever rising drug problem was anticipated.
This is the true face of addiction in the rawest form!
New York Times
Addiction captures you and causes you to succumb to it's horrifying misery and tormenting pain. People ask all the time, "Why don't you just stop?" Well that's the million dollar question but addiction causes you to continue use even in the face of adversity. Addiction is biological and genetic in nature and from the first drug use brain chemistry is forever changed. For some, those changes become permanent and can never be regained. Upon long term drug use, the person become a mere shell of their former self and sometimes never make it back.
Opiate addiction is both physically and mentally addicting while cocaine and methamphetamines are only mentally addicting. It is not to say that it's any easier to stop but merely stating factual evidence.
Addiction in itself is treacherous but when you are controlled both physically and mentally, it makes it much harder to stop. Opiates cause such excruciating physical withdrawal symptoms that recovery is hard to attain. You will do whatever is necessary to cease the pain. Stealing from your own family, treating your children horribly, and subjecting yourself to the most demeaning behavior is merely scratching the surface but that's the nature of the beast.
In conclusion, the road we travel is dangerous, painful and infintely long and to have made it to the other side is truly remarkable. I am thankful to have been given a second chance. I am thankful to have become a survivor instead of a statistic. You have the power within you to make the decision, or would you prefer to become a statistic as the women below?
Opium teaches only one thing, which is that aside from physical suffering, there is nothing real.
These women may not have been given a second chance. You have been given one. Do you prefer to end up looking like one of these women? Do you want to end up homeless living on the streets? Do you want your child raised by others? I don't think so.
I don't believe these women did either. I don't believe they chose this kind of life for themselves. Maybe no one offered them a second chance. They were caught in a trap and couldn't get out. Maybe they procrastinated too long, it could be your destiny too.
It banishes melancholy, begets confidence, converts fear into boldness, makes the coward eloquent, and dastards brave. Nobody, in desperate circumstances, and smiling under a disrelish for life, ever laid violent hands on himself after taking a dose of opium, or ever will."
John Brown (1735-1788) Elementis Medicinae
I'm sure we all had our reasons in the beginning for self-medicating. Whatever reasons they were to begin with, they soon disappeared and we had to continue to use just to feel normal. We no longer felt "the ecstasy" but only the "Agony of Withdrawals."
What can I say to you to wake you up?
I am sure none of you think you will end up like these girls. You think it could not happen to you. Right? I know some of you believe it. I was just like you, I even resented people using "Shock Therapy" to wake me up. I knew I could handle it. I was dead wrong. Sound familiar to any of you?
Is this what you want?
Junk is the ideal product . . . the ultimate merchandise. No sales talk necessary. The client will crawl through a sewer and beg to buy. . . . The junk merchant does not sell his product to the consumer, he sells the consumer to his product. He does not improve and simplify his merchandise. He degrades and simplifies the client. He pays his staff in junk."
William S. Burroughs
William S. Burroughs was the wealthy grandson of the founder of the Burroughs Adding Machine company. He was a regular heroin user for over a decade, and dependent on opioids almost continually from his first habit in the forties until his death. During the mid-eighties, Burroughs got on methadone maintenance. He remained so until he died. He took many 'cures' but relapsed quickly each time - his opioid abstinent periods were very brief. Most famously, Burroughs wrote Junkie (1953) and Naked Lunch (1959). In the preface of Junkie, Burroughs writes "I have never regretted my experience with drugs." However, his account of narcotic addiction is unlikely to tempt the drug-naive reader into self-experimentation.
William S. Burroughs
How many of you are familiar with William Burroughs? There are many others that found themselves caught in the grip of addiction . I think you need to know you are not the only ones. It can happen to any of us. I will be taking the time to purposely point out to you some of the people it did happen to. It happens to the wealthy, famous and prestigious people the same as it happens to the common man. You will be surprised by some of the ones you will encounter.
Addiction is A Disease. It happened to you and I. I am sure people have made you feel as if you were a loser if you ever tried unsuccessfully to quit. Did you just give up afterwards?. Maybe it is because you did not receive the the appropriate treatment for you. We are all different, and sometimes what works for one doesn't work for another. Have you tried Opiate Agonist Pharmacotherapy? If not, ask us about it? It is working for a lot of people. It could work for you too!!!
References: (1) /people/index.htmlhttp://www.opioids.com
Deborah Shrira, Editor 2008 August