Pain Killer Addiction
One Oreo Is Not Enough
The reasoning is simple and easy to understand. One Oreo cookie isn't enough. We want more. After all, that one cookie was so good, so surely two has got to be better. That's how Pastor Steve Trampe, the associate pastor of Grace Church (Wales, WI) explained it, adding, "soon I eat the whole bag."
Trampe's, cookie example was included in his sermon "Going Against The Tide In Your Pleasures," in which he offered several illustrations of how we get into trouble by indulging in pleasure, only to wind up becoming addicted to that pleasure to the point of doing harm. It's human nature. Innocently
We take a drink or a pain pill and enjoy the effect, or as so many alcoholics have described, we experience the "click" and so we want another. The reasoning is the same with taking drugs. If the instructions say two pills are to be taken, then surely three or four will do the job better.
Trampe used another example to illustrate his point. If you boil water and try to throw a live frog in is, it will bounce out of the pot immediately. However, if you put the frog in cold water, it will swim around. As you turn on the heat, the frog doesn't know it's in trouble until it's too late. We drink to receive the effect of the pain pills, not expecting pain killer addiction. As we swim around our pot, we don't know the addiction is coming, and soon we are powerless over that addiction. The pain pill makes us fell good so we begin taking a few more and it soon becomes the bag!
So many pleasures in life are potentially addictive-food, money, sex, fame, entertainment, social standing and even fitness. Something that is good in moderation turns against us if we over indulge. We can reason that out, but in the moment, when the urge to indulge in the pleasure is upon us, it's difficult to resist the temptation. That becomes even more difficult once the addiction has taken hold.
It's far too simplistic to say "Don't take a drink." It's like the guy who goes to the doctor and tells him that it hurts when he raises his arm. The doctor says, "Don't raise your arm." One may be in jeopardy of becoming addicted for a variety of reasons, while another will never become addicted.
But if we are like the frog swimming in the pot, how can we get out before the water boils? One way is to learn from others. If your father was an alcoholic, chances are good that you will be predisposed to abusing alcohol. If your mother had a pain killer addiction, you’re probably more vulnerable. If you are in recovery, your children need to know that they might be in danger of the same experience unless they are told to avoid alcohol. It's a red flag to be careful.
There is no simple answer to the human condition, other than perhaps just accepting the fact that we are human and we are powerless over that. Alcoholics Anonymous says in the second step that we:
"came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."
When we go too far, we need outside help. If you can see for yourself that the water is getting too warm, we encourage you to call a treatment center and let them help you. If you see another in trouble, pick up the phone and seek assistance for how you can best help your friend or loved one.
We all know that moderation is wise. It just isn't that simple. If it were, Oreo cookies wouldn't be so popular.
What is the Cycle of Pain Killer Addiction?
Cycle of Pain Killer Addiction
I. Pain Killer Addiction: Triggering EventThere are so many contributing factors to addiction, but we will not go into that discussion here. For the purpose of this illustration, we will break down the triggering event into two categories. First, one might take drugs for recreation, to get “high.”
This party approach to drugs and pain killers may be thrill seeking, or have an element of peer pressure attached to it. The second category is “to numb the pain.” The person uses to get rid of a feeling, not to create one.
Something hurts and the user is trying to numb that hurt. They may just want to feel better, because something is missing from their life, or they may want to escape a reality because it is too much to face.In either case, whether to have a good time or to numb the pain, the cycle is started. They're not thinking about pain killer addiction recovery because they're not convinced they have a problem.
II. Pain Killer Addiction: Something is wrongMany people can use drugs and not get hooked. They may realize that their using is getting in the way, or they just do not enjoy or need to use the drug anymore. They quit and it’s over. However, that is not true for so many people, who arrive at the point where they determine there is a problem, but they are still using.
Perhaps they're experiencing problems at work, or in personal relationships. Because they are using, they may have run into legal problems, such as a DWI and they realize that change is necessary. They begin to consider drug addiction recovery. The pain medication they have been taking for a knee injury is no longer sufficient, so they take more medication, more often to control their physical discomfort. They know they have to do something.
III. Pain Killer Addiction: Try HarderWhen the management of their drug use begins to slip away, people will say “I’m going to cut back.” They know something is amiss, but they do not want to go through the fuss of treatment, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
Maybe they’ve cut back in the past, or quit altogether, but started using again. They are going to try harder. People don’t want to be told what to do, or how to do something, they want to do it their way. It’s not just people struggling with drug addiction, it’s anybody. American culture reveres the individualist who proudly proclaims, “I did it my way.”Some people can try harder and succeed. God bless them. Managing pain killer addiction recovery is serious work and if somebody can “cut back” or stop using on their own power, that’s much to their credit. But most people can’t. The finger pointers will say it’s because of a lack of will power, or a weakness of character.
They say those who use drugs are evil people. However, if one were to examine the other side of the issue and look at the addiction in terms of an alteration of brain chemistry, rendering some individuals powerless because of a chronic brain disease, then effort alone seems unrealistic.Moreover, we are human beings and human beings fail. Nobody bats 1.000 in baseball, and even a player who is considered a great hitter is going to fail seven times out of ten. The world sees a .300 hitter and calls him a star, but he failed in his seven other attempts.
If you are batting .300 in your fight against drug addiction, you’re failing. Think of it in terms of trying to cut back or quit. Smokers can tell you their stories and we’ve all heard them. They’re good at quitting. But it isn’t that easy and neither is drug addiction recovery. If it were, there would be no smokers, and if drug addiction were that easy to overcome, why would there be addicts?
Let’s suppose, for sake of illustration, that a person has made the determination to quit. Being a rational and intelligent person, they formulate a plan to follow and they try hard to execute the plan. They are succeeding. A woman in a pain killer addiction recovery group once told me that she had “not used” for seven years. Through will power and a plan, she was clean for seven years, but something happened and she found herself at the next stage of the addiction cycle.
IV. Pain Killer Addiction: Failure
Nobody likes to admit failure. It’s an ugly word in the Western culture. We like to think of ourselves as self-made people. We pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps and become famous, or financially independent. We did the work and we deserve the reward.
Failure is not permitted and those who fail are weak and undeserving. In America, only those who win are given the credit. After all, the loser of the big game doesn’t get the parade. People apply winning and losing to drug addiction recovery, as if it were some kind of sporting or business competition. If you failed, you’re a loser.
What if failure was built into the human condition as a necessary indicator of a need for something outside of one’s own self? AA founded its 12 Step program on that very idea, that we all need help.
We’re not meant to be alone, and even though there are those who can break free of addiction on their own, the truth is most of us can’t. Coming from a Christian perspective, this writer sees human failure as a measuring device, to show us that we need God. A medical person might see failure in pain killer addiction recovery as an indicator that brain chemistry is still out of balance. Frame the failure anyway you like.
The failure can be caused for a variety of reasons. The cycle has come full circle, because something happened. Perhaps in a moment of weakness a person took a hit off a crack pipe, or they experienced a traumatic event that was just too much to handle, or any one a thousand reasons prompted them to use again. They are back where they started and they need help.
Pain Killer Addiction is a chronic disease in our view. The key word is “chronic,” and like diabetes or heart disease, addiction needs to be managed. People need management tools to help them keep their lives in balance and to prevent the grip of addiction from squeezing its fingers around their throat.
The cycle needs to be broken, not just stopped. Whatever the triggering mechanism that causes someone to use, it needs to be addressed. We maintain that the root causes of addiction have to be examined to prevent the cycle from continuously spinning. Go to the cause, like dealing with a business management situation, and address the issue, formulate a plan and manage the problem.
People can and do break the cycle of Pain Killer Addiction. If you can break the cycle on your own, great, but if you can’t there are caring, compassionate professional people to work with you and help you to try or in many cases try AGAIN to break the pain killer addiction recovery cycle!
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