Dr. Drew answers addiction questions.

by Nathan

Hi there,

At Drug Addiction Support I know you’re aware of the power of addiction. And I thought you and your readers might be interested in some advice HLN’s Dr. Drew recently gave on the subject. He’s been opening up the floor and responding to questions from his fans from Twitter.

One part of Dr. Drew’s approach is how open and honest he is with viewers. For instance, when a Twitter user asks: “Dr. Drew have YOU ever had an addiction” he explains:

“Thank God I haven’t had full-blown addiction… but my formally addicted peers tell me I’m the only ‘normie’ that really gets it – and even then, believe me, I don’t get it all the time.”

Watch the rest of his Dr. Drew’s response here (embed code is below): http://on.cnn.com/fnGmGa

Please feel free to ask Dr. Drew a question too by following Dr Drew on Twitter, @DrDrewHLN!

And be sure to tune in to Dr. Drew weeknights on HLN @ 9pm ET & PT!

Attention for HLN

The Right Meeting

by: Ned Wicker

It’s like the old joke, “I’m not an alcoholic, I’m just a problem drinker.” Let’s back up for a second. You said he had gone to court for his third DUI.

His third?

That should tell you that there is something going on that isn’t what it should be. People who do not have a problem with alcohol do not get three DUI citations.

I know he’s your boyfriend and you love him, but please do not split hairs on “type” of drinkers. There are those people who can have a couple of drinks and act responsibly. “I’ve had too much, can you drive me home?” There are those who may be ten sheets to the wind, yet not show it, that is until they get behind the wheel of a car.

Alcoholism is a disease of the brain that progresses in stages, and without question, it negatively impacts a person’s ability to make responsible decisions. A person with three DUI’s is in trouble. He doesn’t think he has a problem, but what about his three DUI’s?

There are meetings and there are meetings. If he is attending a court-appointed session, he just has to complete it. You said he was trying and wanted to better himself. He needs to do a little investigating. If he wants to get the most out of an AA meeting, I would recommend he find one that holds firmly to the original design, emphasizes the 12 Step and that he have a sponsor to hold him accountable.

Call around and see if there is a group that he feels more comfortable with. He may have to attend several groups before he finds the one he likes.

He is going to tell you a lot of things, not the least of which is his intention to cut back on his drinking and not get pulled over any more. Encourage him to do that, but also understand that alcoholism washes away good intentions. People often say they can quit, but they can’t.

Joe Herzanek’s book, “Why don’t they just quit?” discusses that question at length. Toby Rice-Drew’s “Getting them sober” is also an excellent resource for you. I know you want to believe him, but he smart and try to remain objective. This way you can help.

What hurts?

by: Ned Wicker

The question that keeps coming up in my mind is “What else is going on?” Let’s hope the 90-day treatment will render positive results. It is interesting how a person will do certain things to find “relief” or reduce stress, or just relax.

Personality plays a big part in this, but regardless of the drug of choice, underneath it all, something hurts. If your friend can open up and allow the team at the treatment center to help her through the process, she may be able to uncover the source of her discontent and rid herself of the need to engage in dangerous behavior.

That is also why I have a high regard for AA, because the 12 Steps are brilliant. It’s not just the substance it’s the whole person that needs treatment. Aside from any medical issues your friend has, which will also be addressed in treatment, there are the emotional and psychological issues.

Addiction, while a disease of the brain, is also a disease of the soul. Your friend will discover herself and allow her higher power or God, as she understands God, to help her through.

AA classes

by: Anonymous

My boyfriend got his 3rd DUI. However, he is not an alcoholic. He plain and simply made another bad choice to drink and then drive. He has been going to AA classes everyday since it happened. He has been giving it his all.

He was open to listening to everything that was told to him in the classes. Listens to everyone talk about their problems with alcohol. He not only went to classes to make himslef look better when his court day arrives, but to better himself as well. To see if he possible had a problem. I am proud of him for that.

Now that he has been going for a while now, he came home last night just frustrated. He just can not relate to the people in the class. He doesn’t have the problems that they do. He doesn’t drink like they do. Before this happened he drank twice a month. Never missed work, never got into any finacial problems, never got into any other issues.

My question is, Why is it that he is put into the same catogory? Is their a different kind of class that he can attend. Why is there not levels for the type of “alcoholic” someone might be?
Thank you for your time. Any insight would be greatly apprecaited. I just want help him get through this.


addiction to househol products

by: cindy stine

I have a 30-yr old friend & fellow AA member I’m concerned about. She was released from a month of rehab less than 2 weeks ago. Before rehab she was hospitalized for overdosing on Nyquil and hairspray;& today Now she has overdosed twice since her release from rehab, most recently on hand sanitizer.This happened while she was substitute teaching and had to go to the hospital 911!!!
Have you ever heard of this & what’s the answer? She is going to a 90-day rehab next week. I’m a recovering alcoholic but I do not understand this.She weighs less than 100 lbs & I’m afraid she is also anorexic, Thank you! Love your show!! cindy stine
PS PLZ treat this as confidential info!!!

Common Sense

by: Ned Wicker

I think you already have this one figured out. Prescription medication comes with a warning and when they warn against using with alcohol, that warning is there for a purpose. Can we really predict that one person is going to be harmed and another not?

Statistically yes, I suppose, but as you said every person is different and our individual chemical makeup will determine how drugs interact. Warnings, however, are all too often meaningless because human nature always wants to push the envelope. People make their own bad choices and some suffer greatly for those bad choices.

When I was a child a neighborhood friend came over and hung upside-down on our swing set. She asked “Is this serious?” As a six year-old child I remember thinking, “Yes, if you fall.” If you take prescription medications that warn against drinking, and you drink, it could be serious.

Pill and drink mixture

by: Anonymous

Question: how does having a drink and taking one rx pill cause death? Is it because of a person’s addition and chemical makeup? I know many people who will take a xanax to deal with a family holiday and then have wine, and they are fine.

I understand the above is not okay, but I assume that such an example is beyond dangerous for the addict because of their addiction and that is why death ensues. Is that correct?

Small amount of xanax and alcohol?

by: Shattercane Krug

Did Alice in Chains bassist, Mike Starr die of a small amount of xanax and alcohol? That does not seem likely. Unless his alcohol use was of a tremendous quanity, like a half gallon of Vodka.

I am concerned because my Dr. prescribes me 1.0 mg of Xanax for depression, with SSRI. I’m going to OD like this Starr dude? I would like to know.
P.S. I’m the guy who made fun of your stethoscope. Damn, you are on t.v. a lot.
Shattercane Krug

Marijuana withdrawal and no bowel movements?

by: Anonymous

Hi Dr. Drew, been a fan of yours since i was 18, 22 yrs ago when you was on MTV with a call in advice show…i have been addicted to Marijuana for 13 years and quit finally almost a month ago.

I smoked a dime bag DAILY and felt like i would die if i didn’t have it. I have never tried any other drugs, nor alcohol use, i only believed in Weed and thought it was so wonderful and good for you.

When i finally “woke up” and realized it was ruining my life, and quit, i cannot have a bowel movement on my own, without the help of Miralax and stool softeners.

I’ve called everywhere, and these so-called experts on weed addiction say this is NOT a symptom of weed withdrawal, and i beg to differ, i KNOW from experience it IS from weed withdrawal, because times i wouldn’t have money for weed, or when i had tried to quit before, i couldn’t have bowel movements, and soon as i would smoke, my bowel movements would go back to normal, EVERY time!

It’s almost a month and still no change, will this take some time for my body to adjust, and finally get back to normal, since i had smoked for 13 years???? Please help, I’m scared and going crazy!

What is my daughter up to?

by: Anonymous

Dear Dr.Drew,

I want an opinion on what you think is going on. My soon to be 30yr old daughter had a very good job and almost lost her car and now she says she is trying to modify her house mortgage. She hasn’t paid in over a year.

What is going on with all her money? She full custody of my 6yr old granddaughter since birth. She recieves $600 a mth. support She was earning around $60,000 a year or more for over 3 years and instead of getting fired she is collecting unemployment.

I am her mother, and asked her why she isnt’t paying bills. I got no response. Please give me some advice, for I am very stressed out. I dont know what to do. I fear my granddaughter would be stopped visiting me and my husband.

Anxiously waiting for your imput, sincerly yours.

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