Monday, April 19, 2010

Don't Try To Ease Your Pain With Addictive Substances

Tip #6

Don’t use drugs (prescription or non-prescription) or alcohol to ease your pain. They are false friends. In the end you will be addicted and enslaved to it. It will come between you and the people you love the most.

I am still reminded of this scene from Star Trek The Next Generation from 1988. I have never heard a more precise explanation of addiction.

Wesley: Data, I can understand how this would happen to the Ornarans. What I can't understand is why anyone would voluntarily become dependent on a chemical substance.

Data: Drug addiction is a recurring theme in many cultures. However--neither being human nor having had any comparable experience, firsthand or otherwise--I am afraid I cannot give precisely the answer you seem to hope for.
Tasha: I believe I can, Wesley. First of all, nobody ever wants to become dependent; that happens later.

Wesley: Still, if people know it happens, why do they start?

Tasha: Remember what I told you about life on my home planet? There was so much poverty and violence that, for some, the only escape was through drugs.

Wesley: Escape? How does a chemical substance provide an escape?

Tasha: It can't really. But it makes you think it is. It's difficult to explain, but drugs can make you feel...good. They put you on top of the world; you're happy, you feel in control of everything and everybody.

Wesley: But what's the point, if you know it's artificial?

Tasha: Because it doesn't feel artificial until the drug wears off. Then you feel just the opposite of what you did before: sad, powerless, hopeless, in pain...And the worst part is, the more often you take the drug, the more your body adapts to it--so that you need higher and higher doses to get back the good feeling. However, those larger doses also leave you feeling worse--and for longer--after it wears off. That's how you get trapped. Before you know it, you're not even taking the drug to feel good anymore; you're just taking it to keep from feeling bad. At that point, all you care about is getting your next dose. Nothing and nobody else matters.

Wesley: I see how it works, Tasha, but I'm afraid I still don't understand it. Sorry.

Tasha: Wesley, don't be. In fact, let's hope for your sake you never do. [edit]

If you are already at a place where you feel you cannot live without the drink or drug, be courageous enough to seek help from a professional

Of course there are many other addictions that can equally ruin your life; gambling, Internet addiction, pornography basically anything that controls you and momentarily keeps you from feeling pain. Don't waste another day of your life addicted. Get help.

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