On addiction Part 3 – The disease

Mikky Locke
Slave Lake, Ab

Drug addiction is a progressive, incurable illness not unlike diabetes in several ways, mainly in that once a person is a diabetic they are always a diabetic. Once a person has an addiction to mood altering chemicals they are always an addict. There is no cure for either one. They also are the same in that something can be done to prevent death, but the word here is ‘control’. For the diabetic, they use insulin, diet, and exercise for control and above all they have regular medical checkups. For the drug addict, the need is for abstinence, and what the winners do is attend regular meetings and have a sponsor. A note here: there are many people who have been sober, clean, straight or dry (or whatever term you want to use) for some time and decide to go it alone and died trying to prove their point.
Different people take different drugs for different reasons (to start with), at different times, in difference places with different people and different consequences.
All diseases have symptoms. The four stages of addiction are listed below, with their symptoms:
1. Initial: The initial stage of addiction is entered when a commitment is made. It is sealed, bonded and sick. Freedom diminishes, destruction to self increases.
2. Chronic: The added aspect here is the drive for relief. This deadens feelings of powerlessness. The highs and lows increase in depth and heights. Use and abuse increases. Freedom of choice is not diminished – It does not exist. Delusion is dominant (“I have everything under control”).
3. Acute: Use and action is one of survival. This becomes normal. There seems to be no realistic alternative. One is driven by blind compulsion.
4. Terminal:
Very Briefly – Symtoms of chemical dependency
Once the relationship has been established differences no longer exist. Each and every addict has now a set of beliefs, identified as defeating beliefs.
1. Psychological Dependency.
2. Mental Obsession.
3. Emotional Compulsion.
4. Low Self Image.
5. Rigid Negative Attitudes.
6. Rigid Defense System.
7. Delusion.
8. Powerlessness.
9. Physical Tolerance: The body has the ability to absorb increasing dosages of drugs, in other words, the tolerance increases. This won’t go on forever – a breaking point is reached and the tolerance steadily decreases. The former can never be restored.
10. Memory Failure (more common term: Black Out): It is a drug-induced memory block that finds a person unable to recall what had happened during a drug episode that he is being questioned about.
When confronted, the addict exhibits one or several of the following: surprise, confusion, puzzlement, disbelief, denials, makes cautious inquiries and responses trying to find out where he might have been and with whom – at this point starting an argument is also a way of diffusing the questioner.
A well-known behavior is looking out the window or going to the garage to see about the car because they can’t remember how they got home.


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