Drug Addiction

Drug Addiction

Postby Jesse » Tue Nov 19, 2013 6:33 pm

So I have been struggling with a drug addiction for many years now. Mainly I use it as a means to cope, to self medicate. The problem seems to be no matter how much I want to quit, ( I really dont want to ). I use opiates, and it really feels as if without them I can never have a semblance of happiness or contentedness in my life.

Obviously drugs cause many other problems, and I really need to quit, but Im at a loss how. I have many mental health issues and without opiates I can not maintain any sort of emotional equilibrium. In my experience doctors don't recognize or respect the fact that they do work for me (emotionally), and thus are unwilling to treat me while im still using.

So I guess im looking for support/advice from previous addicts, how did you quit? How long did it take before your emotions balanced out? Did you use any other drugs/herbs to help with the process?

I realize that drugs cause many problems, they aren't a solution, but an escape etc. But I cant shake the idea/reality that without them my life contains no happiness what so ever, it's been a very hard time for me. Though recently I've begun trying to finds other means of happiness (Volunteering, getting out and around people etc.) I'm just not sure I have the willpower to stop using still!

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby KonchokZoepa » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:07 pm

i had a serious drug problem with amphetamine.

so i cant say about opiates. but disassociating with like minded ( drug ) people for me was the first step. its better to change the city to get out of your habits. for me that was the only way. then i went and did many weeks of ayahuasca retreats. that helped a lot. completely changed me.
i know opiates can be really hard also, but its the same with all drugs. i still did ecstacy last summer twice. but then got over it and now i dont feel like ever doing drugs again. if you can develop really acute and immediate fear of death that you might die right now this moment, it will motivate you to clean your life. so one of the four ordinary thoughts, death and impermanence was a big help after the ayahuasca retreats.

i can understand the doctors that they dont want to medicate you since you have other drugs in the system so theyre medication might not work or be dangerous or harmful in other ways when combined with opiates.

i would go to re hab if you really think that it wuold be helpful. the most helpful thing for me was to change the city, phone number and everything that connects you with the people from whom you get your drugs. that seriously is the first step. the rest will unfold naturally and painfully. its a process.

i remember writing in my diary, that the journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. there is no easy way out.

i wish you all the best in your recovery and healing. i really wish and hope you find a way to a life free of drugs :anjali:

if you wanna talk more pm me or talk here.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Johnny Dangerous » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:18 pm

Jesse wrote:So I have been struggling with a drug addiction for many years now. Mainly I use it as a means to cope, to self medicate. The problem seems to be no matter how much I want to quit, ( I really dont want to ). I use opiates, and it really feels as if without them I can never have a semblance of happiness or contentedness in my life.

Obviously drugs cause many other problems, and I really need to quit, but Im at a loss how. I have many mental health issues and without opiates I can not maintain any sort of emotional equilibrium. In my experience doctors don't recognize or respect the fact that they do work for me (emotionally), and thus are unwilling to treat me while im still using.

So I guess im looking for support/advice from previous addicts, how did you quit? How long did it take before your emotions balanced out? Did you use any other drugs/herbs to help with the process?

I realize that drugs cause many problems, they aren't a solution, but an escape etc. But I cant shake the idea/reality that without them my life contains no happiness what so ever, it's been a very hard time for me. Though recently I've begun trying to finds other means of happiness (Volunteering, getting out and around people etc.) I'm just not sure I have the willpower to stop using still!

Thanks for reading.



Well, i've been told that long term opiate addiction is a whole different deal than alcohol....I used to use percacet and such semi-recreationally at one time as young man, but I never tried obtaining it after a period of addiction for a few months. Even the withdrawals from that were terrible, does that affect your desire to try quitting..the withdrawals?

All I can say is firstly, i'm sorry man, the toll of addictions is big one, the worse part is the not being able to stop thinking about it.

Have you looked into a formal program of some kind..and if your addiction is a prescription -based one..have you tried bringing it up with doctors? I.E. would owning up the way you are here make it harder for you to get access?

You definitely have the willpower to do it, maybe not right away but you do, the fact that you are yearning to do so means that (IMO of course) you can in fact do it. The people with no possibility of overcoming addictions are the ones who have simply resigned themselves to being addicted.

It's like trying to slowly open a tear in a bag or something so you can get your body through it, if there is a small opening, then it is possible to get your body through it eventually, it may take alot of work, and it may be shit work...but your desire to not be addicted is just like that initial small tear in the bag, and eventually you can make the hole big enough to overcome addiction.
"We're chained to the world and we all gotta pull" -Tom Waits
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby conebeckham » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:42 pm

Jesse-

I wish you well--and hope that you can kick the addiction. It's a habit, and habits can be broken, or changed, or abandoned....this is what Buddhism teaches us--we are not our habits, ultimately. But there are two aspects with opiate addiction--the mental, and the physical.

The physical part is tough--replacement therapies like methodone just substitute one addiction for another. I think there are other substances that are used to help ease physical withdrawal, but no matter what mental state you find yourself in, with regard to using or not using, the body will be telling you it needs that stuff. I can only think that you'd need some professional help if you've got the physical addiciton going on.

The mental part, that's almost trickier, though. Again, professional help may be the best avenue. You talk of "happiness" provided by opiates, but you should investigate that "happiness." Is it the "rush" you are fond of, or is it the "warm and fuzzy" glow of opiates, the feeling that nothing is worth getting upset about? Only you can figure this out, but I'd recommend honestly looking at what it is you consider the "benefit" and, after identifying it, analyse it to see if it is really what you think it is. Opiates play tricks on us, you know....alcohol is similar. I wish I could offer more concrete help, but I think you can knock this thing, personally.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby JKhedrup » Tue Nov 19, 2013 7:57 pm

A friend of mine in Canada became addicted to Oxycontin, a prescription opiate. When she received methadone as part of a treatment plan she became addicted to the methadone, but told me in a way it worked. Methadone was like a bridge for her between quitting Oxycontin and complete sobriety. So while many criticized her for "trading in one addiction for another", in the end she told me it was possible to kick methodone, but if she had tried to go from Oxycontin to complete sobriety, it would have been too difficult.

Of course, it is true that there are cases of opiate and heroin users who become lifelong methadone addicts as well. It seems like with addiction there are no easy answers, as every person is different and the underlying psychological issues that fuel the addiction must be treated as well. What worked for my friend might not work for someone else.

I am happy that my friend is "back"- and she was doing great when I visited Canada last Summer, taking evening college courses. Her addiction made her mean and horrible, calling people names but also hypersensitive- not able to take even the slightest criticism. At one point I started to believe that WAS her. But I am glad I gave her the benefit of the doubt and maintained a connection, because now that she is off drugs she is once again kind and concerned for the welfare of others. It was honestly only the drugs, and even after 5 years of addiction (starting with ketamine, then cocaine and gradually moving to Oxycontin), the kindness within her was not destroyed. It once again emerged.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby dude » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:04 pm

Jesse, I totally feel for you.
Life can suck when you feel hopeless, I've been there.
To quit, you have to want to, and to want you, you have to have some hope, to be able to at least imagine find some happiness in life.
You have a friend.
Let's talk.
As far as a strategy for quitting goes, it's really important to find something you enjoy to replace the dope with.
I've found this to be the case in my own experience and from observing others.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Jesse » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:03 am

Thank you all for your thoughtful replies.

it is true that there are cases of opiate and heroin users who become lifelong methadone addicts as well. It seems like with addiction there are no easy answers, as every person is different and the underlying psychological issues that fuel the addiction must be treated as well. What worked for my friend might not work for someone else.


I'm glad your friend was able to quit, and I tend to agree -- I know there are many underlying issues which fuel my addiction and I am currently in the process of seeing a couple doctors about them which I hope helps in that regard.

Even the withdrawals from that were terrible, does that affect your desire to try quitting..the withdrawals?


Yes, the withdrawal from opiates is absolutely horrible, on top of that opiates alter the chemistry of your brain and without them you can't experience normal emotions, I believe it takes months for you to regain the ability to 'feel happy', which makes it very hard to stay sober.. I think the depression from quitting is the worst part of trying to quit.

disassociating with like minded ( drug ) people for me was the first step. its better to change the city to get out of your habits. for me that was the only way.


This is a very good point -- they are freely available to me from family/friends at this point.. it seems like everyone uses them for something or another. So this also makes it very hard to disassociate from all my friends and family. :(

The mental part, that's almost trickier, though. Again, professional help may be the best avenue. You talk of "happiness" provided by opiates, but you should investigate that "happiness." Is it the "rush" you are fond of, or is it the "warm and fuzzy" glow of opiates, the feeling that nothing is worth getting upset about? Only you can figure this out, but I'd recommend honestly looking at what it is you consider the "benefit" and, after identifying it, analyse it to see if it is really what you think it is. Opiates play tricks on us, you know....alcohol is similar. I wish I could offer more concrete help, but I think you can knock this thing, personally.


I am going to be receiving professional help soon (At least in the form of a psychologist/psychiatrist), but I think im going to take the solo route for quitting the opiates. As I mentioned previously, Sure the high is a part of what makes it addicting, but opiates also change how your brain works on a chemical level, it changes the way we perceive pain, and it changes the chemicals which regulate our emotions, so it can take many months for an addict to regain normal emotional states. So when I talk of happiness, I mean I can't experience it without them, it's just a constant depressed mood until I take a dose, and the depression hurts even more because the body/mind is used to not feeling any pain.

To quit, you have to want to, and to want you, you have to have some hope, to be able to at least imagine find some happiness in life.
You have a friend.
Let's talk.


I do have some hope these days, and I thank you very much for this sentiment. Same for everyone for responded. Thank you all very much. :smile:

It will be nice to have this monster off my back... haha.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby ClearblueSky » Wed Nov 20, 2013 9:17 am

There's a reason people do drugs... because in some way, they work. You're not off on that, and it's an introspective thing you realize. The problem is they do not work long term, and because it's life threatening, there may not be a long term. Most addicts don't actually want to die soon, or even be users, they just want to find relief, which is a fair thing to desire. You have to really want to quit to be able to, hopefully you are at that point, because it is a deadly disease.

When it comes to opiates especially, really the only way you're going to be able to kick it and stay off it (that's the hard part) is to get into a program. NA is free, so at the very least go to that, it's the first part. Ideally you could get into a few month inpatient program, that's the best way, especially if your body has become physically dependent. Your Buddhist practice will for sure help supplement all this, but working with professionals that specifically know how to treat addiction is the way to go. Opiates have really become an epidemic, and are extra difficult. Even if you get clean on your own, it's nearly impossible to stay clean without sincerely following a specifically designed program.

Remember, a lot of people have had severe addiction, and eventually gone on to lead happier life. You can be one of them, you just have to be ready to take that step and just show up.
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Postby dude » Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:40 pm

Hi, Jesse.
I feel a lot better after reading your last reply, and see that you're doing a lot of things right.
I don't feel so overwhelmed and worried now, for you as well as for myself.
We're friends now and your happiness is my happiness.
I am also deeply grateful to some very good advice from our other friends here, and think they're even more important than what I've said so far.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Lindama » Wed Nov 20, 2013 6:12 pm

Hi Jesse,
I wish you all the best in your process. I don't have any direct experience with drug addiction. I suggest that you research Dr. Gabor Mate in Canada. He has a website and several lengthy videos at various conferences which might support you and inspire compassion for yourself. He is a most compassionate and wise man with an innovative view.

http://drgabormate.com/ .... he's also has several lengthy videos on drug addiction and parenting which are excell

Also, I have read that addictions and psychological issues can be supported with good nutrition and supplements... a few ideas B vits, esp B3, magnesium, iodine, detox baths, there are more... research this on the web.

You've got a lot of people here behind you. Take good care.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby JKhedrup » Thu Nov 21, 2013 10:14 am

Fascinating article on addiction from both a Buddhist and scientific perspective:
http://www.mindandlife.org/the-craving-cycle/

Whether the goal is success, material comfort, prestige (the more respectable human pursuits)—or whether it’s heroin, cocaine, booze, or porn—hardly seems to matter. Either way, we believe we’ve locked our sights on an antidote to uncertainty, a guarantee of completeness, when in fact we never become complete by chasing after what we don’t have. And, most incredibly, the pursuit itself becomes the condition for more suffering because we inevitably come up empty, disappointed, and betrayed by our own desires.

That sounds a lot like addiction to me. Yet the Buddhists talk about this as normal seeking and suffering. Isn’t addiction something abnormal? What about all those brain changes? To most scientists and practitioners (e.g. physicians, mental health experts, and addiction counselors), those brain changes suggest that addiction is a disease, an unnatural state. But a Buddhist perspective might cast it quite differently–as a particularly onerous outcome of a very normal process, a sadly normal process: our continuing attempt to seek fulfillment outside ourselves.
In order to ensure my mind never comes under the power of the self-cherishing attitude,
I must obtain control over my own mind.
Therefore, amongst all empowerments, the empowerment that gives me control over my mind is the best,
and I have received the most profound empowerment with this teaching.
-Atisha Dipamkara
brtsal ba'i bkhra drin
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Ayu » Thu Nov 21, 2013 11:02 am

I was adicted to marihuanna and cigarettes some decades ago. I stopped taking harder stuffs like heroin and alcohol in time.
The impetus to stopp came with a big clash. After that I had more fear to take drugs than to be without them.
It was a great surprising experience, that living in a clean style is so wonderful. I still enjoy it, whenever i see people drink and smoke...
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Ayu » Thu Nov 21, 2013 12:30 pm

Ayu wrote: I still enjoy it, whenever i see people drink and smoke...

I still enjoy this wonderful cleanliness...
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Ayu » Thu Nov 21, 2013 1:56 pm

.... and my prayers and best wishes are with you, Jesse. :smile:

Also, in addition: the contact with adicts who are sober since long time, is a very strong medicine. Just to talk with someone like that from time to time, face to face.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Seishin » Thu Nov 21, 2013 6:26 pm

I am sorry to hear of your affliction and I hope you find the help and support you need to over come it. :namaste:

Gassho,
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Rakshasa » Thu Nov 21, 2013 7:30 pm

According to my understanding of Buddhism,everything we do in this life is addiction. We are addicted to be happy, we are addicted to sex, we are addicted to life. Even eating, sleeping, breathing are addictions. Buddhism is a course for de-addiction to this illusionary world and life.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby Seishin » Thu Nov 21, 2013 8:14 pm

I'm not so sure breathing is an addiction. Would you mind expanding on what you mean here?

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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby padma norbu » Mon Nov 25, 2013 1:18 am

Damiana tea is very nice on the nerves. It actually makes you happy, but not stoned. If you have the addiction of drinking things and smoking things, having several cups of damiana and smoking a teabag of it will certainly give you a nice, familiar feeling. Obviously, it's not good for the lungs, but the tea itself is good for the kidneys. Another smoking herb is called "little marihuanilla" or something. It won't get you stoned, either, but former marijuana smokers say it is pretty great substitute if you have to pass drug tests. Finally, there is mugwort, which some claim opens your third eye, but is definitely supposed to give lucid dreams and interesting dreams you remember. This might be good if you are trying to practice dream yoga. It's relaxing, too.

There is also Marley's Black Tea... read the reviews!
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004CT1NCY/ref ... IOWE7KB83Q

Even though I basically gave you some "drug substitutes," they are not really drug substitutes and they are not going to harm you. Well, if you smoke them, they will hurt your lungs a little bit, but if you use a vaporizer or a water bong, it's probably not TOO bad. What they will do is give you some relief and help your mind get back to normal. After a period of addiction, a person's mind and body is all haywire. These herbs will give you something to do when you feel like you need to do something, will make you feel happy and relieve your anxiety, put you in a nice, relaxed meditative state and let you get some sleep, too (which, let's face it, sometimes the urge to get blotto is just the urge to escape which is why people get blackout drunk!). The dreams you have on these herbs, though, will be productive and not damaging to your nervous system, brain, liver and kidneys like drugs and alcohol are.

I think, after a while, you can get over the longing for drugs/alcohol and probably lose interest in these herbs, too. But, when the craving comes back, remember the herbs rather than testing yourself on alcohol/drugs again. People like to do that. "I think I can handle it now, just a little bit..." and then they get all messed up again after a while.



There is also something called "kanna" that is a natural SSRI, apparently. You can make tea out of it or put a pinch under your tongue and suck on it for a while, then swallow it, almost like chewing tobacco.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby ClearblueSky » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:20 am

padma norbu wrote:Another smoking herb is called "little marihuanilla" or something. It won't get you stoned, either, but former marijuana smokers say it is pretty great substitute if you have to pass drug tests.
.....
There is also something called "kanna" that is a natural SSRI, apparently. You can make tea out of it or put a pinch under your tongue and suck on it for a while, then swallow it, almost like chewing tobacco.

From what I've heard, marihuanilla may actually be considered a mild psychoactive. I'm pretty sure it's usually sold at head shops only, not usually at health stores that carry supplements. Kanna seems less bad, but also may be a bit of a stimulant.
These substances themselves may be almost totally harmless, but for an addict (especially one starting recovery), trying something that causes even a little bit of brain chemistry change is the absolute last thing you want to do, unless it's something specifically discussed with a specialist. Most people can have zero problem, but even the mildest thing can trigger the very specific "addiction" part of the brain for someone with the disease, and lead back to more trouble. It's a big part of the reason why addicts end up replacing one addiction with another, and then eventually relapsing to the original. Just something to be very careful about.
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Re: Drug Addiction

Postby KonchokZoepa » Mon Nov 25, 2013 9:34 am

ayahuasca will do wonders, im sure. it will purge your body so intensively if youre willing to do it for a month, after that youre completely purified and changed and probably dont ever want to touch opiates again.
If the thought of demons
Never rises in your mind,
You need not fear the demon hosts around you.
It is most important to tame your mind within....

In so far as the Ultimate, or the true nature of being is concerned,
there are neither buddhas or demons.
He who frees himself from fear and hope, evil and virtue,
will realize the insubstantial and groundless nature of confusion.
Samsara will then appear as the mahamudra itself….

-Milarepa

OMMANIPADMEHUNG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ls6P9tOYmdo
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