I spent a considerable amount of time on the phone with someone I love very much the night before last. Mostly all night. It had been a long time since we had connected so, there was a lot we had to get caught up on. A lot of it was centered around catching up over the past three years and addiction. I had a moment to actually practice what I had preached in an earlier post, in reiterating that it’s not just an addiction, it’s a relationship. I went on to explain how I soothed myself as a child and young pre-teen with my addiction to food, then it turned to anorexia. It was my attempt at trying to relate because it was literally the only thing I turned to and the only thing I could control.
I had seen what happened to people prior to my adventure into almost heading into addiction. I saw what I was becoming when I had a friends with benefits relationship with wine for about two months, then I recognized it and put it down. I don’t say that to make you think I’m superior, I say that because I am grateful that I have strength residing in me to not be addicted. I did the same with cigarettes, but I will tell you I am addicted to those. I haven’t smoked in quite a while now and I don’t feel the urge so much, but last night I did. Isn’t it funny how high emotional experiences cause us to look for a way to redirect? “I have to find some sort of thread of an answer. Maybe enjoying a cigarette will help?” Instead of just sitting, pulling up a chair, and being fully present in someone’s addiction, it tends to cause a fight or flight response, which needs a cigarette. Ha! It’s a perfect example of stress response.
The entire conversation last night reminded me so strongly of how important it is to change the dialogue. The way our society has it set up now, it’s not a very open environment for someone to ask for help. Every center is chock full of people waiting to get in, either by court order, or voluntary. How wrong is it that we make laws and legislations against people sleeping in our doorways and streets, but we are the very reason they are there? It may surprise you that many became addicts because they lost everything and live in the streets. This is the image others have in their heads when they know they need treatment. Why do healthcare systems charge so much for treatment for only three months? I worry every single day for the loved ones in my life that are dealing with this disease.
This may seem like it’s trading one for the other, but this is another reason I condone cannabis as a treatment option. It can be used in conjunction with CBD, at home, in conjunction with coordinated care with the appropriate medical professionals and therapists. The goal, ultimately, would be to wean off all substances that are used as training wheels, so to speak. For addicts, it helps with maintaining tremors, shakes, and vomiting. It helps with sleep, which most all of humanity knows is a huge step in the right direction.
There is a potential here to revamp and rethink the way we see treatment. Obviously, there are some who should be housed in a facility, but it would free up space for long term, more advanced patients. Otherwise, it’s an idea for care, sponsored by insurance companies, manned by paramedics across the country, and lessening the burden of overcrowded and overworked hospital and public safety systems.
Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a village to heal one another.