During my usual perusing of various news items about drug addiction, psychedelics and healing, I realized I was translating what I was reading into what I know to be true. Otherwise known as reading between the lines. Having had the personal experience and years of research with the topics I write about, I’m able to decipher between what is being reported in the media and what is reality. And most times, they are at the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Report on drug addiction

This is the news item I was scanning and this is the quote where it all began:

“Those of us suffering from the disease of addiction have a very high tolerance for pain and abuse,” said Scudo. “I can lose friends, I can lose family members, I can go to jail, I can lose jobs, I can lose money, I can go to the hospital over and over again but the cycle of addiction precludes me from breaking out of that cycle.”

Not a disease of addiction

Addiction is not a disease but that’s what pseudo-science, the recovery business and the media would have us believe. In reality, addiction is a coping mechanism gone wrong. It’s what the brain has devised to soothe the pain.

Those addicted often have a high tolerance for pain and abuse because that’s what’s usually what caused the addiction in the first place.

At some point during childhood, we learn to manage whatever pain we experience by escaping in any way possible, be it reading, TV, video games or whatever worked to numb the pain. As we get more mature, we find more adult forms of escape like drugs, alcohol, shopping, work, sex, gambling, etc. Again, whatever worked to keep the mind off the pain in the heart. The problem is though, that the brain forges neural pathways that become more deeply ingrained the longer the escape routes are used. And that’s where we can get stuck.

Cycle of addiction

This is the cycle of addiction that is promoted these days: Drugs —> Guilt —> Pain —> Cravings —> More drugs

Treatment for drug addiction is often based on the 12-step model, which eschews getting professional help instead providing solutions with religious overtones like confession and redemption.

Those that are uncomfortable with religion are encouraged to put that feeling aside and follow the group-think anyway. Ignoring one’s gut is a hell of a way to do anything. And, if someone is not comfortable adapting to the practices, then that’s another layer of guilt and pain added to the pile.

When it is provided at rehabs, therapy by itself can only take one so far and definitely not that far in 30, 60 or 90 days. So, rarely is the source of the pain ferreted out and addressed in a deep way, and it is the pain that leads anyone back to drug addiction.

Stop the war on drugs

The article continues:

In fact, heroin addicts are most vulnerable right after leaving jail, when their tolerances are low, but they seek out the same amount of heroin they’re accustomed too. And that can cause a fatal overdose. Heroin suppresses breathing, sometimes so much so it causes death.

Yes, anyone would be at their most vulnerable after leaving jail not only because their tolerance is low but also because we all know the jail system provides such a rejuvenating experience sure to rid anyone of their problems. Ok, so perhaps I’m a wee bit cynical here but truly, the best drugs can be had in jail, incarceration and the way society views these folks after their release does not relieve but only adds to the existing pain. The solution is to stop putting people in jail. Which means, stop the war on drugs. Period

Quit labelling people


The answer, Mueller says, is for the police department, community agencies and treatment agencies to work together to get more people into treatment. That’s proving to be easier said than done, given the nature of an addict.

An addict is not something to be corralled but is a suffering human being in need of compassion. Labeling people de-humanizes them, turning them into one-dimensional beings – in this case, the scary addict.

Let’s think for ourselves

The point here is that we must educate ourselves about drug addiction and treatment alternatives. Don’t rely on what’s being said in the media. The more mainstream and “official” the media source, the better they are at putting the spin on a subject.

Do your own research and make up your mind for yourself. Read books, watch documentaries and follow the many smart social commentators in the alternative media.

We’ve all been duped and it’s time we made up our minds to stop this “us versus them” game. This type of thinking puts fear into our hearts and turns us against one another. In the end, this helps no one.