Hello Port 45 family!
For this week’s blog I thought I would talk about one of my personal triggers. For those not in addiction recovery, a “trigger” is any form of stimuli that initiates the desire to engage in addictive behavior. During a recovery program, triggers may prompt an individual to slip-up and use a substance or engage in a behavior that they otherwise are trying to avoid.
The reason that this subject came up this week is that I was triggered recently. You might ask “how does that still happen after almost 10 years clean?” The answer is simple, I have a disease in which there is no known cure. The thing that triggered me this week was being sick.
I was experiencing some symptoms that felt a lot like “dope sickness.” My addict mind still returns to drugs as a solution to feeling physically ill. I think that anyone can relate to this even if you are not an addict. We know that a common cold has no known cure and yet we will take medicine to relieve us of our symptoms. We buy over-the-counter medicine, cough drops, Vapor Rub, etc. to feel better. We will actively try to find a chemical solution to the discomfort of the cold.
That is what an addict will do when feeling the physical discomfort of withdrawal. The difference is that there is no over-the-counter solution that will cure the feeling which is intolerable. Imagine the last time that you had the flu and what that felt like. Now multiply that feeling by 3 and you may understand what opiate withdrawal feels like. Now imagine in that feeling that someone says that a pill or some chemical would take that feeling away completely. Now imagine waking up every single day feeling that way. That is the vicious cycle of addiction.
By the time that someone experiences withdrawal they are already addicted, and that sickness drives the addiction. It is exhausting and miserable but the fear of feeling “dope sick” will keep someone using for a very long time. One of the reasons that Medicine Assisted Treatment (MAT) programs are so successful is that it takes the felling of withdrawal out of the scenario.
A person is free to seek treatment without the agony of withdrawal. Medicines like Suboxone will fill the pain receptors with Buprenorphine while also providing the patient with Naloxone to keep them from feeling the Euphoria (or high) from it. This assists someone in engaging in treatment services so that they can address their underlying issues from the beginning.
I just wanted to give some insight into the mind of one recovering addicts experience with triggers, withdrawal, and recovery. Until next time, I love you all!
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