The Recipe for Victory Over Any Addiction

by Dina Perkins

Whether it’s drugs, alcohol, food, gambling, porn, shopping, or something else that runs your life to the level of serious compulsion, there’s a way out that is not just a release, but a victory.

How do we gain victory over obstacles in our lives, such as an addiction, that seem to be tearing us to pieces and controlling our lives as if we were attached to ‘it’ with a ball and chain? So, today I want to discuss victory and the matter of fact way you

  1. What is Victory?
  2. Is victory still possible to achieve even when the darkest hour has come?
  3. Why do you need a recovery or addictions ‘coach’?
  4. Are there steps to follow to become victorious over addiction and be free?
  5. Can you successfully do this alone or do you need help?  What kind of help?
  6. What actions to you need to take for achieving victory?

Victory, in it’s basic generic sense, is obtaining authority over something we thought had an inescapable and relentless hold on us. It’s freedom that we want to celebrate. When we formulate the mindset of submission, we’re done and victory won’t likely be ours to own. Never submit to addiction.  Work on your thoughts to change and never give up until it’s accomplished.  We don’t fail unless with die in an addiction.  Then we have given the addiction permission to rule over us.

I personally believe that we can achieve victory as long as we’re still breathing and have the desire and self respect to change.  My focus, however, in my life and ministry is in addiction.  It’s during our darkest hour when we fight the hardest.  When we fight hard, we win. It’s when we are cornered that we fight to the death. That’s why people say that those in addiction have to hit rock bottom in order to be able to see the need to get clean.

Now we come to the question of whether or not we need a life coach. I believe that EVERYONE needs a life coach!  I guess I’m a bit biased because I am a coach… a recovery coach, a leadership coach and a marriage educator/coach; however, the reason for my bias is that human nature tells us that unless we figure it out for ourselves, we’re not inspired to make the proper changes in our lives. Coaching is a trained individual who, through a skilled set of probing questions, leads their client to the proper direction for their life.  It is not someone who gives advice or counsels; it’s someone who ‘leads the horse to water’.  It’s just plain fact that if you tell someone, ‘don’t’, they will and if you tell someone, ‘do’, they won’t;  so we never want to direct another’s life.   Not only do I believe that every person on earth should contract with a life coach, I believe that we all need the Life Coach of all life coaches – Jesus Christ Himself.  If you know your Bible, you know that Jesus never told anyone what to do, He just gently told of His ways in parables, analogies and laws. God is a gentleman and forces no one to follow Him; however, He causes us to fall in love with Him.

Now for the steps or phases for your path to victory.  Could there be an actual outline of things to do in order to win victory over substance abuse – or anything else in life?  Yes there is a protocol. My protocol applies in a general sense to any challenge that you are wrestling with.  Here goes...

  1. Observe.  Tune up your observational skills.  Do an assessment as to what is happening to you by rewinding to the beginning of this ‘problem’ and think about how you got into this situation in the first place and reasons why you feel you started.  As an example, ask yourself why you started taking drugs or why you started to drink.  Take yourself back to that very moment when you took that first pill… shot Heroin for the first time… did your first line of cocaine… shopped till you dropped… gambled it all away at a casino or won a boatload of money… etc.  What problem did these substances or activities seem to solve in those first moments that caused you to do it again and continue – even though you knew you shouldn’t.
  2. Analyze.  Do some self-analysis and ask yourself, what results am I not getting now  that I did get in the beginning?  Why am I continuing in this addiction if it’s not solving anything in my life, but it’s making me sick?  Knowing that drugs and alcohol cause organ damage and death, and other addictions cause the loss of money, self worth and family, what the heck is causing me to still continue?
  3. Ask.  Ask the opinions of those close to you.  Why not ask your close friends and loved ones to be raw and real with you about what kinds of change they have seen in you over the last few years that they are disappointed in you about and wish was different.
  4. Imagine. Close your eyes and imagine your life FREE from the bondage of your addiction.  God gave us a mind with the ability to imagine… to attain things we have yet accomplished… to see things that don’t yet exist.  Now that I have you sitting (or laying down on your favorite comfy sofa or chair), how does it feel to have no compulsion to count those pills… chase the next high… gamble away your savings… spend all of your monthly budget shopping for ‘stuff’… drinking yourself into oblivion… stuffing your face on junk until you can’t take a breath?  I ask you again… how does it feel?  What do you see yourself spending time doing once you’re free?  What are friends and loved ones saying to you?
  5. Your Future.  If you were to get FREE of your addiction, what might you want to be doing 2 years from now that you couldn’t even imagine doing while you are in your addiction?  Right now, your every waking hour is devoted to your addiction.  If you’re not actually needing to get high, get drunk or partake in the other addictions mentioned here, what would you love to be doing with your time?
  6. Take Action!  If you have been encouraged and inspired by honestly responding to these past 5 questions and thoughts, do something, and do it today.  At the end of each day of any addiction, there is loss.  For those in chemical addictions, that loss is the loss of your health and, eventually, your life.  For non-chemical addictions, the loss is that of family, dignity and money.  For those in non-chemical addictions, there are support groups and life coaches to help you return to normalcy.  For those involved in chemical addictions – Rx drug addiction, illegal drugs and alcohol – make arrangements for medical detox which is accomplished through a medically supervised detox center or in a hospital detox unit or mental health unit.  Once you are fully detoxed, it’s time for 3-4 months of one on one specialized Bible based life coaching.  Addiction is NOT a disease and no one should have to be navigating any 12 Step programs that have a success rate of less than 1%.  Congrats, and kudos,  if you’re among that one percent; however , statistics have shown that people do better if they go it alone than if they take part in any 12 Step group.  In my opinion, the ‘Steppers’ exude pure heresy and are a disgrace to God.   Plain and simple, addiction is sin. Jesus came to die for your sins and take them away from you.  If He sacrificed Himself for your sins, He certainly can heal you completely for your entire lifetime.
  7. Freedom! Live Life like you’ve never lived before!  You are now released from bondage; you are FREE. Take time to smell those magnificent roses. Enjoy your hope and your future. You can now do ANYTHING you want to do!, So, go ahead and do it.  Live!

Healing begins with thought! Thought leads to words.  Words lead to actionable steps that cause change.  Change causes you to live a new, healthier, addiction free life. That addiction free life repairs our broken relationship with Jesus Christ and you can now forward to eternity in Heaven.


So, who’s this Jesus?  Why do I need Him?  What’s He got to do with my life and my healing?

If you haven’t heard, Jesus is one and only  Son of the Living God. He came to earth as a baby who was 100% man and 100% God.  He grew up as a humble man who preached the message of righteousness and salvation.  He is the Messiah. He’s not a fairy tale character… history itself has documented accounts of His birth, ministry , cruel death an resurrection.  His presence here on earth is irrefutable. He came here to die on the cross as the sacrificial Lamb on the Passover.  Up until He willingly died on that cross, animals had to be sacrificed for the forgiveness of sin. Once Jesus was savagely beaten and crucified for YOU, it was finished… no more animal sacrifices needed to be done. He took you sins upon Himelf, as well as all the sins of the world, and upon receiving Him, you are joined with Him for all eternity in Heaven.  If you don’t receive Him of your free will, you will enter an eternity in Hell.  That’s doesn’t sound like a loving and compassionate God, you say? Well, I disagree. He DIED for YOU so that you would NOT have to go to Hell… a place designed for Satan and the fallen angels. Would YOU die for someone so that they could live?  Only God could do that.  I’d say that is a God so loving… so compassionate… so caring… that it blows my mind.

How do you become part of eternity in Heaven, where there will be no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears and no more death?  It’s a FREE GIFT and pretty easy.  The scripture says,

“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13)

In a prayer, you only have to confess to God that you believe He is God… that He died for your sins… and that you will live the rest of your life serving Him in righteousness.  Then, you need to read your Bible so that you know how to live a righteous life that is pleasing to God – not yourself.  Fellowship with other Spirit filled born again believers – in a home fellowship or a Spirit filled non-denominational church that preaches Jesus for Salvation. Stay on the ‘straight and narrow’ by getting yourself out of the way and becoming more like Him. God will transform you as long as you obey Him. You life will be a new birth… a new second chance… a new peace that you have never experienced before. Change will happen. You will be born again, as the Bible speaks of.  If you need help in understanding more about true Salvation and the only way to Heaven (according to the Holy Bible), please contact me. I would be happy to answer any of your questions and/or pray with you.

If you are struggling with an addiction, Jesus will take it from you and you will be FREE for life!

Heroin & Cocaine VS Rx Drugs From Your Doctor. Same or Different?

Today, I want to show you how accepting those dangerous prescriptions from your doctor is causing you to be equal to a heroin/cocaine abuser. Once you know that your doctor is giving you dangerous medications, it is up to you to make a change in your life or suffer torment, withdrawal, organ failure, seizures, stroke, heart attack and an early death.

We all know that when a person struts down to his or her drug dealer, we know that they’re willingly, knowingly and purposely after a high and are bound and determined to get it.  We also know that they are fully aware that if they get caught using, they will spend some time in  jail. Another known factor is that – most of the time – people sell their bodies in order to get that high because, without it, they will get violently sick and possibly die from withdrawal.  Another given is that they are knowingly risking their lives every single time they use.  Overdose, as everyone knows, is all too common.

So, what about Rx drugs that your doctor gives you?

  • More people die from doctors’ prescription drugs than do people using Heroin and Cocaine combined.
  • Prescription drugs such as Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Hypnotics (sleeping pills) and Stimulants (just to name a few categories) should NEVER be prescribed for more than 3 days – if at all. Antidepressants, antipsychotics and other psychotropic drugs should NEVER be prescribed by anyone other than a board certified psychiatrist; even then, you must consider whether or not this person needs to be hospitalized and evaluated in a mental health unit as these drugs cause suicidal and homicidal ideations.
  • Doctors that offer you these drugs, outside of a hospital facility, and for more than 3 days, are basically drug dealers who wear white coats.

Do the patients who use Rx drugs seek after the same high as street drug users do?

  • Absolutely YES!  The addictive Rx drugs given to you by your doctor do not keep their intensity. In other words, the dose you take today will not have the same effect on you when you continue to take it for 2 weeks. That means that your doctor will most likely increase the dose or add another drug to potentiate (make stronger) it’s effect.  As a matter of fact, many doctors, in order to keep you addicted, will add certain specific other drugs that will give give their patients the equivalent of a very potent ‘heroin high’.
  • Dosages are raised by doctors or additional drugs are added because every few weeks, the effect and euphoria (or high) of these drugs dissipates.  Keep in mind that these drugs, while becoming less effective, are stored in the body’s vital organs. This is the reason people ‘accidentally’ overdose and never see it coming.

Is it possible that Rx drug users could end up doing prison time or have to sell their bodies?

  • Yes!  It happens every day of the week. Why, you ask?  The reason is that laws are getting tighter and doctors are being squeezed not to prescribe these types of drugs… especially Opiate painkillers.  These days they can face professional discipline for misconduct, malpractice suits for iatrogenic addiction and death, and criminal criminal charges. So, what do the people do who are on these drugs and now suffer withdrawal? They hit the streets and buy heroin!  Heroin is an opiate. Whether they are 12 or 90, they will start shooting up because the withdrawal is unbearable and they don’t want to be hospitalized for 14 days to detox. As we know, this is illegal.  Being illegal, these people who have graduated from pills to heroin are now conducting themselves as other heroin abusers do, so they easily can and do end up with criminal charges.

What about withdrawal and accidental overdose?  My doctor would never put me on drugs that would cause harm to me!

  • Think again, my friends!  Remember that nasty thing called ‘GREED’?  Greed causes those who have the love of money to do crazy things.  Just because some people have an MD, DO, PA, or NP after their names doesn’t mean they don’t or can’t love money!  People who love money look for ways to make that money in a cushy, easy way.  What’s easier than addicting patients to drugs?  State laws mandate that these patients MUST come into the medical office monthly in order to get more pills. Insurances pay upward of $880 per 5 minute visit for the patient to get a new Rx. Multiply that by the average number of patients doctors have in the US per month.  I’m not going to figure out the statistics for you… you can google that if you want; however, what I will tell you is that in 2012 (the most recent statistics available form the CDC), 259,000,000 (million) prescriptions were written for just Opioids alone!!!!!!!!!  You do the math on how lucrative it is for doctors to prescribe these drugs and how they only have to spend 5 minutes with a patient to make upwards of $880.00 per month per patient. Don’t you wonder how your monster doctor affords all of those luxury vacations… new cars… huge houses (and multiple homes)… designer clothes… private schools… etc? I guess you’ve been reading my words here because you guessed it… it’s by prescribing addictive and mind altering drugs!  Voila!  One American dies every 19 minutes here in the US from a prescription overdose from addictive drugs prescribed by their doctor.  IATROGENIC DEATH is now the #1 cause of accidental death in America.  To me, it’s no accident when doctors know what these drugs do and prescribe them anyway. Even after a patient has experienced a massive overdose, their doctor will prescribe them to that same patient again when they get home from the hospital. That’s egregious since the chance of overdose is GREATER after an overdose has already occurred. For many, it only takes just one pill!!!

Motto of my post today?  NEVER TRUST YOUR DOCTOR!  

  • Do the research – Look up the drugs yourself and ask your pharmacist for a package insert so that you can see all facts about the drugs.
  • ask questions of pharmacists, naturopaths, google ‘dangers of (name of drug)’ and see what others have experienced and what remains hidden from patients.
  • allow a window of time before accepting any Rx or procedure in order to get other opinions from doctors who are naturopaths.
  • *******NEVER start with these drugs and you’ll never get addicted, you’ll never get dead before your time, and you’ll never suffer the evil ravages of taking them.
  • Look for an MD or DO who is a Naturopath… seek natural alternatives.
  • For pain, google LDN… an awesome way to control pain, many diseases and helps you sleep.  It doesn’t ’cause’ anything in your body… it enables your body to heal itself.

Are You Addicted to the Drugs You’re Getting from your Doctor?

 

IF YOU’VE BEEN TAKING

PRESCRIPTION DRUGS FOR MORE THAN 2 WEEKS, YOU ARE

ADDICTED AND YOUR LIFE

IS AT RISK

Opiates, Benzodiazepines, Antidepressants, Antipsychotics, Hypnotics, Stimulants, toxic poisons that your doctor gives you simply because you’re complaining and want a quick fix. They know that once you take the first pill, you’ll be coming back every month for more. Those visits are charged to insurances at charges upward of $880.00 a pop each month. Still wonder why insurance is so costly? Blame your monster doctor; then, after you read this, blame yourself as well.

  • When you stop taking them, you feel so sick that you must begin taking them again
  • You’re taking them for more than 2 weeks
  • You’re counting your pills to make sure you have enough
  • You’re sleeping too much or can’t sleep
  • You’re constipated or having diarrhea
  • You are having palpitations
  • You are fearful and/or anxious
  • Your appetite is out of control or you can’t eat
  • You’re losing or gaining weight
  • You are losing time at work
  • The pain is getting much worse (yes… the painkillers CAUSE more pain after a few weeks)
  • You find yourself isolating more
  • You feel paranoid
  • Your skin is crawling
  • You are feeling feelings of impending doom
  • You go in any weather and take risks in order to the doctor or pharmacy to get your pills
  • Your mind is always on the next dose
  • You can’t get enough from your doctor, so you try going to other doctors
  • Frequent headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Time seems ‘blurred’

There are far more symptoms than those I just mentioned; however, if you have any one of these, or are taking these medications for more than the perceived medical standard of two weeks, you need to find help and get professionally medically detoxed in a supervised setting. Once you are discharged, find a doctor who doesn’t prescribe any of these medications. After detox, come to us for support. You’ll require one on one support for about 4 months. Our services are charged by a very affordable minimum donation. Until Victory Retreat Montana is up and running, we work by phone and Skype. IatrogenicAddiction.com

The bottom line is that you either get help today, or tragically suffer and have a premature death. Most all insurances can cover most or all of the cost of medically supervised detox. Isn’t your life worth it?

Why Addiction is NOT a Disease, According to Dr. Marc Lewis

A neuroscientist disputes the status quo, calling us all to rethink how we view addiction.

As I looked down at my prepared questions, thinking they were juvenile or topical or pathetic, to ask Dr. Marc Lewis about his new book, The Biology of Desire: Why Addiction is Not a Disease, he stopped me and said, “Before we get started, do you mind if I ask what kind of drugs you did?” Without missing a beat I said, “It began with pharmaceutical opiates.” He paused for a moment and smiled, “Those are some pretty attractive drugs.”

I knew at that moment I was speaking with a neuroscientist who not only understood the brain’s matter—its molecules, membranes, blood, and electricity—but it was clear to me that he also understood the person in which the brain is embodied. Where most neuroscientists dismiss one’s inner-life as fuzzy and immeasurable, Lewis does not. He’s totally interested and fascinated by the lived experience of drug users.

Which is why I found myself enjoying both him and our talk, especially after my nerves quieted and the 8am coffee began to wake me up—or caused my pituitary gland to secrete hormones that in turn caused my adrenal glands to produce a bit more adrenaline, thus honing my attention. See, I can sound neuroscience-y, too.

Though Lewis is busy teaching in the Netherlands, the two of us found time to connect and below we discuss his brilliantly penned Oliver Sacks-like case studies, his argument against the disease theory of addiction, and the importance of goals and time, of humans and their stories.

You write that classifying addiction as a chronic, relapsing brain disease can be harmful. But many argue this takes stigma off the user, whereas the “addiction is a choice” camp may put unnecessary blame on the user. So why is the disease diagnosis also harmful?

There is the assumption, which Dr. Nora Volkow continues to pound in, that we need to label addiction as a disease in order to remove the shame and guilt and self-remorse from it. I don’t think that is necessarily true. We can deal with remorse and shame in other ways. I also think a little bit of shame can be excellent motivation, and getting rid of it entirely is not necessarily a good idea at all.

The disease label often leads to a sense of fatalism: “I’ve got a disease, what can I do? I need to go get help and if I can’t get better it’s because I have a disease…not because of something I’m doing wrong.”

A lot of people who are in the addiction field feel that empowerment, a certain amount of self-discipline, and taking oneself in hand are extremely valuable measures and perhaps the only way to get through it.

I also think that the “disease vs. choice” argument creates a false dichotomy. Choice is not independent of the brain, naturally, so a neuroscience view does not support one or the other. And choice is far from logical in most human affairs. Addiction may not be a disease or a free choice.

You list a number of compulsions, such as overeating, where there are some remarkable similarities to chemical addiction—but you say no one would ever consider those things diseases. Why is it then, that addiction to drugs is given the special title of a brain disease? 

I think that the DSM-V, the latest rendition, no longer uses the term “addiction” for drugs. They have “substance use disorders” instead. OK, well fine, but we all know what they mean by this. Maybe gambling is the only thing still labeled “an addiction.” So there are also eating disorders and they all have compulsive tendencies, and the point at which we call something a disease, where we draw this line in the sand, is pretty arbitrary. It depends a whole lot on societal values and morals, rather than on any kind of logical scientific or other rational criteria.

If drugs are really offensive, if getting high or getting stoned is really offensive to the society, we’re going to call it a disease. For eating, everybody eats and a lot of us are fat, so they’re not going to call that a disease.

Why do you not like the term “recovery”?

It’s derived from medical parlance, right? You have a disease and you need to recover from it, which means going back to the previous equilibrium that your body is at peace in, or stable in. I want to be careful about this, though. I don’t think the term “recovery” is all that helpful in a scientific discourse. But a lot of people use the term and we know what they mean and they talk about being “in recovery.” I don’t want to in any way criticize or denigrate the use of the term for people who are getting value out of it.

Along those lines of returning to “equilibrium,” you cite a 2013 study where cocaine users who were abstinent for 35 to 60 weeks had a regrowth of reduced grey matter volume which continued to develop and grow beyond what is baseline for even non-drug users, meaning, it didn’t just return to “normal” but went past it. I think that’s interesting, because if I think about myself before, during, and post-opiate usage, I’m totally different. I bet my grey matter is, too. So in a sense, aren’t we just always changing? 

Glad you brought that up. It’s a huge factor. You certainly just nailed it and a lot of people feel that way. I communicate with hundreds and hundreds of addicts from my blog and once they have “recovered” they are not the same person—they’re just not. And they’re often very pleased with that.

I’m always thinking about time and my relation to it. When I look back to when I was using I remember the future was an abstraction I couldn’t really grasp or touch, let alone imagine. Now, with some years off opiates, I can cast off a “future Zach” and work toward goals that allow me to meet up with that possibility of me. How important is one’s temporality in addiction? 

That’s really where I come to at the end of the book. The main vortex that sucks us into addiction is this being trapped in the now and the present, which I call “now appeal,” which psychologists call “delay discounting.”

So you’re trapped in this now that just won’t go away because tomorrow is just another now: Where am I going to use? Where am I going to get the money to use? Or where am I going to get the drugs? You cannot extend forward in time, you can’t think about next week—it’s too hard, too far away. You lose the capacity—actually lose it—to think forward in time. And I think that corresponds to the brain changes that are taking place, particularly the functional disconnection between the striatum and the prefrontal cortex.

There is a lot of evidence that this happens in addiction, but it also happens in studies of delay discounting and ego fatigue. So it’s not just addiction that’s “destroying” the brain, rather it’s a way of interacting with one’s world in the present that corresponds with changes in brain function.

If you lose the capacity to think forward then you’re really trapped because you lose the capacity to take care of yourself. To think of yourself in this kind of caring way, to put your arm around your shoulder and say, “It’s going to be okay, we’ll get to next week and things will be better.” You can’t do that anymore. You forget how. It’s a terrible state to be in.

Most of the former drug users you interviewed for the book all seemed to have gone on their own path of cleaning up outside of AA. Do you think 12-step culture propagates a lot of the disease ideas?

There has been this kind of concatenation between the core precepts of AA and the disease model. I think this really took root in the ’50s and ’60s, with Hazelden and all of that. Then there was a gradual medicalization with doctors and medical associations coming on board saying this is a disease and that crossed over into AA parlance. But Bill W. didn’t talk about it that way. He used the word “allergy” and he didn’t really think it was a disease, at least in the way people in the ’90s thought it was a disease, with the whole brain disease thing.

Plenty who either write for or comment on The Fix see AA as a real nuisance. 

I don’t want to bash AA the way some people do. I don’t think there is an evil intention there. I think it does help some. We all know the success rates are not very stellar. None of the five people I interviewed in my book really got better through AA, although some of them used AA en route.

When I did my first drafts of the book, I had an editor who really knew a lot more about AA than I did. She got me thinking about it. She argued that you couldn’t necessarily assume that these ideas came out of AA. They partly were infused into AA by larger systems, like the courts: you have behaved badly, you have a disease, therefore you must go to this program. This program happens to use 12-step methods. So now you have to go to meetings. The whole disease stuff and AA then gets blended and mulched together and that’s just the way concepts evolve. It’s not really AA that’s fucking things up, per se.

So where exactly do you depart from the disease theory people and where do they depart from you? You’re all scientists looking at the same brain imaging studies, yet you come to massively different interpretations. How does that happen? 

It’s a tough one. Kent Berridge (a neuroscientist) is a guy I really respect and like very much. He and I were together at this meeting with the Dalai Lama about a year and a half ago on addiction and craving. Nora Volkow of NIDA was also there. I sat with Berridge in a restaurant in Kolkata for hours and we debated this stuff and I kept asking, “How could you think about this stuff as a disease?”

He still thinks of it as pathology. I buy his theory, I buy his perspective, but we frame it in a different way. I don’t know why. Maybe it’s because he studies rats and I don’t [laughs]. Rats don’t tell stories and we humans, well, we live stories. It’s a less static or more dynamic way of looking at a phenomenon.

Obviously a lot less control in humans than rats. 

Yeah, that’s right. I think one of the key insights comes from Trevor Robbins, who is probably the world expert on compulsive behavior in the brain. In my book, I quote him saying, “There is nothing aberrant or unusual about devolving behavioral control to a dorsal striatal S-R habit mechanism.” Sorry, it’s quite a mouthful. What he is saying, I think, is that the shift into compulsive behavior is not abnormal, and we do this all the time. When we eat, we shove stuff in our mouth in a kind of compulsive way. Think about how you eat a pizza, right? There are so many ways in which well-learned responses become partially compulsive.

And to me, that was the pivot point, in which you can say, “Yes! Behaviors can become compulsive and hard to control but that doesn’t make it a disease.” Rather, it makes it a kind of automatic response tendency that’s been over-learned. I don’t think Berridge would see it that way. He does things with his rats and, just, I don’t know [laughs], doesn’t quite see it the same way.

The participants in many of your case studies were able to think backward into their childhoods, while they were developing, to some kind of thing that colored their disposition or coping. Do you think that is always the case with drug users? Something specific or non-specific happened in the past that shaped their compulsive behavior in the present? 

I think it is common but I don’t think it is always necessary. I’ve talked to people who were in drug-taking environments for long enough and they eventually just got into it. Looking at their past, I couldn’t see anything particularly amiss. So I don’t go as far as Gabor Maté, who argues a sort of extreme version of that idea. I just don’t think it’s quite that simple, but those kinds of events come up again and again when you talk to addicts. It’s a lot more than chance, like 60, 70, maybe 80%. It’s a lot. 

So what are the implications of your ideas for the future? Where do we go from here? 

Where I try to go to at the end of the book is to look to approaches to treatment and quitting, not necessarily treatment because you don’t need treatment to quit, you can do it yourself or with a friend or family member…or lots of ways.

But I think you often do need to revisit the past partly so you can forgive yourself, and see the trajectory as it has progressed through your life. I’m here not because I’m an asshole, I’m here for a reason. And I can see how it happened: how I became needy, how I became insecure and anxious and depressed. I can see how that led to wanting this kind of peace, fulfillment, relief, and that kind of self-forgiveness is tremendously important.

I see that as a bridge to the future we were talking about. That terrible sort of schism in time that’s created by now appeal can be overcome by connecting your past to your future, in a sort of continuity, where you can see yourself in time—as you and I are talking about, I know you know what I mean—seeing your life as a story.

This is not exactly a new treatment protocol, but these are ideas I hope can be useful to help explore new and more effective approaches to treatment.

News Source:  TheFix.com


IatrogenicAddiction.com : The dangers of prescription drugs

VictoryRetreatMontana.com : A Non-12 Step, Non-Clinical, Alternative Rehab, in the format of a relaxing and Transformational Retreat.

Do NOT Trust any Doctor!!!

This post is brief and to the point today.  It’s all said in the poster I made today. Please take it to heart.

VictoryRetreatMontana.com        IatrogenicAddiction.com

Who Needs Rehab when You Can Have Renewal ? !

VRM Replacement Methodology
&
Message Therapy

It is our opinion , based on years of research and experience, we have clearly concluded that addiction is a ‘symptom’ of trauma – not some theorized disease. There is no fact based clinical evidence of addiction being a disease. Yes… during the time of substance abuse, there are visible brain changes that can be seen on certain types of brain scans; however, these brain changes are active DURING the addiction – not before and not after. The other factor that we must consider and always remember about disease theorists, is that they are making massive sums of money by promoting this fraudulent disease theory. There are billions of dollars being brought in by the 12 Step revolving door rehabs… out patient rehabs… doctors and psychologists… and other professionals, paraprofessionals and institutions raking it in by taking advantage of vulnerable, hurting people who are in addiction.

VRM Replacement Methodology, replaces unsuccessful conventional revolving door rehab treatment with a Transformational Journey of Finding One’s True Purpose in this Life, which completely replaces the addiction once experienced. Rather than pin a disease theory on people, we lead them down a path towards God and Renewal. We coach our clients into understanding and realizing what attainable goals, realistic activities and new careers they would like to see themselves involved in; then, together we make it happen. We promote self esteem, self improvement, new values and a belief system that are transformational. All these things, put people on the road to a destination of total and complete healing! Victory Retreat Montana calls this adventure of self discovery, our VRM Replacement Methodology. We replace your former addiction with God and the beauty of living a full and productive life.

Message Therapy is all about God’s Word and living God’s way. Don’t believe, even for even a split second, in a recovery that never ends. What you need is to be discipled… immersed… into the Biblical principles of life in Christ… of transformation by the renewing of your mind. We do that with you. It’s a supernatural journey that ends with the final end of addiction for life.

Visit our alternative rehab planning page at: VictoryRetreatMontana.com and find out how God is doing “A New Thing”

Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable,
and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

Are Painkillers the ‘Respectable’ Addiction, or is There No Such Thing?

Celebrity drug overdoses frequently shine the spotlight on the lethal danger of narcotic use and addictions in the entertainment industry. However, the problem spans across all age, gender, social, and economic groups every day.

A person usually begins taking a narcotic during the treatment of a legitimate medical problem that needs more than an aspirin to kill the pain. These drugs are highly effective. They help people recover from surgery and horrible accidents. If you have a chronic pain condition, the heavy duty pain killers that work (namely narcotics like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Demerol) become your sole source of life-without-pain. Since they’re prescribed by a doctor, covered by health insurance, effective for pain relief and available at the pharmacy – why not take them?

And therein lies the beginning of an abuse pattern. Narcotics are addictive. You depend on them long enough for pain relief and you develop a physical and mental addiction to them. It’s a slippery slope.

There is no one-size-fits-all number of doses or number of days or weeks that define whether the narcotic use has morphed into addiction. One clue may be that the person can no longer get refills or get it prescribed as they had been and they find new clever ways to obtain the drug. Another is that the regular dosage doesn’t satisfy and the person takes twice the amount prescribed or more. The person’s overall lack of mental sharpness and alertness can be another indication. The medical community has imposed new regulations that make it more difficult for patients to get narcotics, but someone who is addicted or in a whole lot of pain will usually find a way anyhow.

I currently suffer with chronic pain. Do you? Do you find yourself thinking that it’s not worth the fight? Why not just take the _______ (fill in the blank with your pain killer) and feel better? Why deny yourself the relief? It’s a grey area at times.

My own mother suffered for decades with narcotics addiction. The day she died she was found on the floor next to her bed with a syringe and a vial labeled Demerol on her sheets. Her passing was sad, but after witnessing so many close encounters she had with death because of her addiction, it wasn’t surprising to us that she left this world that way.

It appears that a painkiller addiction is as hard to break as a crack cocaine addiction. The major difference is that narcotics are legal and purchased at the local pharmacy instead of on the streets (at least in the beginning).But this I know to be true: being doped up is easier for other people to detect than the person taking the drugs; you think you can _____ (fill in the blank with activities like drive, take care of your children, etc.) fine when you’ve taken the narcotics, but you are impaired whether you want to admit it or not; it gets easier and easier to tell yourself that you NEED the pill as time goes on.

What then are we supposed to do? Be in pain all the time?

I say NO! We are supposed to be careful! We are supposed to take milder pain killers like Aleve, Tylenol or Advil while we work, drive, take care of children, ______ (fill in the blank) and as often as we can in place of taking the hard stuff.

Please don’t wreck your life and possibly others by toying with narcotics. Only use them when you absolutely have to. They can become an idol in your life that you believe you can’t do without.

If you are there already or know someone who is, please don’t let your addiction to narcotics kill you like it has so many others. Will you seek professional help? Can you take steps to be free?

Copyright 2010 Beth Livingston. Used by permission. CBN.com


The above article, in my opinion, is well balanced and provides a summary of what the average person (consumer) needs to know; however, I disagree on one point. I believe that the ONLY instances where Opiates can come into play are during the following situations:

  • For the first 3 days post-op
  • For the first 3 days after an extreme physical trauma
  • During the last few days of the dying process – IF it’s painful. Then, the risks do not outweigh the benefits. It’s just mercy.

Chronic pain should NEVER be a reason for Opiates.  There are too many other options… including my favorite… NATURAL ALTERNATIVES. Suffering with chronic pain will not kill you; however, the deadly, addictive medicines that are being used in our country today, WILL kill you.

withdrawal-baby

VRM Replacement Methodology Heals Addiction for Life!


A Question:  Do you really think you’re on the road to recovery when greed infused disease theorists (ie: 12 Steppers) tell you that you will never recover?

Do you really think you’re truly ‘in recovery’ when the Steppers tell you that you’ll never fully recover?  Isn’t that a bold faced LIE?  Lies lead to futility… futility leads to frustration… frustration lead to anxiety and stress… stress lead to a crippling mindset that says, ‘what the heck!  A what the heck attitude will bring you full circle back into using drugs or alcohol. After all, you feel if you are set up to ‘relapse’, why bother stopping at all?

what-3By Einstein’s definition of insanity, doesn’t the extremely high failure rate of the 12 steps speak volumes as to that being the thing to avoid? The success(?) rate of AA lingers between 1% to 3%. Hmmmm… a 5% success rate is among those who do absolutely nothing! What does that say? This covered up dirty little secret of AA, coupled with the countless people going in circles through the revolving doors of the 12 step model rehabs, is the very epitome of the ‘god’ of greed! Going through a contrived recovery – ‘one day at a time’ –  isn’t freedom… it’s another bondage. The process of Recovery should lead to being Recovered at some point, or why call it ‘recovery’? It sounds good though, doesn’t it? Basically, it holds nothing but an empty promise. Are you ‘working the steps’ or are the steps working you? At some point, we need to introduce reasoning and logic into the equation. Basically, the current system of recovery is nothing more than a money making empire!  It builds rehabs… produces TV shows… gets support groups funded… sells books… etc.
The disease theorists – doctors, people, groups and institutions – receive massive amounts of funding and fees, only to tell you that you’ll never get better. What else would fuel a scared_png_by_ninetailsfoxchan-d5gu6fsnever-ending ‘program’ where no one ever recovers? Is that really where you want to go?  12 Steppers spin you around in circles as though you’re playing pin the tail on the donkey… hoping they can make you dizzy enough so that you keep falling. Then, as soon as the dizziness subsides, you’re climbing those miserable steps again. Did you know that the co-founders of AA were ongoing addicts themselves? Did they use the disease theory just want to develop an excuse for continuing ongoing substance abuse?

Simply because addiction is difficult to get unchained from doesn’t mean it’s impossible! Yes… it’s a huge challenge; however, it’s one worth taking. You have to want it as much as you want to breath! Some people are heavy sleepers and difficult to awaken in the morning; does that mean they should sleep all day, never work, never go to school and never eat?  It just means they need a nudge or a louder alarm clock. In the case of addiction, the ‘alarm clock’ is suffering and an early and unexpected accidental death.

Success and Victory over addiction begs to ask the question, “what goals, activities, career, self esteem, self improvement, values and belief system would make you happier than getting drunk or high”?  Once we coach you into figuring out some positive attainable goals for yourself, you’re on the road to a destination of total and complete healing! Victory Retreat Montana calls this adventure of self discovery, our VRM Replacement Methodology.  We replace your former addiction with God and the beauty of living a full and productive life.

Don’t believe, even for even a split second, in a recovery that never ends.  What you need is to be discipled… immersed… into the Biblical principles of life in Christ… of transformation by the renewing of your mind. Let me ask you a few pointed questions…

  1. How can you cope with life’s challenges in a more effective way than the self-defeating way than with drugs or alcohol?
  2. Given the circumstances to be able to accomplish what you would love, what are you doing right now?
  3. Jesus Himself has answered a most important prayer that you prayed… what was it?

Present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Romans 12:2

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away;
behold, all things are become new.
2 Corinthians 5:17

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