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Posted by LTITWRK on December 05, 1999 at 16:24:16:

In Reply to: Re: recovery of a herion addict posted by Jenny on December 03, 1999 at 00:25:58:

: Jan, I hope your son is one of the 5% of opiate addicts that can remain abstinent. The cold, hard facts are that opiate addiction is a disease. Most opiate addicts lack the proper chemicals in theiir brains. Many addiction specialists compare opiate addiction to diabetes. It doesn't matter how devoted, dedicated, or how much they try, most of them can not tolerate abstinence. Please keep this in mind if your son does relapse. Don't set yourself up for heartbreak. He is not a weak or amorrally corrupt person if he does go back to using opaites. He does have a disease. The only successful treamtment for opiate addiction is methadone maintenance treatment. The only reason that it has not been accepted more readily in our society is because of the War on Drugs. 12-Step groups encourage the War on Drugs. It is finanacially beneficial to many groups to do so. Don't let anyone kid you, many of these 'Anonymous' members are becoming very wealthy through treatment programs. Someone can become certified to become an addiciton counselor with a couple of years of on-the-job training and attending a few seminars. I have known opiate ddicts that have been abstinent for a decade, and eventually, the lack of endorphins becomes unbearable, they can't handle the pain, both mental and physical, and they go back to using. If this does happen, and I hope for you and your family that it doesn't, please enocurage our son to try methadone. Too many lives have been lost by those who felt they had to become abstinent to please someone else.

Jan...Methadone is not the only answer. Many opiate addicts stay clean and sober without resorting to Methadone. I realize that harm reduction therapy is what they call Methdone treatment. Methadone is a narcotic and long periods of use effect the quality of life of the individual. Detoxing from Methadone is said to be worse that kicking Heroine. 12 Step works for many opiate addicts. If the individual is experiencing highs and low and what may be a chemical imbalance, then seeking the assistance of a Psychiatrist who has a history of working with recovering individuals is a valuable tool. Homeostasis (balance) is good for human beings in general and especially for the recovering individual. Sometimes there are organic brain issues and the using individual has been using to feel normal...with appropriate medical intervention, the individual can have a good quality of life. Relapse often happens when people who have stopped using or drinking resume living their life in their old way, their disease will take them right back to their worst nightmare and their addictive self will convince them that using and or drinking is the only thing that will help. At any rate, the best way to help your son or anyone suffering from the disease of addiction, is to help yourself by education, support and loving yourself and them enough not to support them in their habit but to get help. Addicts and alcoholics are wonderful people...and it is said they are not bad people trying to get good but sick people trying to get well. Here is hoping that your son will continue one minute at a time, developing and practing his program of recovery.

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