24 February, 2006

The fear of going cold turkey

As you can see I am still not able to get about that well and I have become a bit of a couch potato lately. So while munching away on piazzas and donuts. I have been watching channel 4 and going cold turkey. It sent shivers down my spine as memories of my own drug addiction and cold turkey came flooding back. It got me to thinking why most addicts fear going through cold turkey especially ones that have been on methadone for years. What they showed was the hell of with drawing and this is what most addicts fear going through. I am often asked why I did it and how? The answer to the first was I was ready to come of drugs as I think I'd reached that stage where nothing was going right even when I was getting high and that to be honest wasn't happening unless I used all day long. The second answer is I don't know how I did manage it going through the cold turkey was hard. There's no way of describing what I really went through but I will try. Imagine having a bad case of flu multiply that by ten. Then one minute not being able to go to the toilet, then suddenly having diarrhea and to top that stomach cramps that were so painful they bent you up double and if that wasn't enough, hot and cold sweats and no sleep. Somehow I managed to get through all that on my own but I did have people around me as that was my first Christmas at the crisis open Christmas it may all look so easy on the TV but like all things in real life there's a big difference. The dread of going through all that I went through instills an unstoppable fear in most addicts and if you have been on methadone then the fear is even greater as this was the substitute opiate the governments saw as an answer to all the drug problems that were being created. What they didn't count on was the problems it would cause. Many people saw this drug epidemic coming and in the early years and warned the government what was likely to happen. Now we have a population that in 2002 was 540 times higher than in the 60's and they were the registered addicts and today that figure is even higher. Someone once said they think it is about one in seven people use or have used drugs at some stage of their lives. As the government wages it's war on the dealers. I think it is now beginning to wage a war on it's victims by forcing them into rehabs and treatment centers in and out of prison but in the end it all still comes down to the individual and the fact is that individual needs to be ready to come off. Like myself I was ready. Will this government thing of it's time to get tough on addicts help? The answer is who knows. The saying you can take a horse to water but you can't make it drink is so true in this case. Going cold turkey is only half the battle the bigger battle has yet to begin It's finding that something that takes your mind away from drugs. Mine was learning to read and write. Put yourself in an addicts place. Image all you have done for years and years is take drugs, got high and forgot about your world as it should have been. What do you to do to replace it?
Whatever problem it was that made them this way they will have to face eventually but the fact is they have to now learn to live in a world of reality where people do get hurt by everyday things. It's easy to say but hard to do and I should know. The thing is it can be done and you can live a normal life. When I hear people say we are what we are and we can't change I get so angry because I changed and learned new things.

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