For people joining the story late, I have been providing some personal background, and when I left the story last week things were looking pretty good. I had completed my residency in Philadelphia, and was working as an anesthesiologist in a small town in Wisconsin. Anesthesiologists are paid well, and I enjoyed the nature of the job, running to ‘codes,’ racing in for C-sections in the middle of the night, and bringing big smiles to the faces of women in labor. In fact, unlike the typical day in the life of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist, everyone was happy to see me!
Welcome to my blog, An Epidemic of Addiction. I am grateful for the opportunity to write for Psych Central, and hope that readers find my comments to be interesting and useful. As I consider the wide array of blogs at Psych Central and across the blogosphere I recognize that styles range from informal, first-person anecdotes to scholarly, referenced articles. My style is more consistent with the former than the latter. I could say that I value the subjective experience more than cold objectivity…. But to be completely honest, it is easier to write without taking time to provide references. At the same time, I recognize the disservice that I would do, were I to toss out opinions cloaked as fact by the good name of Psych Central. So I will do my best to distinguish remarks in each domain, and especially when I write about an opinion, I will try to remember to characterize it as such.
I am full of opinions; I am, after all, over 50 years old! Less hair, and more opinions… I’m not sure if that is a fair trade, I had little say in the matter! But I think it would be best if I started out with a bit more detailed description of where I come from, where I’ve been, and where I am currently going. Maybe I’m not being fair to myself, but I would think that you need to know those things in order to have any interest in what I have to say.
Early in my adult life I was what some would call an over-achiever. I did well in school, my success there providing most of my identity. I did my share of partying in high school—it was, after all, the 1970’s, and so it seemed as if I had little choice in the matter. Not that I don’t expect better behavior out of my own children! But I knew enough to get the work done, and by the end of college I had little interest in the party scene. A brief encounter with psychedelics contributed to an interest in the mechanism of action of psychotropics—or …
Welcome to an Epidemic of Addiction, with Dr. Jeffrey Junig. Addictions to substances — like alcohol, cocaine, opioids, prescription drugs and other kinds of drugs — remain a serious problem in modern society. It’s a telling sign that society pays little attention to drug addicts, believing that theirs is a self-made bed in which to lie upon.
But like any mental illness, addiction is not something a person ever asks for. Addiction often creeps up on a person as they’re living their everyday lives, starting out not so much as a problem at first. It can quickly snowball, though, and become a problem before a person ever realizes it.
As Dr. Junig says in his introduction, “This blog will explore the psychology of addictive disorders, with an emphasis on addiction to opioids. Addiction to heroin and to pain pills has become a significant problem, fueled by a confluence of factors including a sluggish economy, over-prescribing and inadequate control of high-potency pain medications, and an abundance of cheap heroin.”
I’m looking forward to reading this blog and learning more about our epidemic of addiction. You can learn more about the blog’s focus and Dr. Junig as well.