Like many people with opioid dependence, I did not progress to a severity of illness where I decided that I needed addiction treatment. It would have been less burdensome for my family, of course, had I come to such a realization. But I needed stronger ‘encouragement,’ in the form of life falling apart and having nowhere to turn, except treatment.
The nature of opioid dependence leads the addict to cling to the illusion of power, believing that if he tries one more time— just a little bit harder, or perhaps using some special technique—he will find the will power to taper off drugs on his own, and then avoid them forever.
Of course any person addicted to pain pills desperate enough to walk into a psychiatrist’s office has tried to stopping dozens of times, if not more. That doesn’t prevent cold feet at the prospect of surrendering to the treatment of some doctor, and patients often scramble to reverse the actions set in motion by spouses, parents, and other family members. ‘I really think I can do it this time,’ they say. I’ll cut back by a tiny amount every few days, and THIS time I’ll REALLY stick to the schedule!’