Archives for Denial

Addiction

A Typical History

I received the following email last week.  I considered trimming it down, but the story is well-written and describes a history that is similar to that of many of my patients.  As usual, I will write a follow-up post in a week or so.

Dear Dr. J,

I have read many of your posts over the past few years. Like many, I started out disagreeing with your comments and insight, while blaming my inability to...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Should We Intervene?

A recent question from a reader:

Do you believe in intervention of someone who does not ask or desire (to be clean)?

It is hard to predict human behavior; sometimes people rise to the occasion when all appears to be lost, and other times people who have everything going their way make surprisingly poor decisions.  But in my experience, real sobriety requires the addict to feel a profound need to change that comes from within.

That doesn’t...
Continue Reading

Addiction

The Limits of Will Power, Part Three

I’ve been writing about will power for the past couple weeks in response to these comments from a reader:

Everyone’s will power varies. The simple fact is, the worse withdrawal is, the more likely that person is to not want to go through it again, meaning abstinence. The easier withdrawals are, the more likely those persons’ mindset will be “one more can’t hurt”. Pain builds you; it builds character, personality, and maturity.

In part one I...
Continue Reading

Addiction

The Limits of Will Power, Part Two

In my last post I shared a comment from a reader that included the following:

Not everyone needs permanent blocker therapy. Everyone’s will power varies. The simple fact is, the worse withdrawal is, the more likely that person is to not want to go through it again, meaning abstinence. The easier withdrawals are, the more likely those persons’ mindset will be “one more can’t hurt”. Pain builds you; it builds...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Stages of Addiction

This is another section of my unpublished book, Clean Enough.  I describe stages in the process of addiction that I've noticed in opioid addicts presenting for treatment.  I must point out that these stages have not been validated by clinical research, but rather are drawn from simple observation.  Read on:

I am always impressed by how similar addiction progresses in one individual versus the next.  The next reader’s comments and my comments...
Continue Reading

Addiction

The Universal Nature of Addictive Experience

Over the past several years I’ve written a book about my experiences with addiction, and about my take on traditional treatment methods, buprenorphine, and on the psychodynamic factors at play in those with addictions.

I went through the standard process of sending requests to agents and publishers to take a look at a few of the 300-some pages, and received the standard series of rejections.  I then discovered...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Secrets Keep Us Sick

I’ve shared a small amount of information about my own addiction to opioids. My addiction started in the early 1990s after I took codeine for a lingering cough from a respiratory infection. As an aside, codeine is converted to morphine by the liver, a metabolic process that varies in efficiency from one individual to another.

Some people obtain little pain relief from codeine because of the lack of conversion to morphine.  Unfortunately, some...
Continue Reading

Addiction

Not THAT Bad

In earlier posts, I provided background for a problem that has captured headlines in recent years, namely the problem of addiction to opioid pain medication. My reason for providing background was to make clear that addiction to opioids is not a problem confined to...
Continue Reading