Can addiction be permanently healed? My colleague, Ingrid Peschke, has written a helpful article in The MetroWest Daily News of June 4, 2014 that focuses on a spiritual solution. Here in Indiana, we have the 17th highest drug overdose mortality rate in the United States, according to a survey last fall by the Trust for America’s Health. The overdose rate in Indiana has quadrupled in the past 15 years. Here’s an excerpt from Ingrid’s article. I hope you’ll click the link below and read the full article.
“My only concern is that I have something to get me off E–to get me off empty.”
These are the words of a drug addict in a recent Boston Globe story that reported on the alarming rise in overdoses and deaths from Fentanyl-laced heroin.
Fentanyl is a pain-killing drug used after surgery or in end-stage cancer, but recently it’s being mixed with heroin and sold on the streets. Rhode Island now considers this dangerous combination the number one health emergency in the state.
My heart reaches out to anyone struggling with addiction. It seems to me, the real question is, how can they get from “E” to “F”–from empty to truly fulfilled? Despite their vacant promises, drugs can’t ever lead to satisfaction or joy. The stories of broken lives, damaged health, and tragedy, as in the case of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, are all too familiar. But getting out of the grips of addiction can be a lifelong battle for some.
The irony is, painkilling drugs, while often highly addictive, do not truly treat chronic pain. Experts say physical pain is only one symptom of chronic pain. A 2008 Mayo Clinic study found that patients who were weaned off opioids and put on non-drug based programs actually experienced less pain and had improved function. (A soldier’s war on pain, The New York Times).