& Money Woes of addiction- with guest post by Andi Miana of Romania

I saw a post recently about the effect the pandemic has had on people with substance use disorder.

If it’s not the isolation and disconnection from services as shown here in this article, then it’s the wave of free money that has followed.

I’m not saying that substance use people shouldn’t have basic needs; in fact I adamantly believe they are human whether they are doing what WE think they should or not.

They should not be denied access to services, as we would never deny insulin to a diabetic, whether they caused the disease themselves, either through their behaviors or genes. It shouldn’t matter. As a health care worker (& a human) it’s NOT MY JOB to play God or Judge nor Jury.

What I want to address is how hard it is to deliver these services to people who’s brain is the organ affected with their disease.

If you were speaking to a pancreas, and trying to tell them:

“Look dude, you NEED this insulin cause you’re just not cuttin it yourself. For whatever reason, your slacking on the job, & other things are starting to suffer and affect everything else needed to function effectively!”

It would probably shiver and sigh and wiggle its pink body and give in….

But since it’s the brain that is affected in addiction and is basically hijacked in the pleasure center to be BRAINWASHED into believing that DRUGS are ALL it needs; we have a problem convincing it.

Any money that’s presented, it only sees drugs. An unlocked car, a speaker, a gift card, all are magically morphed in to drugs. Because drugs represent relief. Freedom from the sickness that they are starting to feel every 8-12 hours. Sickness so horrible that the person swears to never experience it again, if only they can have one more hit. But that cycle is difficult to break out of day to day with no support or services.

Shadow the rat- You Tube

It’s hard for us to imagine because we have a balance with our pleasures and pain. We can adjust and handle them. With addiction, they have lost that ability. Rational thinking, long term thinking, and dangerous consequences are temporarily wiped from the equation.

If you need more info on that process visit my page Here. I’ve combined my favorite brain videos in one place.

So here we are. Stimulus checks coming out. Parents everywhere are in fear of what their loved one will do with them. Personally, I’m in quite the quandary. My son is hurting. Starving, having lost over 100 lbs in the last 9 months. But he doesn’t want food. His brain only sees the next hour at a time. He has lost his vehicles and tools which was his ability to make money. He has warrants and mandatory sentencing awaiting him if he applies for anything including a job or services to live. A healthy brain would choose to turn itself in, like the pancreas, but the brain is a different animal.

My son needs money. He has burned every bridge to obtain that money. Technically the checks are his money. He paid into the system for 17 years, working his tail off since he was 15. He built the American dream until heroin stole it all.

Or he gave it away to heroin. But again, I’m not the judge & jury of another persons life.

I loved the following response to the stimulus money post.

This recovering addict states that we can’t blame the stimulus checks or anyone else really, on furthering an addiction. It’s ultimately up to the individual, which (to me) is why tough love & rock bottom are not blanket solutions for everyone. People recover when they decide not, it’s not really in anyone else power to make them sit in a corner until they do….But that’s another story.

I am Andi,  from Romania. I know from my ”addict status” that I was prone to find anyone and anything else guilty for my consuming, but my own illness and choice of not healing what I need to heal in a healthy way.

So…in recovery, I’ve learned that this is what we call ”stinking-thinking”. We can blame …as you say, even the government, but we addicts know very well that with or without this money I would find a way to consume when I crave. Sorry… it’s the reality of this disease.

Addiction is in the world since forever and there were times…not when no government gave no money, even more…they would take money from people, and addiction somehow was still preserved… So…I am sorry but at a time it will be important to admit step 1.. and to emotionally grow up, and admit that it’s actually nobody’s fault, nobody is creating this disease for someone else, we addict embrace it, it’s like a natural drive to which we respond, but it is my-as a sick person-responsibility to do something about it. Especially if I am an adult myself.

Nobody can do this path for me. Well yes, it was convenient for me to find excuses: I consume because my friends do because the neighbor’s cat died, because at work my boss, my mom isn’t loving to me, I am fat…because women suffer in Irakc or the ozone layer is thinning.

The reality is that I consume no matter what is going on in the world – you guys from outside can find me any excuses ever I’ll be content cause its giving me more time to consume, actually, it because I have this awful disease that does not help me control my compulsions and progress of it, is because I’m not doing anything to stop the behavior and do things for my spirit and soul. I hope my sharing would help me understand, the topic certainly helped me remember those times when I was thinking this way and it stopped me big time from doing anything good for myself.-Andi Miana

I have no answers as of now. I can only keep praying and hoping that somewhere, sometime, some person or entity can reach my son before it’s too late. Until then, I will do my best to treat him with dignity and respect that he deserves a healthy, safe, productive life again. 💚

Pandemic For a Year? Welcome to ØɄⱤ World

We’re coming up on a year of this pandemic. My daughter was really Ill last December with what she thinks was Covid.

I wrote this article last April when the pandemic was in full force. It’s meant to show the living hell a mom of a substance use disorder person lives with comparitively to Covid 19.

Continue reading Pandemic For a Year? Welcome to ØɄⱤ World

NOT ᗰY ᑕᕼIᒪᗪ

For all those who see the purple banners during overdose awareness month or see the videos of people with substance abuse disorders passed out and you scroll on by thinking, “I’m sure glad that doesn’t affect me, I’m glad I taught my kids better” or “someone should have gotten them some help”.

I applaud you.

I truly do.

I am so glad that you have never had to watch your beautiful child turn into someone you didn’t know.

I’m so glad you’ve never had a call from the inmate phone system asking if you’ll accept the charges.

I’m soooo glad you’ve never had the experience of watching your 28-year-old, 240 lb son thrash around in the back seat sweating, then freezing, begging his own mother to please take him to get drugs to stop this sickness, as you’re trying to take him to rehab.

I’m sooo glad you’ve never had to see a dad in a restaurant with his kids & have your heart ache so deeply that your son isn’t with his kids, that you go out to your car and burst into tears.

I’m so glad you don’t have to sit down at a delicious meal & feel a twinge of guilt knowing your child hasn’t eaten for days & wondering where he even is.

I’m so glad you’ve never had to see your precious grandkids celebrate a birthday & not knowing the words to tell them that their dad has a progressive illness that teaches him lies that he doesn’t have to be a dad & that’s it’s NOT because they are not worthy of love.

The innocent victims of substance abuse disorder

I’m glad that you would never tell a dying lung cancer patient that they shouldn’t have started smoking, and they should just get over this pesky illness that’s inconvenienced everyone and just get a job!

I truly am.
Because I wouldn’t wish this nightmare on anyone.

I would never want anyone to lay awake at night, unable to stop the tears, wondering what they could have done differently.

I’m very glad you haven’t ever got THE CALL.

I’m very glad that you taught your kids to make better choices, & that you’ve never broken the speed limit or took a drink, or had something so traumatic in your life that you just needed to get through the pain for a minute… And if you did, luckily you were able to stop or walk away with any devastating effects.

Great genes, or coping skills!

What about helping teach those to others?

Obedience to all the laws and principles is great and admirable and yes it does make for a safer and all- be- it more productive life.(I mean who doesn’t want to be perfect) but not if it makes us look down on others who-for whatever reason didn’t go down that ←→ path.

This problem IS everyone’s problem.

Addiction affects every aspect of society, whether directly or indirectly. From the homeless to the prisons to the overwhelmed court system with possession charges taking up so much time. Stringing people through the system costs taxpayers almost $100 k per inmate.

I don't want one more parent to have to bury a child due to drugs or alcohol, but the only way that's going to happen is if we ALL take on this epidemic as our problem, & truly make an effort get rid of judgements and stigmas which bring MORE SHAME to all involved. 

Shame and embarrassment are keeping people from seeking treatment.

We need to create practical affordable solutions for all- while eliminating the waste & fraud in treatment.

Even if that means opening our mind up to alternative treatments such as Harm reduction.

The death rate is frightening and it IS AN EPIdemic as it affects the core of the family structure, jobs, crime, the jail system, and little kids who grow up with the stigma of a parent in jail or who has died.

If you don’t have any idea how to help, how about start with the words we use, such as junkie, tweaker & worthless. These are shaming and hurtful to the families & children of addicts. And don’t forgot, under that hardened core of a dysfunctional chaotic addict, is a person in pain with zero healthy coping skills. The least we can do is not to add to it.

Or what about not arguing about insulin needing to be free. Maintenance meds are not usually free to anyone, but AED paddles and Narcan to revive-not treat, are free to EMTS.

Other people in pain aren’t the enemy.

It’s going to take all hands on deck to help stop this nightmare, just like the virus grabbed everyone attention. This epidemic existed long before that and will continue after. Most of the typical solutions are not working anymore, and needs to be revamped with new attitudes and ideas. These ideas must start with compassion not disgust. Not sarcastic answers and opinions on why they started.

Please offer your compassion and time. Even if you don’t understand how it progresses to such a dysfunction of incarceration or homelessness, you can still give HOPE to a suffering addict or a kind word to the family of a person with a substance use disorder.

You can give that struggling person on the corner, a $5 McDonald’s card to let him know that -yes someone does give a damn- today…

Without HOPE, everyone suffers.