The new year is surely keeping us all (much too) busy! With ice storms, power outages, unemployment, and an uncertain future--sometimes it is difficult to stay positive.
We hope you will find encouragement and answers in this newsletter. Also, be sure to check out the short clip "Are You Going To Finish Strong?" It will help give some perspective to your life.
Remember, we are not alone.
Pain Meds Cause More Pain!
The new silent epidemic.
by Joe Herzanek
Technology is wonderful-up to a
point. The medical and pharmaceutical industries have made huge
advances to help those suffering from all sorts of diseases. Most of
these advances are genuine lifesavers. Americans are enjoying
longer and higher quality lives-so much so, that we have come to expect
many things as normal (diseases cured, symptoms gone and less pain for
those suffering the debilitating affects of certain health problems). Much Too PopularOne
class of drugs-opiate painkillers, has become much too popular. These
meds will not only relieve physical pain but will also give the user a
pleasant euphoric effect at the same time. For a significant and
growing number if people this euphoric state of mind is becoming more
and more difficult to let go of (similar to the popularity of Valium in
the 70's-which by the way, has been recently increasing as well). So
how and why is this happening? How do pain meds cause even more pain?
Let me start by saying that these drugs are very necessary for genuine
pain-such as pain experienced after a surgery, broken bones, dental
work and more. When used as prescribed, for short periods of time these
drugs make life manageable. In some very rare cases they may be
appropriate for extended periods of time-especially when a person has a
terminal disease. A very small percentage of people fall into this
category. Thank God for these medications. The majority of
people who take these medications do not fall in this group. Here is
where the problem starts. Rarely does anyone start out to become
dependent on opiate pain meds. It happens slowly without being noticed.
This is an insidious process. Usually, there comes a time when a
person's physical pain is gone. With regular use of painkilling drugs,
the central nervous system has come to expect the drug and the sedative
affect it produces-as normal. WithdrawalWhen a person
stops using the drug, the body revolts. This is called withdrawal. It's
normal. Much less extreme, but nonetheless similar, a heavy coffee
drinker who suddenly quits drinking coffee altogether will experience
headaches for a few days. This is because their central nervous system
has become accustomed to regular jolts of caffeine throughout the day.
Withdrawal from caffeine is usually short-lived and not too difficult.
Stopping opiate pain meds is similar, but much, much more intense. The
withdrawal symptoms are often very painful-so much so that the person
will start to think that their pain is not really gone and they must
get and take more pain meds. A Vicious Cycle Not only is
the body expecting this drug, but a person who is taking pain
medication is also building a tolerance to it. Their body is requiring
more, sometimes lots more-to feel better. This is a vicious cycle that
feeds on itself and only gets worse over time. The person taking theses
drugs will also become much more sensitive to all pain-as the normal
ability to handle mild pain with over-the-counter medications is now
diminished. I've recently watched this problem arise close to
home, as a family member needed surgery. He had been regularly taking
large amounts of pain meds for back pain. While in the hospital for
knee-replacement surgery, he found that he required a much larger
dosage of pain meds than a normal person would need. After he was given
the maximum safe dosage-excruciating pain still persisted. One feels
helpless in these situations.To ensure that this doesn't
happen, pain meds really should only be used when truly needed.
Otherwise, when the time comes that a person genuinely needs them-these
pain-relieving drugs may not work at all. How large is this
problem really? In 2007 there were a total of 3.7 billion prescriptions
written in the United States. 182 million were for pain meds*! I have
double-checked these numbers because I thought they couldn't be
correct. Pain meds are second only to prescriptions written for
lowering cholesterol (192 million prescriptions). Anti-depressant
prescriptions came in third with 158 million. If you subtract
people aged 21 and under from these numbers-that leaves 230 million
adults. According to these calculations, over 15 million people are
taking opiate pain medications every day. This is 5% of the entire
adult population. Do all these people need opiate pain
medication every day? The only way to know for sure is to quit, go
through withdrawal and see how you feel after a few months-drug-free.
More and more people are unwilling to go through this process. Today,
addiction to opiate pain medications is one of the main reasons people
are checking into rehab centers. So how does one avoid
becoming dependant on pain medications? And once a person has become
dependant on them, how do they learn to safely quit? Read more about this topic--chapter 27, Why Don't They JUST QUIT?* IMS Health Services (2007 Research Statistics)
Are You Going To Finish Strong?
Do you ever feel like you are just so far down that you will never be able to get up? Take a moment to watch this amazing man. You'll be glad you did.Click Here.
Recovery Audio CD!
Listen in your car
or share with a friend or relative.
(See below for details)
Over the past few months I have taped over four radio interviews. Among these were several with a wonderful weekly show called "Recovery Now!" Host Ned Wicker and I engaged in an easygoing discussion which covered a multitude of topics.I truly enjoyed spending this time with Ned, his wife Debbie, and all his listeners. Ned later wrote to me:"Thanks so much for visiting with us yesterday. Your passion, your heart and your vast knowledge came through so strongly. We know the listeners will be touched by your story.We would very much like to have you on again in the future. There are so many topics and hot button issues for people. You are a strong guest and make the show so easy for us. I've done radio for over 30 years and have been through the drudgery of "yes and no" responses. The best radio happens when a conversation takes place. You made that happen."Ned Wicker/Host: Recovery Now!September 15, 2008:
Joe Herzanek introduces his discussion of "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?" a
book (and DVD) he has written to explain all aspects of drug addiction
and alcoholism. He has much experience dealing with drug addiction and
alcoholism as he has spent the last 15 years working at the Boulder
County Jail helping those struggling with addiction to overcome it.September 22, 2008:
Joe Herzanek continues his discussion . . .November 24, 2008:
Joe Herzanek discusses Step 6 of the Twelve Step program: Were
entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character. A
subtle but very key step in your recovery.
Waukesha Memorial Hospital Lawrence Center
To get your FREE AUDIO CD
(Sept. 15 & 22 Recovery Now! shows, plus Joe's recent 60 minute interview with Berk Lewis "Next Step Radio")Email us at firstname.lastname@example.orgAsk for the FREE AUDIO CD, include your name and mailing address.
Thank you for partnering with us in the battle to free those we care about from the bonds of addiction. We believe that your family and relationships can be fully restored and that you can play an important role in changing someone's life immediately.
Never give up hope!
Changing Lives Foundation is committed to bringing you practical
information that can be used right now, to help someone you care about
break the bonds of addiction.
Disclaimer: The information
provided in this email is for educational purposes only. The views
expressed herein are those of the author only. Knowing that each
person's situation is different it is very important that you meet
with/consult a professional in this field before acting on any
perceived advice given.
". . . one of those books, that when you start reading, you can't put it
down. It helped me to understand what my son must be going through and
pretty much what to expect. It is a book about real people."
Winner, Best Self-Help Book 2008
Next Generation Indie Book Awards
REQUEST "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?" (Book & DVD) FROM
YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY:
Click HERE to check if your local library carries "Why Don't They JUST QUIT?".
If not, it is simple to make a request.
This costs you nothing, and
makes the book available to others too!
Many libraries accept
suggestions by phone or e-mail.
Note: please request ISBN# 9781604020786
Visit our website to order your own copy
Can a person be totally set free from alcohol or drug addiction?
Catherine V., Duluth, GA
First let's define the problem. Alcohol or drug dependency shows up as a loss of control over the ability to use socially. It's a chronic relapsing disease that gets progressively worse over time if not arrested. It is fatal.
So if you're asking, "Is there a cure?" the answer is no. No one has ever been able to return to social use, regain control--who was truly an alcoholic or an addict. That does not mean there is no solution.
Anyone who wants to badly enough--can completely stop their use and begin the journey of recovery. It is not easy in the beginning--but it does get easier over time. If the "want to" is there, people can quit and enjoy a life without alcohol or other drugs. Most will need some support group to get the ball rolling.
They will always be an alcoholic or addict BUT their disease can be--and can stay in remission if they choose to keep I there.
In it you will find:
DOES TREATMENT HAVE TO COST A LOT?
RELAPSE. IT HAPPENS.
"THE DEVIL'S DRUG"
(do Meth addicts really recover?)
THE ACCIDENTAL ADDICT
(Believe it or not, you do them all the time!)
WHAT SHOULD WE DO WITH STRESS?
- Q&A "ASK JOE" -
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