Leading Addiction Specialist Explains What is Needed to Stop the Opioid Crisis

by Alex Pietrowski, Staff Writer Waking Times

The opioid crisis is happening all around us in the background of society, as overdoses from street drugs and prescription painkillers continue to rise. Talk to your local firemen and paramedics and you’ll quickly realize the situation is sucking up our public resources while ruining lives and destroying families. A crisis as devastating as this should be top priority for a sane society, however this issue gets very little media attention, all the while, pharmaceutical companies are reaping massive profits, and globally, the black market for illegal heroin has become a global industry.

Pharmaceutical makers are tweaking their product lines to supply more options for opiate addicts: stronger pills, weaker pills, new guidelines, overdose antidotes, and so on. Yet, none of this addresses the root of the problem, instead only targeting the symptoms of the crisis, and a bigger idea is needed to interrupt the trend.

Gabor Maté, Canada’s renowned addiction specialist recently commented on this issue, specifically addressing fentanyl, the super-potent new pharmaceutical grade opiate which, in some areas, has been found in up to 90% of street drugs tested at independent testing facilities. He first spoke about the genuine need for pain killers:

“The drugs these users choose are often opiates, the most powerful painkillers we know. In my years as a palliative care physician, I daily had reason to be grateful for the easing of suffering the opiate medications afforded my patients afflicted with cancer and other pain-inducing conditions. But opiates also soothe emotional pain; in fact, the suffering of psychic pain is experienced in the same part of the brain as that of physical pain.” ~Gabor Maté

Getting to the root, though, why is there so much pain which needs to be numbed in our society? This is the big question that when addressed is the only thing which can offer a way out of this crisis.

Maté asserts this epidemic is cultural, not physical, noting that the world we’ve created is, ‘devoid of a deep appreciation of the complexity of addiction and its sources in human experience.’

Human experience, the most vital notion in healing addiction. What is it about the human experience that calls so many of us into the abyss?

“What engenders such unbearable pain in human beings that they would knowingly risk their very lives to escape it?” ~Gabor Maté

Regarding human experience, psychiatrist Thomas Hora wrote:

“The meaning of all addictions could be defined as endeavours at controlling our life experiences with the help of external remedies. Unfortunately, all external means of improving our life experiences are double-edged swords: they are always good and bad.  No external remedy improves our condition without, at the same time, making it worse.”

Mate’s primary hypothesis is that childhood trauma is the leading factor driving people to addiction, as he has personally seen in 12 years of working with addiction patients in urban Vancouver, BC, Canada.

“In my 12 years in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, ground zero for addiction in Canada, all my female patients reported sexual abuse in childhood, all the male patients abuse or neglect of one kind or another.
As large scale international epidemiological studies have repeatedly demonstrated, childhood adversity is at the core of the emotional patterns and psychological dynamics that drive addiction.

Further, childhood trauma shapes the physiology of the developing brain in ways that induce a susceptibility to addiction. Hence the addiction-prone person finds relief in substances that would not entice others, even after repeated exposure to the same drugs.

In turn, prolonged drug use also changes the brain in ways that further entrench the addictive drive.” ~Gabor Maté

Furthermore, he notes the need for a shift in how medical science looks at addiction is absolutely vital:

“And it would be of great help if all legal, medical and political professionals, as well as the general public, were informed of what modern research has taught us about child and brain development, and the tortured and manifold responses of the human psyche to early trauma. If the people now dying in this preventable epidemic were succumbing to a bacterial infection, we would declare a public emergency and mobilize to contain it.” ~Gabor Maté

Final Thoughts

This crisis is a pharmaceutical corporation/medical doctor created epidemic. The drugs are out there, and are not going anywhere. Record poppy production in Afghanistan coupled with the fact that pharmaceutical companies are flooding the streets with pills means that in order for this crisis to be resolved, we have to find a way for people to choose life over addiction.

His most important question, however, may very well be this one: Who are we when we are not addicted?

About the Author
Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com and Offgrid Outpost, a provider ofstorable food and emergency kits. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.
This article (Leading Addiction Specialist Explains What is Needed to Stop the Opioid Crisis) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement.



Booze, Weed, Food Comas, Caffeine: How to Sober Up From Everything

Art by Erin Taj

by Brian VanHooker

Because sometimes you need to come down quickly

We’ve all been there: You’re hopped up on shrooms, having an in-depth discussion with your friend’s pet turtle, when suddenly, you remember you have a job interview in an hour and you’ve got to get sober, fast.

…Okay, so maybe we haven’t all been there, but most of us have, for various reasons, found ourselves needing to sober up from something in a big hurry. If you haven’t got time to sleep it off, here’s what the experts say might help counteract whatever the hell you’re on.

Type of Intoxication: Alcohol
How to Sober Up: According to biochemist and medical cannabis advocate Junella Chin, you should “eat a meal rich in carbs, protein and fat.” This is by no means an instant fix, though: While downing that late-night burger will put you on the path to sobering up, it does not mean you’re instantly going to be okay to drive.
Why It Works: “This kind of food will help eliminate alcohol concentration from the body faster [by soaking up the booze],” says Chin. Eating a meal also helps increase blood flow to the liver, which helps the liver enzymes in the digestion and clearing out of the alcohol.

Type of Intoxication: Weed
How to Sober Up: According to Chin, your best bet is taking a shower and then going for a walk. Also, and more surprisingly, taking another form of cannabis may help — specifically, cannabidiol (CBD) oil.
Why It Works: Chin says that a shower “will help relax you,” which can offset the tachycardia (the fast heartbeat and panicked feeling) that can be a side effect of THC (the psychoactive component in weed). Walking, she says, helps since “light exercise will increase the endorphins in the brain to help metabolize the THC quicker.”

As for the CBD oil? “This will counteract the THC’s psychoactive effects,” she claims. “CBD and THC have an antagonistic effect on each other.” In other words, if your high has gotten a little more trippy than you intended, the CBD oil will help mellow you out.

Type of Intoxication: Magic mushrooms
How to Sober Up: Unfortunately, you’re pretty much shit out of luck when it comes to shrooms, according to Chin. “Essentially, you must allow it to run its course, which can take six to eight hours,” she says. The only other possible solution is to take drugs known as benzodiazepines — something you should NOT try to administer at home.
Why It Works: “In the hospital setting, we would administer benzodiazepines to patients to help reduce the intensity of the high [since they] serve to calm the patient down,” Chin says. “This must be done in a medical setting and closely monitored.” It’s also worth noting that even benzos don’t stop the trip entirely: They just make it more bearable by lowering the patient’s stress and anxiety to a more manageable level.

Type of Intoxication: Cocaine
How to Sober Up: Once again, benzodiazepines are your best bet.
Why It Works: Put simply: It’ll calm you down. But as with shrooms, it’s very important to follow Chin’s advice and to leave this to a hospital setting only. Mixing drugs like this can be deadly, so unless you want to go to the hospital (or worse), you’re better off just riding it out.

Type of Intoxication: Sugar high
How to Sober Up: If you’ve just downed a family-sized bag of M&Ms in one sitting, there are a few things that may help in getting you down from your sugar-induced hyperactive state — mainly proteins, fats and water. If there’s any room left in your stomach, try eating some nuts, an avocado or fiber-rich veggies like peas, spinach or potatoes.
Why It Works: “Paleo foods [like nuts, meats, fish and leafy greens] give you fat and protein to slow down your digestion, while the fiber helps slow the absorption of simple sugars,” Chin says. The end result is that the sugar’s path to your bloodstream gets slowed down, making you less hyper. As for the water? That’s just to make you feel more full so you eat less sweet stuff.

Type of Intoxication: Sleep deprivation
How to Sober Up: The best way to combat those feelings of grogginess or dulled senses when you’ve been up all night is not, surprisingly, to down three cups of coffee (although that’s certainly the easiest approach). You may be better off with supplements like tyrosine, magnesium and most of all, creatine.
Why It Works: While sleep deprivation reduces high-energy phosphates (the chemical reactions in your body that provide the energy for your bodily processes), creatine restores them, thus bringing back your strength, stamina and focus…





What to Do If You’re Attacked By a Dog, According to a Former Navy SEAL

Stephanie Lee

Hopefully, you’ll never be in a situation where you have to use these tips, but they might just come in handy to help you handle a dog attack. In this Business Insider video, a former Navy SEAL tells you what you need to know to protect yourself.

First, be very clear that the dog is really about to attack you. Use a shirt, jacket, or a purse to draw the dog’s attention from other vital body parts. If the dog pounces, most of us might reflexively put our arms in front of us to shield us from the dog. But Clint Emerson warns that you should bare only the outer part of the forearm and, if possible, wrap a shirt around your forearm for added protection. We want to protect the major arteries on the ulna and radial side at all costs.

If you need to fight back, Emerson advises literally punching the dog in the nose. The reason is, it’s a big target for you to hit. As he explains, when you’re under the threat and heightened stress of being attacked, it’s all you can manage to focus on “big movements by you to big targets on the dog.” The dog’s rib cage is also a sensitive area.

For more survival and safety tips on dog attacks, you can check out our article.

A Navy SEAL explains what to do if you’re attacked by a dog | Business Insider


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