Giving a Damn

(and getting a clue)

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But maintaining this difference between a functioning addict and a regular addict can be harmful to a person who truly struggles with a substance addiction. The term can act as a barrier to someone deciding to get help. If my drinking or drug use isn’t causing too much harm, and if we’re all casually joking about it, is it really that big of a problem?

The “functioning addict” idea can indeed fuel a lot of delusion. I used to convince myself opiates were performance enhancing for me to the extent I would look down judgmentally on colleagues who drank alcohol at lunch—“Don’t they consider the impact that will have on their work!?” Meanwhile, I’d just been taking heroin in the toilet.

A substance may be functional at first in the sense that it helps you cope. But the addiction is papering over the problem, which is growing and growing all the while. That’s partly why it can be so terrifying to quit—you are confronted with all the problems you tried to escape in the first place, many magnitudes greater by now, with your self-esteem in tatters. From this stems the belief “I can’t cope without it.”

Finally, all aspects of my life spiraled out of control. My performance plummeted, and progressive dysfunction set in…. Sometimes people cling to a romanticized idea of the functioning addict, the creative genius, etc. But the reality is most people’s output slides in quantity and quality as their addiction progresses.

An addict may be “functioning,” but at what cost? What cost to their physical and mental well-being, to their social and professional life, to the well-being of their family?

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There are real physical, psychological, and social benefits for people in recovery

Exercise reduces the production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to mental health issues like depression and anxiety, while increasing endorphins and adrenaline. Early animal studies have shown that physical activity can curb dependencies on substances including opioids and cocaine; tests on people addicted to drugs in Denmark found that regular exercise improved energy, body image, and quality of life for most people in the study and, for nearly half of them, helped end or reduce their substance use.

“It helps people fill their time, release endorphins, and feel naturally good instead of the synthetic feeling of using drugs.”

Some experts suggest that it’s the psychological aspect of exercise — especially group activities — that provides the most benefit. An exercise regimen can bring structure to someone’s daily life and help them make connections

 For complete story

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Contingency management, researchers like McDonell say, is that thing: It works, patients like it, and it’s cost-effective. Literature reviews and analyses often agree: A review of 69 reports released from 2009 to 2014 found “high levels of treatment efficacy” in contingency-management treatment. On average, it increased a patient’s odds of reaching abstinence by 117%. Here’s how the treatment works: You come in a few times a week, complete a urine test, and if it’s negative, you draw for a prize — at a trial McDonell is running in Wallingford, there are “small” prizes like shampoo or a toothbrush, “big” prizes like a coffeemaker, or rare “jumbo” prizes like a DVD player. The longer you’re sober, the more draws you get, but if the test comes back positive, the clinician says “see you next time.”

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The 21st century terrorist’s drug of choice is a pill called Captagon whose effects while similar to cocaine, are even more extreme, making its users capable of super-human violence while totally erasing what remains of a human conscience.

Captagon has been found among Daesh (ISIS) and al-Qaeda fighters in LibyaIraqSyria, as well as in terrorist shipping roots in France and Italy, just to name a few. But other drugs also play their role.

Soldiers in The Philippines have discovered that the Daesh aligned Maute Group who for months occupied the city of Marawi  in Mindanao, were taking the drug known as Shabu, a powerful methamphetamine which has been at the root of South East Asia’s drug problem.

Most of the infamous mass shooter terrorists in the United States and other western countries have been on powerful drugs before and/or during their horrific crimes. Perhaps then it is no wonder that the levels of mass shootings in the United States have increased in-line with a parallel increase in the use of prescription drugs.

For complete story Drug Fuelled Terrorism

Also read Defeating Narco-Terrorism

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Drug Use, Stigma, and the Proactive Contagions to Reduce Both

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