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Posts tagged “drug addiction

Forever and a Day

I can hardly believe it’s been seven months since I last posted! Life has been super crazy and I’ve been trying to get all of my ducks in a row. I feel like I’ve been stuck for the longest time- spinning my wheels and going nowhere. I’ve been out of school for a year and a half now…free falling into nothingness. Days pass with minimal actions and reactions; sometimes it feels like life is passing me by and I’m watching it ride off in the distance. I’m just not entirely happy unless I’m doing something and getting things done.

The last time I posted, things were at a standstill, academically. My undergrad. college was holding my transcript hostage until I paid my balance (of $1,200) down completely. The chances of that happening were right up there with me learning Chinese overnight- it just wasn’t happening!

Bless my Mama’s heart. I explained my situation to her- she’s been my champion throughout my entire undergrad. studies- year after year, cheering me on, relentlessly and lovingly. I share what I’ve learned with her in the area of psychology and self-help and she shares in my joy. In a strange and neat way, we’re doing this school  thing together. So when I let her know just how dire things were, she texted Josh to tell me that she had the entire balance- all $1,200 waiting for me to pick it up at her place. I just bawled my eyes out there in the hallway. She truly is my hero.

And so now, after much time doing absolutely nothing with my life, I’m able to get back on track and begin work on my Master’s degree soon. After much contemplation, I’ve decided on becoming a Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor. It’s not going to be an easy road, but I’m up for the challenge. I’ll need to study for 3 or so years, and of course, there’s internship/practicum (560 hours) and as the years go on, I’ll need to put in 4,000 or so hours to be a CADAC II and eventually CADAC 4- CADAC being a Certified Alcohol and Drug Abuse Counselor. Being certified and licensed are two different things, particularly in the area of reciprocity. (One pertains to remaining within one’s state only, and the other allows for the practice in various other states.) But first things first!

My plans are to work on the education part, and then as time goes on, intern as a mental health tech. in a rehab. facility for 1 to 3 years, so that I can gain the necessary field experience to have a very good job down the road. With a Master’s in Substance Abuse Addictions Counseling + 4,000 hours of experience, I’ll be able to secure a job of $45,000 or so, starting out. Now that may be peanuts to some folks, but for me, it’s more than enough. I’m in the process of cleaning up my credit, so over the next 5 years, I should be in a very good position to work on buying a home (at a fairly low mortgage rate) and be right on track in most areas of my life.

I’ve officially been accepted into my Master’s program and am SO thrilled to begin school on October 3rd. That gives me a good month to clean my house. 😉 Josh and I are still trucking along- he’s the love of my life, truly. We’ve been each other’s heart beat for 11 years now! Where does the time go?

Brian and his gal, Gabby, have moved out so Josh and I finally have the place to ourselves for the first time ever. I wish I could say we’ve been sad, but um…we’ve been running around in our underwear hooping and hollering and acting like it’s a frat house! 🙂

I feel the grey clouds rolling out and everything’s starting to take on a vivid, golden hue. When I was a child, I never imagined that I would become a counselor when I was older. My dreams are literally coming true, and I am so happy. ❤

Rim Rock Trail- Garden of the Gods, Illinois- Helios film lens/manual-Aug-2017

Rim Rock Trail Aug 2017

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Substance Use vs. Abuse

So I’m studying all of the psychoactive drug groups and their accompanying behavioral properties in my Behavioral Neuroscience class, and I came across a fallacy in my instructor’s PowerPoint Presentation. She had written this:

Substance abuse = a pattern in which a person relies on a drug chronically and excessively for the psychological and behavioral changes the drug produces.

I can’t tell you how much I disagree with that statement/definition. That defines substance use, not abuse. By that definition alone, that would mean that every person who counts on his or her daily antidepressant to make those necessary biochemical, physiological changes in both their brains and behaviors are “addicts”. This is so untrue.

Keeping in mind that I have my CPC in Substance Abuse (from Vincennes University), I’ve created my own definition of substance abuse, and it’s as follows:

Substance abuse= destructive behaviors that accompany the drug-user in which he and others are affected in negative ways.

Very simple.

Just because somebody takes a drug regularly- with hopes of behavioral and psychological changes (even chronically/daily or “excessively”)- does not make that person a substance abuser.  The word “excessively” is a tricky one because what is excessive to one person will not be to another. Some people take one Ibuprofin- some take 5. Every person’s body is different and each person’s drug use is both circumstantial and situational. I think we really need to be careful labeling a person as a drug abuser if he or she continues taking a drug for holistic/homeopathic, and or medicinal reasons.

Back to your scheduled program. 🙂

(Don’t worry peeps- it’s only toilet paper from a ‘toilet paper challenge” I hosted at a photo site once.) 
TokeUp


Black Storm Rising

pain

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[Skip to bottom of post for specifics on PST/poppy seed tea.]

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I can’t believe my migraine is still raging. There’s nothing the doctors can do when I have a massive attack like this, short of shoving a needle in my arm and jacking me up on morphine. The last time that happened, I forgot to breathe. Everything was numb from the waist up and contrary to how many people feel, it was not fun!

I know that if I went to the doctor’s, he would only be able to write out a script of Lortab, which would do the same thing as morphine, and because it would make me sick, I would then need to take Phenergan, which would completely knock me out. I can’t get anything done in that condition. Since I’ve vowed to never take pharmaceutical pain medication again, my options are limited. I could always take a couple of puffs of weed- it’s an effective form of pain relief- but I simply can’t stand to get high! (Yes, I really did just say that.) I don’t like the semi-paranoid feeling that accompanies weed, and I just can’t stand the feeling of being stoned. There’s really no such thing as smoking it and not getting high, and for me, being the non-weed smoker that I am, one puff and I’m higher than a kite. But for somebody such as myself who actually doesn’t like to get high- weed isn’t an option. I have a lot to do all of the time; being down for two and three days at a stretch with my head smashing in pain is a real problem.

I rarely get these migraines anymore, because I control my pain holistically, homeopathically, and all naturally- without smoking weed- but it’s still controversial as no doctor will ever sanction homeopathic, all natural pain management (where drugs are concerned) – they don’t make money that way. And because they’re sleeping with the pharmaceutical companies, they must promote the new drugs that are giving people cancer- but hey- they need a paycheck too, right? (Note the sarcasm.)

So…I’ll stick to my own pain management (naturally). This is why I must aggressively confront my migraines and take a preventative, proactive approach rather than reactive. I have a very small window of time to manage my pain, and I have to do it in a time-sensitive manner, or it will be too late, which is what just happened to me.

The past two days have been brutal. I’ve taken about ten 200 mg. Ibuprofins (over a 48 hour period), 1/2 of a Phenergan to counteract the nausea (which allowed me to sleep) but when I awoke, the migraine had spread over to both eye sockets. it’s like being smacked into a world of pain immediately upon awakening.

It’s exhausting to hurt for this long of a duration. The blood vessels around my head and right eye socket are taxed, completely. This is what living with an arachnoid cyst in your head is like, that is, until I began managing my pain myself, rather than choosing to be jacked up on pain meds which is what the doctors are doing to so many people in this town. The doctors have added on an entire new building next to the old one, doubling its capacity for new patients. It’s a pain management center and it’s jammed packed when I go in for Ambien refills. I decline any form of pain meds, but you better believe I’m going to take my Ambien- a girl needs her beauty sleep.

This is part of the reason why I study Substance Abuse. I live with chronic pain, or at least I did until I took matters in my own hands, and so many people are becoming addicted to prescription pain meds. It’s not a mild problem across the country, it’s an epidemic. I’ve seen people that I grew up with die from overdoses; the methadone and suboxone clinics are overflowing, and people are getting addicted to that crap too.

I was told about a guy recently who went to the pill mill down the street, and received 150 Lortabs. He was trying to get rid of them at $5 a pop. That’s $750 that guy is hoping to make on one doctor visit and this is happening to hundreds of people in this town. Grandmas, bankers, teenagers- the doctors are giving them pain meds and instead of the patients getting out and walking, cutting down on fatty foods, quitting smoking, drinking more juices, etc. they’re becoming overweight (from lack of exercise) but also because the pain meds are giving them the munchies- just like weed- and they’re staying high and eating themselves into an early grave.

I’ve spent the past few years researching pill mills and alcohol and drug addiction in school: I’m passionate about it. Our “system” is broken.

Although my head feels like ground meat, I’m not able to go and lie down and simply rest. My mom is house-sitting and her battery is dead, she’s run out of her medicine, milk, etc. and although I have four siblings (FOUR) -not a one has gone over and seen her, or taken her food, or helped her out in any way- in weeks- so that leaves me and Josh- in this condition. Yes, I’m frustrated.

My mom has told me that her bladder is practically falling out- she needs surgery soon. It really perturbs me that my sister has only been to see my mother once in 6 months- once! This means that I will naturally pick up her slack where my mom is concerned. My mom is one of the sweetest, kindest, most loving women I’ve ever known.

She deserves to have all 5 of her kids taking care of her and helping her in her older years- sadly, that’s not the case. Josh and I are going to go and pick up her meds, take jumper cables over there to recharge her battery, cook a delicious, healthy dinner for her, and stay the night with her. And sadly, I can get more done with a migraine- and a cyst on my brain stem-  than my siblings (combined) do without one.

I think I’ll be back to my sunny ole self by tomorrow, according to my pain cycles. It usually doesn’t last more than three days. What works for other peoples’ migraines don’t work for me, because this isn’t a “stress migraine” or too much sugar (or anything along those lines). This is due to the arachnoid membrane in my head becoming inflamed, and the pocket of fluid (cyst) on and around my brain stem swells, pushing down on my actual brain stem, which is the area that controls nausea. It causes my head to feel like it’s being squeezed in a terrible vice, while sending acute, needle-like pain through the entire region, as well as causing unilateral pain in the frontal and temporal lobes.

My main reason for documenting this pain isn’t to “complain”. I want to provide information and support for others who suffer with an arachnoid cyst. That said, I don’t want my whole life to be about my cyst, or migraines, so I don’t write about it so much. Poppy seed tea is extremely effective when using it as a preventative measure to stave off migraines, but it’s not effective where trying to eliminate a migraine is concerned- not one of these monster migraines, anyway. I want to write a post about poppy seed tea (another day) because it’s an all natural form of pain medication that works. There are a good number of idiots who use it to get high, however. There’s no difference between that and shoving a needle in your arm. Misinformed people are dangerous, because ignorance breeds fear, and when a person is operating through fear, bad choices will be made. I would highly recommend that if a person is going to manage his or her own chronic pain (using poppy seed tea or any other form of natural pain relief), to research everything thoroughly and use what is known in psychology as contingency contracting; that’s a fancy way of saying “tell somebody about your plans”. Don’t try and manage your pain alone or you may find yourself with a new addiction. And remember, anything can become an addiction. (Ever seen the show My Strange Addiction? Point made.)

I’m determined to have a good evening despite my present condition. There’s no way I can read 120 pages of what I need to read in Earth Science, Health Psychology, and Public Speaking, but I can read some. Ever try to do schoolwork with a blinding migraine? I’ve written numerous essays (MLA format, of course) with my head splitting open, even working throughout the night on occasion.  I met my deadlines too. It’s going to be a long weekend…

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**************************************POPPY SEED TEA INFO****************************************

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For those of you researching PST, you can read the comments related to this particular post for more useful info. And here is an update one year later from the date of this initial post and I will update my status annually here in this particular post:

It is February 4, 2014. I have graduated from my University with a degree in Behavioral Sciences and CPC/certification in Substance Abuse last month (Sum Laude/Dean’s List), and am now working on my 2nd degree which is Social Work. I will transfer this summer to begin work on my BA in Sociology. I have taken PST for pain management for two years now. I haven’t had a roaring migraine in months, and I am no longer a chronic pain sufferer. Because of my poppy seed tea regimen, I’m able to not have to return to the doctor. I don’t have to take pharmaceutical pain meds or any pharmaceutical pills of any kind. If I were still taking doctor-prescribed pain meds, I have no doubt I’d still be suffering tremendously, as I used to, even after two years of following the doctor’s recommendations. In the end, I was worse off than when I initially went in to see him, and it was due to the many (many) experimental medications that were prescribed to me. Pain meds (Lortab, Vicodin, etc.) absolutely kill the body, especially the liver, over time. PST is all natural. It’s absolutely the way to go. I have taken my life back. 

  • Be very careful with PST
  • Use it in small doses [200 to 300 grams per dose. No more!] That’s an effective dose that works every time. It not only modifies your intended pain, it kills all pain in the body for the duration of the dose. Do not exceed two doses in a single day: if your pain is moderate, take one dose in the morning. If your pain is severe, take one dose (200-300 mg. of poppy seeds, shaken with water and lemon) in the morning, and another in the evening. Each dose lasts for 6 to 8 hours. Your goal shouldn’t be to “get high”. Your goal should be to manage your pain effectively and safely, without having to be chained to a doctor. You save heaps of money in the long run too.

Sidenote: It’s very important to take periodic breaks from any form of pain medication, whether it’s doctor prescribed or self-medicated. The reason for this is that you need to regularly cleanse the body from any impurities. So, choose one day per week, and drink only fruit juices, herbal teas (no poppy seed tea allowed on this day!) – chamomile, green tea, lemon-ginger, etc. and do a colon cleanser too. Flush the toxins from your body. Exercise and “hydration therapy” (lots of water, juices) helps to flush poisons from your liver too. Milk Thistle  is a natural liver cleanser. I take it regularly. Do this once per week, faithfully: It will keep your blood clean and your heart and organs healthy.

  • Be sure to drink plenty of liquids throughout the day: the result of any form of opiate use is constipation. I highly recommend taking a laxative every 2 to 3 days as it helps tremendously.
  • Take vitamins and get plenty of exercise daily.
  • Eat properly! Don’t be lazy and pork out on junk food all day in front of the TV. Take CARE of your body. A poor diet contributes greatly to pain in the body, poor heart health, obesity, lethargy, depression, the list goes on. You are what you eat. Eat fresh foods (fruits. veggies, whole grains, etc.).
  • Take one capsule of Valerian root at night- this doubles as both a sedative to help you sleep and also keeps your nerves calm throughout the next day. Excessive pain over time causes nerve damage: this stuff works, and it’s all naturalThe combination of poppy seed tea in the day, and one valerian root (capsule) at night, creates an environment that is calm, restful, and pain free, thereby allowing you to be productive. (I was able to completely replace my Ambien with Valerian root successfully.) Take one capsule of Valerian root per night if you weigh between 100-180 lbs. If you weigh 185-300 lbs. take two per night, but no more.
  • Educate yourself on drug use! There’s a difference between drug use and abuse.
  • It doesn’t mean you’re a “druggie” if you use drugs. It does if you abuse drugs.
  • Keep your threshold and drug tolerance LOW. This is so very important. I’ve taken the same amount of PST for two years now, having never increased my amount. I purposefully keep my thresholds very low. If you do this, always, you can continue taking a low dose of PST, and it will continue to be effective. Once you trade in that tried and true dose for a bigger one because you want to “feel more”, you’re increasing your addiction chances. Be mindful of this, always! Keep your motives in check and use PST for pain management rather than recreationally. If you want to get high, smoke a joint. Don’t use PST to get high.
  • You can never have too much education about drug use, the brain, the effects of various drugs and substances and the brain, behaviors, drug-related behaviors, tolerance levels, the digestive system, the list goes on and on. Educate yourself!
  • Be safe!

And for the record, GFS (Gordon Food Service) has the most effective seeds I’ve ever used: Trade East brand- spice section. They’re a little more costly, but worth it and consistent in quality. Use 1/3 of the container’s seeds (again, found specifically at GFS in most any state) with two or so cups of water in a 1 liter bottle. Your goal is to add enough water to cover the seeds by 1 to 2 inches. (Two fingers worth, horizontally.) Add a good squirt or splash of lemon juice- this helps extract the medicinal properties from the outside of the seeds. Now here’s the unfun part: shake that mixture like there’s no tomorrow- for a good 10 minutes, but no longer. Don’t let it soak, don’t deviate from these instructions and you’ll get solid results every time. Use the bottle cap as a filter, and strain out the liquid through the cap into a glass. Drink up. Usually, you can feel a significant reduction in pain within 20 minutes.

Be careful reading stuff online! There are a lot of junkies out there with bad information whose goal is to get high. This is not one of those posts. If you have a substance abuse addiction already, and your drug tolerance is already abnormally high, this amount of PST is not going to help you in any way, you won’t even feel it. If you’re reading this, and this is the case with you, I encourage you to get help through a recovery or drug rehab treatment program.

This PST information is for people who are actual moderate to severe pain sufferers who do not want to go the traditional medicine route. Doctors write prescriptions all day, every day, and so many patients become addicted to the pain meds without a whisper of a warning! I’m telling you to educate yourself in these areas.

You have a responsibility to yourself- and others- to educate yourself on substance use and abuse if you’re going to put substances in your body, no matter what they are.

Here is a list of natural things that I take which may help you too:

  • PST pain management/therapy
  • Valerian Root- natural sleep aid, promotes good nerve health, creates calming effect
  • ground ginger (spice aisle) It promotes healthy digestion and quells nausea.
  • cayenne capsules/Health Food aisle (Kroger, Walmart, etc.) Cayenne kicks up the metabolism and is a natural fat burner. It’s good for the heart too and gives you a boost of natural energy.
  • green tea- no creamer. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants which fight cancer-causing radical cells. Adding creamer neutralizes these necessary and powerful antioxidants, so, don’t use creamer! Add honey instead.
  • Colon cleanser/psyllium husk- taken daily, psyllium husk keeps your colon clean and healthy. The colon is where many cancers begin. Keeping it clean and healthy reduces your risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other things.
  • Milk Thistle- cleanses the toxins from the liver and kidneys. This is the best all natural liver cleanser in the world.
  • 1/2 of an antihistamine per day (such as generic Benadryl). Opiates cause your body’s histamines to become fairly active. This causes itching and scratchiness. Taking a whole antihistamine can be cause drowsiness (you don’t want that) so keep the antihistamine amount to 1/2 per day. This not only kills any opiate-related itching, but doubles as a potentiator, which actually makes the poppy seed tea even stronger. This means that you will get the maximum benefits from a small dose of PST/poppy seed tea, without having to increase the dosage. This is a great help! Your goal is to receive effective pain management therapy without raising your dosage over time. Keep your doses low- always. 
  • lemon juice- (taken with PST)- acts as a natural anti-parasitic cleanser.
  • multivitamins
  • Filtered water- 8 to 10 glasses per day. Proper hydration lowers blood pressure and even cholesterol. It helps flush toxins from the body and eliminates unhealthy waste and poisons from the blood. Proper hydration is important for every organ in the body, especially the brain, and also helps regulate the body’s thermostat. It also aids in the secretion of proper hormones into the blood: many health problems would be remedied if people simply drank more water.

Hope this information is helpful! No matter what, choose health and life, and take care of yourself, physiologically, and psychologically/emotionally. Never use any type of substances for emotional pain. Seek treatment and therapy for that.

Be well. x