11.        DO IT YOURSELF Addiction Recovery.






When a patient allows him or her self to be sedated, wheeled into the operating theatre, anaesthetised and then cut open with a very sharp surgeon’s scalpel, we know that that patient has handed all responsibility for his or her body over to that surgeon and his operating team. 


And because we are normally talking about a rather precise and proven procedure requiring training, practice, experience and dedication – knowledge possessed by relatively few – it makes sense to abdicate responsibility and control of ones body, and to place ones trust in the professional physician.


But it is increasingly recognised that the reverse is true in respect of ridding an individual of drug addiction (and even apparent that this might also apply to mental health problems.)


For years it has been believed that the main action of drugs like heroin, methadone, cannabis, Subutex and crack, etc., is to produce a “high” in human beings, followed by the need for increasing frequency and / or size of doses in order to obtain the same ‘high’ which – as time goes on – seems to get more and more difficult and less and less satisfying, leading to ‘tolerance’ and other conditions.


The first problem in attempting to handle drug usage is that, unlike the surgical field, there are no experts or professionals who can actually cure anybody of addiction.  So there is no-one to whom we can hand our bodies and say “cure me”.


Secondly, in handling drug addiction, we are not only dealing with a physical condition, but also mental and personal situations. 


Thirdly, the real long lasting effect of an addictive drug is to take away the addicts power or freedom of choice, with responsibility and control of his life handed over to the drug, and of course the people who produce and supply his drugs.


So curing drug addiction is not about handing responsibility to another person in the hope that that person will deliver a cure.  Quite the reverse.  Recovering from drugs is all about reclaiming or retrieving the responsibility for ones life which has been taken over by the drug.


It therefore follows that anything which is done, or attempted to be done, to the addict by another person is a further attempt to control the addict and his life, and is really an attempt to further erode the addict’s responsibility for self.


As a result, such interventionist endeavours are doomed to failure, exactly because they are an effort to intervene between the individual and his own attempts to handle the drug by doing something to or for the individual, and so, instead of raising his ability to be responsible for self, they further erode personal responsibility and control by exacerbating his or her loss of responsibility.


We have decades of proof that psychiatry and pharmaceutical drugs do not and can not cure drug addiction.  In fact the psycho-pharmaceutical lobby insists (quite inaccurately) that addiction is incurable and essentially a mental illness which – because they say it is incurable – can only be ‘managed’ with pharmaceutical drugs which (because addicts seldom have money) must be paid for by the government, or more precisely – paid for by the Brutish taxpayer!


That this pessimistic and totally defeatist viewpoint earns huge turnover and profit for the psycho-pharmaceutical industry is said by them to be irrelevant and their lobbyists and PR agencies claim that that industry is really doing the society a favour by making their products available for our salvation !


The reason the psycho-pharms cannot cure drug addiction is because it is not curable by them and their products.  Nor is curable by any other organisation, and it is certainly not curable by CEPTA.


However, it is unquestionably curable.  But only by the addict him or her self.


To achieve this, the addict must recognise that he himself is responsible for his addictive condition AND must also be trained in the application to himself of a workable recovery system.


It is interesting that, in a majority of cases (especially after having tried a range of rehab and detox systems where something is done to or for the individual) that “I’ve only got myself to blame” becomes real to them, and within only 3 or 4 years of taking up say heroin, surveys show that 70% of such addicts are interested mainly or only in a total abstinence goal.


That tiny residue of personal responsibility (“yea, it probably is my own fault”) coupled with “if I could only give up completely” together provide the foundation stone upon which effective recovery training can be built. 


Then, because by definition a workable system ‘works’, they quickly begin to progress themselves, and so build up more working knowledge, more responsibility, more control and more self esteem which, because they are clearly achieving progressive results which they can recognise, spirals upwards into more knowledge, more responsibility and more recovery of control over their own lives.


D.I.Y. (Do It Yourself), in the context of recovery from addiction, may sound somewhat frivolous, but in fact comfortable abstinence for life depends entirely on training for and Doing It Yourself.


But vested interests - which want to sell habit management drugs and counselling - use the DIY label to pretend that such forms of trained recovery are ‘amateurish’ and definitely ‘not professional’.  No account is taken of the fact that in from 69 to 84 percent of cases, DIY delivers comfortable abstinence for life from heroin, whilst habit management delivers lifelong hard core addiction to methadone – usually for a shorter span of life, and at considerably more cost to the society in much more than just monetary terms.


And talking of monetary cost.  A comparison of DIY drug recovery training and application, with drug offence prison costs, CARAT in prison treatment, Residential Care Home rehabilitation and methadone maintenance is in course of being investigated and prepared, and preliminary assessments indicate that DIY is going to win hands down.


Pretty obvious in a way, because economy is what DIY is all about.  Admittedly in the home this can sometimes mean poorer standards of craftsmanship, but not very often.  Every restaurant at some time or other promotes “home cooked meals” or “just like mother made” – specifically because DIY cooking is so often much better than the mass produced dishes served up at so many cafes today.


But in drug addiction recovery, the only regular and consistent achievement of lifetime abstinence is by learning how to do it yourself and doing it as you progress through your training.


Within religious circles it is often said that a convert is more devout than someone born into a given faith.  And if you want to see a model citizen who appreciates life for himself, his family and his community, try visiting someone who trained up and got himself off drugs.  You’ll probably find him holding down a good job, and helping get others started on the same training which gave him his life back.




© Copyright C.E..P.T.A. and E. Kenneth Eckersley, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004 & 2005.  All World Rights Reserved



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