Addiction Stupidity

Addiction stupidity seems like a strong term. However, I want to be clear about how stupid behavior can cause the loss of life. Addiction stupidity is something we must avoid at all costs. We must help people to stop making stupid decisions that affect the lives of others.

If you suffer from the disease of addiction, you might think I am talking about you. You are probably mad at me for calling you stupid. Before you start writing an angry email, please read on. I am not talking about you at all.

The disease of addiction is real and devastating. I would not be so insensitive as to attack people who have a medical condition. I would not be so stupid.

Addiction stupidity refers to those people who think they know what is best for you. The ones who have all of the answers. They’ll let you die if that’s what it takes to prove themselves right.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution. Just because something worked for one person does not mean it will work for everyone else. We like to quote the saying that repeating the same thing over and over, expecting different results, is insanity. When we apply a failed treatment over and over, isn’t it also insane to expect it to work?

What I am referring to here is the abundance of variations of abstinence-based solutions to treat opioid addiction. Everyone has an opinion. Everyone is an expert.

Go to more meetings. Get phone numbers. Call them. Work steps. Stay at the center of the herd. Just say no. Stop. Don’t use no matter what. No matter what.

These slogans are not bad advice. The problem is when people on the street play doctor and tell you that you shouldn’t take prescribed medication to treat a medical condition. Playing doctor is dangerous. Practicing medicine without a license can kill. Beware well-meaning people who like to play doctor.

There is proven medical treatment for opioid addiction. Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) prevents sickness, cravings and relapse. It saves lives. It is not the business of a spiritual fellowship, your mother, your priest, your rabbi or whoever to start making medical decisions for you. It is not their place to tell you to refuse appropriate medical treatment.

Addiction stupidity can be deadly. The best place to start is by consulting with a medical doctor who has experience treating opioid addiction. There are public listings of doctors who are trained and certified.

12-step spiritual fellowships are great places to learn about staying clean. However, it is no one’s business that you are taking prescribed medication as directed. You know that you are clean if you abstain from all drugs, yet continue the prescribed medication that protects you.

If you are struggling to get clean from opioids such as heroin or pills, don’t listen to addiction stupidity. Look up a doctor and make an appointment. Ask to speak to the doctor directly if you have questions. There are proven medical treatments that work and make it possible to continue with your life.