The Addiction Series: Part I

Copyright © 2002, Patrick K. Kroupa
All Rights Reserved

Original Publication: Heroin Times

Yo, that wasn’t me. That was my disease!


Cunning, baffling, electrical, powerful, mechanical, insidious, dangerous, solid yet squishy and operating on a principle similar to radar, only different.

But unstable and FLYING out of everything.

Or was that my universal remote…

The entire “disease” model of addiction is wrong.

People create theories in an attempt to understand various phenomena, as time passes, many of these theories are proven to be incorrect, or merely inadequate and slapped together by persons who lack the knowledge and experience to assimilate and articulate a more cohesive understanding of the events in question.

Fire . . . pretty, wow, neato… oh no, it burns, damn, the house is on fire… ohmygawd fire is awful, bad, terrible, stay away from it because it destroys things. I will never do fire again! In fact I will gather together groups of other people who have all done fire, and sit around talking about why fire is awful, to make myself feel better.

Yeah, well, okay. If that works for you, fabulous. But ya know what? It’s not the “correct” solution. The entire disease concept of addiction, could be applied to just about anything and be equally wrong – or more specifically, incomplete.

Because when you come down to it, your “disease” is being a human being, and your life is just a relapse from death.

And the headspace you’re in when you’re actively using drugs… it’s not all that different from the one that many of the people on the planet maintain throughout their lives. Most people are not all that deliriously happy or thrilled with things, most of the time.

The only thing that separates you from them, is you have partially learned something they don’t know about. If you’re feeling like shit, or even if you’re feeling really good, and just wanna get high — you have the knowledge that when you bring this or that molecule into your bloodstream and it attaches to the receptors it likes; everything’s the same, but somehow totally different.

Having learned this, you cannot unlearn it.

What all this means is: congratulations, you’re human. Human beings are born to get high and seek altered states of consciousness. Sex, drugs, rock n’ roll, religion, little kids spinning around in circles until they get dizzy. It’s all the same thing.

If you have the specific goal of moving away from drug dependence, because due to various circumstances, the drugs in question are no longer “working” for you, or the consequences of continued use — in current society — are too high a price to pay. I can offer some very basic, and relatively simple advice.

To simplify and condense things: drug-dependence involves a complex series of inter-related systems; psychology, biology and neurology. We can for example demonstrate that a specific strain of rat — genetically bred to be extremely susceptible to “addiction” — upon exposure to a particular molecule, will suddenly STOP HITTING THE LEVER.

Now this is interesting, ‘cuz I mean, what happened…? Did the rat go to rodent therapy and work out its lousy childhood, gain insight into its self-destructive behavior, and connect itself to a higher power of its understanding? Uhm… Probably not.

The only higher power it has come into contact with is the God whose religious tomes can be found under the heading: molecular pharmacology.

However, this is the part where it all spins in the opposite direction, because if the rat had a higher level of cognitive function, it would take it very little time to arrive at the understanding, “hmmm, I’m a rat, trapped in a cage, getting stuck with sharp objects. The only thing I have to look forward to is that they’re gonna kill me pretty soon and throw me in the garbage. Ya know what, fuck this, why don’t I hit that lever a few thousand more times, it’s not like things could possibly get any worse.”

No matter how you detox, for roughly 6-12 months, you’re not gonna feel good. This is an understatement, in many cases you’re going to feel like shit, because your neurochemistry is in the process of attempting to reset itself and hit homeostasis, and your dopamine d1 and d2’s are trashed. In short, all the things you used to find pleasurable, aren’t gonna be much fun. The only thing you’re really gonna want to do, are more drugs.

If you’ve used ibogaine to kick, having noribogaine — ibogaine’s long-acting metabolite — onboard for at least some period of time, can be extremely helpful. But the bottom line is, you need to be aware of what’s happening. With at least some understanding, you know what to expect and have a degree of control.

It does get better, you will not feel this bad forever.

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