A newborn baby has virtually no capacity for emotional regulation. This is why newborns cry until they are held, soothed and comforted. Infants have absolutely no capacity for self-soothing and rely almost completely on external care to feel nurtured and comforted. Thus, when parents love and nurture their children, endorphins are not only released, but endorphin receptors form and are created by their sweet release. If a baby is loved and nurtured properly, their brains form healthy levels of endorphin receptors and endorphin release. Without love and nurturing, their brains create and possess a deficit of these. But does a lack of endorphin and its receptors create additional susceptibility to drug use, abuse and addiction? Why does the world discriminate against men and women who suffer from addiction and what does a “war on drugs” really mean?
The Making of a Drug Addict and How the Brain Responds
Not only do individuals who are susceptible to the disease of addiction try to function with the fact that their brains cannot produce the normal amounts of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins needed to be well-balanced, but many people also deal with the searing pain of being emotionally, physically or mentally neglected. The brain processes both physical and emotional pain very similarly. In other words, the pain of trauma, neglect, abuse and isolation are essentially the same as being stabbed, most often, repeatedly. It’s like a double-edged sword. This is the early making of an addict, in most cases.
Here’s an example. A normal, balanced, loved and nurtured person has a cup (person A). The cup is nearly full of water. When that normal person does a drug, it stimulates them, their cup is completely filled. After the drug wears off, their cup is but a mere ounce of water depleted. A day later, their cup is nearly full again. Now an individual who’s brain hasn’t created the proper endorphin receptors and possesses low dopamine and serotonin also has a cup (person B). But their cup only contains a few drops of water. When person B takes drugs, their cup is exceedingly filled until it is nearly full (like the normal person). They feel normal, happy, maybe even joyous at times. But when that drug wears off, they are left with a negative amount of water in their cup. They need even more water to replenish what they had to begin with. Person B is much more likely to become addicted.
This is the reason why different people can do the same drug, but only certain individuals acquire the disease of addiction. Many drug addicts have also suffered from trauma, neglect, abuse and isolation that has in turn, caused their brains to function at a highly depleted level of various chemicals. These individuals typically self-medicate in order to bare being present in their own lives. But how are we handling this drug epidemic which is more of an addiction epidemic? We’re handling it by waging a “war on drugs” which is a more ethical, but deceptive way to say a War on Drug Addicts.
Waging the Wrong War – Unlawful Persecution of Individuals with a Disease (Addiction)
Until America can stop wounding its innocent, there will not be an end to the heroin, drug and addiction epidemic. Until people begin to understand the causes and origins of addiction, nobody won’t know how to treat it effectively. The mind of a drug addict is already imprisoned. Thus, arresting an addict will only serve to keep them in mental handcuffs along with adding physical constraints.
Men and women suffering from addiction require help and treatment. Prison isn’t an effective drug rehab facility. Is trauma healed by adding to it? Is jail an appropriate treatment for a diabetic or a cancer patient? Then why is it ok to imprison an addict? It’s not but we’re letting law enforcement and those with power get away with it – despite the fact that addiction has long since been declared a disease. Persecuting and condemning the isolated and lost only serves to keep an addict sick, enslaved and far away from recovery.
Why hasn’t America labeled addiction a health crisis yet? Are we Americans too proud and arrogant to see the error of our ways?
Can Love Effectively Treat Addiction?
How effective are current methods of “fixing” addicts? The very foundation of loving, healthy and happy relationships and a motivated, peaceful and joyous life depend on complex self-regulatory systems in the brain that depend on early childhood exposure. So what does this mean? Can love not only prevent, but cure addiction? It seems that the very fabric of the human genetic make-up is so dependent on it. But yet we deny it to those who are in so much need of it. Men and women suffering from addiction have a disease. They haven’t chosen to become addicts. They require love and understanding – a drug charge, instead of a hug – a prison sentence instead of a compassionate embrace – isolation and disconnection instead of a loving connection. A drug addict needs help and treatment and encouragement towards long-term, lasting recovering.
It’s foolish to say we have peaked in the number of losses due to heroin overdose and drug use. I know that if America doesn’t change its stance and the “war on drugs”, we will see many more die. How senseless is that?
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Written by William Charles, Owner / Publisher and Chanda Lynn, Editor / Writer / Blogger For Kill the Heroin Epidemic Nationwide™, Heroin News and the National Alliance of Addiction Treatment Centers (NAATC)
We are a community for recovering heroin addicts providing support and recommending the best treatments and clinics to people interested in conquering their addiction.
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