I am pretty passionate about working with addicts and their families. Partially because, much like cancer, it does not discriminate from socioeconomic backgrounds, gender or ethnicity. And like cancer, there are things that can increase or decrease risk but there is no magic pill.
It can happen to anyone and affect any family
So I come a little unglued when people say things like, “well, it’s not a physical addiction.” Seriously, I get really annoyed when people use this as a reason to legalize marijuana.
I think what people are driving at when they say that is that the withdrawal symptoms are not life threatening. In some circumstances a medical detoxification (detox) is necessary for alcohol and heroine. If a person is using either daily, the withdrawal from both can be life threating. That said, not all alcoholics or heroine addicts will require a medical detox.
That doesn’t mean that someone withdrawing from any other substance will not go through withdrawals. There are all kinds of withdrawal symptoms ranging from tremors, loss of sleep, agitation, vomiting and on and on. While those symptoms may not be life threatening, how is all that NOT physical?!?!?!
A close friend gives up her two coffee a day habit each year for lent. Each year, she has headaches, irritability and has trouble in the bathroom (I will spare you the details). ALL of that is physical!!!! Even if she doesn’t need rehab, she is addicted.
We are losing the war on drugs, duh
The war on drugs has not seemed to yield any real success. We have spent billions of dollars but have we saved any lives? We have criminalized disease and clogged the criminal justice system with sick people instead of getting them help.
While I’m very open to listening to arguments on legalizing controlled substances like marijuana – mostly because what we are doing isn’t working so I’m open to ideas to do something different and see if we get better results. Please at least spare me the illogical arguments like marijuana is not a “physical” addiction so it doesn’t count. I will roll my eyes and I will explain to you why you’re wrong.
As always, I’m here. If you are ready to live your best life, call me and let’s get started!