FEAR. YES! FEAR AND SHEER TERROR!! It's the lifeblood of addiction. If we weren't so terrified by the sheer looming drop into the seeming void of life without drugs ~ trust me, addicts to heroin, crack, drink and any other head-in-the-sand substance would tend to show far more willing to give it up.
Perhaps I ought to scrawl out several pages of deep psychological reasons WHY all this? Why why why?
On the face of it (from an outsider's point of view) heroin addiction, for example, seems very straightforward. You just stop taking the drug, feel a bit fluey for three days and then you're fine, right?
Well that's not right. As anyone who's had the flu, which is pretty much anyone, can tell you, however horrible you feel it's a pretty self-contained condition cushioned by sleep.
Opiate withdrawal is anything but "contained". You become fretful, hyperactive. Typically you don't sleep at all for days on end. It feels nothing at all like flu, though an unempathetic doctor may fixate on certain similarities, like feverishness, sweating, running eyes and nose, etc. But the actual experience of "cold turkey" is nothing like flu at all.
Another myth: it is not over in three days. It takes about a week to be over the physical syndrome, but residual anxiety and insomnia take a month or more to pass. This is far outside the junkie's 24-hour scope of survival, so of course it feels like an eternity and they can't cope.
The deeper you get into addiction the more you lose certain strengths and skills the rest of the population take for granted. The attention span is fractured. Sleep gets scattered all over the place. Food is utterly unpalatable without heroin. But crack causes extreme anorexia ~ so somebody on both will barely eat at all.
Heroin kills pain, both phsysical and mental. It's the strongest painkiller there is ~ as is testified by the fact that in the handful of countries where it is licensed for medicinal use (including Britain), it's the analgesic of choice in terminal cancer and other dire conditions. In the beginning, once initial distractions like nausea and skin-itching are pushed to the side, heroin flushes its users full of sensation and enchantment. By this point the experimenter will typically have tried pretty much everything else going, but in comparison to these substances, the effects of heroin feel totally natural and not forced. Heroin is a deceptive beast.
As time marches on and use of the drug becomes constant and relentless the enchantment fades to dust and all you know is that taking heroin feels far better than going sick without it and quite a lot nicer than methadone. And so continues a twilight state of living that can go on for decades. Nothing is really done or achieved. Periodic crises are averted with great effort. But most of life feels too great a task to take on. Heroin, once a great antidepressant, now leaves you in a continuous state of low grade misery.
So what's stopping me or anyone from taking that final leap into the dark?...
KEIRA KNIGHTLEY ~ DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AD
This was considered too strong for British TV, even after nine pm:
I know this is a corny choice of song, but it's what came to mind... When this came out I thought "bloody hell ~ same look, same sound; do something new, Lilly"... but I really like this ~~
LILLY ALLEN: FEAR
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