A Drug is a Drug

*******Disclaimer!  This is my opinion only!  I don’t speak for anyone else, any organization, and I have no training or education in medicine or psychology!*******

Sometimes I feel like the only unmedicated person in my world.  I take no prescriptions and not much over the counter anything.  I have no chronic conditions that require medications yet, aside from annoying allergies.  I’m sure there’s plenty wrong with me, and that a doctor or psychologist or psychiatrist could find lots to medicate.

It’s my own personal experience that I have to remember the terror of not being able to stop drinking.  When I experienced that somewhat sanely, it was terrifying, and that’s what it should be, for someone who wants to live.  It’s hard to remember, decades later, but it was dramatic enough to stay with me, and that’s part of what has kept me sober.

I have dental problems and I have to go to the dentist every three months.  I haven’t had laughing gas for years, but I used to get it regularly.  Every time it hit my central nervous system I decided that as soon as I was done, I was going to go drink.  That drug effected me dramatically, because I have an alcoholic brain.  Every time I came down from the gas I returned to my senses and did not go drink, but that experience tells me it’s right there, waiting to grab me again.

I had Demerol in labor, and whatever they give you to put you under for surgery.  Pain pills after surgery, and that’s pretty much it for me so far.  I know I could legitimately get a doctor to prescribe something for my pain, my anxiety, my sleeplessness.  I may do that some day.

But I can name many people who went out after using legitimately prescribed and needed drugs.  It can happen, and sometimes I’m sure it’s not the fault of the person who does it.  We can’t all have our medications held by someone and doled out to us as prescribed.  And taking things as prescribed has also lead to relapse.  It just has.

It will be a bit of a surprise to some people that the spirit of AA is that is a person takes a mood-changing, mind-altering drug that has not been prescribed and/or is not needed, that person is not considered to be sober in AA, even though he or she has not taken a drink.  But that’s the way it is.  These drugs change our mood or our mind and so we are not sober, and will probably soon drink.

4 thoughts on “A Drug is a Drug

  1. Hey Lydia,
    Even though I personally do not have a lot of experience with it, I tend to agree with you on the dangers of (prescribed) medical drugs. I was wondering how you deal and view upon substitute addictions? I eat 100 grams of 72% dark chocolate a day. I think I would go crazy for a week if I did not. Trying to moderate has not worked. I still believe that moderation should work. I think to know that I am fooling myself. But for now I am ok with that because it is a 100 grams. And when my bloodpressure got up I quit immediately – however, I might have done so before it got up, if I would have been taking longterm good care of myself. Would love to hear your opinion. 🙂
    xx, Feeling

    • I have a friend in the program who says, “Address your addictions in the order that they are killing you.” The Big Book slogan “First Things First” comes from this, as it tells of a man who quit drinking whose wife then wanted him to quit smoking. I hate to admit that I was probably 18 years sober before I quit smoking for good, but I know people with 20 plus years sober who still smoke. And ultimately Bill W died from smoking. So my opinion is that I have to abstain from alcohol. If I don’t, I will die in hopefully short order and if I live, I’ll be unable to improve any other area of my life. I’ve quit smoking, but now I’m 54 years old and overeating is catching up with me, and it may at some not so distant time end up being the cause of my death. So I need to stop it. But not if stopping would make me so crazy that I’d be in danger of drinking. Us sober alcoholics are an interesting lot. We give up the addiction that’s killing us first, and maybe even the addiction that’s killing us second. Now I want to give up the addiction that’s killing me third. I have the history of giving up those others. I think I can, I think I can, I think I can….

      A sober alcoholic is a miraculous being.

      • Aaah Lydia, that is a wonderful explanation! Yes, it makes sense! Things fall into place for me now. 🙂 I have to deal with eating too. The chocolate and the dates and possibly more veggies. I start doing what I can and only start with the next thing when the other one has settled in. I know one of the people I read here in the sober blogosphere has started to go to Overeating Anonymous and he is happy about it. I’m not there yet. Funny, I feel that I first need to do what I can by myself only to go for help if I get stuck. Hmmm, addicty thought. Not?
        xx, Feeling

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