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Cunning, Baffling and Powerful- A Look at Addiction


My Brain on Drugs, a personal confession.

I perceive myself as extremely fortunate, for I have survived in spite of my own insanity! For most of my adult years I have abused one drug or another. I now have been clean for about three years from every illegal drug. I have found that, I have had a tougher time staying away from illegal drugs than Alcohol. For some reason, I have been able to take or leave alcohol much easier than drugs like Marijuana.

For example, I have had been psychologically addicted to Marijuana from the time I was sixteen up to about three years ago. I have gone though periods of time that I did not drink at all, or very little, but still used weed and other drugs almost on a daily bases . That is just an observation, it is no way condoning alcohol, for in many ways, I see alcohol as the most dangerous of all drugs that are abused.

Looking back on my life as an x drug abuser, I would have to say, that the level of denial, an addict can reach, is absolutely amazing! For now I do volunteer work with addicts and alcoholics and I have seen these people go though hoops of fire to find sneaky ways to keep using! The sad thing is, that they are only hurting themselves!

Back in California we use to call this behavior "Dope Fiend Moves" for an addict is going to do what he or she needs too, to keep using drugs! In my opinion this is why drug addiction and alcoholism is considered a disease! For a lot of people, the use of these substances overrides common since. I have seen drugs become more important than anything in lives of many addicts that I have known. No matter how many times they were arrested, ended up in the hospital for reasons connected to there addiction, destroyed vehicles or relationships, it would still not stop them from using!

Another observation I made with those who were trying to get clean or sober, is that the ones who used a twelve step program for support, but could not allow themselves to believe in a Higher Power, had a tougher time staying or getting clean.

I have discovered as far as myself and denial goes, is that even though I abused addictive drugs such as Crystal Meth (or crank) and cocaine, I would indulge in those drugs for short periods of time and yet not get completely addicted. When I saw the adverse effects I would be able to quit using them! However, the drugs I considered to be enlightening like marijuana or Psychedelics, those were the ones I had problems leaving alone. Somehow I convinced myself that they were spiritual in nature! I reasoned that these drugs were some kind of a sacrament! Somehow, if I just held my tongue right I would not only see God..I could become a god with aid of these drugs!

I have also spent a lot of time experimenting with certain herbs and legal substances and then, learning how to extract the active elements so I could create a marketable drug. Drugs consumed me, and yet, I did not look at myself as an addict.

After all, I stayed pretty much away from Opiates, cocaine and “crank” (that is after I came to the conclusion the side effects were worse than pleasure the drug created). The truth was, there was many who would agree with me! For many of my friends thought it was crazy to think of marijuana as a harmful drug.I have now come to the conclusion that there are aspects of this drug that can also be detrimental. The short term memory lost, and other side-affects such as increase heart rate and the other possible harmful effects.

Not only this, I have seen many people, mainly teenagers who allowed the drug control them to the point that they were being stuck on stupid! They were high every moment they could and when they were not high, they wish they were high! This to me, indicates a problem.

I even managed to smoke cigarettes "sociably" (which to me meant when I was drinking) without getting hooked! I did this for years with out forming a habit. Then one day, out of the blue, I was smoking a pack a day! Although I was able to quite I picked the habit up after not smoking for five years! I have once again managed to quite, and this time with the help of God, who I felt took the desire away in the first place, I have quite for good (knock on wood) !

This only goes to show, that it is not only the substances that are a problem, but the concepts and beliefs that people have about the drugs that create a problem. Denial is not just a river in Egypt!

Dopamine, the brains Natural High


One of the greatest or maybe THE greatest of drug problems our society fceses.

Ibogaine...could this be a cure for some adictions?

For some certain medications are needed.

The Good News is there is Hope....Focusing on the solutions

Now that I shared a little of my own experience, I want to focus on the solution, to explore the different methods that people have used to get clean or sober. Or more importantly, to continue to recover! Of course there are programs like AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) and NA (Narcotic Anonymous). These two programs are generally known as Twelve Step Programs. These programs can be looked at as a Spiritually Based in which the addict or alcoholic openly admits that they are powerless over their addiction. Alcoholics Anonymous was started in 1935 by "Bill W" and "Dr. Bob" in the the state of Ohio. Then Narcotics Anonymous started in the late 1940s.However, these methods of recovery is not for every one. For I myself, do not go to AA or NA but instead rely on the "spiritual nutrition" I receive from the Christian Fellowship I am involved with.

There has been some very controversial ways that other countries besides the United States deal with some addictions like Heroin. Great Britain and the Netherlands (or Holland to be more precise) has approached the problem of Opiate addictions by what has been coined as “Heroine Assisted Treatment” which is a form of “harm reduction strategies.”

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This was first started by the British back in the 1920s and continued until pressure from the so called “War on Drugs and organisations like Drug Free America Foundation (also known as DFAF) changed the policies for a time, but this country has returned to the above mentioned treatment tactic. Then In 1994, Switzerland adopted the Heroine Assisted treatment with good results.

Besides the Heroine-Assisted programs that have been applied in sections of Europe, other drugs are now being tested in the United States as alternatives that would be safer and more effective than Methadone. In fact, the Vancouver Sun newspaper did an article on a study that is being done to use the pain-killer known as Dilapidate or also known as a hydromorphone as a way to treat heroine addicts.

Many other drugs and medications have been applied or studied to relieve to symptoms of withdrawing from alcohol or narcotics. Some medications that have been applied effectively has been medications used for depression and other mental disorders. For example, Prozac and Ritalin has been productive with helping Cocaine addiction.

These methods do not sit well with the beliefs of programs that advocate strict abstinence from all drugs. From my own personal view, of spending most life around drug addicts and serious alcoholics, I have seen times that certain medications like Prozac was very effective. It gave a needed edge to help the addict deal with the depression that quite often develops when a person has quit drugs like cocaine or other stimulants.

Also, drugs like Naltrexone (also known as Revia), which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1994, have had great results with helping alcoholics and addicts who have failed time and time again to get clean. Then there is the very controversial hallucinogenic Ibogaine, that has had what could be considered as almost astonishing results, as described in the video.

I also want to briefly mention the medication known as Zyban or Wellbutrin as an aid in quieting smoking cigarettes. For I personally have have found this medication helpful, not only for my depression, but in helping eliminate the craving for nicotine. Then there is what is known as "auricular acupuncture" which stimulates points on the ear to relieve withdrawal symptoms. I have also experienced this first hand, to help in "kicking" from "crack' cocaine. It was quite effective.

In closing, I would like to repeat the belief that I have mentioned in many of my hubs, and that is the amazing healing power I have witnessed time and again from the power of the Holy Spirit! This is something I have witnessed way too many times to discount it! In fact it is the words of a great song performed by Peter Gabriel which subs it up best for me! For it is so symbolic of the the power that one obtains from the act of surrendering to God, which I go into more in my last hub Being Born Again, the Death of the flesh!

"Lay Your Hands On Me"

Sat in the corner of the Garden Grill, with plastic flowers
on the window sil
No more miracles, loaves and fishes, been so busy with the
washing of the dishes
Reaction levels much too high - I can do without the stimuli

I'm living way beyond my ways and means, living in the
zone of the in between
I can see the flashes on the frozen ocean, static charge of
the cold emotion
Watched on by the distant eyes - watched on by the silent
hidden spies

But still the warmth flows through me
And I sense you know me well
No luck, no golden chances
No mitigating circumstances now
It's only common sense
There are no accidents around here

I am willing - lay your hands on me
I am ready - lay your hands on me
I believe - lay your hands on me, over me

Working in gardens, thorn-less roses, fat men play with their
garden hoses
Poolside laughter has a cynical bite, sausage speared by the
cocktail satellite
I walk away from from light and sound, down stairways
leading underground

But still the warmth flows through me
And I sense you know me well
It's only common sense
There are no accidents around here

I am willing - lay your hands on me
I am ready - lay your hands on me
I believe - lay your hands on me, over me
over me

Lay your hands on me
Lay your hands on me
Lay your hands on me, over me


William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on August 14, 2015:

Thank you LeahCippioni for stopping by and I apologies for not responding sooner. I do agree with your observations that people often replace one addiction that they have gotten over with" something new". This has been my experience and struggle. I plan to check out the book you recommended!

LeahCippioni on August 07, 2015:

Thank you for sharing your story and congratulations on your recovery! Something often overlooked by people is the scope that an addictive personality can encompass. Often people focus on certain things (drugs, alcohol) when in reality, people who suffer from addictive behaviors can often become addicted to anything. Once an addict completes a 12 step program (or anything similar) they often replace their current addiction with something new. A book I read recently entitled "Addiction is the Symptom" by Dr. Rosemary Brown ( attempts to understand and help treat the root causes of the addictive behavior in general, instead of the specific addiction. An addict needs to move past the specifics of their addiction and figure out what they are suffering from on an emotional level that is fueling this behavior. This book provides some very poignant insight into how to heal emotionally, instead of just bandaging the symptoms. I cannot recommend this book enough

Useless itch on June 22, 2015:

Luckily for all who suffer God has created so many ways for addicts to get the help they need! Not any one way is better than the other, the freedom to choose what works best for you is a gift in itself.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on September 22, 2014:

And thank you New Person for reading! I also want to welcome you to HP! Now it is time for you to tell your story...In other words-write some Hubs! I will be waiting to read them!

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on September 22, 2014:

And thank you New Person for reading! I also want to welcome you to HP! Now it is time for you to tell your story...In other words-write some Hubs! I will be waiting to read them!

New Person on September 18, 2014:

It is great that you have written this story and I certainly hope it is true. I was involved with a man who took drugs (unbeknownst to me) and I am

sure there were so many things he told me that were not exactly accurate. I tried to help him, support him and encourage him. It was a very painful experience for me and I cannot believe that I did not understand sooner the strain the user puts on those around them, in this case me.

I tried my best to help him. I got a hard lesson in return. I will watch for the

signs more carefully and I will only help from a great distance.

I congratulate you on kicking your habit. I do not want to sound mean spirited, but it seems like most people who are users also use those around them.

It is wonderful if they can clean up their act. I have seen so much of this in grown people, not youngsters. They drag their loved ones down with them. I am not sure I would ever speak to a grown person with a drug problem again except to suggest they get a medical check up. That might open their eyes, and a trained professional who is not emotionally invested might be a better source of help.

Beyond that, they are so moody and really unreliable it is an exhausting task to have a user as an acquaintance.

I hope you have rebuilt your life and can try to patch things up with those you may have inadvertently hurt along the way. People are understanding, but they do appreciate an acknowledgement of what has happened.

There is nothing wrong with making a mistake and getting better. There is something wrong with not apologizing for it to others who may have serious hurt feelings as a result of the users actions. They should "come clean" to

those who they hurt along the way. I realize that 12 step is not the right recovery program for every addict, but it is reasonable to make amends to those who have been lied to or worse during the addiction.

Thank you for posting this discussion.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on April 08, 2012:

Hello Rolly, and thank you for finding this hub and sharing your experiences with me! God Bless

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on April 07, 2012:

Hi HVW... good to be back and hear the words of wisdom of another who has travelled down much the same path. Great we are able to connect again since the death of Quill. I often think of those days that you have so graciously written about after I heard the words of a doctor speak to me with concern. "Keep this up and in my professional medical opinion I would say that you have two years at the most." Rather sobering words and yet I continued to test his prediction for yet another few years until I could do it no more. It was not on my strength I did it. Only through love was I able. That was 36 years ago and today I have no desire left for anything but the life I have been given.

Hugs from Canada

Rolly A Chabot from Alberta Canada on April 07, 2012:

HI HVW... good to have discovered you again and I owe the thanks to you. Thank you for sharing the journey with us you have been on. Not an easy one yet as I read I see the same patterns in my life with many of the same addictions. I have been clean and sober now for going on 36 years and feel great since the day I heard the words "Keep this up and in my medical opinion I would give you two years." Hard words to hear and yet I carried on for a few years. In the end I know where my strength came from.

Many hugs from Canada

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on February 20, 2012:

Thank you so much jasper420 for stopping by and I happy to hear that you yoyu are going on five years! That is great, for I am close to pulling together three years!

jasper420 on February 17, 2012:

intresting hub congrats on the sobierty I have been sober going on five years I agree with what you have here im glad you are raising awarness on this issue the hub itself is well written and well put togeather great job voted up!

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on January 30, 2012:

Hello, L.R, I am pleased to hear from you for I was wondering what is the latest with you in regards to joining HP. Please let me know any way I can help!

Your friend in Christ..

The Highvoltagewriter

Lone Ranger on January 30, 2012:

Magnoliazz, thank you for letting me know how you are doing through our friend, High Voltage, therefore you do not need to answer the e-mail I sent you. :0)

I sure am sorry to hear that you have back problems and have been in a lot of pain. I am encouraged, however, that you are still alive!

I think sometimes, when my old body starts to rebel against me and the aches and pains rise up against me, that it is a reminder that life on the third rock is only temporary, therefore, my aches and pains will also only be temporary.

Perhaps the Almighty helps us to focus on the here-after a little by giving some of us reason to feel a bit dissatisfied with our lives here on planet earth? This built-in dissatisfaction with life in the material world could then be used to remind the faithful of the blessings that await us in paradise and make its promises even sweeter!

May God be with my friends, Magnoliazz, and HighVoltage Writer, on their pilgrimage through planet earth - L.R.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on January 30, 2012:

Good to see you back Magnolia and that your back is better! I also have not been around much for I have other irons in the fire I have to deal with. Also I have not heard much from LR lately.

magnoliazz from Wisconsin on January 28, 2012:

I'm finally back! My old back problem returned and it got the best of me for a couple of months. It hurt just to breath, but I am getting better again, I just have to be careful.

Tell LR that I am fine and will be online a couple times a week. Thank you both for your concern.

This is really a great hub. I believe that any kind of addiction is also a spiritual problem as well and thats why you need God to help you with it. Personally I have not seen anyone get clean unless they had God helping them.

I will be back later to write more.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on November 01, 2011:

Thanks so much Tamarajo for your observations and I am glad to know that your son is doing better. I pray that he will continue to have the sport that he needs to stay clean!

Tamarajo on November 01, 2011:

"for an addict is going to do what he or she needs too, to keep using drugs" - profoundly true. This might seem like stating the obvious to some but we found ourselves trying to make sense of the doings of my youngest son while he was in the throws of addiction. We found ourselves a bit insane ourselves trying to rationalize it all when bottom line he was at the time serving his "god/addiction" and everything he thought and did revolved around that. Once we came to that conclusion we ceased to use our irrational methods of reaching him.

I also appreciated your view that I agree it is a highly spiritual issue behind the scenes and that was the approach we took from thereafter. We quit trying to approach him with our logical advice and decided to pray fervently for him and sadly at times let him feel the harshness of the consequences of the life he was living.

I am pleased to report that he is about 2 years away from meth, pot, and alcohol use. He is still in process of some of the mindsets as I think all of us are.

I think we all delude ourselves to some degree that illicit drugs are the only forms of addiction. Anything we choose to revolve our lives around apart from God Himself is another god we serve. It could be something as inobvious as people pleasing and therefore all in process.

I am so pleased to know that you have found the true source of help and hope and have a supportive congregation. It is He who works in us both to will and to do for His good pleasure and He is my source of help and hope too.

Pleased to have read your article and appreciate your insights on the internal workings and thought processes of an addiction along with your helpful advice.

smcopywrite from all over the web on October 28, 2011:

i dont enjoy the subject matter, but i admire those writers like you that can put it together so well. i agree that we should focus on solutions. just say no is not the way. thank you for sharing

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on October 27, 2011:

Thanks for that taylorslaw, you have know idea how much those words mean to me, for there are times I feel I have accomplished squat! That is just were my mind takes me some times and is one of the reasons I write hubs like this, to remind me!

taylorslaw from Taylors on October 27, 2011:


I for one am proud of all you have overcome and become.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on October 27, 2011:

Hello Taylorslaw, thank you for your feedback. This is something that I have found very important to my own recovery, sharing my own appearance strength and hope. It is something that I plan to do more often for it is important to remember were I have been and how I escaped the trap that I was living in.

I do not attend many twelve step meeting, so for me I need to find ways to give back and "play the tape" as they say in NA.

I was actually planing on writing this article for a long time. Then I realised that I was trying to pretend that I was "normal" and that is a dangerous place for me to be.

taylorslaw from Taylors on October 27, 2011:


This is an amazing story. Not just in your feat to beat addiction and all it had consumed in you, not even just your finding G-D and having Him become your only addiction, but in that you so vuneralbly and openly placed your wounds out for us to see. I hope someone is inspired by your experiences and decides to give themselves a better life as well.

I also applaud you for taking time out of your schedule to help others who are where you once were.

Many good hearted people attened college and learn so much from their text in an effort to help people in your situation. However, only someone who has truly sat in that dark box can fully relate to and understand what someone in that place is experiencing.

In my limited wisdom of life, I have come to see that having someone who truly understands where you are, does make moving from that spot a little easier.

Sometimes we just need someone to actually "know" what we are experiencing, in order for us to feel like there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

William Benner (author) from Savannah GA. on October 18, 2011:

Thanks GoGreenTips I have been reading some of your hubs as well, you have some great advice!

Greg Johnson from Indianapolis on October 17, 2011:

Interesting hub on addiction, glad you beat it. Wonder sometimes if we need to have that belief in a higher power, and if we don't we try to replace it with something such as drugs.

Great hub, well written. Good Luck

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