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Monday, December 28, 2020

Drug vs Detox: A Civil War in the Mind

With lazar focus and his eyes on detox, rehab, and reclaiming the joys of pre-substance use life, he called me at 6:00am.  We developed a plan for me to pick him up and take him to a specific detox facility.  The people there are wonderful.  They care like no others I've encountered in other Medicaid level health care facilities. In a perfectly reasonable time frame, he was greeted, interviewed, given a basic medical exam, and offered a detox bed right then and there.  Each step along the way was awash in dignity and respect for this child of God.  I was thoroughly impressed![1]

There was one minor medical issue that needed further review and so we went to the nearest emergency room.  The R.N. at the detox assured us that this issue was nothing that would prevent this young man from coming back for the beginnings of his detox experience. 

The hospital staff was great.  Within a couple hours, we were heading back to the detox facility.  Final admissions paperwork was completed and within a few minutes this young man, still laser-focused on detox, ascended the steps at 6:00pm for the beginnings of his whole new life.

At 9:00am the following morning, this laser-focused child of God called me from his cell phone.  I knew right away what he was going to say.  

"I left and am already home." 

He told me that he was given no comfort care through the night as his fears and feelings of dope sickness[2] were growing and so he had to leave to find his own 'medicine' and bring comfort back to his being. 


This issue of signing out of detox or even the intake process itself is an all too common issue that is literally leading to the deaths of thousands of people each year.  


The human brain in that moment of decision for detox is in something resembling a civil war.  One side[3] of the brain wants healing while the other side wants drug.  Each side of the brain has its own artillery to fight this battle in the brain.  

The side of the person's brain that wants detox and healing has the determination of the person with that brain and the expertise of medical professionals who have committed their careers to the ideals of Hippocrates.  

The side of the person's brain that wants the drug has knowledge of the extended orgasmic nature of a "good high" and knowledge of how unpleasant and painful dope sickness can be. 

While this person waits for hours during the intake process or for hours through the night for the doctor to return the next morning so as to prescribe suitable comfort care medications, thoughts of that "good high" which will bring relief from growing dope sickness take over.  The civil war in the brain is being won by the side that wants the drug.  Determination for detox is beginning to lose the battle. 

As dope sickness grows and determination for detox fades, the side of the brain seeking the drug reminds the person of the final piece of its artillery that is needed to win this civil war in the mind.[4]  This side of the brain reminds the person that they can leave the facility and for only $5.00 they can buy a blue packet and inject its contents.  The "good high" will be found and even if the high is not all that "good," this injection will end dope sickness for the time being.  That's all that matters in this civil war of the mind. 

Sometimes pictures help us understand the issue. 

Here are pictures[5] of three facilities within Philadelphia that provide Medicaid level health care to patients of Substance Use Disorder who are seeking detox: 



The Net: 

These buildings house all of the medical wherewithal and employ the medical personnel who have committed their careers to the ideals of Hippocrates that is needed to provide detox and rehab.  These great buildings and those who work within are up against a mighty enemy: 

The Little Blue Packet:  

Barely the size of a couple of pennies placed side by side, these little blue packets contain within them all the artillery that is needed to win the battle of the mind in favor of the drug. When the medical professionals[6] fail to provide prompt and dignified care to that patient with Substance Use Disorder who has come to them for detox and rehab they allow the little blue packet to win the battle.[7] 

It is way past time for the medical professionals and all persons in positions of policymaking to put their minds together to further develop their artillery.  

Little blue packets are the artillery for continuing addiction in this civil war.  Little blue packets can't think on their own.  All they have to offer is their presence on the battlefield of this mental civil war.      

Medical professionals are the artillery to interrupt addiction in this civil war.  Medical professionals can think on their own.  Medical professionals can determine to strengthen their artillery and in so doing help their patients of Substance Use Disorder win this civil war of their mind and find healing.                                                                                                                                           

[1] Please contact me privately if you'd like to know exactly where we went.

[2] Symptoms of dope sickness – and their intensity – can vary by person, the drug of choice, and the amount of drugs used on a regular basis. However, common signs of dope sickness include Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and/or constipation, Loss of appetite/huge return of appetite, Hot and cold flashes, muscle aches and spasms, The sensation of bugs crawling on or under the skin, Hyper-awareness, Dry mouth, Headaches, Insomnia, and Sweating.  These physical effects are often accompanied by mental and emotional symptoms. Those who are dope sick may also experience: Agitation, Anxiety, Paranoia, Frustration, Depression, Despondency 

[3] Not literally 'side' as in right vs. left.

[4] and end all prospects for detox on this day and maybe forever if an overdose is found first

[5] From Google Maps Street View

[6] who have committed themselves to the ideals of Hippocrates

[7] And the war if an overdose is found before determination for detox is found again

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