Guest Blogger Speaks On Harm Reduction and Holistic Recovery

struggle

An anonymous guest blogger has this to say about her journey in recovery;

struggleI’ve struggled with addiction for a long time. Over the years, I have tried many different modalities, approaches and philosophies to combat and treat the physical, mental and emotional toll that it had taken on me and the people around me. Everyone’s journey looks different. Although AA will tell you that “your problems are not unique” They fail to mention that as a person everyone is unique. From your DNA, your medical history, your personality, to the way you process information, cultural, religious practices etc. All of these differences are important. Not only are they a part of who you are as a person, but they can play a role in how you recover. My point is that there is no one right or acceptable way to recover so long as you progress towards your goals. For example, in my personal journey I have discovered that the group mentality and abstinence model of AA doesn’t work for me. I had immersed myself in that culture for years at nauseam and I never made any real progress. I’m not by any means knocking AA. It has helped many people and has many great spiritual principles. It just doesn’t work for everyone. I am not a poly drug user. I generally make good choices, and know how to lead a successful life of moderation and maintain my moral compass in most aspects of my life except when it comes to opiates. The idea that I must abstain from everything was an extreme concept that didn’t fit into the puzzle pieces of my life. I now choose to be a harm reductionist. I stay away from my DOC but I am able to have an occasional glass of wine and feel like I’m a part of society. I still rely on input and suggestions from my support team, but I am able to make reasonable decisions and not have my life destroyed in the process.

I feel Prescription and over the counter medications are universally overly used. Although in recovery a lot of us tend to reach for non-narcotic medications to fix our physical and mental state of being this approach has never agreed with my constitution. One of the most helpful tools that I have been introduced to for healing myself has been homeopathic medicine. I have had to go outside the box to find other ways to heal myself both physically and mentally. Homeopathic medicine is the treatment of disease by minute doses of natural substances that in a healthy person would produce symptoms of disease. I have always struggled with a sensitive stomach. From the constant nausea to the feeling of acid and dull pains radiating from within, it has been a trigger and a challenge that even when prescribed medication, and extensive Dr. visits I could never get under control. My mother introduced me to many options that were less invasive, have no side effects and are safe to use, such as Nux vomica, a homeopathic medicine used for treatment of the stomach. It is actually made from infinitesimal does of strychnine. It sounds dangerous but ironically enough in its homeopathic form is one of the safest things you could take. It is mainly used to cure hangovers, or too much excess of anything in general, which wasn’t always the case with me keep in mind I’ve had this condition preceding drug use, but it has been instrumental in quelling my stomach condition naturally and safely over the years. I have taken this one step further and used Nux vomica many times in the past while detoxing from opiates. Of course, it wasn’t a cure all but I can say that it made any nausea from withdrawals way more bearable. Another great remedy that can be used to minimize withdrawals is Aconite which can ease cold and flu like symptoms as well as some of the emotional anxiety that comes with it. Lastly Avena sativa which comes as a tincture as well as a homeopathic. It has long been used for opiate withdrawals and is excellent for quelling cravings.

These are just a few examples of some of the options out there to aid any individual on their journey to recovery. There are countless tools available whether they be traditional or outside the box they are all meant to benefit and enhance one’s life. It’s up to the individual to decide what works for them and incorporate them into a comprehensive treatment plan. It’s ok to take what you need and leave the rest so long as you have the capacity to be honest with yourself and measure your progress. Like I always say, there is more than one way to fold a towel!towels


May 26, 2017

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