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A body, left to its own devices, manages pretty well.

Breathing, digestion, circulation, and metabolism are all nicely orchestrated with only the minimal input from the inhabitant of said body. A little food, a little water, a little oxygen and the body is good to go.

As Byron Katie says in A Mind at Home with Itself: Bodies don’t crave, don’t want, don’t know, don’t care, don’t love, don’t hate, and don’t get hungry or thirsty. The body only reflects what the mind attaches to. There are no physical addictions, only mental ones. (Bold added by me.)

Consider this when you are making the decision to stop using addictive substances such as alcohol, benzodiazepines, or opioids such as Dilaudid®, oxycodone (Percocent®, Oxycontin®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), fentanyl, poppy seed tea, methadone, heroin, or even the many iterations of buprenorphine (Suboxone®, Zubsolv®, Bunavail®).

Having worked with our patients at the Coleman Institute for over ten years, I can say that with rare exception the source of addiction is thoughts such as:

  • My family doesn’t understand me
  • My mother wasn’t there for me
  • My wife (husband) doesn’t appreciate me
  • I am worthless
  • The world would be better off without me
  • My boss is a jerk
  • I’ve screwed it up beyond repair
  • It’s not fair

and variations on these themes.

See the thread that ties all these together? These are all thoughts that people are believing, and then acting upon these thoughts by using substances to shut down the feelings and emotions generated by this kind of thinking.

And although the body will obviously become physically dependent with continued opioid use, the real way to stay off these drugs for the rest of your graced time on the planet is to recognize that these addictions start in the mind. Learning how to live peacefully with the mind and its constant stream of thoughts is the difference between enjoying the amazing opportunity we have to be alive versus a white-knuckled kind of experience of gripping onto the rest of your life with fear and terror of what may come next.

For over twenty years, the Coleman Institute has specialized in safely, comfortably, compassionately, and economically, getting people off substances such as every variety of opioid, benzodiazepine and alcohol. We have a unique outpatient detox, which allows family members to stay with their loved one, with daily visits to our facilities. We have offices all over the country, and Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield of Virginia’s HMO and PPO insurance plans recently began covering treatment programs in our Richmond, Virginia office that include detoxification (aka withdrawal management) and six months of naltrexone therapy and case management. We are also actively working to expand coverage with other insurers.

If you are ready to embrace physical and mental freedom, I encourage you to call and find out more about our detox programs. The very first step is to safely get off the substances. The exciting exploration of becoming at home with your own mind then becomes the adventure of your lifetime.

Joan R. Shepherd, FNP

 

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