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The Coleman Institute Blog

The Water Wheel

10

Apr 17

April 10, 2017

The Water Wheel

I am a fan of Fr. Richard Rohr, a Franciscan priest in New Mexico. He’s a little controversial in some more conservative Catholic circles, and perhaps that’s why I like him. Last week one of his daily Lenten readings discussed the idea that creation is a continuous “water-wheel” of the Trinity emptying itself, pouring into, receiving, and emptying again.

He says, “It’s no good telling people to let go if they can’t be assured they will be re-filled…I can let go because I trust I will always be filled up again. That’s the pattern of reality.”

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Avoiding Dependency and Addiction if Opiate Painkillers are Prescribed

22

Mar 17

March 22, 2017

Avoiding Dependency and Addiction if Opiate Painkillers are Prescribed

Unfortunately, it happens all the time. Patients are prescribed narcotic painkillers for legitimate reasons and then, become addicted to them. Most of the time, the doctors who are prescribing the medicines are good physicians who mean well. They are just trying to relieve pain in order to help their patients, but the very prescription that is given to relieve pain can often turn into a lifetime of misery. Historically, no data has been available on just how often this happens, but a recent study provides some frightening answers.

The study looked at over one million patients who were given a new prescription for opiate pain medications and then followed them to see how many were still taking opiates 12 months later. They excluded any patients who had received an opiate prescription in the prior 6 months - so the one million excluded any chronic pain patients who may have already been addicted. The study also excluded any patients with cancer.

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Carrots, Garlic, and Mostly Love

9

Mar 17

March 9, 2017

Carrots, Garlic, and Mostly Love

I just returned from a weekend conference about breaking habits and addictive behavior. The speaker, Mukta Kaur Khalsa, Ph.D., has worked in rehab clinics for 40 years and trained with Indian Guru, Yogi Bhajan for about 30 years. Now she does training for people who work in the field of addiction. The presenter talked about how by the time a child hits developmental landmarks at ages 3, 7 and 11 years, habitual reactions to stress are established. Add to that an absent, abusive or negligent parent, and the child is naturally going to be at risk to use substances to avoid the emotional maelstrom created. (more…)
Feeding The Tiger

2

Mar 17

March 2, 2017

Feeding The Tiger

Recently a mother of one of my patients expressed her concern that although her daughter was willingly going through our Medically Assisted Opioid Withdrawal process and committed to not using narcotics, she was insistent about her intention to continue using pot when she returned home. Her daughter insists it is the only thing that helps with her anxiety. I don’t make any moral judgments about using marijuana, but I think it’s probably useful for someone who has the disease of addiction to be curious about alternative approaches to dealing with anxiety. There are so many great tools and therapists available to help people learn to coexist with their anxiety, and I struggle to simply see them surrender to a pharmaceutical “solution.” (more…)
The Soul in Hiding

23

Feb 17

February 23, 2017

The Soul in Hiding

“The human soul doesn't want to be fixed, it simply wants to be seen and heard. The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient and shy. When we go crashing through the woods shouting for it to come out so we can help it, the soul will stay in hiding. But if we are willing to sit quietly and wait for a while, the soul may show itself.” These are the words of Parker J. Palmer. I am reading this, thinking of the patients who come through our doors, desperate to be released from the grip of substances, and from the grip of agonizing thoughts. (more…)
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