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Are psych drug users "addicts?" (Imported from Blog Comments)

Home Forums Psychiatric Drugs Are psych drug users "addicts?" (Imported from Blog Comments)

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  • #36209
    Natan
    Participant

    Imported from Monica’s recent post, If I Had Remained Med Compliant….

    Specifically, her link to an old article on her site, titled We Are All Addicts.

    1.
    elocin on November 24, 2013 at 8:13 am said:

    This was a great article which gave me some hope for the future in regards to my own medication withdrawal.
    However, in regards to “We are all addicts”. Speak for yourself. I resent that you attempt to classify and entire group of people that you know nothing about as “addicts”- namely the ones like myself and the others like me who are victims of no informed consent, manipulation and lies from Psychiatry/our prescribers.
    If you did not abuse your prescribed medication and became physiologically dependent through only the fault of being a compliant patient, it is IATROGENIC DEPENDENCY and nothing more. That is the proper medical term and can be found in medical journals and other literature. Dependence occurs with blood pressure medications like beta blockers, it occurs in burn victims who are on IV drips of pain medications for months and it occurs in vitro with babies born to mothers who ingested medication during pregnancy. I suggest you educate yourself on the critical differences between the two terms before you attempt to classify an entire group of people.
    So, please, if you want to identify as an addict, knock yourself out. But leave the “we are all” part out of it. You don’t know what I am – you have no clue about my story or how I got into this mess w/ Psychiatric drugging and therefore, you have no place to call me or anyone else an “addict”.
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    AAon November 24, 2013 at 9:02 am said:

    elocin,
    I understand your concerns but why the harsh language? Monica did nothing to deserve that and frankly, I greatly admire her for responding in the way that she did. I would have has a hard time to be honest showing restraint.
    And I too have the same questions as Cataract.
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    elocinon November 24, 2013 at 9:13 am said:

    I answered Catarct (and you) in my post below in response to Monica.
    As for the “harsh language”- I don’t see where I used harsh language. There is no cursing. Yes, I was direct, but that is how I am. This is text, not conversation, and therefore there is no inflection.
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    Copy_caton November 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm said:

    “YOU ARE AN ADDICT”.
    That is how psychiatry blames the victim. Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act are held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them.
    My response is yes I was an “addict” after being MADE into one by the pharma psych industry, I was not born that way like the addiction field likes to tell people with their fraudulent statements about addiction being caused some kind of brain defect or brain disease, or by a genetic predisposition.
    I guess the whole point of my post is to point out the label “addict” is often used as victim blamer by the psych industry to dodge responsibility.
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    2.
    Cataract on November 24, 2013 at 8:31 am said:

    Why do you feel there is a critical difference? Are you suggesting that “real addicts” per your definition are somehow worse people, or should be treated differently?
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    Cataracton November 24, 2013 at 8:57 am said:

    Oops… this was directed to elocin.
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    3.
    Monica Cassani (MIA Author) on November 24, 2013 at 8:48 am said:

    it’s social commentary…not a personal indictment.
    Gabor Mate does an excellent job considering how Western modern human beings are all subject to addiction of one kind or another. I’ve shared his work on the blog several times. Our capitalistic and consumer driven culture depends on the addict in all of us.
    Breaking Through A Toxic Environment http://beyondmeds.com/2013/03/28/toxic-climate/
    Power of addiction and addiction to power http://beyondmeds.com/2012/10/11/power-of-addiction/
    Our culture and society have destroyed the conditions required for healthy childhood development http://beyondmeds.com/2012/06/14/genes-environment/
    also:
    Our addiction to stuff is killing us. We need to own our inner addicts. All of us.http://beyondmeds.com/2013/09/11/the-addicted-world/
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    elocinon November 24, 2013 at 9:07 am said:

    I don’t need all of your links, Monica. I’m highly educated and have done my research on this topic. I also have my own experience and my story is one of iatrogenic dependency, not addiction. That was my point.
    I’m not suggesting that people who are true addicts are bad people or deserve to be treated badly, Cataract. Don’t twist my words or attempt to put words into my mouth. Because I never said that above. Nice try, but you’re not going to try to manipulate my thoughts into making me looking like a bad person.
    My problem was your use of “WE ARE ALL”…when the truth is, WE ARE NOT ALL addicts.
    I have a friend who was put on Ativan for tongue pain from menopause. TONGUE PAIN!! She took it AS DIRECTED, without questioning her PCP for THREE MONTHS at 2mg per day. When she became seriously ill, she saw 7 different doctors, NONE OF WHICH identified the Ativan as the cause of her failing health. She researched ON HER OWN and for the last year of her life, has been titrating herself off of Ativan with the help of the online groups who made her a taper plan and her husband who does the actual titrating for her. She is a Christian woman with two grown children who doesn’t abuse drugs, doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink. This is IATROGENIC DEPENDENCY by definition. She is sick at the fault of her doctors failing to follow the guidelines of prescribing responsibly, which for Ativan and other benzos is 2-4 weeks maximum (and even when prescribed for 2-4 weeks can cause dependency in some. She had no informed consent.
    That is my qualm with your article and nothing else. Don’t attempt to try to redirect this into another topic or misconstrue my initial comment into how we’re all “addicts” to food or exercise or love or something else. I am talking strictly about psychiatric drugging here.
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    Kermit Cole (MIA Author)on November 24, 2013 at 10:09 am said:

    I think that everyone involved in this discussion is making excellent points, and that reflection on the use of terms like “addict” and “iatrogenic dependence” are extremely important and valuable. Each term has aspects that are very fixed and determined, and other aspects that are fluid and contextual. It is the fact that these concepts are so subject to perspective, ideology, and convenience that makes them so fraught. These concepts are so subject to the terms and the people who employ them being abused and abusive, that it is rare to see them publicly reflected on in a substantive way. Ideally, in this space, that will not occur; Rather, we can hope to create a safe environment for exploring the challenges and implications of these terms without any one person become the scapegoat for how fundamentally difficult the conversation is. I hope it will be possible for this challenging discussion to take place without anyone feeling personally impugned. Of course this is difficult; most who participate here have been hurt in some way, and need and deserve consideration and respect. All who participate come freely and generously and without any reward other than the hope of progress on topics we all care about, and perhaps some long-delayed respect. I like to think, or hope at least, that MiA can and will become known – perhaps uniquely – in that way.
    I’d also like to point out that this conversation is not really on topic, though it began as a comment on a small element of what Monica wrote about, the conversation has taken over from the main issues Monica was seeking to address. Hopefully those will be returned to.
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    John Hoggetton November 24, 2013 at 11:40 am said:

    It is a small part of Monica’s post but the issues have come up before.
    1 is it legitimate to call someone dependent on medical drugs and addict?
    2 does everyone, or nearly everyone, rely on something, whether they be drugs or something else, to distract them from the problems in their life?
    I’m happy to call say someone has an iatrogenic dependency (a dependency caused by medical professionals) and someone else a street drug dependency. I think that is the same as saying someone is addicted to prescription drugs and someone else is addicted to street drugs. I don’t believe either person started out wanting to be dependent, or addicted.
    Others do not like using the terms dependency and addiction interchangeably. I do not know why and I’d like to know why so I can decide if I want to change my language.
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    John Hoggetton November 24, 2013 at 11:44 am said:

    I think there is exploitation by drug companies and exploitation by people who produce, sell and distribute street drugs. The process seems very similar in both cases.

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    elocinon November 24, 2013 at 12:36 pm said:

    The implications that are drawn from each term are very different. If you are a professional and you are labeled an “addict” as opposed to becoming iatrogenically dependent on medications that you did not abuse and took as directed by your doctor- you can lose your job or be punished severely for simply following your doctor’s instructions.
    There is a huge difference between someone who took antidepressants daily while employed at the recommendation of their physician and became dependent on them and then suffered subsequent withdrawal vs. someone who was coming to work high on cocaine or heroin. Both of them impair the brain, but we know from reading Dr. Breggin’s “medication spellbinding” article that people who are impaired on anti-depressants/benzos (or other psych meds) aren’t always aware of the level of impairment, especially because they trusted their prescribing doctor not to put them on a dangerous medication. Because it comes from the doctor and because people trust their doctors, they aren’t always as skeptical as they need to be about the medications and just assume they’re safe, whereas I would argue that people who purchase heroin off the street and inject it know they’re doing themselves harm ahead of time.
    Lastly, calling someone an addict implies that they should go to rehab or “get treatment” for their compulsion to use drugs. And in the case of psychiatric drugs, that can be deadly. People dependent on psychiatric meds need to do slow, controlled tapers at a speed which is comfortable and tolerable to them in order to discontinue their medications safely and to reduce the risk for severe withdrawal, psychosis, seizures, sometimes death and protracted withdrawal syndromes (which can last for years). Most heroin addicts aren’t at home weaning themselves off the drug last I checked. Perhaps if we all used proper terminology, doctors and other healthcare workers would understand this and would stop sending these patients to rehab centers and risking their lives.
    Also, if we use proper terminology (iatrogenic dependence when it is appropriate) we put the blame where it should fall and hold the correct people responsible for this epidemic- on the doctors who prescribe these pills recklessly and without informed consent to children and adults with no warnings about their dangers and risks. This is why people can successfully sue their doctors/healthcare providers for psychiatric drug damage- b/c it is most often without informed consent and without warnings as to the risks and dangers of taking the medication (despite those risks being well-documented in medical literature).
    Lastly, the differences between the two are well-defined in medical literature/journals:
    Dependence:
    Dependence is a physical state that occurs when the lack of a drug causes the body to have a reaction. Physical dependence is solely a physical state indicating that the body has grown so adapted to having the drug present that, if the medication is stopped abruptly or decreased too fast, it will lead to negative consequences such as a withdrawal reaction. If the medication is removed, the consequences are physical and physiological (sweating, anxiety, diarrhea, racing heart, nausea, insomnia, etc.). While physical dependence may be a component of addiction, it is not, in and of itself, addiction.
    Due to concerns of developing dependence, the FDA recommends that benzodiazepines only be prescribed for use over a period of 2-4 weeks maximum. However, physicians continue to overlook this warning and prescribe long-term, directly contributing to the development of physical dependence in their patients. Physical dependence is an expected outcome of long-term therapeutic use of benzodiazepines, although most patients are not warned of this by their prescribing physician prior, making them “accidentally dependent” or “iatrogenically dependent” (dependence caused by a doctor) on the benzodiazepine. These patients took their prescription benzodiazepine as directed by their physician.
    Dependence can occur with almost any kind of drug. In fact, physical dependence is a consequence of many medications. For example, certain blood pressure medications can cause physical dependence. Yet, these medications do not lead to addiction. As any diabetic will testify about insulin, or any heart patient will testify about blood pressure medication, dependence is not necessarily indicative of addiction or drug abuse.
    According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, drug addiction differs from drug dependence. Not all people with physical dependence to a drug suffer from addiction.
    If an individual is physically dependent on a benzodiazepine, withdrawal complications can be avoided by slowly decreasing the dosage of the medication over a period of time.
    Addiction:
    Addiction is a biological and psychological condition that compels a person to satisfy their need for a particular stimulus and to keep satisfying it, no matter what. It is a compulsive behavior that demands more and more drugs, regardless of the consequences that lead to dysfunction.
    Drug addiction results in drug-seeking behaviors and continued use despite negative consequences. Drug-seeking behaviors with benzodiazepine may include getting the drug from more than one provider or illegally obtaining the drug without a doctor’s prescription.
    Signs of drug addiction may include:
    • drug-seeking behaviors (obtaining the drug from multiple doctors, illegally obtaining the drug)
    • cravings for the drug
    • preoccupation with obtaining the drug
    • misusing the drug for intoxication or pleasure
    • dependence and withdrawal upon stopping the drug
    • interference with normal life functions (decreased work productivity, decreased motivation)
    • relationship problems, legal issues
    • continued use despite negative consequences
    Sources:
    http://www.benzo.org.uk
    http://www.aafp.org/afp/2000/0401/p2121.html
    Collapse

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    elocinon November 24, 2013 at 12:44 pm said:

    One last thing, and I’ll abandon this topic and move on.
    “Addict” implies that people are looking to mood or mind-alter.
    Many times, these medications are prescribed for normal, everyday health conditions OTHER THAN depression, anxiety, etc. People are given them for just about everything- tongue pain, vertigo, tinnitus, obesity, insomnia, headaches, muscle pain, post-surgery. Those people weren’t EVER looking to mood or mind alter. They just got caught in the trap of iatrogenic dependence when taking a prescribed medication long-term at the instruction of their clinician.

    Copy_cat on November 24, 2013 at 2:47 pm said: Edit
    “YOU ARE AN ADDICT”.

    That is how psychiatry blames the victim. Victim blaming occurs when the victim of a crime or any wrongful act are held entirely or partially responsible for the harm that befell them.

    My response is yes I was an “addict” after being MADE into one by the pharma psych industry, I was not born that way like the addiction field likes to tell people with their fraudulent statements about addiction being caused some kind of brain defect or brain disease, or by a genetic predisposition.

    I guess the whole point of my post is to point out the label “addict” is often used as victim blamer by the psych industry to dodge responsibility.

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    4.
    Monica Cassani (MIA Author) on November 24, 2013 at 1:03 pm said:

    it would be lovely to hear if anyone actually thought about the content of my post rather than a LINK I posted at the end.
    thank you.
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    • This topic was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Natan.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Natan.
    • This topic was modified 6 years, 2 months ago by Natan.
    #36212
    Monica Cassani
    Participant

    I will say one final thing on this topic.

    My commentary has nothing to do with psych drug users in particular…as stated above it’s social commentary about every modern day living human being (at least those living and participating in capitalistic culture)

    So it’s about EVERYONE…drug user or not…it is not a personal indictment against ANYONE who has used psych meds…because frankly we’re no different than everyone else stuffing their face with junk food or shopping and buying crap made by slaves in third world countries…or watching 8 hours of TV a day, or porn, or whatever…the fact is everyone at least at some juncture struggles with unhealthy attachments…

    the habits of EVERYONE is killing the planet…this is a serious issue and one we must all attend to if we want to correct the path we’re on…

    my argument is so not about psych med users…that was just a starting point for a much much larger commentary.

    #36213
    AA
    Participant

    Matthew,

    At the risk of making another off topic response, I am perplexed by your action in moving the off topic comments to the forum. So many discussions have led into alot worse off topic comments than this one did but yet, no action was ever taken against those comments.

    I am also perplexed that you seem more interested in enforcing rules about off topic comments than you are in making sure that posters are civil towards each other.

    #36220
    mjk
    Member

    I *love* this conversation and I think it is quite very valuable.

    I was upset to see that the comments had been deleted. Didn’t notice straight away that the conversation moved to the forum, so I’m thankful for that.

    My point of view isn’t about psych drugs or addicts or addiction or terminology. My point of view is about TRIGGERS and triggering. That is my focus and if it is considered to be off-topic (I call it a branch), so be it. But I feel the need to specify what I think is one of this conversation’s greatest values.

    I was so proud of elocin for adjusting their “vibrational energy”. The first few comments WERE “loaded”. I see it that the person had been triggered and I think it is ENORMOUSLY important to realize and recognize that when it’s happening. In other words, I don’t think it is beneficial or accurate to say that elocin’s comments were entirely “uncivil”. I think we saw a big, big trigger.

    elocin made an adjustment and I think it deserves recognition and praise and encouragement and support. I was SO pleased to see it, really. That is why I’m SO glad and thankful that this very valuable conversation was saved. Thank you, Matthew, for some excellent moderation.

    Well that’s what I have to say about that.

    And what I have to say about the “addict” aspect of psych drugs: https://www.madinamerica.com/forums/topic/where-is-the-offical-information-on-psychiatric-drug-withdrawal/#post-35883

    #36228
    None
    Participant

    I don’t feel particularly triggered, nor do I feel that my vibrational energy has been adjusted. I think it’s important that we have compassion for each other, and are open to each others’ ideas, and don’t try to “adjust” or control each other. That’s how the system operates, not us I hope. It was hardly my intention to put words in elocin’s mouth or “make her look bad.” I fear the definition of “dependent” vs. “addict” could lead to an even greater lack of tolerance or services for those labeled “addict.” Saying this, I recognize that there is hardly a strong support system for those who are “dependent.” The insistence on pointing out the difference at all reminds me of, for example, those with depression or PTSD who insist on pointing out that they aren’t really crazy, like those bipolars or schizophrenics. I wonder how an “addict,” who possibly had no health insurance or access to a prescription in order to titrate, and therefore engaged in “seeking behaviors,” would feel about being labeled that way?

    #36234
    Natan
    Participant

    Matthew,

    At the risk of making another off topic response, I am perplexed by your action in moving the off topic comments to the forum. So many discussions have led into alot worse off topic comments than this one did but yet, no action was ever taken against those comments.

    I am also perplexed that you seem more interested in enforcing rules about off topic comments than you are in making sure that posters are civil towards each other.

    It’s appropriate to ask this since it’s the first time I’ve actually done it. As a staff, we have discussed this protocol for a very long time, and it’s been in the posting guidelines since their inception as a possible course of action. We are becoming increasingly aware of the impact that the comments, especially the first few comments, have on the experience of new readers. Many people look at their first article, see an angry or off-topic comment, and decide that our site is not the community for them.

    We really want to emphasize holding a space a safe, civil, on-topic discussion on our blogs. We want that to be the impression of our community when people first come to the site, or when they open up a new article. I’ll be doing it more in the future.

    There’s no priority list regarding enforcing civility. The reality is that I cannot possibly read every comment, and so I often only catch the most egregious expressions of incivility. Our community is very resistant to using the “report comment” button. In the future I’m hoping to develop a vote up/down system for our comments that will raise visibility of good comments and sink or hide uncivil/off-topic ones, so that the community can better manage itself, in a way.

    In the meantime, you can help me out a lot by emailing me about concerning comments or using the “report” button!

    #36248
    AA
    Participant

    What is your email address?

    AA

    #36251
    Natan
    Participant

    @madinamerica.com">mcohen@madinamerica.com

    #36252
    Copy_cat
    Participant

    “it would be lovely to hear if anyone actually thought about the content of my post rather than a LINK I posted at the end.
    thank you.”

    Ya I did, I got screwed up on a simmilar med combo, just can’t stand it when people say “hello (name goes here) I am an addict” at the meetings I went to for support. Many identify as an addict and then go on to describe how they got addicted by irresponsible doctors, I just had to point out what a responsibility dodging victim blaming scam that is convincing people who goto rehab after psychiatry hooks them on stuff like clonopin its there fault; caused some kind of brain defect or brain disease, or by a genetic predisposition.

    Thread comments were already on this addiction topic when I got there so I put that in. sorry.

    #36276
    None
    Participant

    The “report” button only pops up if you’re logged in?

    #36278
    None
    Participant

    Oh, it’s only if you’re logged in and it’s on the blog comments, but not the forum?

    #36325
    Natan
    Participant

    That’s correct. I tried a public report button on blogs and we got too many false hits.

    At the moment we aren’t too concerned about bad behavior in the forums. This is a very self-selective area for regular readers to have more in-depth conversation, and so far I’ve never had to moderate anything. If we start running into regular posting problems in the forums then I may hack in a report button here too. We are working on a budget, ya know. 🙂

    #36328
    None
    Participant

    Thanks for the answer. Sometimes I feel like I’m waving a flag in space.

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