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by Hart Peikoff, March 16, 2011

Do you, or someone you know, have a substance abuse or dependency issue? Does it affect professional, personal or emotional lives? Substance abuse occurs when we self-medicate. Self-medication is out of control. There is hope for those who address this issue head on! Denial is vile. Read on as there is comfort in knowledge, understanding and compassion. Believe me. I have walked the walk.

I do not believe people become addicts by chance. Drugs and alcohol are often the first line of defense to medicate psychological disorders and emotional pain. If someone does not correlate his use with the fact that he has anxiety, depression, moments of feeling too high or too low, he may just be drinking or using because it makes him feel better. I know some of you relate to this proposition.
Others may use because they know it helps with their social anxiety, their emotional pain or depression, to name a few. Read on. Please focus because you may identify trends within the self, loved ones, or friends.

Some people may believe they need the substance to function, and the truth is they do need something to function. Psychotropic medication given to a diagnosed disorder is the best way to alleviate the unpleasant feelings or pain. Self medicating can be a quick release of pain forever; overdose is common!

There are two sources that emotional pain most likely comes from: a genetic, biological issue, or trauma. Genetic issues — inherited psychological disorders — are passed down through families. These include, but are not limited to, depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
Emotional issues from trauma find their source in abusive homes, molestation, rape, alcoholic or confliction ridden homes, violence, and witnessing or being the victim of any horrific event. These traumas lead to many disorders that are not genetic in nature, but are formed when someone is victimized or exposed to them. Safety of the self is a desired environment to evolve in.

Whether wiring, or unprocessed trauma, pain is in the brain and produces negative emotions and behaviors that may not be tolerable to an individual. And so people drink or take drugs just to stop the pain or undesirable feelings.

The "ups" of mania and ADHD are often calmed by marijuana; the downs of depression often self-medicated with prescription drugs. The pain inside a person is often momentarily numbed through alcohol use. These undiagnosed disorders, if not treated properly as youths, create a breeding ground for impulsive or bad choices, or the inability to act or succeed in general. This leads to even more pain as adolescents and adults, when substances are introduced and abuse or addiction ensue. No truer words have ever been uttered. Please don’t test this proposition.

Are you or a loved one suffering? Is the family system suffering? It may be the time to get diagnosed, properly medicated, and into therapy. There are measures that can be taken in this day and age to alleviate this pain and destructive behavior.
For those of you desiring to enter a world where you have a lot of control over most of your outcomes I suggest you contact Jewish Child and Family Services, C200-123 Doncaster Street, R3N 2B2. Phone 477.7430 or by e-mail: [email protected]  or JACS-Jewish Addiction Support: Contact JACS @ 478.8591 There are meetings every Thursday 8 PM --The Asper Community Campus also situated @ 123 Doncaster Street.

There is Hope, Help and Healing. My wish is some of you who read this article will act in your own best interest. You will make it a better world for all; especially yourselves.

Yasher Koach,
Hart Peikoff

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