Shakespeare on Addiction: Sonnet 129

Something interesting happens every time I teach Shakespeare’s Sonnet 129. I’m reasonably certain the term “sex addiction” didn’t exist in his day – and neither did 12 step groups for it, with Elizabethans turning up in their flamboyant garb – but that doesn’t mean that the problem, and its attendant degradations, didn’t exist. Just ask Shakespeare about his Dark Lady.***

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust,

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows; yet none knows well

To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.

Why am I thinking about sonnet 129? Shakespeare’s sonnets beg for interpretation, and it’s not just because they are formal masterpieces that we should, as intelligent folk, feel compelled to dissect for dissection’s sake. No, there’s more to them than that. His sonnets are relevant today and I’m going to show you why.

A few years ago, I came across an hour long documentary made about Vancouver’s notorious downtown eastside. The area has been ravaged by an influx of drugs and its victims, earning it a reputation for being something of an elephants’ graveyard: it’s where addicts go to die. The film was called Through a Blue Lens and was shot, mostly, by two beat cops who wanted to portray the lives of the addicts living there. It’s not a warm and fuzzy film about drug addiction, but it’s not condemnatory either. Here’s an excerpt:

The plight of those living in that part of Vancouver became a minor cause célèbre in 1999, in part because The Globe and Mail published a photo essay of its denizens that left a lot of Canadians gasping. It made us aware, in a none-too-gentle way, that we had inner city problems just as bad as some cities south of the border. Vancouver’s port is a gateway for the drug trade and it seems at least some of these drugs don’t travel far: they form the lifeblood of those immiserated souls living in the downtown area.

So why look at Canada’s Skid Row when we’re talking about Shakespeare? It’s because his definition of addiction is one of the best I’ve ever read. It’s relevant today and that’s because when addicts talk about their suffering, they report (albeit less eloquently) many of the same things. And when I say things, I mean they report having many of the same feelings and experiences described by Shakespeare. Those haunting sounds of agony — the addict’s anguish — are distilled, painfully and thoroughly, in this poem.

It begins:

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Shakespeare believes we forfeit our spirit – our soul – when we engage in addictive behaviour. The expense, or the price of the addiction, is paid with it. Waste here is used literally (implying that lives are wasted by addiction) and also symbolically to denote a place. This double meaning is made obvious by the use of the preposition in, as “in” a waste of shame. Waste as a place bookends neatly with that other inferno, hell, mentioned in the closing couplet.

Lust is Shakespeare’s drug of choice and the belief is that it was aimed at the infamous Dark Lady, that promiscuous creature that had Shakespeare, and others, utterly intoxicated.

The expense of spirit in a waste of shame

Is lust in action; and till action, lust

Is perjured, murderous, bloody, full of blame,

Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust

What are the signs of Shakespeare’s enslavement? The form of a sonnet is strictly prescribed: it is made up of three quatrains — three groups of four lines — and a closing couplet. The rhyme scheme tends to alternate lines, meaning the first line rhymes with the third, the second with the fourth, etc. The lines are usually made up of phrases that go towards forming sentences. However, in this quatrain, the last half is simply a list of adjectives or adjective phrases, enumerating Shakespeare’s agonies. And these agonies are stated strongly, with words like murderous, bloody, savage and extreme.

This is a man in the throes of an obsession, an obsession that won’t even allow him to form coherent thoughts; instead he spits out a list of adjectives to convey his feelings. Shakespeare the wordsmith created this list for a reason. It’s there to denote a burst of feeling that can’t be contained.

But does this fury of Shakespeare’s capture the state of those sad and emaciated souls wandering the downtown eastside? I would argue it does and the key word here is shame. Ask any active addict how they feel about their life and you are bound to discover, underneath the anger and street braggadocio, a deep and murky well of it. That shame is what keeps them using; it’s what keeps them from wanting to feel.

After Shakespeare establishes his narrative voice, he turns to the cyclical nature of his malady. In the second quatrain, he states:

Enjoy’d no sooner but despised straight,

Past reason hunted, and no sooner had

Past reason hated, as a swallow’d bait

On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Here we see the structural and thematic rendering of the cycle of addiction. Let me translate: the addict no sooner enjoys (uses) her drug when she starts to despise its consequences straight (right away). However, beyond all reason she continues to hunt for it, and again, as soon as she consumes it, she hates it beyond all reason because she can’t stop. Then Shakespeare expands the subtle animal imagery and lays blame on suppliers and enablers. Her drug is like a trap laid on purpose and it makes her, the taker, mad. Mad here is being used in the British sense of the word, meaning insane.

It’s usually at this point in my class that I stop and ask students to think of an activity, any activity, they do to excess. Do they spend too much time online? Eat too much of the wrong kind of food? Text incessantly? And it’s also here that I tell them my own little story of addiction, the one that had me frequently rushing to the neighbourhood corner store, in Toronto, when I was a student.

I had an addiction and it was to Swedish Berries, those soft red candies that taste heavenly but are of no nutritional value whatever. These darlings came in handy at midnight when I had an essay to finish and needed a sugar boost. However, the problem was that I didn’t know when to stop. The store sold them in bulk and I didn’t have the discipline to buy only a few. My reasoning, as I stood in front of that bin and ladled in scoop after scoop, was that I would save some for later.

Right.

So I would eat them until I felt sick and this process, over the last two years of my undergrad degree, repeated itself more times than I care to remember. But it was the sequence of events in this process that was important. I would come to the realization it was late. I knew I had to keep working but didn’t want coffee. Then I would think: Hey! Swedish Berries! Great idea! And I would haul myself off to the store, come back and eat way too many of them. Only afterwards would I say to myself: “Did I really have to scarf down that whole bag?” Or: “Good idea? What was I thinking?”

So too goes the cycle of addiction: there is the chase, the consummation and the aftermath. In other words, the anticipation, the imbibing and the remorse. This cycle will be expanded upon in the next quatrain.

Mad in pursuit and in possession so;

Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;

A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe;

Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

The first quatrain establishes, through the use of enumeration, Shakespeare’s lo
ss of control. The second establishes the cyclical nature of his addiction. This last is significant because it does not provide new information. However, it does repeat the three part cycle and repetition in Shakespeare is always significant: he uses it to let us know we need to pay attention. Here we are told, again and with more emphasis, that an addict is mad while chasing the drug and mad while consuming it. And of course it is that madness — that inability to reason — that starts the cycle all over again.

But take a look at the second line. Shakespeare reverses the order of the cycle: he starts with the aftermath: had, moves to the consummation: having, and then moves to the first stage of the cycle, the chase: in quest to have. He does this to create the impression of a back-and-forth motion: the addict moves forward and backward, forward and backward, ad infinitum. Why? Because that’s what happens when one becomes addicted: life stalls.

At the start of this article, I said something interesting happens every time I teach this sonnet. Here it is: after I read it out loud, I tell my students to look closely at the panhandlers, especially the young ones, when they pass through the Atwater metro, the metro that services Dawson. I almost always get the same reaction: the class goes silent, the flow of air in the room stops, and these young people, with their futures ahead of them, pay closer attention. This suffering, rendered so poetically by Shakespeare, is only steps away.

And it happens elsewhere. When I drive home, I stop at a busy intersection leading onto the highway. That’s where I often see a young woman, her blonde hair in dreadlocks, holding up a sign asking for spare change. I always give her some and now she knows to come to me. If the traffic light permits, we may even exchange a few words.

I’ve been criticized for doing this — “she’ll just spend the money on drugs” is what I hear — but I don’t know what else to do. I don’t know how we can stop people from “committing suicide on the installment plan,” as a good friend of mine puts it.

Shakespeare didn’t know either, but luckily for us, that didn’t stop him from looking deeply into that darkness and writing about it anyway.

***I will be, for the sake of brevity and compression, be referring to the narrator as Shakespeare.

Quito Gastronomy: Where To Eat To Ensure An Amazing Vacation

One of the best things about taking a vacation is all of the delicious new foods that you’ll get to try. If you’re lucky enough to experience Quito travel, don’t forget to plan where to eat in order to sample the best of Quito gastronomy. Here are just a few of the many different restaurants that the city offers. From gourmet meals, to quick serve cafes, there’s something for everyone.

Looking For A Quick, Family-Friendly Breakfast? Try Crepes And Waffles

Crepes and Waffles is one of the area’s best-known chain restaurants and it’s possible to find locations throughout the city. Customers can choose from savory or dessert crepes and nearly everything in between. Meals here are inexpensive, around $10, and the large variety means that there’s something for even picky eaters. If you’re there for dessert, make sure to try a crepe topped with ice cream, as many locals and tourists report that the restaurant’s ice cream is the best you’ll find on Quito vacations.

Got A Little Room In Your Budget? Choose Barlovento

Barlovento is a bit pricey compared to other Quito gastronomy experiences, but visitors to this restaurant report that the cost is well worth it. Barlevento offers seafood with a decidedly Ecuadorian flair and favorites include coconut seafood stew, crab spring rolls, ceviche, empanadas and the paella. The restaurant is located across from one of the city’s biggest hotels and is a popular choice with both locals and tourists.

Want To Try Italian? Head To Pavarotti Ristoranti

Just because you’re not in Italy, there’s no reason not to try an Italian restaurant. One of the best ones to visit during Quito vacations is Pavarotti Ristoranti. Many of the dishes here come with an Ecuadorian twist, so don’t be afraid to order something a little out of the ordinary. Some dishes that the restaurant is known for include the calamari ink pasta, sea bass, veal, spaghetti carbonara and breads served with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for dipping. Prices here are slightly more expensive by Ecuadorian standards, however, they’re on par for quality meals in other countries. Pavarotti Ristoranti is located across the street from Swisshotel and the World Trade Center.

On A Budget? Try Porky’s Restaurant

If you’re looking for fast, quality food with a small price tag, Porky’s Restaurant is the place to be. Here you’ll find a three-course menu that changes every day, which means that patrons could visit every day and receive something different. Meals here cost just $3 and include a soup, a main dish, a dessert and even freshly squeezed juice. Although the menu is limited, guests can choose from fish, beef or chicken and each dish is made with healthy cooking methods and ingredients.

Other Quito Gastronomy Choices

Other popular restaurants to try in between your Quito tours are Baalbek, Suvlaki, Café Plaza Grande, Zazu, Noe Sushi Bar and La Petit Pigalle. With so many different types of cuisine, travelers are sure to find something to fit every taste bud.

What to Expect From the Best SEO Article Writing Services

SEO article writing services should always provide you with high quality and well written articles. The articles will enable you to reach out to more potential clients. It also ensures that you get a high page rank on the popular web browser. The article writing services are provided by a number of online companies. These companies have the expertise needed to provide the services. They have professional and high qualified writers to provide the articles. They also have a large number of editors who proofread the articles and ascertain that they are error free. The following are the various things that you should expect from the article writing services.

Well researched articles

The articles will be well researched. The writers always conduct a thorough research on the topic that is provided. They will seek as much information from you as possible regarding the products and services sold. They will then write the articles basing on the information that they have gathered. It is always essential to note that the SEO article writing services will always provide truthful and accurate information. The information will be sourced from highly reputable sources. The articles will also contain up to date information about your company.

Optimal keyword usage

Keyword usage is always important. The keywords enable readers to instantly get the articles that they want. The best SEO article writing services always ensure that they have the optimal number of keywords on the articles. This prevents over stuffing that can lead to penalties from the search engines. The keywords are also relevant to the information that is provided. They are also placed seamlessly on the article body. This makes it easy for the readers to scroll through the information on the articles. It also ensures that the readers deem your company as authentic.

Unique and impeccable

The SEO article writing services always ensure that the articles are unique and impeccable. Then articles are written from scratch by the professional writers. These articles will always pass through copyscape in order to ascertain that they are not plagiarized. It is essential to note that plagiarized content might lead you to a lot of problems with the authorities. Therefore, the writers should always ascertain that the articles have not been copied from another source. Any references made should be permitted and clearly indicated on the article. This will help to avoid copyright infringement.

Well organized and structured

The articles will always be well organized in order to make it easy for the reader to extract the information needed. The information should be presented in paragraphs that have unique information. The keywords should also be well distributed on the entire body of their article. It is also essential to ensure that the articles contain information that is relevant to the clients. It should be up to date and well written. The tone of the article should also be appropriate for the intended readers. The SEO article writing services should always provide information that is relevant to the products and services sold by your company.

Do Addicts Really Recover?

In my line of work as addiction professional, I’m often asked “Do people with addiction get better?” The question may sound simple but it’s not really that simple. There are so many facets to addiction. The chemicals are but one aspect. There also are the addict’s personality attributes, attitudes, lifestyle, and values – all contributing and feeding the addiction syndrome. For most people, the obsession by the addict to consume chemicals is the most salient aspect of addiction. This becomes their focus of attention when asking the question, “Do addicts really recover?” Meaning can they give up drugs and become “normal” people again?

After a closer look at addiction, one begins to realize that the chemical abuse is intimately tied to the person’s mental health, lifestyle, and personal values. For example, it is hard to ignore an addict’s criminal activities related to supporting his drug habit or an alcoholic’s scheming and manipulating behavior to hide his alcoholism when the addicted or alcoholic is trying to pursue “recovery.” Can people “recover” from addiction and still carry on with these criminal or anti-social inclinations? What are the chances of a recovering person remaining abstinent while continuing to sell drugs or maintaining his connection with friends who are involved in criminal activities? Can a recovering alcoholic remain sober while bar-tending?

My point is that there is a “quality of life” a recovering addict or alcoholic must maintain to achieve a certain level of healthy living. For some this may mean pursuing counseling or following medication regime to control psychiatric symptoms. For others, a complete lifestyle change may be necessary to re-align personal priorities and internalize pro-social values. With addiction, old associations — people, places, and things – can easily trigger a relapse to old “bad habits.” There is a common belief among recovering persons that “picking-up” drugs or any substances is the last step in the relapse process. Long before the actual substance use, the person has already relapsed in his thinking – reflected in noticeable changes in attitude, values, and over-all behavior.

To go back to the original question: “Do addicts really recover?” The answer is a relative yes. For some who consider their addiction as a disorder of the whole person and take a holistic view of recovery, they aspire more than giving up the chemicals to include a reinvention of themselves, psychologically, socially, and spiritually. Others are content with minimizing the harmful effects of illicit drug use but still resort to alcohol use. Still others give up drugs but continue to have dysfunctional patterns of coping or residual manifestations of personality disorders.

Do Addicts Really Recover?
Dr. Fernando B. Perfas

Using Drupal As Your CMS Platform

Most websites use WordPress or Joomla as their CMS system. However, there are plenty of CMS platforms available and Drupal is one of them. The Drupal CMS platform has plenty of business tools and this helps with easy maintenance.

Drupal is an open source platform that offers you plenty of options and it’s really flexible allowing you to modify, share as well as distribute content with ease. However, Drupal isn’t just a CMS platform it’s a SaaS – that is Service solution which is perfect for small businesses and can even be effectively used for larger enterprises.

Benefits of using Drupal

There are plenty of benefits of using Drupal, some of them include:

You don’t have to pay anything

There are plenty of CMS platforms and a few of them charge significantly in order to use their systems. Of course WordPress one of the best platforms is totally free as well.

Drupal is totally free and there are absolutely no hidden fees involved. There are plenty of advantages of using a free CMS platform as there are plenty of people who’d be using them and hence there are plenty of developers ready to help you out.

It’s got some top clients

Drupal has plenty of high profile clients and they only use it because it’s an amazing platform. Some of the high profile clients include: The white house, Wake Forest University, FedEx and a lot more.

It’s got amazing support

Whenever you decide to choose a CMS platform for your business you don’t just need to make sure that the platform is good; but, at the same time you need to make sure that it’s got high quality support from third party applications.

Web Design flexibility

Unlike most of the other CMS platforms out there that offer just a few frameworks and limited custom coding capabilities, Drupal allows you to showcase your brand in an attractive and interactive way.

Therefore, you can make sure that your design suits your business needs without worrying about any hindrances by the CMS platform.

It’s optimized for search engines

These days after the Google panda and penguin updates you need to make sure that your website is ideal for search engines. Of course the Penguin update only focuses on backlinks, but there are plenty of other algorithm changes that various search engines are making.

Drupal is extremely Search engine friendly and the content on your website would be displayed in a way that is easily crawled by most search engines.

Include Beach Rentals in Your Vacation Plans

When it comes to planning the perfect vacation, in order to get the best deals you need to spend some time shopping around. With the cost of airfare and hotel accommodations rising, it is getting even harder to make cheap or low cost vacation plans. There are ways you can still take a vacation, have a great time, and spend as little money as possible. You just need to do some research and learn about the different beach rentals you can stay at to help reduce your overall expenses.

Since you are planning a getaway from the world of responsibility and stress, why should you stay at a place that reminds you of what you are trying to escape from? When you stay at hotels, you still put yourself in an environment that can all too frequently remind you of work. This can put a damper on your mood and keep you from getting the most out of your vacation. For the amount of money you would spend for hotel accommodations, you could make reservations at some beach rentals and have a ton of money left over so you can purchase souvenirs.

When you are making your vacation plans, don’t forget to think about the other ways that staying at beach rentals can make your trip more enjoyable. For starters, you could get firsthand experience as a tourist. You don’t have to travel around in taxis or rental cars since you will be living in the heart of it all. You could simply walk to your destinations. You can try more of the local food and save a fortune by cooking instead of ordering out. You can also blend in more with the locals and put more things to do on your itinerary.

Beach rentals make it possible for you to bring more people on your vacation. Instead of trying to figure out how you are going to find a place cheap enough for everyone to stay in, you can make accommodations at beach rentals. They are spacious, and you are not charged for each room or individual. Therefore you have more privacy and you can still enjoy the same comforts as home. You also have more flexibility over where you can stay and over how far you are from the hottest tourist spots. You’d be surprised at how inexpensive it is to stay in places other than hotels.

These places can help you have more fun and get more value out of your vacation than any other type of living arrangements. They are one of the most cost effective ways to take a vacation, especially if you are on a budget. Talk to a travel agent or start your search early so you can take advantage of the best places and rates in the market. See what you have been missing out on and how much more you and your family can get the most of the trip.

Types of Drug Detox

There are 4 primary types of drug detox available for addicts and alcoholics to achieve the initial stages of sobriety. This includes the cold turkey method, specialized detox centers, medical detox facilities and rapid detox centers. Each type of drug detox has its own benefits and pitfalls that people seeking to recover from addiction should understand before they decide which treatment option is right for them.

Cold Turkey Drug Detox

This type of detox is also called “natural detox” and essentially consists of an addict or alcohol undergoing the stages of acute withdrawal in a private setting with little or no assistance or care. Unfortunately, the chances of successfully breaking the initial stages of acute withdrawal syndrome are small with this method, and most addicts will return to their drug of choice before they have reached a critical mass in their recovery efforts.

Despite its propensity for failure, quitting cold turkey isn’t dangerous if the substance in question is fairly benign such as marijuana or mild opiate addiction. However, some substance addictions can lead to life-threatening symptoms of AWS in the event of sudden cessation. The three most dangerous of these substances are alcohol, barbiturates and benzodiazepines; all of which can lead to seizures, respiratory and/or cardiac arrest, coma and in rare cases, death.

Regardless of the substance of abuse, most experts do not recommend natural detox as the chances for success are significantly impaired.

Specialized Drug Detox Centers

Specialized detox centers provide inpatient style treatment for up to 2 weeks. Patients receive an initial evaluation which will be used to develop an individualized treatment plan for the duration of their stay. Because of the individual nature of these plans, some detox patients will undergo treatment in just a few days, while others will require a week or two. In many cases these types of detox facilities work in conjunction with longer-term treatment centers that patients can automatically transfer to once they are past the acute stages of withdrawal.

Specialized detox centers work because of the therapies employed – such as individual and group counseling – and because they effectively isolate the addict or alcohol from people, places and things that could be triggers for them to relapse.

Medical Detox

Medical detox is similar to a specialized detox center but with a distinctly medical component. This can consist of an on-site nurse or doctor, 24 hour monitoring and other types of medically-oriented benefits. A medical detox center can also help addicts to step-down their drug usage in an effort to maintain medical safety and reduce or eliminate symptoms of acute withdrawal.

Medical detox is often required by addicts that have relapsed repeatedly, as subsequent attempts to get clean result in more severe withdrawal symptoms that last for a longer period of time. This is referred to as the Kindling Effect and is a very real phenomenon that can make it extremely difficult for people to get clean and stay clean. A medical detox center can address these issues expertly in a safe, relaxed and non-judgmental environment.

Rapid Detox

Rapid detox refers to a type of medical-detox procedure whereby the patient undergoes most of the symptoms of withdrawal while unconscious. This is accomplished by placing the patient into a medically-induced coma, then administering a series of drugs that facilitates and hastens the process of acute withdrawal. This spares most patients the worst of the symptoms and allows them to begin their treatment without the pain and discomfort of a long period of withdrawal.

Unfortunately, rapid detox is a relatively new practice and it’s not well understood yet how successful it is from a long-term treatment standpoint. Addicts considering this method should consult with their primary physician prior to speaking with a detox specialist.

Going through detox in a specialized or medical facility is the best option for most addicts and alcoholics; not only from a safety standpoint, but also because sequestering an addict away from potential exposure to drugs or drug- abuse triggers provides the best chance for lasting recovery.

Find out for yourself by reaching out for help now if you or someone you love is fighting the disease of addiction.

Building a Drug-Free Environment for Teenagers

Teenagers fall prey to using illicit drugs because they are tempted to try these drugs. They believe that taking such drugs will help them attain pleasure and stay active. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the negative effects of using drugs on health and are putting their lives at risk.

Drug abuse is harmful for teenagers:

The harmful consequences of teen drug abuse include increased risk of getting addicted to drugs later in life. Since their body and mind is still in a developing stage, their health can seriously get affected by drug abuse.

Short-term consequences of drug abuse include blurred vision, nausea, glazed eyes, increased fatigue, sudden weight loss or weight gain, mood swings, etc. Long-term consequences include kidney, lung and liver failure, brain damage and high blood pressure leading to heart attack, stroke and death.

Most common drugs used by teens:

There are different types of illicit drugs that are generally used by teens. These drugs are very harmful and may lead to serious health problems. You need to know them to protect your teen from drug abuse.

Some commonly abused drugs include

•Alcohol
•Tobacco products
•Marijuana
•Cocaine
•Heroin
•Inhalants
•Ecstasy
•Prescription drugs
•Hallucinogens
•Methamphetamine

Parents and school/college authorities should keep an eye on teens:

Adolescence is a stage in life when significant changes in body and mind occur. Teens find it a pleasure in taking any kind of risk. If they are with the wrong crowd, they can get into drug abusing habit. Therefore, parents and school/college authorities should monitor their teens’/students’ behavior. If they notice that the teen is gradually changing his or her behavior, immediately take necessary action.

Some common behavioral changes

•Fall in academics
•Rebellious behavior
•Change in friends
•Change in appetite
•Lying to get away with things
•Neglecting physical appearance
•Unexplained need for money

Parents and school/college authorities should watch out for these changes. If they do notice any of these changes, they need to confirm the drug abuse. For this they can take help of drug testing kits. Once drug abuse is confirmed they need to speak to their children.

Initially, if parents get to know that their teen is abusing drugs, they should talk to him/her and explain the negative effects of drugs, because teens at a tender age are very rebellious. Parents, therefore, should handle the situation very carefully.

Even after the parents’ intervention, if the teen is adamant and does not want to mend his/her ways, it would be appropriate to take him/her either to a counselor or a rehab center.

Which Is the Most Difficult Drug to Detox From?

The hardest drugs to detox from depend on your perspective. If by “difficult” you’re referring to the severity of dangerous medical symptoms that occur during withdrawal, then the obvious answer is alcohol and benzodiazepine. Both of these drugs could kill you during detox. But if you’re referring to the severity of emotional, mental and spiritual symptoms that affect a person during drug detox, then most addicts will agree that opiates are the most difficult; especially opiates like Methadone that are designed to help wean an addict from other opiates like heroin.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Medical Reasons

The following substances prove especially challenging for many addicts to withdraw from considering the serious medical risks of doing so: Barbiturates, Benzodiazepines and Alcohol. The withdrawal process has been known to cause life-threatening complications in some people. This includes pulmonary and cardiovascular distress, respiratory depression, grand mal seizures, delirium tremens, hallucinations, coma and death.

Fortunately, death is rare but nevertheless the fact that it is possible creates a deterrent to treatment for some addicts. In most cases the risks of withdrawing from these substances can be mitigated by attending detox in a professional medical setting where healthcare practitioners and addiction experts can observe the detox process and respond immediately in case of any complications.

The Most Difficult Drugs to Withdraw/Detox From: Emotional Reasons

Thousands of years before the birth of Christ, the first annals of history were recorded by the ancient Sumerians. Translations of stone etchings show that these early peoples farmed and used opium extensively. In fact, their word for the plant can be translated to “Joy;” an apt description considering the widespread abuse of opium for the next several thousand years. By nearly all accounts, the euphoric high obtained by using opium is the highest feeling of joy most addicts have ever felt. But herein lays the problem.

When a person uses an opiate like heroin or Oxycontin to get high, they rapidly build up a tolerance not only to the drug, but also to euphoria. This means that it becomes more and more difficult to obtain the same euphoric effect with the same amount of opiates, so in nearly all cases users continually increase their dosages – some to the point of overdose and death. But in general the central nervous system becomes more and more desensitized to stimulus that would normally cause feeling of joy or euphoria. In fact, the opposite often occurs, resulting in a state known as Dysphoria; the opposite of euphoria.

Dysphoria is a severe problem for people who are detoxing/withdrawing from opiates because after the stop using the drug they often find it difficult or impossible to find joy or happiness in anything. This causes severe bouts of depression, anxiety, feelings of worthlessness and unexplained misery, terrible sadness and overwhelming inadequacy and loneliness; even in the presence of others. These emotional and spiritual symptoms drive many people in the early stages of recovery to return to drug use in order to self-medicate their general state of dysphoria.

Opiates Used to Treat Addiction to Other Opiates

Many addicts report and anecdotal evidence suggests that withdrawing and detoxing from opiates that are used to treat addiction to other opiates is a severe and extremely challenging process. The reasons for this are not understood, but it’s possible that because most opiate treatment drugs like methadone block the release of dopamine, addicts do not obtain a euphoric effect, even though they are spared the normal symptoms of withdrawal (essentially because methadone maintenance merely prolongs the addictive process.)

Support forums on group sharing often results in addicts advising each other NOT to go on an opiate maintenance program and to tough out the initial stages of a more “pure” withdrawal instead. Therefore, it could be argued that detoxing from opiate maintenance drugs is the most difficult type of detox to undergo.

The Kindling Effect

Regardless of the substance, the Kindling Effect can make detox and withdrawal an absolute nightmare; especially if the addict in question has relapsed repeatedly in their lifetime. The concept of Kindling is that with each progressive relapse and subsequent withdrawal, the brain and central nervous system become more highly sensitized (or highly desensitized) to drug abuse and the feelings it creates. As a result withdrawal symptoms are much more severe and potentially dangerous for these individuals than for others.

Ultimately, the most challenging detox is the one you’re about to go through. Taking that first step is extraordinarily difficult regardless of what drug you use and how long and hard you’ve been using it. But the reality of the situation is that left unabated the consequences of continued active addiction are in every instance more severe and potentially life-changing that the actual process of withdrawal and detox, which usually takes 10 days or less for most people.

If you or someone you love is fighting addiction, the most valuable weapon you can give them is action. Do it now; get help, get a free consultation, and take the first step before it’s too late to move forward at all.

Travel and Leisure Article Category

Many people like to stay in shape throughout the year. It may seem like it is easier to exercise in warmer months, but actually there are a number of fitness activities that you can participate in during the winter as well. Here are a few things you may want to consider the next time you are looking for a fun fitness activity.

Cross-Country Skiing

Cross-Country Skiing is a popular choice for a winter activity. This has been noted as one of the very best winter workouts. The reason is that it takes the entire body to maneuver through the snow in skis thus essentially creating a full body work-out. Also, because there are significant challenges to balance yourself as your ski, you are also using your muscles to ensure that you stay upright.

Hiking

Hiking is another great fitness activity that many people may categorize as only a possibility in the warmer season. This is simply not true. Hiking can be done in colder months, but special precautions should be taken such as dressing appropriately and packing plenty of food and water. Hiking is a great way to burn fat, stretch your limbs, and maintain your stamina during the winter. This is a great calorie burner while enjoying the great outdoors.

Tobogganing

Tobogganing is such a fun activity you may have never considered how it is actually a workout to do it. You basically ride on a sled down a slope hill and then repeat until you can’t stand any more fun. In this activity you have to work to balance yourself on the sled which does take some muscle usage and when you drag the sled back up the hill you slid down you are burning calories.

Ice Skating

Ice skating is a terrific way to keep in shape during the winter. This workout increases cardiovascular activity and can easily burn between 300-450 calories as you glide over the ice. You can increase you speed and burn more calories or simply glide along peacefully, the choice is yours. Who knew that doing something so fun could be exercise, too!

Snowball fights

Speaking of fun work outs, snow ball fights are definitely another option for exercise. You will automatically get a workout by running, ducking, and throwing that you won’t even realize because you will be having such a great time. There are many things your body will be doing as you twist and turn to avoid those snow balls. The best kind of workout is the kind that doesn’t seem like one!

There are a number of ways to stay fit during the summer that doesn’t require a boring workout routine. You can simply participate in one of the activities listed or even create your own way of having fun. Anything that gets your blood pumping and your heart racing is definitely a workout. Winter doesn’t have to be a time that you pack on some extra pounds, instead you can find a fitness activity that suits you and stay in shape all year around.