Healing Stories: Opiate Overdose. The Four Keys To Turn the Epidemic Around
Over 125 people die every day in the US from opiate overdose. From heroin to prescription drugs like vicodin, oxycodone, roxycodone and more. The tragedy continues in a country that has the resources to turn this problem around.
For the past 28 years, number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and holistic addiction recovery coach David Essel has helped many people addicted to opiates turn the corner to lead a drug free existence. Is it easy? No, but it is worth the effort’s that David talks about below.
The four key ingredients to turn the opiate addiction tragedies around…
” Over 25 years ago I started to work as a holistic addiction recovery coach in the world of addiction and recovery. From alcohol, to street drugs, to prescription drugs, to food, sex, spending and so much more. But the one drug that is the most brutally difficult to watch someone go through withdrawl from has to be without a doubt opiates.
I have had multiple clients sit in my office, or let me repeat that, lay on the floor in my office during our sessions for the first 30 minutes in a fetal position, shaking, sweating and experiencing dry heaves.
It is been so sad to watch them for 30 straight minutes in this extreme state of pain, then to slowly rise, sit on the couch and do their best to begin the session of the day. It’s not easy for them, nor has it been easy for me to watch them riddled in pain.
But on the flipside, I have helped many many of these addicts get totally clean, and stay clean, through the points below that I think are crucial if we want to try to turn this epidemic around.
But first, how did we get in the situation to begin with? What has really caused this incredible addiction to opiates in our society? In the August 4 2017 edition of USA today, Dr. Marty Makary, a professor of surgery and health policy at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, claimed that physicians are the root cause of this addiction to opiates.
Interesting isn’t it? That one of the leading physicians in America will call his profession out as the major cause of opiate addiction. And how is that?
In his own words he talks about over prescribing, in his practice, opioid prescriptions for a number of years. “Take C-sections. One of the most common operations paid for by Medicaid tax dollars. Some doctors appropriately prescribe 5 to 10 opioid tablets after the procedure, in combination with non opioid meds as recommended by the American Pain Society. While other doctors are still doing what I did for years. Give every patient a bottle of 30 to 60 highly addictive opioid tablets. We need to take away the matches not put out the fires.” That is from one of our leading doctors in society today.
So here are four keys I think we really need to look at in order to turn this epidemic around:
Number one. Medications and supplements to help in the withdrawal process. In the image I painted above, watching someone go through days upon days of intense withdrawl symptoms due to opiate addiction, we have found that there’s a variety of products available some medical, some over the counter, to help individuals go through, and work through the withdrawal phase.
The most well-known is the pharmaceutical called Suboxone, which must be prescribed by a physician, and if done correctly, can help decrease the cravings for the opiates as well as decrease the withdrawl symptoms my clients go through.
But there’s a catch. In my experience, I’ve seen way too many clients come in who are addicted to Suboxone. The doctors, whether they knew it or not, are having these individuals on long term use of Suboxone which in my professional opinion is uncalled for. Not necessary. But when they come in, and they’ve been on Suboxone for three, four, or five years… They start to feel both emotionally and physically dependent upon the drug. They’re afraid if they go off it they will not only experience withdrawal but they will start craving again the opiates that they been trying to get away from.
My advice? I think physicians should be responsible in the prescribing of Suboxone, because it does work, but only for a 3 to 6 month period of time where they should be working with their clients weaning them off this very strong pharmaceutical drug.
The other supplements that we use in my practice, since I am not a physician, would be the amino acid DLPA, or DL – phenylalanine, Tyrosine as well as the herbal supplement Kratom.
In our practice we have seen the combination use of these supplements, have helped people to decrease their mental and physical cravings for opiates, and begin to see that they can lead a life without these highly addictive and destructive drugs.
One of my clients, a 30 year on and off opiate addict, could not believe the power of DLPA. He mentioned to me many times during our months of working together that he never thought he would be able to walk away from these powerful drugs but the supplement DLPA, which affects mood and pain regulation, is the answer he had been looking for.
But the supplements are not miracle workers. They are just one of the many steps we can take to help clients get off the opiate addiction cycle.
Number two. In my practice, the number one cause of all types of addiction, is the fact that we don’t know how to deal with emotions in society today. So let’s take someone who had surgery, they were prescribed opiates for their recovery, but then they found that not only did the opiate take away their pain, but it took away boredom, anxiety, nervousness, and even depression after surgery.
So once they are “healed”, and they no longer have access to their own prescription, withdrawl sets in. But, if they had learned as we teach in our holistic addiction recovery program, how to deal with the emotions of boredom, anxiety, stress from all areas of life, and they were weaned off the opiates appropriately with Suboxone, DLPA etc.… We give them a much better chance of learning how to live life drug-free.
Number three. Medical and emotional support versus law enforcement. A recent article, September 24, New York Times, described the incredible powerful response the country of Portugal has had in dealing with opiate addiction and overdose. Once they decriminalized opiates and cocaine use, and instead put their health department system in charge of dealing with opiate addicts, the number of overdose deaths dropped dramatically in this country. We need to follow their lead. We don’t need more policeman on the street. We don’t need more incarceration. We need a very viable approach to mental health and addiction withdrawal through our health departments not through law enforcement.
Number four. Education. This is a tough one. Most of the addicts I’ve worked with had no idea what they were heading into when they started playing around with opiates. There is not one addict I’ve ever worked with who said they knew at some point they’d be injecting heroin in their arms. There needs to be a greater amount of education, once again by our health department, in our school systems, and universities. Not just warning about the dangers of opiate use, but educating people on the correct use of opiates for pain relief.
And this goes for doctors as well. With the quote above out of USA today, I think every doctor in America needs to take an educational course on opiates, looking at the number of prescribed pills per health challenge, and making sure that they’re not writing prescriptions to keep patients happy, but writing prescriptions in order to keep people from being addicted.
In our holistic addiction recovery program we also teach people how to keep their blood sugar levels normalize through diet, so that they don’t hit the bottoms, lack of energy where they reach out for opiates to lift their moods. We also go over spiritual practices, emotional practices, cognitive behavioral therapy techniques, exercise to release endorphins in the brain so that these individuals have a chance to become healthy, and free of addiction for the rest of their life.
One of my clients wives called me several weeks ago after her husband had been clean through our program from his opiate addiction for four months. She was almost crying on the phone. She thanked me for bringing her husband back. Someone she had not “seen” in 20 years. To me, working as hard as we do on education, and holistic addiction recovery approaches, this call made it all worthwhile.”
For more information on how David can help you with any addiction issues please click here
Healing Stories: Overcoming the Affair – The Four Keys to Reclaim Love
Almost everyone that enters into a romantic love relationship says that if their partner were ever to have an affair the relationship is dead. Over. Gone.
But is that really the case? Millions of people who face the prognosis of an affair will choose to try to save the relationship versus end it.
Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel has helped hundreds of couples since 1990 reclaim love after an affair. But he’s also seen an equal number that during their attempt to save the relationship, actually sabotage it.
“For those of us who have been on the receiving end, or the giving end of an affair, the stress is off the charts. Do I want to stay with them? Are they worthy of me bringing them back into my heart? If you’re the one who cheated, you may be thinking very similar thoughts. In other words, there are no winners when it comes to an affair.
But I can tell you that there’s some really important keys to follow if you want to try to save a relationship after an affair. Here they are:
Number one: Whoever cheated must become more humble and vulnerable than they’ve ever been in their life. With my clients in this position I tell them that they’re going to have to basically be on their knees, asking for forgiveness, and be willing to do almost anything their partner asks to prove their serious about reclaiming the relationship.
This takes an immense amount of humility. And it’s not just doing this for 30 or 60 days, in my practice as a counselor, I’ve seen that it takes up to 365 days in a row of someone truly being humbled in order for their partner to trust them once again.
Number two: Now this next step is brutal. It’s for the person who did not cheat. After I work with this individual for about four weeks I ask them to get serious. To look within and see what role they had in the affair. Of course many times at first they balk. They claim they did nothing. But after deeper introspection, and answering the questions that we’ve created for people in this situation, 100% of the time they see a role they played in the affair.
They understand that they shut down in bed for six months which encouraged their partner to seek something from the outside world. Or they became highly passive aggressive in the relationship. Or they became workaholics, alcoholics, foodaholics. In other words they picked up an addiction so they didn’t have to spend time with their partner. Once they see the reality of their role the relationship has a much better chance to heal.
Number three: Going back to the person who cheated. I have them do an exercise where they write down all the reasons why they strayed from the relationship. Were they bored? Did they have deep resentments? Was there unresolved rage or anger at their partner? Were they simply following the role model in childhood, or mom or dad who had an affair? Were they afraid of speaking openly? Were they afraid of communicating their true feelings because they thought they might get shut down?
When the person who cheated goes through and answers all of these questions it starts to bring great insight for me as a counselor as to what we have to do to help the couple reclaim their love.
Number four: Forgiveness. The last step I take each of these individuals separately through is forgiveness. For the person who cheated, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves for the error they made. For the person who did not cheat, I take them through a series of exercises to forgive themselves as well for what they did that may have encouraged their partner to look outside of the relationship for validation.
I will give two separate examples of couples I’ve worked with after an affair. One who was successful, and the other was not.
The successful couple. They did everything I mentioned above with 100% energy. Within 365 days of working with them individually they were able to reclaim their love, forgive themselves, forgive each other, that was 17 years ago and today their love is stronger than ever.
The unsuccessful couple. In this case, the husband who cheated, did everything I asked of him to reclaim the relationship. As I worked with him it was amazing to see the transformation of humility. But on the other hand, his wife never took him off of the cross. She continued to berate him. Even after nine months of him doing everything that she wanted him to do to prove he would never cheat again she constantly reminded him of what a loser he was. That she would never trust him. At that time in the counseling I let the wife go. I told her that I couldn’t work with her if she wasn’t willing to look at her role and to start the process of forgiveness.
I continued to work with the husband, but he had a very tough road to go through. Unfortunately, I don’t see this relationship healing unless the woman becomes extremely humble, vulnerable, and tries to risk the concept of forgiveness.
Millions of couples will go through this very same experience and the ones who heal will find a deeper love than they’ve ever experienced with each other in the past.”
If you need help in your relationship, before an affair happens, or after one occurs, reach out to David at www.davidessel.com
To read more stories like this and to find out how David can help you see David’s Blog
Healing Stories: Is karma absolute? A different look at a long held philosophy.
For years now people have talked about Karma as if it’s an absolute law of the universe. We reap what we sow. What goes around comes around. But is it true?
Number one best-selling author, counselor, life coach and radio host David Essel used to preach for years about the power of Karma. That if you mistreated someone it was coming back to you. That if you miss handled your money you would always be financially strapped. That if you gossiped about someone other people would absolutely gossip about you.
But times change as David explained below.
“For more years than I can remember I used to always say to people that if they are in a tough relationship it was because they mistreated someone in the past. Or if they were struggling financially it was because they had very little respect for money. In other words we reap what we sow. Was this absolute statement a lie?
Times have changed. And after 27 years as a counselor and life coach I’ve come to realize that karma may not be absolute at all. Isn’t that fascinating?
Many times on social media you’ll see people say, after someone gets dumped in a relationship, “don’t worry, Karma will bite them in the ass.” But I’ve seen quite the opposite.
Let me explain.
I’ve worked with people who had affairs on their partner and yet slept like a baby every night. They didn’t suffer the consequences that other people suffer. And these weren’t psychotic individuals. They were every day people who just had decided that at this time in a relationship they wanted to also be with someone else. After working with them for six months or longer there were no ramifications to their acts. When they would return five or six years later and I would ask them about how the last number of years went in the relationship they would be honest with me and say we haven’t had any problems at all.
But if Karma was absolute, as we’ve been taught, they should have suffered in someway. There should’ve been chaos and drama in their minds that created guilt and shame that would not allow them to sleep like babies at night.
I worked with a man who had stolen a large amount of money from his boyfriend. When his boyfriend found out he ended the relationship. But he wasn’t that distraught at all because he said it was time to move on anyway. He couldn’t take him to court, because he had spent all the money and had none. So when I asked him if he felt Karma was going to come back and bite him in the butt he replied no. It’s just life.
Four years later he came back to work with me on a totally different topic and I asked him if there were any ramifications from taking the money from his previous boyfriend. Answer? Not at all. Everything has been great. My finances are awesome, my new relationship is great as well.
I’ve also worked with people who have been very unjust and mean-spirited towards others. And they don’t think anything about it. And when I go into detail about their current business and friendships with people who may be treating them the way they treat others, often times the answer is that they are fine. That they’re not having any chaos and drama in any of their relationships.
Now this article is not condoning people to cheat on others, steal from others, or mistreat others. The whole purpose is many times we take these “laws of life” as absolute and they may not be. So what’s the take away from the concept that Karma may not be absolute? We need to quit wasting our time saying things like “they’ve got it coming. Karma is a bitch.”
That actually puts us in a negative state of mind. Wishing ill on another person is not healthy for us and I doubt if it’s going to have any effect on them, but it truly takes our energy away from living a positive life.
I think as a society we need to drop this whole thing about “people are going to get there payback, someone is going to screw around on them, someone is going to steal from them”. Because as I just mentioned it takes away from us being positive and progressive individuals.
If Karma was absolutely true then how do we explain when terrible things happen to great people?
A number of years ago I worked with a woman who was an absolute saint on earth. She was an individual who put everyone else in front of her. Almost mother Theresa like and made a huge difference in this world.
And when she was 50 she was brutally raped and left for dead.
If Karma was absolute we would have to say that she called this upon herself. That she must’ve done something so terrible. What goes around comes around and that she got paid back by being brutally raped. Do you see what I’m saying when I tell you that Karma is not absolute?
And there’s millions of more stories of clients I’ve worked with over the last 27 years that have faced great, huge, tragedies that had nothing to do with their past action. “.
You can read more stories like this on David’s Blog
Be careful of what you believe in. Many of the old “laws of the universe”, just like the law of attraction, or statements like “whatever you believe you can achieve”, are not 100% factual either. Be careful. Be selective. Just because famous motivational speakers have told us that Karma is absolute does not mean it is at all.”
If you would like more information on all the coaching and counseling David Essel offers you can find it here.