Addiction to prescription drugs is a public health issue that includes all sectors of society: from Canada’s First Peoples to its most recent immigrants, from Bay Street lawyers to the impoverished of the inner city, from middle school students to soccer moms. Canada has now surpassed the United States in per capita use of opioid painkillers.
My colleague, John Clague, from Oregon, writes about freedom from addiction by adopting a more spiritually based approach to life. The opening line is a link to a true story of one person’s path to this freedom.
“One day, about four weeks after our first appointment, my supply of tranquilizers was very low, and I felt desperate. The psychiatrist had already refused to give me more than my allotted amount. So I decided to visit some new doctors to see if I could get additional prescriptions. I planned to pretend that I had no other doctor, and that I’d never taken tranquilizers before.”
How does one become so desperate? No one expects to be, yet our dependence on, and abuse of, medication is growing. In fact, according to a study reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
“Prescription drug abuse has become the fastest-growing drug problem in the United States. Medication-related adverse outcomes in US hospitals and emergency departments increased 52% between 2004 and 2008.”
The curse of addiction challenges both the home and work environments. When temporary alleviation of symptoms turns chronic, the solution does not always lie in more drugs, but in paying more attention to spiritual needs. Many have found that a more spiritual lifestyle is better for health and an effective way to remain addiction-free.
Spiritual healer and Christian Science founder, Mary Baker Eddy, pointed out 150 years ago that: “The moral and spiritual facts of health, whispered into thought, produce very direct and marked effects on the body.” (SH 370:18-20)
For me, the moral and spiritual fact of health is understanding that my natural state is free of any attraction to something other than good. And, I find I can be free of drugs by opening my thought to the ever-present, health-giving, and loving Divine that is always with me.
Finding a more spiritual approach to life offers a path to freedom and natural health for anyone who finds themselves too dependent on prescription drugs.