You may have noticed lots of headlines lately about the rise of prescription drugs – in particular, opioid painkillers – as a major cause of addiction and death by overdose.
Pain has become the most common reason that people see doctors. And, over the past decade, opioids have been the drug of choice; but this course of treatment has come with undesired side effects such as addiction, dependency and, more recently, a growing death toll.
The conundrum continues amid the current controversy swirling around in the news over the pros and cons of using medical marijuana instead of opioids for treating pain conditions.
But are prescription drugs and more regulations to control them the only solution to ending the pain and suffering millions experience every day? They are not. Promising solutions, based on paying attention to the emotional as well as the physical needs of patients, are on the rise. One promising therapy has to do with exploring the role love plays, not only in the patient’s life but also in the healing process.
If studies show that something as simple as a hug can relieve pain and stress (and they do), then consider the effect an unlimited, universal source of love might have on ending pain and enabling a drug-free life.
The Scriptural promise “God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline” provides a practical way to reframe our view of health. Better understanding this promise can change health fears to the liberalizing realization that each of us is governed by a divine Love – expressed through greater joy, health and harmony.
Of course no one takes doctor-prescribed painkillers with the intention of getting addicted. It can happen through a series of innocuous events, like the experience of my friend, Ray, who came about it really by accident.
Ray had enjoyed more than 4 decades of good health when he was found unconscious on his kitchen floor and taken to hospital. Taking medication had never been part of his health regimen; however, he felt that the intentions of the medical personnel were sincere when it was strongly suggested – upon discharge – that he continue with the prescription painkillers to enable his complete recovery. This was the beginning of his addiction.
Ray attributed his decades of good health to his regular study of the Bible along with Science and Health, a textbook on healing through prayer. To find freedom from the addiction, he studied these books more deeply. This sentence stood out to him: “The effect of this Science is to stir the human mind to a change of base on which it may yield to the harmony of the divine Mind.”
He realized that it was a thought-shift that was needed rather than a chemical adjustment. His viewpoint changed from a human caught in the cycle of addiction to yielding to the idea that he was a beloved child of a loving God. He realized that a higher power was in charge of his life, had never left him, and would continue to keep him in perfect health. Soon the addiction and all pain was gone. His strength and health returned.
The relentless cycle of pain and drug dependency can be broken. Ray’s experience is practical evidence of that.
This article was published in various online Metroland media papers such as Kingston Region