Lecture Discussion 1: Drugs
I was interested to learn more about drugs and drug addiction due to the fact that I’m studying to be a counselor and will probably have clients who struggle with it. Last spring, I interned at an intensive outpatient clinic and saw countless struggling with drug addiction and mental illness. There, we called it co-occurring and had a group dedicated to discussing it. A lot of those recovering had been addicted to the psychoactive drug of cocaine. They would tell stories about how they would get so high for days that they would not eat or sleep. I could not imagine the damage that does to your body. It is also interesting to acknowledge that caffeine is in the same psychoactive category, since it is something I and so many others consume every day.
Additionally, many of the clients were addicted to alcohol and nicotine. In fact, the majority of those “clean” from drugs like cocaine and heroin took frequent smoke breaks at the clinic. Obviously, no one should smoke cigarettes, but I completely understand how they used it as a coping mechanism to stay off harder drugs. Also, some clients also used cannabis, or medical marijuana, to help with their anxiety. One client was recovering from being addicted to cocaine and was terrified to try medical marijuana because they did not want to become addicted to a drug again and potentially relapse. However, they reported feeling great using it and that it really helped with their anxiety. It also did not make them want to relapse on cocaine. Overall, it is really sad when someone is addicted to drugs, but I think the main takeaway should be that drugs as a whole are not “good” or “bad” and that a lot of gray area exists.