Healing from drug dependence (mixed consumption)

S. E. (25), Berlin (Germany)

In 1993 I began to smoke cigarettes. Six months later I was already smoking a pack every two days. Three months later, barely 16 years old, I was already consuming hashish and marijuana. I did this irregularly at first and also only on weekends. I was living with my parents at the time and it was shortly before my school graduation. These were the reasons I was very careful; I didn’t want anyone to notice anything. On weekends I usually stayed with friends and smoked two or three joints there. I thought I would be missing something if I didn’t smoke hashish with the others and anyway everyone did it. Also the inner emptiness disappeared and all my problems went away. After three or four weeks I discovered that it was possible to inhale the drugs. That way less drug was needed but the effect was even stronger.

In the summer of 1994 I left secondary school after completing year ten. Then in the autumn of 1994 I began a three-year apprenticeship. Until October 1995 my consumption remained constant. Until then I still went home every day. But then I changed my apprenticeship to a different place and only came home on the weekends. As a result, my consumption habits changed. I then smoked daily - at least one or two joints a day. That’s about half a gram of hashish. It helped relieve stress. I could sleep better and the inner emptiness disappeared. The unpleasant side-effects were a big appetite for all forms sweets and an increasing craving for hashish and marijuana. Despite everything, I had a general sense of well being.

More and more drugs were added

In 1997 I moved to Berlin and successfully completed my apprenticeship there in the summer. I went on working for about another three months, but after that I didn’t feel like working anymore. I didn’t want to be tied down by working hours or any other commitments. I gradually got to know more and more people who also took drugs. I tried out different things such as hash milk, hash cookies and various inhalation devices. And more and more drugs. At the end of 1997 I also took speed to stay awake at parties. At the start I took ½ gram on the weekend. The hashish consumption increased quite a bit to two grams a day.

I moved into a commune with friends, where the amount of speed increased through frequency of usage. At the end of 1997 / beginning of 1998 I started taking ecstasy as well. I would take it before, during and after parties (one or two pills a night). At the same time I also began to take LSD. I would take one or two biscuits sprinkled with LSD per night. In early 1998 cocaine and crack were added to this. But I only took these sporadically according to availability. In the summer of 1998 everything came to a head. I was already taking speed to wake up and get a clear head. I needed about two or three grams a week, which I snuffed up my nose. Only then would I be awake. The first people would turn up at noon, climbing through the window because we lived on the ground floor. Every day we would talk nonsense, play Play-Station, watch videos and smoke joints as well. We roamed around the city, went to parties and concerts. I was always with others, never alone. My consumption was dependent on my finances. I got unemployment benefits, a housing subsidy and sometimes something from my parents. We would throw our money into a jar. First the rent and electricity would be paid. Whatever was left over was spent on drugs. Food and clothing were stolen several times. This situation was OK for me. I was also partly outside of myself-I didn’t care much about my body.

Then, sometime in the summer of 1998 I went home to my parents. I weighed 38 kilos. Although I saw myself as physically and emotionally dependent, it didn’t bother me.

My mother noticed how much I had changed physically and also in personality. I was aggressive, nervous, indifferent, listless, silly and completely done-in. I felt empty and burnt-out again. I no longer had any appetite and sometimes also needed to be alone. That was never possible because there were always people around me. I then soon moved out and had my own little flat. From that point on, my drug consumption diminished somewhat. I gave up coke and crack completely because it was too expensive, but went on taking all the others regularly. I had to get used to being alone sometimes and also to sleep alone. I had big problems with this.

I became curious and wanted to find the ‘catch’

My mother had been in the Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends since January 1998 and talked about it continually. She was suddenly healthy and no longer so worried about me. I wanted to know how she had got there and what the ‘catch’ was. I became curious and for this reason alone, I let myself be talked into an introduction to the teaching of Bruno Gröning. I listened carefully to find the ‘catch’, but didn’t find it.

I didn’t feel anything at the introduction because I was so busy trying to find the ‘catch’. Then I later went a youth meeting, still in the hope of finding something out. At some point during this community hour I must have stopped looking. Suddenly I sensed an unusual warmth and a strange tingling in my hands. When I left the room after it was over, the emptiness that I had more or less continually felt before seemed to have lessened. I went irregularly to the community hours.

The drug consumption kept on diminishing

In early 1999 the LSD and ecstasy dropped away entirely as I was going to very few parties. I no longer had any need for the loud music, the crowds of people and all the action. LSD and Ecstasy are typical party drugs and therefore weren’t necessary. From that point on I only took speed but irregularly and overall less. I still smoked joints.

The drug consumption diminished on its own; I didn’t even notice it. From the summer of 1999 on I no longer craved speed and simply forgot about it. I didn’t attach any importance to it and since then haven’t taken it again. Now and then I did einstellen* at home and also then had a nice job in the theatre. I felt good there and finally saw meaning in what I was doing. By then only the joints and cigarettes were left. These got less and less and on New Year’s Eve 1999 I smoked joints and cigarettes for the last time. Not until March 2000 did I notice that it had all disappeared.

Free without withdrawal symptoms

I had no withdrawal symptoms of any kind and learned for the first time that my parents and many dear friends had been doing einstellen for me since February of 1998. Since then I have been finally drug-free. I weigh 45 kilos at a height of 150 cm (ca. 5 feet), completely normal again. I can be alone again and sleep well and peacefully again. I have completely broken off contact with the old ‘friends’. I now get along well again with my parents and a real friendship has developed with them.

Psychologist’s comment:

Over a three-year period, Ms. E. consumed drugs on a daily basis; mainly hashish and marijuana (cannabis) and the stimulant, speed. As a result of forming a tolerance, her consumption steadily increased to 2 g per day. Added to that she took ecstasy, LSD and cocaine. Her whole life revolved around the drugs themselves, sourcing of the drugs and the drug environment.

In this way, Ms. E. meets all the criteria for a severe drug addiction at that time, as she was physically dependent on the psychotropic effect of the drugs as well as psychologically on the whole drug environment.

Within 15 months of her introduction into the teaching of Bruno Gröning, her whole drug consumption went down to down to zero, and she succeeded in separating from the former drug environment. This course of events and the ease in relinquishing the drugs is psychologically very unusual. The deciding factor in attaining freedom from all drugs must be seen in the absorption of the Heilstrom according to the teaching of Bruno Gröning.

B. L., psychologist


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