Healing of drug addiction of many years' duration

A. M. (42), Wels (Austria)

A. M. (42), Wels (Österreich)

"Don't you want to have a smoke, too?" It was an invitation that would have disastrous consequences for my later life. I had just turned 17, was very shy, and had no self confidence at all, when my then boyfriend - later my husband - and I were invited by an acquaintance to have a joint (hashish cigarette). This kind invitation from so-called "friends" was followed by more of the same, which we happily accepted. The trap was set, and we walked right into it, just like so many before and after us. Just a short time later, we began to buy hashish ourselves, which, in the beginning, we used only on weekends.

The addiction insidiously takes over

After about two or three months, we were already smoking every evening, and after about six months we were also smoking during the day. Even when I went to work, I never left the house "sober". It wasn't so easy to know how many grams I was using each day, because I seldom smoked alone. I assume it was about three grams, probably more. Consuming hashish became a permanent part of our lives. I was able to conceal the outer signs of drug consumption quite well by using eye drops to reduce the redness.

The range of drugs expands

The spectrum of stupefying substances is gigantic, and I explored all the possibilities. I was soon taking whatever I could get my hands on: LSD, speed, cocaine, hallucinogenic mushrooms, pills (Lexotanil, Rohypnol, etc.), alcohol - sometimes I would take a few pills together with tequila and beer until I couldn’t feel anything any more - and naturally, heroin!

When I think back, I wasn't sober a single day. It all happened so insidiously - after all, all of our friends also took drugs. Back then, I thought I still had it under control, but that was not the case at all. When I was 29, my husband died in a car accident.

I lost my inner hold on things

From then on, things really went downhill. I lost my grip on life and was not capable of holding down a regular job. To deaden the emotional pain, and to forget, I began to shoot heroin as soon as I got up on in the morning. The six years that followed were the worst of my life. I used one to two grams of heroin daily, depending on the quality, and I used anything else I could get my hands on at the time.

Without heroin I wasn't able to do anything at all. I couldn't eat or drink. Not even a sip of water would stay in my stomach, and I also had vomiting, diarrhoea, shivering, cramps, and cold and pain in my entire body. It was so bad that I just wanted to die. Then, when I’d take heroin again, all the pain would disappear, I could eat and drink again, and I would feel good.

There was also the fear of the police, because it things wouldn't work unless we were dealing drugs. I sold all my valuables and owed the bank a lot of money. At 5' 6" tall, I weighed only 99 pounds and was a physical wreck.

Sometimes I just wanted to die

To spare my parents the pain my appearance would have caused them, I broke off contact with my family. At that time, I had no contact with other "normal" people. Nevertheless, my parents and my family never gave up. My mother told me later that she had always prayed for me throughout the years. My sister and her husband often tried to help me quit, but I never succeeded.

With the help of a doctor my mother knew, I went to a hospital for withdrawal four times. There I was given 10 x 120 mg Codidol tablets every 12 hours to help with the physical withdrawal.

In spite of the medication, I had pain all over my body, and it was impossible for me to sleep I wasn't even able to get through the physical withdrawal one single time. Therefore, I had a friend bring me heroin to me at the hospital. And so I went home again every time without any real improvement. Often I didn't have any more money for heroin, so I ate poppy seed capsules and all kinds of things to get through the physical withdrawal. At this time I often just wanted to die and simply didn't know any way out.

A flyer shows the way

When I came to the Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends, I had been addicted to drugs for 18 years, and had spent more than seven of them firmly in the grip of heroin. At a doctor's office I found a flyer with an invitation to a Medical Lecture. My brother came with me, and even then I was not at all sober.

Afterward, while driving home with my brother, I received the thought, “Now you're going to stop smoking hashish!” My brother didn't believe me, as I had already said that all too often. At that moment, I wasn't thinking of about hard drugs such as heroin at all. But from that evening on ‒ it was October 22, 1998 ‒ until today, in June of 2006, I have never again used heroin, cocaine, speed, etc. Astonishingly, I had no withdrawal symptoms of any kind. The craving for drugs was simply gone. After about two months, I did start smoking hashish again for two weeks, but then that, too, was over for good.

Since November of the same year, I have been regularly attending the community hours and following the teaching of Bruno Gröning. I have take great joy in life again and once again have very good contact with my family, too. Every morning I feel happy to still be alive. My weight has gotten back to normal, and I am able to hold down a job again. Of the 20 "friends" I had while I was addicted to drugs, only five are still alive. Therefore, I can really appreciate the fact that I am able to live a normal, healthy life.

Psychologist's commentary

According to her own statement, Ms. M. used illegal drugs for 18 years, and for seven of them, she was highly dependent on heroin. It began when she was 17 with the gateway drug, hashish (cannabis), which she very quickly began consuming regularly. Then she started using LSD, speed, cocaine, heroin, and hallucinogenic mushrooms, as well as different psychoactive medications in combination with alcohol. After the death of her husband, Ms. M. completely lost control of her drug use and became severely addicted to heroin (one to two grams per day).

Time and again, the usual severe symptoms of withdrawal from opiates (vomiting, diarrhoea, shivering, etc.) prevented successful physical detoxification. Even during four hospital stays, she was unable to get through withdrawal. After 18 years of intensive drug consumption, Ms. M. was a physical wreck, in debt, and involved in drug-related crime.

After a Medical Lecture of the Bruno Gröning Circle of Friends on October 22, 1998, in Wels, Austria, she spontaneously became free of all drugs, without any withdrawal symptoms. This is still the case today, in June of 2006. Her life is back in order.

From a psychologist's standpoint, a spontaneous healing such as this is neither explicable nor comprehensible. In over 90% of cases, long-term drug addicts undergo a course of detoxification followed by therapy, only to relapse within two years at the latest. Ms. M., on the other hand, had never been able to complete a withdrawal program, let alone undergo treatment. This spontaneous healing seems like a miracle to me.

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