Drug addiction continues to be a very serious problem, not just in the music world, but globally. The reaction to drug addiction can lead to antisocial behavior, personality changes, physical and sociological damage, or even worse, death.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month and a great time to take stock of how you manage your own mental health, the role you can play in developing your mental health conditioning, and the practices you can adopt to maintain a healthy outlook. mental. With that in mind, we reached out to Eva Marie of Eva Under Fire, who, when not fronting her up-and-coming rock band, was licensed as an outpatient psychotherapist, working primarily in the areas of anxiety, depression, grief and substance abuse. recovery.
Given her expertise in these areas, Eva has graciously agreed to write this Loudwire column throughout Mental Health Awareness Month, highlighting specific mental health issues and providing some tips on how you can help. to deal with each. In this article, Eva takes a closer look at drug addiction, why it can be so dangerous, and the ways you can help.
Partying and concerts go hand in hand, don’t they? Before, it was drugs, sex and rock’n’roll. Now it’s a match made in hell.
In the wake of yet another devastating loss in the music community (RIP Taylor Hawkins), I’m faced with a hard truth: we lose too many lives to overdose.
Have party drugs become more dangerous? Are people too insensitive to the severity of drug use? Is there more to learn about the full scope of abuse, abuse and addiction in its own right? The answer to all of these questions is YES.
As a musician, therapist, and someone who loved people plagued by addiction (RIP Dad), my heart breaks for those who fight this demon, but it also SCREAMS for answers! How to learn to better support the recovery? What happens to change the brain so completely? I would like to share with you a few things that I have learned. Here is the truth about drug addiction.
Occasional use can very quickly turn into a real addiction. Our brain loves patterns. That’s why it’s so hard to break even bad habits. In addition to this, when addictive substances are introduced, a chemical change occurs in the brain. Suddenly, the drug must be present in the body for the brain to produce natural pleasure chemicals. Without it, the person finds it difficult to find pleasure in anything else. They have a brain disease. Reversible and curable yes, but difficult to fight.
Recovery is possible, but it takes time for the brain to recalibrate. Decision making is also affected. Think of all the “Friends don’t let friends drive drunk” signs, then amplify that risk by 1,000 if your friend isn’t just an “occasional drinker.” The risk increases a million times if the drug is synthetic and not from a store or dispensary: pills, cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine, even marijuana from an unknown source. Drugs aren’t always enjoyable when used together, especially if fentanyl is accidentally involved.
Have you ever wondered why these people don’t just stop using drugs? If you visit an inpatient recovery center, the first thing they will have you watch is an informational video about the effects of addiction on the brain. They want families to understand that your loved one is currently unable to make good decisions. They don’t stop because they can’t. The drugs are in the driver’s seat.
For me, it was like watching my person turn into a zombie. They walked and talked like me, but they didn’t make decisions like me and that made them dangerous. I couldn’t trust them anymore like I used to. The trauma of that experience stays with me. If you are curiously morbid to know more about my personal experience or if you unfortunately identify yourself and need some good music to shout, you can listen to the songs “Heroin)” and “Comatose” by Eva under fire. I said it all in my lyrics.
Good news. There are ways to help!!!
1. If someone you love is buying from street vendors and they’re not ready to “stop partying”, encourage them to test their drugs! often carry test strips. You can Google how to test your medications and save a life from a possible fentanyl overdose.
Fentanyl has somehow infiltrated the street market and its very presence is accidentally killing thousands of people. Street vendors are not FDA approved so I don’t know how they clean their workspace. Therefore, “bad batches” can be found anywhere. Originally used to “increase the high for a cheaper price”, fentanyl is 50 times stronger than pure heroin, and it only takes a tiny amount to kill it. Pour 6 grains of table salt on your work surface. It’s a lethal dose of fentanyl.
2. There are different types of recovery programs. Complete abstinence (NA, AA) is necessary in many cases but not in all. Problematic use or abuse may look different from addiction.
Know someone who parties too hard or too often? Someone who is out of prescribed medication before the next refill? Drinks or drinks to deal with stressful or negative situations? SMART recovery can help: https://www.smartrecovery.org.
Some people find recovery through individual psychotherapy and choose not to participate in a recovery program or community. But if they’re struggling hour by hour or with daily use, a community is super helpful for constant support.
3. Talk about uncomfortable things. Ask tough questions. Let the people around you know you’re worried and care enough to ask. About their money. About their time. How sad or nervous they seem. Or about the last time you saw them at that party and they were completely nuts.
Drug addiction is usually born out of an individual’s negative emotional experience as a coping strategy. Medicine becomes a friend. But drugs are liars and we don’t need liars as friends. We need real friends. Especially when you get lost. Musicians are particularly sensitive. Often isolated from our support systems for long periods of time while on tour, it’s easy to doubt your self-esteem and intrusive thoughts can start to take over. Open, honest, and caring (even if firm but caring) communication can be very helpful.
We all need help sometimes. Addiction is often resistant to treatment, but once purged, the brain can heal and we can find ourselves. I know this because someone I love lost their fight and I’m still heartbroken. But my heart is healing because two more of my loves have found their way home. #wedorecover
Lots of love,
Hope Not Handcuffs: https://www.familiesagainstnarcotics.org/hopenohandcuffs
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA): https://www.aa.org
Narcotics Anonymous (NA): https://na.org
Addiction and Mental Health Services Administration: https://www.samhsa.gov
Our thanks to Eva Marie of Eva Under Fire for her series of Loudwire columns for Mental Health Awareness Month. The band’s song “Unstoppable” from their album “Love, Drugs & Misery” is available now and you can grab it and find the band’s tour information via their website.
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