Many of my patients have asked me, ‘Now that I have stopped using drugs, can I drink alcohol, since it’s not a drug?’
Because this particular question has become too common, it got me thinking about the best and easiest way to answer it thoroughly.
A couple of days later, with still no solution to my common question problem, I went shopping then I bought a pineapple because my doctor had told me earlier to take a lot of fruits since I was lacking that in my diet. At home, I thoroughly washed the pineapple, peeled it, chopped it into cubes; which are how I like my pineapple and had some before my main meal.
A few hours later, I started having severe stomach ache, it was so bad I could not move for a while, when it got a little better, I went to the hospital.
During my interview with the doctor she asked, ‘what did you eat?’ ‘Fruits and rice, I said.’ ‘What sorts of fruit?’ she asked. I said pineapple. She took her focus off my folder, stared at my face and shook her head. Then I remembered immediately, she had told me several times not to eat pineapples and oranges. Then she reminded me again, “’you are allergic to that fruit, it will hurt you badly if you keep eating it’.
It was really funny how I remembered that I was not supposed to eat oranges but I always forgot that pineapples were not good for me. Truth be told, I have never liked oranges but I love pineapples. I love them so much!
This got me thinking about the question I have been trying to answer. ‘How can somebody who has used drugs and alcohol for such a long time, learn to live without it?’ Despite all the obvious negative consequences of drug use, it can also not be denied that drugs give certain positive effects to those who use them.
Most people start using drugs because they need it to feel better (those suffering from depression, anxiety, stress, pain); nobody ever plans to become addicted to drugs. Unfortunately, once they become dependent on the drug because of the actions that it performs in the brain, it becomes very difficult to stop using without professional help and social support.
My pineapple experience made it clear to me that, not everything we ‘love’ because of how it makes us feel or for whatever reason is good for us. We are ALLERGIC to some of them and if we do not stop taking them, they will hurt us badly.
Drugs may make us feel good, happy, confident, strong, aroused, alert, relaxed, have clarity of thought and help us do so many things that we feel we may not be able to do. But we need to believe that, we are allergic to them, they will hurt us badly if we do not stop running after them. They will eventually stop giving us all those ‘positive’ feelings and make us feel worse than before we started loving them. Later, take away all the other things that we love; our health, loved ones, wealth, dignity, status in society and finally our breath!
Last week, someone ask me again, ‘Now that I have stopped taking drugs, can I drink alcohol since that is not a drug? I said, ‘I know you know that alcohol is a drug. You want to drink it because of how it will make you feel. You should know that, no matter how it makes you feel, it will eventually hurt you badly if you do not stop running after it. Like all the other drugs, you are ALLERGIC to it. Your allergies will kill you if you do not avoid them’.
‘Ask me instead, how can I avoid my allergies, I love them so much and I see them everywhere?’