Visit Dr. Wouter Havinga's sites:
Life Is Wonderful Make It Happen / ISEE Coaching / Tips 4 Docs 

How opiates act like a dam

Coming off heroin is frightening. Initially the heroin user says that the physical suffering of coming off is too much to handle, and claims that this is the reason for continuing to use. However, it is not so much the physical discomfort as the mental and emotional aspects of coming off that prevents users from kicking the habit. I will now try to give a picture of the mental processes involved in coming off opiates.

Opiates like heroin or methadone keep away feelings about personal issues that stream towards us every day. So they act rather like a dam. This in turn causes a reservoir of 'undigested' emotions and issues to build up behind the dam. But the continuous stream of daily issues cannot be blocked for long. After a little while, the reservoir starts to flood the opiate dam, bringing back the feelings the user wants to keep away. That is why people start to use more, to create a higher dam to try and check these feelings. This results in a greater dependency, and not only does the dam fail to keep out everyday emotions, but it also has to take the extra pressure of the reservoir full of unaddressed issues and emotions. When the intake of opiates is reduced (lowering the dam), this can result in a flood of emotions. Users can then feel agitated, depressed, anxious, restless or angry for no apparent reason. They may start to cry when hearing a sad song on the radio or watching a film on TV. These feelings are very scary for this person, because the user is used to being indifferent, and experiencing these emotions can easily drive them back to using again. In heroin addiction, this cycle can occur several times a day.

When a person is suddenly detoxed, a turbulent rush of feelings takes hold of them. But this is only temporary, as this rush will pass when the reservoir has emptied itself. Once the individual is 'clean', in other words, when the dam is taken away and the initial rush of emotions has settled down, the detoxer needs to learn to deal with the steady trickle of issues and emotions on a daily basis, rather than suppressing it with drugs. This is where drug rehabilitation facilities have their place.

In life, we cannot escape dealing with issues and emotions. To illustrate this, we need to look at the body, soul and spirit model. The body, soul and spirit are the components that make up our essential selves.

The body is the physical foundation of our existence. In order to maintain a healthy body, we need to look after it by creating daily routines such as taking regular meals, exercise, rest and sleep. For example; we take in food, digest this to build up our body and maintain our fitness.

The soul is responsible for thinking, feelings and actions. Just like food, we take in issues. We think about them, we have our feelings about them, and this is followed by appropriate action. This process will help us to cope in future situations. Opiates interfere with 'digestion' of emotions. They block feelings, making the user indifferent and preventing him or her from dealing with issues. That is how the reservoir, or backlog of emotions, is created.

The soul is the window through which we look to become aware of our spirit. By bringing opiates or other mind-altering substances into the body, we create a mist over this window, which makes it more difficult to see the spirit clearly.

The spirit deals with the question "What do I want?"

For every stage in life we need to answer this question for ourselves again. When you're young you want a candy bar; when older, perhaps a push bike; later you want a partner; once you've got the partner, a house; after the house, a car, and so on. Whenever you think you have answered the question, there it is again! The first things pursued are material, but later on, more and more immaterial or spiritual things like happiness, joy, satisfaction and love are pursued. We feel more responsible for another than for ourself. We find fulfillment and purpose by doing something for others, without needing something in return. By trying to answer this question "What do I want?" again and again, we find fulfillment, purpose, and most of all, direction. In order to find our direction, the soul needs to be able to function properly. It needs to be able to think, feel and do things appropriately. This is easier when the body and soul are not under the influence of opiates.

The drug of choice should be enthusiasm. When you get enthusiastic about something, you feel a warmth being generated inside you. Enthusiasm should be the fuel that brings us up into our spiritual realm. Heroin, when injected, gives a warm glow but the user will soon become indifferent. It actually turns the user into a cold person. The user is all too aware of this illusion, and ultimately is not content with being dependent. Drugs give instant fixes, whereas life seems to yield a feel-good factor mostly after the event. We do not know where our life is leading us, so we could say we are walking backwards into the future. We know what has happened in the past. This we can see as we are walking backwards into the future, and as we do so we can put things from the past into perspective. The further we have walked, the greater our overview of our past.

In the here and now, the present, we need to keep our senses alert for indications that tell us which way to walk, as we go backwards into the unknown future. All the time, we are finding our own direction. How easily we tend to daydream our time away! In truth, we need to stay awake, to connect to our future destiny.

Recommended Reading: In place of the self. How drugs work. by Ron Dunselman, Hawthorn press ISBN 1 869890 72 8 (translated from the Dutch- In plaats van ik:de verborgen werking van drugs)

Books that I have enjoyed reading and have shaped my life were written by Jack Kornfield, Deepak Chopra, John Gray, Nick Williams, Fiona Harrold, Susan Jeffers, Stephen Covey, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Scott Peck, Rudolf Steiner and Eckhart Tolle

Please help keep "Every Day Medicine / Is Your Body a Mystery" free by using
the Donate link below.

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction

  2. How potentized remedies work

  3. Breathing and circulation

  4. Asthma symptoms explained

  5. The digestive system

  6. The nervous system  

  7. How alcohol affects the nervous system and liver

  8. How opiates act like a dam

  9. Inflammation and infection

  10. Fever

  11. The common cold

  12. Earache

  13. Hints and tips