I’ve written about this myself in recent months, because of a number of people I personally know, or know of, who are dealing with addiction because of various mental health issues. It’s interesting to see a doctor talk about the same issues. We have an addiction epidemic on our hands because too many people are not getting help for their emotional and mental health issues.
Untreated trauma is a dangerous thing.
Opiates soothe emotional pain
The drugs these users choose are often opiates, the most powerful painkillers we know.
In my years as a palliative care physician, I daily had reason to be grateful for the easing of suffering the opiate medications afforded my patients afflicted with cancer and other pain-inducing conditions.
But opiates also soothe emotional pain; in fact, the suffering of psychic pain is experienced in the same part of the brain as that of physical pain.
Hence, the first question when dealing with opiate-dependent human beings should be not “why the addiction” but “why the pain?”