What Don’t We Know & What Should We Know About Heroin & Addiction?
The sad untimely death of Philip Seymour Hoffman, probably due to a heroin overdose has once again thrown the media spotlight on drug abuse and addiction. At Life Elsewhere we ask, “What Don’t We Know & What Should We Know About Heroin & Addiction?” To learn more about heroin and addiction, we asked three people to help us. Norman B reached out to some of the professional and creative people he knows who have first hand knowledge of heroin addiction. Celebrated best-selling author, journalist and screenwriter, Jerry Stahl who’s memoir of heroin addiction, Permanent Midnight, was made into a film with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson. Jerry has also written The Heroin Chronicles, Bad Sex On Speed and most recently, Happy Mutant Baby Pills, Jerry Stahl joined Life Elsewhere from Los Angeles. Also in LA, a returning guest to Life Elsewhere, Patrick O’Neil , former road manager for infamous Punk bands, including the Dead Kenndys, Flipper and TSOL. Patrick‘s rock & roll life led to heroin addiction which meant turning to a life of crime to support his ever-increasing habit. Eventually, Patrick O’Neil ended up in prison, serving time for robbing banks. His incarceration meant quitting heroin and discovering his talent for writing. Patrick‘s memoir Gun, Needle Spoon will be published next year. He is currently working on his next book, chronicling his former career as a road manager, (he read an excerpt from his forthcoming memoir in a past edition of Life Elsewhere).
Traditionally trained neurologist and expert in the field of mind-body medicine, Dr. Romie Mushtaq joined the program to explain a branch of medicine that promotes the science behind mindfulness based techniques. Dr. Romie suggests it is false thinking to believe that quitting an addiction is simply “a matter of willpower”. The doctor says, most people do not understand that rewiring the brain’s reward system does not happen instantaneously. In order to train the brain to change from a reward pattern created by addiction, it takes long-term treatment. The mind-body perspective on addiction is that it is not a separate ailment, but rather a condition on the continuum of human suffering.
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