If you ever think to yourself
“the landscape for substance abuse and drug and alcohol treatment couldn’t get any more difficult to navigate”,
I would suggest you wait a day or two and read the paper or watch the news. CNN reported on a story titled “Purdue Pharma sought secret plan to become ‘end-to-end pain provider,’ lawsuit alleges”.
The suit that was brought against the company says the company and its owners, the Sackler family, whose name adorns some of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the country, engaged in over decade of deception to push their pharmaceuticals, namely the painkiller OxyContin, on doctors and patients, publicly denying what internal documents show they privately knew to be true. The documents show an actual sales funnel. Starting with the wide top to capture pain patients, turning them into addicts, and funneling them down selling them the drugs to treat the addicted group. Drugs like Narcan, which is meant to reverse an Opioid-related overdose and even sell their version of the popular Opioid treatment, Buprenorphine.
It’s sad to say that nothing shocks me anymore, but things still do sting.
This article stung on a whole new level. We’re all aware now about the fact that Purdue Pharmaceuticals knew exactly how addictive their pain killer drugs were. Now the details of the new suit in the article suggest that it was purposely pushed in order to capitalize financially on them abusing the medications until an addiction was formed. Then Purdue would also be providing the drugs to help treat the addiction they helped create. It was a deliberate marketing campaign to target a vulnerable population and purposely put their welfare and well being out of the equation.
I find the saddest part of this new suit is the number of lives lost to those who struggled with drug addiction as a result of the actions this huge institution has taken.
Not to mention the amount of immense suffering that people have experienced from the addiction to their products. A life of active drug addiction is one that is full of extreme pain. Not only do the people directly afflicted with addiction suffer but all people around them do as well. The parents, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters have all been swept up in the unbelievable wake of suffering. How could a massive company be allowed to do this? We try and convict people for far less. Maybe a better question is why, why would a company do this? Well, the obvious and short answer is money. Purdue paid the 4 billion dollars to the Sackler family in profits.
We hope that after the dust settles that the individuals, families, and communities that have been gravely damaged by the actions are finally held accountable for their unjustifiable actions. Money is never a good excuse to put peoples lives in jeopardy.
We’ve all heard the quote
“Resentment is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.”
That is because wishing harm on others does nothing to them, it only hurts you. You walk around with the negativity and an underlying ill feeling produced by the resentment. Usually, the other person isn’t even thinking of you at all…and that stings.
Resentment is a huge topic for people early in recovery from addiction,
and also folks that have been in recovery for a long period of time. It’s important I believe for all people to live a life free from resentment, although this is a difficult task to achieve. A great thing for the folks here at Live Free Structured Sober Living, is that they are encouraged to look at their resentment in a way so they may be free. A way to end the piling up of negative feelings. Think how just one resentment makes you feel in a physical sense, then do the math of all the unresolved resentments that you still hold onto. No wonder there are reasons why people drink and use drugs, they need to blot out the constant negative feeling they experience and give their heads a rest. If the person is newly sober and does not have tools to handle the resentment machine located between the ears then they are at risk of relapse.
How the 12 steps help with resentment
One tool is to utilize the 12 steps, more specifically the 4th step. We would not suggest you skip 1-3 and only do 4 but to locate someone who has worked all 12 and continues to show you how. This is an activity where you take all your resentment that you have built up inside and put it on paper. You then locate what the root of the resentment is and look to see where you can take ownership. This may seem like a self-defeating exercise that allows people to dump on you, but it’s not. It’s actually very freeing to be able to take ownership since you have no power to change others, but do have the power to change yourself. You also look at unreal expectations, dishonest thinking, and fear-based assumptions. The act of writing, admiring, and reading out loud is extremely freeing. This is an excellent tool for someone in or out drug and alcohol treatment, or in sober living.
Meditation as a tool for resentment
Another tool is to meditate regularly. There is one meditation in particular that focuses on increasing a persons love and kindness. This is where you focus on building love for people in a way that it’s easy to. Like the love for a puppy, parents, best friends, friends, neutral people then ending with people you have difficulty with. This allows you to build a calm fire of love to surround and melt resentment. Like fire, you start with stuff that catches fire easily, then start adding bigger and bigger fuel till you have a blazing fire. Once the fire is raging you can even put wet, difficult logs on the fire and they burn easily too. The meditation is similar. You walk through the 5 stages starting with an easy person to love and ending in stage 5 with someone you find difficult. You can feel the resentment you have possibly harbored for so long, leave over time. Adding this to your daily routine while here in sober living or at home will greatly enhance one’s recovery from addiction.
Prayer as a tool for resentment
Prayer is an excellent tool to be free of resentment as well. If one is open and willing to pray for someone they are at odds with, that person can experience a great deal of relief from the resentment. If they pray for that person to happy, healthy, and free from negativity then they themselves may feel that way. This is wonderful for folks in early addiction recovery since they can do it anywhere and at any time. Being in drug and alcohol treatment or sober living can be difficult and you may find yourself doing this regularly, that’s ok it’s a great habit to exercise and grow. There is plenty of research that shows doing this and meditation activates the frontal lobe of the brain like no other activity. The frontal lobe is the part of the brain that controls important cognitive skills in humans, such as emotional expression, problem-solving, memory, language, judgment, and sexual behaviors. It is, in essence, the “control panel” of our personality and our ability to communicate. Just more reasons to perform these activities daily for your early recovery.
What can I do now?
Little things can go a long way. Start your day by making your bed and then saying a small prayer. Ask whatever you believe in, even if that is yourself, to guide you and protect you today. Pray for others wellbeing and how to be of service to them. Next, spend a few small minutes sitting quietly and meditating. Put on a guided meditation if you would like or just concentrate on your breath. Below are a few links to different types of meditations. These seemingly small acts have huge impacts on your emotional and physical wellbeing. Practice daily and you will begin to notice your outlook and mindset beginning to change for the better. Others may notice it before even you.