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Drug Problem, or Pain Problem?

M. Simon has a provocative read on Winds of Change about whether drug enforcement policy can ever really be effective if what we call addiction is in fact self-treatment of undiagnosed pain.

He gave me a head up a few days ago to the article in reference to my review of John Stossell addiction program on ABC. After hearing about his article, I recalled the book I read by Dr. John Sarno on healing back pain. Dr. Sarno presents a very good case that back pain and other mystery ailments are actually the brains mechanism for self-treatment of undiagnosed pain. This pain, in Dr. Sarno's view, is in fact the avoidance of physiological pain that causes the brain to "invent" the physical pain. The physical pain is real, but the causes are not physiological, but physiological - hence the do not respond to traditional medical treatments well.

If you are a back pain sufferer, see if this is you: Your back pain really gets to you on stressful days. If you are a spouse, when you come home and if it has been a shitty day, you are bound to hear about the pain in your spouses back.

The good news is that you don't have to resolve your physiological pain to make the physical pain go away. You simply have to acknowledge that your brain is trying to "protect" you from having to deal with the physiological pain by presenting physical ailments. Once you acknowledge the link, the physical pain disappears.

As to the drug problem, it is not a stretch to imagine that indulging in various narcotics is another manifestation of physiological pain avoidance that you brain is using to divert attention.

Read the Sarno book, it may help you with pain...


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