The term “dope sick” is slang for opiate withdrawal symptoms. People typically experience such symptoms when they detox from painkillers such as hydrocodone or oxycodone. However, some people use this term to refer to heroin withdrawal too.

In most cases, people only experience withdrawal after they heavily use opiates for several weeks or longer. However, it only takes trying drugs such as heroin once to develop an opiate addiction. Once addiction sets in, it’s hard for them to stop using opiates.

What Does Opiate Withdrawal Feel Like?

People who experience opiate withdrawal typically say that the symptoms are the worst thing on Earth. In fact, the effects are usually so bad that they continue to use drugs to avoid going through it at all. In general, however, people say that the symptoms are like having an extreme case of the flu.

Because of the extreme nature of the side effects, people usually wonder if opiate withdrawal causes death. The good news is that it very rarely, if ever, ends in death. Despite that, most people say that the process of withdrawals makes them wish that they were dead because of its intensity. 

A report came out this week stating that between April 2020 and April 2021 over 100,000 Americans died from an opiate overdose. That’s more than people who died in car accidents and from gun violence combined. That’s insane.

Written In 1938 the Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous describes within it several quotes that show the progression of withdrawal and where it ends.

Page xxvi

“Men and women drink essentially because they like the effect produced by alcohol. The sensation is so elusive that, while they admit it is injurious, they cannot after a time differentiate the true from the false. To them, their alcoholic life seems the only normal one. They are restless, irritable, and discontented…

Page xxviii 

All these, and many others, have one symptom in common: they cannot start drinking without developing the phenomenon of craving

The fact is that most alcoholics, for reasons yet obscure, have lost the power of choice in drink. Our so-called will power becomes practically nonexistent. We are unable, at certain times, to bring into our consciousness with sufficient force the memory of the suffering and humiliation of even a week or a month ago. We are without defense against the first drink.

Page 30

“All of us felt at times that we were regaining control, but such intervals-usually brief-were inevitably followed by still less control, which led in time to pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.”                                             

Another word that illustrated the maddening pull of addiction is the word tweak. Tweaking is a slang word that means to be under the influence of methamphetamine, also known as speed. It is also defined as “to malfunction or to react with extreme emotion.” Being under the influence of speed has its own risk and characteristics

In a nutshell that’s why 100,000 people died. At the end of the day their drug of choice is MORE!

Dopesick is an American drama miniseries created by Danny Strong based on the nonfiction book Dope sick: Dealers, Doctors and the Drug Company that Addicted America by Beth Macy.

Dopesick focuses on “the epicenter of America’s struggle with opioid addiction” across the U.S. and specifically the drug OxyContin.

Watching Dopesick (Disney+) is, appropriately enough, like being given a series of bitter pills to swallow. The eight-part drama – based on the non-fiction book of the same name by Beth Macy – examines the dreadful causes and effects of the opioid crisis unleashed in large part on the United States by Purdue Pharma, and its “non-addictive” painkiller OxyContin. Fictionalized in the details but telling a factually correct story, it is a powerful illustration of the power of people unconstrained by financial or moral limits, and the suffering induced by corporate greed unfettered by an overwhelmed and under-resourced regulatory and legal system.


Looking at porn, buying hookers, cheating on a spouse would appear to have little in common with a dope addict on the surface and yet as I watched Dopesick the TV series, I am sure that a Sex and Love addict would hear in every episode a line or two that would resonate if only there would be open to hear it. Without giving away much of the story I will say that a prominent character relapses after she finds out her love interest has moved on.

In the final episode a young adult addict is trying to explain her dilemma when she says, “I feel like if I stop, I’ll die and if I keep doing this stuff I’ll die, so either way I guess I’m just gonna die”

There is not a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), Narcotics Anonymous (NA), Cocaine Anonymous (CA), Gamblers Anonymous (GA), Sex Addicts Anonymous (SA), Sex & Love Addicts Anonymous (SLAA) or any of the other 12 step programs that can not relate to the trap she describes. The trap is ADDICTION, 100,000 deaths and counting. In the SLAA community death comes in installments yet it always ends with the untreated addict dying an alone, premature death. How sad is that.

If you can relate and just want to talk, reach out. You are not alone and remember Misery is optional.

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