A female client who has presented an addiction to non-prescription medication “Solpadine”
One single event runs into a lifetime of dependency, the client called and straight off the bat disclosed she was an addict, and wanted to see if I could help, All I knew was she was forty-seven years of age a professional woman and didn’t want to discuss her issues over the phone. She arrived for her first appointment in an immaculate business suit, the owner of two very successful pub restaurants.
This was her disclosure, she was consuming over the counter pain medication and her current daily dose was twenty-four Solpadine daily, 3 for breakfast with the residual during the course of the day and 4 before bedtime.
Codeine Phosphate Hemihydrate the active component is an opiate derivative, (think heroin) the safe dose on the packet is stated as:
2 tablets up to 3 or 4 times a day if necessary. The dose should not be repeated more frequently than every four hours, and not more than 4 doses (8 tablets) should be given in any 24 hour period. The duration of treatment should be limited to 3 days and if no effective pain relief is achieved the patients/carers should be advised to seek the views of a medical practitioner.
She had been taking Solpadine daily since she was seventeen, why you may well ask? Her boyfriend had been killed in a motorcycle accident, and her mother had given her 2 Solpadine to help her deal with the funeral.
It is important to understand how the opiate medication works, it is a mood changer quite simply whatever hurts still hurts, you just don’t care. Unlike paracetamol for example which works only on non-nerve associated pain such as headache or muscle cramps.
She was a thirty-year Addict who ran a family and two successful businesses, not what anyone would suspect, even the husband wasn’t aware of her habit.
First things first, I told her she had already acknowledged she was a drug addict, which is a giant step. Time for a brutal truth this isn’t needles, and gutters, a mouth full of broken teeth, shoplifting or robbing old ladies to do deals in a public toilet or hanging about on street corners waiting for your dealer, but you are still a smackhead, you have just chosen a better class of supply. The recovery will be painful, you will need to revisit some old memories. But you will no longer be dependant on Solpadine. You may think this is brutal and cruel, but this lady is paying for my time, I could have spent several sessions talking about painful memories and about how well she has done, and all the positives. Lots and lots of relaxation and talking sessions. I know too many so-called therapists who just piss about with clients because they are good payers, shifting dependence from whatever their addiction was into dependence on to them, they may as well say roll up your sleeve here’s your next hit.
Strangely enough, she was quite relieved, she had already confronted her issue, didn’t want hugs and love, she wanted honesty, and that is what she got.
The questions came thick and fast from her, the how, what, why, where, and when, about hypnosis. She left being under no illusion that it would be physically and emotionally painful. I also asked her to see her doctor before we began to make sure there were no underlying problems. I had also given her a printed sheet to record every time she took a tablet and to keep all the packets until our next session, but to make no conscious attempt at reducing the dose yet.
The first session was cue controlled relaxation, teaching her how to create trance for herself, thaught stopping and how to deal with invasive ideas, she leaves with a new diary page. and I keep the empty packets.
Second session half-hour discussion regarding previous week forty-five minutes of regression to test memory and response to certain events, not the causal incident (the funeral), she leaves with a new diary page, and I keep the empty packets.
The third session began by comparing the previous two weeks of Solpadine intake with the current week. Without any conscious effort, she had reduced her consumption by a little over twenty per cent. Progression session with visualization of what she has already begun to do for herself, what could have happened, what will happen now. Including a preemptive suggestion that she would be dealing with the root cause next week and did she feel ready, this was affirmed while in trance.
She leaves with a new diary page, and I keep the empty packets.
The fourth session: A further reduction of about thirty per cent, she was aware of a few aches and pains which is not uncommon with opiate withdrawal some night sweats and itching. I suggested she get a fan and some calamine lotion if it became a problem because as of today you will have no further need to use Solpadine.
She became visibly excited at the prospect. It is sufficient to say that the causal incident had caused an anxiety issue for her, I won’t go through the mechanics of the process, it would take many pages. At the end of the session no diary page just an empty carrier bag with instructions to bring every packet, she had at home to our next session ( she had already told me she was a hoarder).
The fifth session she arrives on time with the carrier bag, there was nearly seventy part used foil packets, and fifty full unopened packets, she was pleased to tell me that she hadn’t had one all week, was feeling great and the night sweats and itching had all but disappeared.
However, she had been to see her doctor during the week because of a pain in her shoulder and chest, explained what we had been doing with all the whys and wherefores.
Her GP gave her a thorough examination, he diagnosed a possible cracked rib caused by lifting beer kegs, and gave her a prescription for an over the counter pain killer called Solpadine.
She chose to ignore her doctor’s advice on that occasion, and to the best of my knowledge, she has been drug-free for over ten years, and now has three restaurants.