Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. That cliche is true even (and sometimes especially) when dealing with addiction.

Today’s guest is a prime example. David Poses is the author of The Weight of Air: A Story About the Lies of Addiction and the Truth of Recovery. In this memoir, David covers his heroin addiction and how he used buprenorphine to help him overcome it. 

Throughout the show, David is sharing about the struggles he encountered when trying to find treatment. Many methods that were common at the time weren’t working for him until he finally found a doctor that would prescribe him buprenorphine. That is what saved his life from heroin. 

Based on his experience, David has amazing insight into addiction treatment and some of the real issues surrounding how it is viewed today. Tune in to hear it all.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • How David’s struggle with depression led him to seek out heroin.
  • One of the biggest misunderstandings of mental health.
  • Why we need to find the recovery method that works for us.
  • The unique way opioids affect our brains.
  • When heroin started becoming problematic for David.
  • How he started looking at alternative treatments.
  • What methadone is.
  • David’s journey through meeting his wife, having their daughter, and relapsing.
  • How buprenorphine saved his life.
  • Why addiction isn’t the real problem but what leads people to self-medicate is.

Key Quotes:

[5:36] – “If you sprained your ankle and it’s all kind of sympathy and we know that, you know, you’re not going to be able to will that pain away or snap out of it, you know, you go to the hospital and get the crutches and whatever. With emotional pain, you know, people tell you, you know, “Calm down, snap out of it, don’t you want to be happy?” That doesn’t matter. I mean, that kind of stuff just made me feel so much worse.” 

[13:23] – “I’m a big supporter of 12 step groups because they offer support and community. But I also understand that it, you know, addiction, disease, our physical bodies, our brain, our neurobiology is complex and we don’t understand everything, but having a support community, I think can be really crucial for healing. But at the same time, it has its limitations… There’s a lot of options out there and there’s a lot of ways to get sober and there’s a lot of ways to get recovery, or even if sobriety, as they say, is not your purpose, you have to find what works for you.”

[18:33] – “I hated the lying. I hated the nonstop risks. I hated not knowing what I was doing.”

[24:14] – “Yeah, I was ashamed. And… addiction has been so siloed off away from, you know, medicine for so long. That, you know, even with doctors, even today, like I tell a doctor that you know, I have a history of whatever and, you know, they assume that like I’m in there looking for drugs.”

[28:35] – “So Ruby and I walked to the drugstore and picked up the refill and we’re on our way home. And I just knew that this was not gonna end well. And we got back home and I brought her up to the bathroom with me and I opened the Percocet and I just was like looking at her and I flushed them.”

[33:57] – “The idea that craving is, you know, we’re not talking about ice cream here. So it was like, your foot’s chopped off, you’re craving morphine, you’re drowning underwater, you’re craving oxygen. So, you know, it’s that kind of craving.”

[36:12] – “If sobriety is I’m not taking drugs anymore (abstinence) and recovery is healing the wounds that led you to drugs in the first place, depression was my gateway to heroin… So to heal the wounds that led me to the drugs in the first place, I couldn’t do that when my foot is cut off… who can do that? So once, you know, everything was bandaged up and everything was okay, I’m able to focus on it, you know, I can breathe.”

[42:04] – “If you’re at a point in your life where you’re, you know, sticking needles in your arm, like, something’s not right. Addiction is not the problem. You know, addiction is definitely a problem. But like, we’re self-medicating, drugs are a form of self-medication.”   

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Supporting Resources:

David’s website

The Weight of Air

David on Twitter

David on Instagram

David on Facebook