The former president of the International AIDS Society and head of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in AIDS/HIV has new appreciation for the experience of addicts:
“I understood everything I was going through, and yet I tell you, it was probably the worst seven to 10 days of my life,” said Dr. Montaner, former president of the International AIDS Society and head of the B.C. Centre for Excellence in AIDS/HIV.
“To be honest, I could not wait to take another dose [of drugs] to get rid of all the pain, the insomnia, the anxiety. …Now I have experienced under my own skin what it’s like to kick narcotics. It was extremely painful.”
Dr. Montaner pointed out that he had been on a form of synthetic morphine for only six weeks before deciding the pain had become bearable enough to stop taking it.
If someone like himself, who understood exactly what he was going through, had trouble ending just a short round of narcotics, imagine the difficulty of long-term heroin addicts kicking their habits, he said.
What is there to say?
“I understood”? What the hell does that mean? Does he really think information/understanding constitutes a significant barrier to recovery for opiate addicts?
Dawn Farm says it all the time in our public education activities: Non-addicts need to stop trying to understand the experience of addicts through the lens of their own experience with drugs.
It’s just so condescending—”It was really hard for me. Just imagine how hard it is for those people.”
Lucky for him he wasn’t surr0unded by helpers telling him he’s incurable and should go one some form of maintenance treatment.