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Okay, I hope none will find my posting this question here offensive, as it's not about my personal experience, but rather something generally I'm wondering about addiction, and the fact that my question is provoked from a TV show.

If any of you are familiar with the TV show "ER", the character who is the only one who has lasted throughout the entire series run is Dr. John Carter, played by Noah Wyle. A few years ago his character, during recovery from a near-fatal stab wound, became heavily addicted to pain killers but wound up getting caught, and successfully going through rehab, etc.

Anyway, cut to now, and in last week's episode he had a real crappy day, and went and got drunk. When talking later to one of his co-workers (whom he used to date -- and he used to give her a hard time when she'd sometimes drink after being a successful recovering alcoholic for a few years), he apolgized to her "for being such a hypocrite... all the crap I used to give you..."

So, presumably, his getting drunk is supposed to have been some kind of moral violation of his rehabilitation. And this leads into my question. The character of Carter was addicted to pain killers, opiate narcotics. He accordingly went to some N.A. meetings as part of his rehab. But if you're a recovernig narcotic addict, does that mean you can't have [I]ANYTHING[/I] addictive ever again? That you're not even allowed to drink alcohol? Even though you didn't have a problem with alcohol before?

I hope I'm explaining my question articulately enough. It's just that when his character said what he did, it really through me for a loop, and that's the only thing I could come up with. Thanks for your help.
[QUOTE=tyler7]Okay, I hope none will find my posting this question here offensive, as it's not about my personal experience, but rather something generally I'm wondering about addiction, and the fact that my question is provoked from a TV show.

If any of you are familiar with the TV show "ER", the character who is the only one who has lasted throughout the entire series run is Dr. John Carter, played by Noah Wyle. A few years ago his character, during recovery from a near-fatal stab wound, became heavily addicted to pain killers but wound up getting caught, and successfully going through rehab, etc.

Anyway, cut to now, and in last week's episode he had a real crappy day, and went and got drunk. When talking later to one of his co-workers (whom he used to date -- and he used to give her a hard time when she'd sometimes drink after being a successful recovering alcoholic for a few years), he apolgized to her "for being such a hypocrite... all the crap I used to give you..."

So, presumably, his getting drunk is supposed to have been some kind of moral violation of his rehabilitation. And this leads into my question. The character of Carter was addicted to pain killers, opiate narcotics. He accordingly went to some N.A. meetings as part of his rehab. But if you're a recovernig narcotic addict, does that mean you can't have [I]ANYTHING[/I] addictive ever again? That you're not even allowed to drink alcohol? Even though you didn't have a problem with alcohol before?

I hope I'm explaining my question articulately enough. It's just that when his character said what he did, it really through me for a loop, and that's the only thing I could come up with. Thanks for your help.[/QUOTE]

There are no hard and fast rules, however this seems to be the thinking in most 12 step groups that it is best to stay away from all mind altering chemicals including alcohol. However I have known some who went to na and kicked whatever drug that they battled with and do drink on occassion. My opinion is that each person is different. I have known alcoholics who literally lived in the gutter before they got sober and can take painkillers for legitimate reasons and not become addicted and stop taking them when whatever pain they were using them for is gone (like a broken leg, or kidney stones). I just think it is up to each individual and everyone is different. It is probably best to stay away from mind altering chemicals though if one has had a struggle with them in the past. I myself do not drink at all and I was addicted to vicodin for two years. Also remember ER is just a TV show, a good one but just a show :)

I hope this helps.

Ralph





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