Hurting Yourself on Purpose:
The Opioid Addiction Phenomenon No One is Talking About

opioid addicts hurt themselves on purpose

The opioid problem in this country has been rough and many families have had a tough go at it. Parents have more to fear than ever before as far as their children’s safety is concerned. Online predators, human trafficking, opioids, meth, and benzos are just a few of the many things they have to worry about these days. The overall drug problem is getting worse, not better. And as soon as I think our society has started to get a handle on it, it slides back in the other direction.

Opioid addiction is strange to me, to be honest. Not strange that people can get addicted to them but it’s what people do after getting addicted to them that boggles my mind a bit. There’s some weird, weird things we’ll do in our full-blown addiction, all to get high or make the withdrawal go away. And the thing is, no one talks about it.

When you’re an opioid junkie, money runs out fast. Your habit gets too expensive, jobs are lost, and desperate times call for desperate measures. What do you do when you can’t get your fix? You do everything you can to finagle something. You steal money from your mom’s purse, pawn something that probably isn’t yours, visit shady doctors, or, depending on how desperate you are, smash and break your hand on purpose. Some of you gasp and some of you know what I’m talking about. Some opioid addicts will actually purposely injure themselves and cause permanent damage in some cases, in order to be able to go to the doctor and get painkillers. It’s a strange syndrome that exists only among opiate addicts and the thing is, no one talks about it, but a lot of them do it.

I brought this up at Narconon one time with a group of students and a lot of them laughed initially, but then look ashamed, as some of them were completely guilty of this behavior. One student said that he had even seen someone ask another person to smash their arm with a sledgehammer so they could go to the emergency room and get Oxy. It might seem extreme to you and me, but it’s well within reason for the desperate addict. And that just goes to show how deep an addiction can go. An addict, so hooked on painkillers or heroin, can get desperate enough to not be sick that they’re willing to permanently damage or disfigure themselves in order to take the edge off.

This is a major problem that no one is talking about but needs some serious attention. At the point when our kids start smashing themselves with hammers to get painkillers, we’ve got to do something!


Peggy Cote, RN

Peggy Cote is a registered nurse with over 40 years of experience in the medical and addiction field. Her practice has also focused on holistic and naturopathic healthcare, looking toward natural solutions first before allopathic interventions. Peggy has devoted her career to helping people better themselves, their health, and their lives. Connect with Peggy on LinkedIn.