A simple traffic stop in Fayette County resulted in the unexpected seizure of almost $7 million worth of heroin. Early this month, deputies pulled over a pickup truck on Interstate 10 and, upon noticing a number of signs of drug trafficking and “abnormal nervous behavior” on the part of the driver, searched the vehicle and found 35 kilos of black tar heroin tucked inside five wooden blocks hidden in a toolbox in the truck’s bed. The street value of the drugs is estimated to be at about $6.9 million, and the driver was arrested on charges of felony drug possession.
Risk and Reward
It is unknown whether or not this was the driver’s first trip transporting such a large amount of heroin, but it is clear that there was something that made the huge risk associated with such a choice worth the reward.
The reasons behind the choices that people make in regard to drugs vary widely. For some, threatened personal violence and/or threats of violence to one’s family made by drug cartels make them transport drugs in a variety of ways despite the risks. For others, it is the only way they have available to pay an outstanding debt they owe, or it is a lifestyle choice that provides them with a sense of power and status.
For still others, the choice to take part in drug trafficking or drug sales schemes is how they get their own drugs paid for – the best way they know how to manage a high-dose drug addiction that is financially unviable to sustain any other way. No matter what the risk, it is perceived as a far better outcome than experiencing withdrawal symptoms or otherwise being without their substance of choice.
High-Risk Behaviors and Addiction
High-risk behaviors, such as associating with drug dealers, transporting drugs, and/ or engaging in other criminal behaviors, are clear indicators that a substance use problem has reached a crisis point. Loss of freedom is arguably one of the highest risks associated with drug use and abuse, alongside loss of health, loss of family, and loss of life. To take that risk, the ability to maintain the addiction must be of supreme concern, a priority over personal safety in addition to health and wellness.
In some cases, it is the adrenaline rush – or dopamine rush – that comes with high-risk behaviors, including the events that occur in the process of trafficking and selling drugs that is part of the attraction. In fact, many experts believe that this rush associated with high-risk activities is similar to the high experienced with drug use and that a predilection for taking part in these activities can indicate a higher risk for drug dependence.
The Rush of Recovery
Because drug use and abuse may have appeased a person’s craving for the “rush” of dopamine that created the high, one of the primary issues in recovery can be learning how to find balance and feel satisfied with the new status quo. It is not an easy transition to go from active addiction to active sobriety under the best of circumstances, but when you are driven to seek out the excitement in life, a sober life can feel boring, and boredom can be a trigger for relapse.
The good news is that if you are someone who thrives on risky situations, you can find ways to engage that impulse without putting your sobriety or health at risk. You can:
- Work out. Go for a “runner’s high” or otherwise work out hard to get your heart rate going and give yourself a natural shot of dopamine. Though not risky, you can engage your competitive streak and start training for marathons, biathlons, or triathlons – or a 3,000 kilometer Rickshaw Run in India.
- Chase storms. Channel your inner Bill Paxton, actor of Twister fame, and learn how to chase tornados, hurricanes, and other storms by joining a tour that will show you how to get it done safely. Depending on your skills, you may even find work with a news team or startup that likes to keep up with the latest storms across the country or even around the world.
- Go to China. Speaking of traveling the world, there are glass walkways bolted onto the side of incredibly high mountains in China that can provide for a great adrenaline rush. In addition to being miles off the ground, there’s always the risk that the top glass pane will break underneath your feet and really get your adrenaline going.
- Learn how to wing walk. If jumping out of an airplane, bungie jumping, and/or sky diving sound blasé to you, you can learn how to walk on the wings of airplanes – while they are flying up in the air.
Do you crave an adrenaline rush in recovery? How do you get “high” naturally?