Addictions After TSHTF

There are addictions in life that we don’t necessarily recognize as such, because we take them for granted that they will always be there and available. Plus we may not see them as addictions. Things like coffee (caffeine), sugar, soda, chocolate, candy, chips and junk food. Prescription drugs that you take for health reasons. Of course there is also the more obvious, cigarettes, alcohol, and other recreational ‘drugs’.

While preppers plan and prepare contingencies for various setbacks, disaster, or SHTF, how many consider the consequences of the addictions that we may have in life?

Sudden withdrawal from these can make one’s life miserable. Headaches are common. Irritability is definite. A lack of energy and a reduction in drive. Sleep disorder and insomnia may be an issue. There are also more serious withdrawal consequences depending on the substance.

These symptoms could last for quite some time until your body systems no longer require the addictive substitute and your body begins producing its own internally balanced formula of chemicals.

The last thing you will need in a survival situation are symptoms of withdrawal. Think hard about what it is that you may be addicted to, and make some decisions. Either stock up, or kick the habit.

Minor substances like coffee and sugars are easily ‘stock-able’. Coffee sealed in cans will last for a LONG time. Sugar will last ‘forever’.

Quitting smoking is your best choice, however cigarettes will be one of THE BEST barter items in a SHTF aftermath. Tied for BEST will be alcohol.

Here’s the thing to think about though…

For any of you who have quit smoking in the past, know how hard it can be and what it can do to your attitude for many weeks afterward. It’s not pretty. The weeks following a SHTF scenario will be the most important weeks to consider. You DO NOT want to be dependent on major addictive substances during this time.

For those on prescription medications, think to yourself… what is the underlying reason that I take them? Maybe there is a way to adjust your life, your diet?, exercise?, such that you can reduce the ’cause’ and perhaps the pill itself. If not, then do be sure to have an ample store of the prescription that you depend upon.

For those who drink heavily, can you cut back? If you cannot, then consider your craving and what it will be like when it is gone. Some people can successfully ‘moderate’ their addictions, while others simply cannot. Those who cannot… it’s either all or nothing. Maybe nothing is better.

Think about it.


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  1. well there is a reason they call it weed, cause it will grow just about anywhere, so potheads will be fine, and man will always be able to distill spirits and brew beer. What is scary is the thought of people going off of SSRI’s and anti psychotics. Being a past “user” of ssri’s, i have tried a couple of times to go cold turkey, and the result was not good, now add the stress of a societal collapse…. Weaning off of them is hard enough, but going cold turkey straight up brings the devil out. The thought of no diabetes meds, or blood pressure meds etc will only escalate the malthusian crisis

    1. @Jerry,

      there are holistic natural ways to assist in almost all illnesses.
      better start now if you have any dis-ease / addictions

      google: Mimi Kirk
      youtube: Dr. Morse

      there’s always the naturalnews website
      best to you

    2. @burner;
      Your mention of going off anti-psychotics brings to mind something I’ve worried about for awhile. That is, what happens to all the people in mental hospitals (or prisons for that matter) if there’s no one there to take care of them? Will they all just be set free? Or left locked up to die?
      If they are just let loose, they will all be off their meds and will contribute to the zombie hordes, probably in pretty bizarre ways.
      When this thought first occurred to me 12 years ago, I MOVED, there was a state hospital AND a prison within walking distance of my house.

  2. If you have ever had to witness someone experiencing withdrawals of psych meds you would fear “our society” when psychiatric mood enhancers/uppers are no longer available to the general public. Mayhem and chaos will be everywhere. Especially in the most affluent neighborhoods.

    Why do I fear that happening? I was a medic working the psychiatric ward in the Air Force. Not a place to be if you are normal.

    All the more reason to review who is in your survival group and what meds they currently take. A person strung out with withdraws is not trustworthy – their logical processes are handicapped. Keep all sharp things and weapons away from these people. That means loved ones too. Be careful.

  3. These people will compound a bad situation and will become some of the first casualties as their irrational behavior will be amplified to the point of madness. If they’re desperate for any kind of supplies, they can and will appear as a huge threat and be promptly dispatched.

  4. S.H.T.F. = survival of the fittest.

    Those with serious afflictions will die out. Uncomfortable but reality.

    Greece is already in a perilous economic situation. There is no money to feed and nurse the mentally ill. Funds were withdrawn a couple of months ago. Not much news is being heard about the serious implications of Greece’s predicament. The MSM probsably don’t want you to hear about it.

    1. @Beano, you bring up a very valuable point. Greece is in a very big world of hurt right now and this is not being reported. Things are much worse than what is being led to believe over there. I’ve read reports here and there of late and it’s not good.

  5. I have slightly south of a six-year supply of coffee on hand and plan to have at least a 10-year supply, for my own consumption, but especially for barter purposes. I think cans of coffee will have huge value as a barter item after the crash.

    1. Oh, and besides that, there are also compounds in coffee that help reduce lung inflammation in people with asthma. I ramp up my coffee intake if I notice that I’m starting to wheeze.

    2. I too have lots of #10 cans of Coffee. If all remains ‘normal’, the Mrs and I will eventually consume it all.

  6. Greetings from Inside the Cuckoo’s nest,

    Prior to laying in a good supply, find out the expiration date and stock accordingly. Also, do look at the expiration date on all drugs purchased because I have discovered that many large discount chains will place drugs on sale because they are within 3 months of reaching their expiration date.

    The BBC ran a story some months back by a pharmacist within Greece where he was running out of drugs. First to run out were expensive, specialized drugs such as chemotherapy meds for cancer. By the time the story was being broken, he was running out of cardiac and blood pressure meds. This also happens within war-torn countries as well I’ve noticed.

    In the aftermath of SHTF or other disaster, I would keep on hand a wide variety of tranquilizers and mood stabilizers. Scrips and Dr’s orders after the Loma Prieta earthquake and the Rodney King riots absolutely skyrocketed in the days and weeks later.

  7. i quit smoking in early-2008 before my oldest child was born. it was the best decision of my life. the first week was the hardest. i quit cold turkey after trying chantix, gums, lozenges, and inhalers. nothing worked because i didn’t want to quit.

    when i was ready to quit, i stuck a card in my wallet with 5 different activities i could do to instead of having a cigarette. it always gave me options for an activity to avoid smoking. my wife was supportive. the savings have greatly added to the amount of beans and rice in the basement.

  8. I once sat down and compiled a list of known addictions besides tobacco, and the numbers were enough to be alarming. Under collapse conditions, and because of forced cold turkey, you can expect this to be a portion of the zombie horde. They will be looking for something to help assauge their addiction. The most likely candidates will be the older Americans who have persistent health issues and likely more economic means than the druggies, with less ability to repel such an attack.

    These kinds of addicts often form the lower tier of burglaries. Those attacks are random and not well thought out and result in higher fatalities as a result.

    If you live in a region with a higher proportion of these kinds of addicts, and based upon proximity, then once could expect more issues with them. Forewarned is forearmed. Be prepared for it.

    Those folks are very self-destructuve and will probably die out from their misadventures.

    Many addicts hide their afflictions. It’s not uncommon for an aging retiree or elderly person to be a secret alcoholic to deal with their loneliness and lack of work. As a result, they are seen in hospitals on extended stays as they are forced to dry out, and only then will their addiction be revealed by tremors and shakes and other far worse issues.

    If one has a opiate based addiction, then severe withdrawal can occur, and under collapse conditions they could die.

    Because of the high need for pain medications in a geriatric setting, I would fully expect isolated nursing homes to be attacked post-collapse, and stripped of medications.

    Post-collapse, a lot of people can grow their own tobacco. In fact, if one could manage to get it to harvest without theft, then it might indeed be a good trade item.

    Historically, while distillation of ethanol is possible, the risks are very high. It is naturally very flammable. It must be distilled at precise temperatures, and in history that was very loosey-goosey and resulted in levels of methanol in with the ethanol. That causes blindness.

    There are safer and less risky forms of fermentation and that results in higher amounts of beverage, and that’s what most of our ancestors did. Think raisin wine instead, something anyone can make.

    However, it is highly likely that other alcohol for disinfectant use will again be distilled post-collapse. That would be a sincerely important trade item.

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