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Disparaging the myths of addiction. Options
 
PsilocybeChild
#1 Posted : 2/9/2013 1:53:43 AM

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With this being a forum for the exchange of information regarding psychoactives.
(Entheogenic medicines)
And although the medicines at focus on this forum are not inherently addictive,
there is a more dangerous class of addictive substances.
So I'd like to share some excerpts from a book I am reading regarding addiction.
And with a drug war that causes more harm than it helps, with drug laws that classify medicines like Ibogaine alongside substances like crack-cocaine, I think proper education should replace government restraints and penalties.
Some are sick and need healing and not incarceration and fines.
Some people have a facile viewpoint, declaring that addicts are simply immoral or weak.
This is an ignorant perspective that ignores the complexities of the subject.

Quote:
Addictions, even as they resemble normal human yearnings, are more about desire than attainment. In the addicted mode, the emotional charge is in the pursuit and the acquisition of the desired object, not in the possession and enjoyment of it. The greatest pleasure is in the momentary satisfaction of yearning.
The fundamental addiction is to the fleeting experience of not being addicted. The addict craves the absence of the craving state. For a brief moment he’s liberated from emptiness, from boredom, from lack of meaning, from yearning, from being driven or from pain. He is free. His enslavement to the external-the substance, the object or the activity-consists of the impossibility, in his mind, of finding within himself the freedom from longing or irritability. "I want nothing and fear nothing," said Zorba the Greek. "I'm free." There are not many Zorbas amongst us.



Quote:
In the cloudy swirl of misleading ideas surrounding public discussion of addiction, there's one that stands out: the misconception that drug taking by itself will lead to addiction – in other words, that the cause of addiction resides in the power of the drug over the human brain. It is one of the bedrock fables sustaining the so-called "War on Drugs." It also obscures the existence of a basic addiction process of which drugs are only one possible object, among many. Compulsive gambling, for example, is widely considered to be a form of addiction without anyone arguing that it’s caused by a deck of cards.



Quote:
Heroin is considered to be a highly addictive drug--and it is, but only for a small minority of people, as the following example illustrates. It's well known that many American soldiers serving in the Vietnam War in the late 1960s and early 1970s were regular users. Along with heroin, most of these soldier addicts also used barbiturates or amphetamines or both. According to a study published in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1975, 20 percent of the returning enlisted men met the criteria for the diagnosis of addiction while they were in Southeast Asia, whereas before they were shipped overseas fewer than 1 percent had been opiate addicts. The researchers were astonished to find that "after Vietnam, use of particular drugs and combinations of drugs decreased to near or below preservice levels." the remission (i.e., abatement or reduction of symptoms in illness or addiction) rate was 95 percent, "unheard of among narcotics addicts treated in the U.S."
"The high rates of narcotic use and addiction there were truly unlike anything prior in the American experience," the researchers concluded. "Equally dramatic was the surprisingly high remission rate after the return to the United States." These results suggested that the addiction did not arise from the heroin itself but from the needs of the men who used the drug. Otherwise most of them would have remained addicts.
The ones who persisted in heroin addiction back home were, for the most part, those with histories of unstable childhoods and previous drug use problems. What such statistics do show is that what-ever a drug's physical effects and powers, they cannot be the sole cause of addiction. Drugs, in short, do not make anyone into an addict, any more than food makes a person into a compulsive eater.



Quote:
Opiates, in other words, are the chemical linchpins of the emotional apparatus in the brain that is responsible for protecting and nurturing infant life. Thus addiction to opiates like morphine and heroin arises in a brain system, that governs the most powerful emotional dynamic in human existence: the attachment instinct. Love.
Attachment is the drive for physical and emotional closeness with other people. It ensures infant survival by bonding infant to mother and mother to infant. Throughout life the attachment drive impels us to seek relationships and companionship, maintains family connections and helps build community. When endorphins lock onto opiate receptors, they trigger the chemistry of love and connection, helping us to be the social creatures we are.
It may seem puzzling that Nature would have given one class of chemicals the apparently very different tasks of alleviating physical pain, easing emotional pain, creating parent-infant bonds, maintaining social relationships and triggering feelings of intense pleasure.
In fact, the five roles are closely allied.



Quote:
The ACE researchers concluded that nearly two-thirds of injection drug use can be attributed to abusive and traumatic childhood events-and keep in mind that the population they surveyed was a relatively healthy and stable one. A third or more were college graduates, and most had at least some university education. With my patients, the childhood trauma percentages would run close to one hundred. Of course, not all addicts were subjected to childhood trauma-although most hardcore injection users were-just as not all severely abused children grow up to be addicts.



Quote:
Some people may think that addicts invent or exaggerate their sad stories to earn sympathy or to excuse their habits. In my experience, the opposite is the case. As a rule, they tell their life histories reluctantly, only when asked and only after trust has been established-a process that may take months, even years. Often they see no link between childhood experiences and their self-harming habits. If they speak of the connection, they do so in a distanced manner that still insulates them against the full emotional impact of what happened.
Research shows that the vast majority of physical and sexual assault victims do not spontaneously reveal their histories to their doctors or therapists. If anything, there is a tendency to forget or to deny pain. One study followed up on young girls who had
been treated in an emergency ward for proven sexual abuse. When contacted seventeen years later as adult women, 40 percent of these abuse victims either did not recall or denied the
event outright. Yet their memory was found to be intact for other incidents in their lives.
Addicts who do remember often blame themselves. "I was hit a lot," says forty-year-old Wayne, "but I asked for it. Then I made some stupid decisions." (Wayne is the one who sometimes greets me with the bluesy chant "Doctor, doctor, gimme the news …" when I’m doing my rounds between the Hastings Street hotels.) And would he hit a child, I inquire, if that child "asked for it"? Would he blame that child for "stupid decisions"? Wayne looks away. 'I don’t want to talk about that crap,' says this tough man who has worked on oil rigs and construction sites and served fifteen years in jail for armed robbery. He looks away and wipes his eyes.



Quote:
"The most important finding of research into a genetic role for alcoholism is that there is no such thing as a gene for alcoholism,' writes the addiction specialist Lance Dodes, "Nor can you directly inherit alcoholism."



Quote:
Compulsive shoppers experience the same mental and emotional processes when engaged in their addiction. The thinking parts of the brain go on furlough. In a brain imaging study conducted at the University of Munster, Germany, scientists found "reduced activation in brain areas associated with working memory and reasoning and, on the other hand, increased activation in areas involved in processing of emotions," when even ordinary consumers were engaged in choosing between different brand names of a given product. Under logo capitalism, it turns out, the vaunted "market forces" are largely unconscious – a feature of addiction that advertising agencies well understand. In previous work the electrical discharges of the brain circuits governing pleasure were also found to be in overdrive during shopping, in contrast to the rationality circuits. Neurologist Michael Deppe, the lead researcher, said that "the more expensive the product, the crazier the shoppers get. And when buying really expensive products, the part of the brain dealing with rational thought has reduced its activity to almost zero … The stimulation of emotional centers shows that shopping is a stress relief."



Quote:
These, then, are the traits that most often underlie the addiction process: poor self-regulation; lack of basic differentiation; lack of a healthy sense of self; a sense of deficient emptiness; and impaired impulse control. The development of these traits is not mysterious or, more correctly, there is no mystery about the circumstances under which the positive qualities of self-regulation, self-worth, differentiation and impulse control fail to develop. Any gardener knows that if a plant hasn't grown, most likely the conditions were lacking. The same goes for children. The addictive personality is a personality that hasn't matured. When we come to address healing, a key question will be how to promote maturity in ourselves or in others whose early environment sabotaged healthy emotional growth.



Quote:
On the surface, the differences are obvious: they support wars I oppose and justify policies I dislike. I can tell myself that we're different. Moral judgments, however, are never about the obvious: they always speak to the underlying similarities between the judge and the condemned. My judgments of others are an accurate gauge of how, beneath the surface, I feel about myself. It's only the willful blindness in me that condemns others for deluding themselves; my own selfishness that excoriates others for being self-serving; my lack of authenticity that judges falsehood in others. It is the same, I believe, for all moral judgments people cast on each other and for all vehemently held communal judgments a society visits upon its members. So it is with the harsh social attitudes toward addicts, especially hard-core drug addicts.



Quote:
The War on Drugs fails, and is doomed to perpetual failure, because it is directed not against the root causes of drug addiction and of the international black market in drugs, but only against
some drug producers, traffickers and users. More fundamentally, the War is doomed because neither the methods of war nor the war metaphor itself is appropriate to a complex social problem that calls for compassion, self-searching insight and factually researched scientific understanding.
The pertinent question is not why the War on Drugs is being lost, but why it continues to be waged in the face of all the evidence against it.



Quote:
How much actual freedom to choose does anyone human being possess? There’s only one answer: We cannot know. We may have our particular beliefs, spiritual or otherwise, about this aspect of human nature-about how it is or how it should be. These beliefs may strengthen our commitment to helping others find freedom or they may become harmful dogma. Either way, in the end we all have to humble ourselves and admit to a degree of uncertainty. There is no way we can peer into a brain to measure a person’s capacity for awareness and rational choice or to estimate how the relative balance of these brain-mind systems will operate when that person is stressed. There is no gauging the burden of emotional suffering weighing down one person’s psyche against anothers, and there is no way to know what hidden life-enhancing experiences one person may have enjoyed that another has been denied. That is why it’s facile to demand that anyone should be able to 'just say no' and to judge them as morally lacking if they can't.



Quote:
"The War on Drugs is cultural schizophrenia," says Jaak Panksepp. I agree. The War on Drugs expresses a split mindset in two ways: we want to eradicate or limit addiction, yet our social policies are best suited to promote it, and we condemn the addict for qualities we dare not acknowledge in ourselves. Rather than exhort the addict to be other than the way she is, we need to find the strength to admit that we have greatly exacerbated her distress and perhaps our own. If we want to help people seek the possibility of transformation within themselves, we first have to transform our own view of our relationship to them.



Quote:
To expect an addict to give up her drug is like asking the average person to imagine living without all her social skills, support networks, emotional stability and sense of physical and p psychological comfort. Those are the qualities that, in their illusory and evanescent way, drugs give the addict. People like Serena and Celia and the others whose portraits have appeared in this book perceive their drugs as their "rock and salvation." Thus, for all the valid reasons we have for wanting the addict to "just say no," we first need to offer her something to which she can say "yes." We must provide an island of relief. We have to demonstrate that esteem, acceptance, love and humane interaction are realities in this world, contrary to what she, the addict, has learned all her life. It is impossible to create that island for people unless they can feel secure that their substance dependency will be satisfied as long as they need it.



Quote:
...These are the drugs for which animals and humans will develop craving and which they will seek compulsively.
But this is far from saying that the addiction is caused directly by access to the drug. We will later explore why these substances have addictive potential; the reasons are deeply rooted in the neurobiology and psychology of emotions.

Because almost all laboratory animals can be induced into compulsive self-administration of alcohol, stimulants, narcotics and other substances, research has appeared to reinforce the view that mere exposure to drugs will lead indiscriminately to drug addiction. The problem with this apparently reasonable assumption is that animal laboratory studies can prove no such thing. The experience of caged animals does not accurately represent the lives of free creatures, including human beings. There is much to be learned from animal studies, but only if we take into account the real circumstances. And, I should add, only if we accept the tremendous suffering imposed on these involuntary“subjects.”

Although there are anecdotes of animals in the wild becoming intoxicated, most of them are spurious, as is the case, for example, with stories of elephants getting “drunk”on fermenting marula fruit. There are no known examples of persistently addictive behaviors in the natural world. Of course, we cannot predict exactly what might happen if wild animals had free and easy access to addictive substances in the purified and potent forms administered in laboratories. What has been shown, however, is that conditions in the laboratory powerfully influence which animals will succumb to addiction. Among monkeys, for example, subordinate males who are stressed and relatively isolated are the ones more likely to self-administer cocaine. As I will later explain, being dominant leads to brain changes that give stronger monkeys some protection from an addictive response to cocaine.

Bruce Alexander, a psychologist at Simon Fraser University in British Columbia, points out the obvious: laboratory animals in particular can be induced into addiction because they live under unnatural circumstances of captivity and stress. Along with other astute researchers, Dr. Alexander has argued that drug self-administration by these creatures may be how the animals “cope with the stress of social and sensory isolation.” The animals may also be more prone to give themselves drugs because they are cooped up with the self-administration apparatus and cannot move freely.

As we will see, emotional isolation, powerlessness and stress are exactly the conditions that promote the neurobiology of addiction in human beings, as well. Dr. Alexander has conducted elegant experiments to show that even lab rats, given reasonably normal living situations, will resist the addictive appeal of drugs:

My colleagues and I built the most natural environment for rats that we could contrive in the laboratory. “RatPark,” as it came to be called, was airy, spacious, with about 200 times the square footage of a standard laboratory cage. It was also scenic (with a peaceful British Columbia forest painted on the plywood walls),comfortable (with empty tins, wood scraps, and other desiderata strewn about on the floor), and sociable


(with 16–20 rats of both sexes in residence at once).…We built a short tunnel opening into Rat Park that was just large enough to accommodate one rat at a time. At the far end of the tunnel, the rats could release a fluid from either of two drop dispensers. One dispenser contained a morphine solution and the other an inert solution.

It turned out that for the Rat Park animals, morphine held little attraction, even when it was dissolved in a sickeningly sweet liquid usually irresistible to rodents and even after these rats were forced to consume morphine for weeks, to the point that they would develop distressing physical withdrawal symptoms if they didn't use it. In other words, in this “natural” environment a rat will stay away from the drug if given a choice in the matter—even if it’s already physically dependent on the narcotic. “Nothing that we tried,” reported Bruce Alexander, “instilled a strong appetite for morphine or produced anything that looked like addiction in rats that were housed in a reasonably normal environment.” By contrast, caged rats consumed up to twenty times more morphine than their relatively free living relatives. Dr. Alexander first published these findings in 1981.

In 1980 it had already been reported that social isolation increased animals' intake of morphine. Other scientists have since confirmed that some environmental conditions are likely to induce animals to use drugs; given different conditions, even captive creatures can resist the lure of addiction.



Quote:
We see that substance addictions are only one specific form of blind attachment to harmful ways of being, yet we condemn the addict's stubborn refusal to give up something deleterious to his life or to the life of others. Why do we despise, ostracize and punish the drug addict, when as a social collective, we share the same blindness and engage in the same rationalizations?



Quote:
Not every story has a happy ending, ... but the discoveries of science, the teachings of the heart, and the revelations of the soul all assure us that no human being is ever beyond redemption. The possibility of renewal exists so long as life exists. How to support that possibility in others and in ourselves is the ultimate question.



Quote:
Anything can serve as the object of the addiction process, including religions that promise salvation and freedom. The physical entity called Jerusalem has itself become a fetish for many people of several faiths, with bloodshed and hatred being the consequence. It is no accident that in all major religions the most rigidly fundamentalist elements take the harshest, most punitive line against addicted people. Could it be that they see their own weakness and fear—and false attachments—reflected in the dark mirror addiction holds up to them?



Quote:
The war mentality represents an unfortunate confluence of ignorance, fear, prejudice, and profit. ... The ignorance exists in its own right and is further perpetuated by government propaganda. The fear is that of ordinary people scared by misinformation but also that of leaders who may know better but are intimidated by the political costs of speaking out on such a heavily moralized and charged issue. The prejudice is evident in the contradiction that some harmful substances (alcohol, tobacco) are legal while others, less harmful in some ways, are contraband. This has less to do with the innate danger of the drugs than with which populations are publicly identified with using the drugs. The white and wealthier the population, the more acceptable is the substance. And profit. If you have fear, prejudice, and ignorance, there will be profit.

-In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts


Author is Dr. Gabor Maté. Whom I think should be more well known.
Check him out, lots of good youtube talks.
He is also at focus in the film The Jungle Prescription.
Which documents treating addicts with Ayahuasca and Dr. Matés higher success rates.
 

Trippy glass for trippy people.
 
hixidom
#2 Posted : 2/9/2013 10:53:57 PM
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In my experience, I have found that some people do indeed have an "addictive personality".

You're going to hate me for this, but I believe that addicts are usually "weaker" individuals, in some sense. By "weaker", I mean that one or both of the following personality characteristics are found more so in such individuals:
Poor judgement: "This feels great! This is a much better use of my time and money than my previous life ambitions!"
Lack of self-control/self-discipline: "This feels great! I should really stop this before it ruins my life ambitions, but I just can't. I'll do it just one more time."

In other words, there are people who don't realize that it's bad (gullibility?), and then there are people who realize that it's bad but don't stop (lack of self-discipline). You may call it "mental sickness", but if it was not caused by genetics, a head injury, or a disease, I call it "mental weakness". I don't really see the problem with that either. If someone is too dumb to weigh the benefits and consequences of drug-use, then they are dumb. If they are smart enough to do so but are too weak to act accordingly, then they are weak. Developing a model of addiction that puts blame on anything other than the users themselves may effectively enable further drug-use by making it easier on a user's conscience and self-image. People fight addiction because they start to see themselves and their past decisions in a very negative way. If you take that away from addicts, then you're just turning them into "helpless victims" of drug dealers and the drugs themselves, which they are not (usually).

When I say "people who don't realize it's bad", I realize that "it's bad" is a very biased/subjective statement. I imagine that there are indeed things pleasurable enough that the rational decision is to abandon your previous life ambitions. The question is how happy do such drugs make you and what are the consequences? If using a certain drug cuts your life-expectancy in half but increases your day-to-day happiness ten-fold, then I would say that the drug is indeed the wiser choice. The line becomes very gray when other people's happiness (friends, family, etc.) is at stake.
Every day I am thankful that I was introduced to psychedelic drugs.
 
Philosopher
#3 Posted : 2/20/2013 2:37:39 AM

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Addiction is a disease. Check the DSMV
We are surprisingly similar.
 
Philosopher
#4 Posted : 2/20/2013 2:41:34 AM

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I'd also like to point out that addiction doesn't always begin with the irresponsible and selfish choice, no ones first drug is heroin. The main thing they are guilty of is taking their first drink, or smoking their first time, but their mental obsession usually makes the craving to do it again very strong. In the beginning it does not harm their family, or hurt their health, it doesn't even hurt their morals. But as the disease progresses and tolerance increases the person becomes desperate, irresponsible, selfish and feels they really have no choice.
We are surprisingly similar.
 
SpartanII
#5 Posted : 2/20/2013 6:22:32 AM

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hixidom wrote:

You're going to hate me for this, but I believe that addicts are usually "weaker" individuals, in some sense. By "weaker", I mean that one or both of the following personality characteristics are found more so in such individuals:
Poor judgement: "This feels great! This is a much better use of my time and money than my previous life ambitions!"
Lack of self-control/self-discipline: "This feels great! I should really stop this before it ruins my life ambitions, but I just can't. I'll do it just one more time."


My experience suggests otherwise. They may not actually have poor judgment/lack of discipline but only believe that they do, then they act in accordance with their beliefs. Addictive behavior can then cause changes in brain chemistry, but never do we lose our free will to a "disease". Their is always a choice, even if we believe otherwise.

Semantics are a funny thing...Rolling eyes

Philosopher wrote:
Addiction is a disease. Check the DSMV


That's debatable.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih....mc/articles/PMC3314045/

http://www.thecleanslate...disease-it-is-a-choice/

http://blogs.plos.org/mi...is-not-a-brain-disease/
 
Philosopher
#6 Posted : 2/20/2013 10:49:38 AM

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Great links Thumbs up

You may have just changed my mind/life
We are surprisingly similar.
 
Valura
#7 Posted : 2/20/2013 11:28:47 AM

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Philosopher wrote:
Addiction is a disease. Check the DSMV


You can't seriously refer to the DSMV as if it's some kind of correct and objective work. It is nothing like that. The DSMV is on the list of things that are the bloodletting of our time.
 
SpartanII
#8 Posted : 2/20/2013 12:48:16 PM

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Philosopher wrote:
Great links Thumbs up

You may have just changed my mind/life


Glad I could convert you!Big grin

PsilocybeChild- Thank you for posting this, I'll be recommending this book to my friends and family.

 
Elemotion
#9 Posted : 2/20/2013 1:22:11 PM

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I love the work of Gabor Mate. I'm actually attending a workshop of his in April that touches on the causes of ADD/ADHD and addiction, which he believes is insecure attachment in our development.

Philosopher wrote:
Addiction is a disease. Check the DSMV


The DSM is not completely factual. It is used as a guide for folks in the mental health field in order to get a sense of what is going on with someone. And just because it's in the DSM, does not make it a disease.

Mate also points out the error in naming addiction as a genetic disease/disorder. While addiction may seem to trickle down from generation to generation, that does not mean that there is some sort of addiction gene or addictive behavior that is passed down from one person to the next. What is being passed down are insecure attachments, which in turn can be seen as a cause for substance use, and subsequently abuse and addiction for some.

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts is a great book. It addresses the issues with the war on drugs as well as the benefits of implementing a harm reduction approach to addiction. We need a new paradigm to address addiction in this world, and Mate is on the right track. Even if you don't completely agree with his theories on the causes of addiction, I'm sure you will find many of his solutions quite valuable.
 
Philosopher
#10 Posted : 2/20/2013 2:48:37 PM

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Its just that I've been though the program, and they repeat things so much that you start to believe it. I knew I never needed any 12 steps, I knew I wouldnt be a life long sufferer, they say "There is no cure for this disease" Just recovery, and if your not recovering then your slipping back into addiction. Thats bull. You just have to change your mind, its your choice if you want to be an addict or not although its hard to see that in the midst of an addiction sometimes.
We are surprisingly similar.
 
Elemotion
#11 Posted : 2/20/2013 3:12:36 PM

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Philosopher wrote:
Its just that I've been though the program, and they repeat things so much that you start to believe it. I knew I never needed any 12 steps, I knew I wouldnt be a life long sufferer, they say "There is no cure for this disease" Just recovery, and if your not recovering then your slipping back into addiction. Thats bull. You just have to change your mind, its your choice if you want to be an addict or not although its hard to see that in the midst of an addiction sometimes.


Yeah, the program isn't for everyone. For the people who need the community and the support, it works wonders. Some people are able to make the changes on their own, and that's awesome! I've known many people who have been in the program, myself included. Some of us found long ago that we didn't need to accept all of the tenets that the program pushes and could abstain from the harmful behaviors on our own volition. Others still work the program, and others have fallen deeper into addiction and have even passed away. It's all about what's right for the individual, and only the individual can decide that.
 
Philosopher
#12 Posted : 2/20/2013 3:28:33 PM

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I agree. But my counselors all say that if your an addict you must work the 12 steps or you will end up on the streets. They say free will can only get you so far, maybe a month at most. They say maybe 1% of people can recover by themselves without NA, a sponsor and active program working. I feel I don't need any of that. It will just remind me I can't have the drug anymore. It prolongs thr pain. I can just try and leave my old ways of thinking, if you find your own reason not to use then I believe it is much stronger than anything anyone else can say.
We are surprisingly similar.
 
spinCycle
#13 Posted : 2/20/2013 3:53:59 PM

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Philosopher wrote:
Its just that I've been though the program, and they repeat things so much that you start to believe it. I knew I never needed any 12 steps, I knew I wouldnt be a life long sufferer, they say "There is no cure for this disease" Just recovery, and if your not recovering then your slipping back into addiction. Thats bull. You just have to change your mind, its your choice if you want to be an addict or not although its hard to see that in the midst of an addiction sometimes.

I have a dear lifelong friend who went through what must be one of the closest things to Hell a human can experience. He is also an alcoholic, who did (and does AA). I am absolutely convinced that it saved his life. He has also gone on to help a great many others overcome their difficulties and I am sure saved some of their lives too.

I am also convinced that this whole mindset of being somehow permanently ill and requiring the program has held him back from a great many things. I have watched the focus of his life narrow from someone who was once able to consider many possibilities to someone who is content with merely having a stable and secure suburban existence. Maybe this is a result of trauma, maybe a result of the AA mindset, tough for me to say.

Make no mistake, I'd rather have him alive with a narrower focus to life than dead. But he is certain that any use of any substance ever will swing him into an unending downward spiral of drinking, drinking, drinking. I've asked him if he thinks a psychedelic journey once a year or so would do this and he says that in the abstract he thinks it is OK for some people, but he won't risk it. It's his decision, no way am I going to try to force him to change his mind, but I do see it a a false mindset he has bought into.

Too bad, because some of the finest experiences of my life involved tripping together with him and I think he has since discounted them as falsehoods, but we each have our own paths in life, and his has been a rough one.

As for myself, I have consumed some substances that others would find addictive and they held no real sway over me. There is one that I consumed way too much for a year or so, and for which a several of my friends had a lot of trouble wit, NA classes, etc. One day I just got disgusted with it and quit. Washed what I had left down the sink and never looked back. Well, it actually took about two weeks to stop thinking about it, but I just made myself ignore Mr. Jones, told myself he was a lying A-Hole who meant me no good and was not my friend. Maybe I just don't have an addictive personality or an addictive gene, or whatever but really it was just a firm realization and decision that it sucked.

There must be a path to recovery for folks that does not involve this 'I am broken' mindset, but I am not the one to tell others what they should do.
Images of broken light,
Which dance before me like a million eyes,
They call me on and on...

 
Elemotion
#14 Posted : 2/20/2013 3:56:51 PM

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I think counselors push the 12-step thing because of its success rate. People who really work the program will greatly improve their quality of life surrounding substance use, but like I said, it's all up to the needs of the individual.

That being said, not all counselors will work the same way. If it was me, I would seek out a counselor who was rooted in Transpersonal/Humanistic/Client-centered therapy. Or possibly someone who was trained in Mindfulness based CBT. But again, that's for me, not everyone. In any case, I wish nothing but the best for anyone who is trying to kick an addiction, and support them in whatever path they choose.
 
Philosopher
#15 Posted : 2/20/2013 4:39:38 PM

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Yeah whatever works best for the individual. I see,no reason to not use psychedelics, the first time I used them I basically quit my drug of choice because the mushrooms showed me the harsh reality. Psychedelics really help my recovery, but some people may get the body high and be triggered to go out and use. I've always though the body high is a side affect, the mind high, or enlightenment, new perspective, and journey is what I try to attain.
We are surprisingly similar.
 
foaf
#16 Posted : 2/20/2013 4:41:27 PM

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thanks, those are very good thoughts and replies.

I have a loved one who just finished a rehab 12 step inpatient program, and the problem was not addiction to any one substance. It was behavior that centered more around the aquisition and planning and certainly use of various substances. Mostly pot but also mushrooms and dmt. Small amount of alcohol.

The lying, stealing, deceptions that were required for theis 17 year old to learn about and obtain the substances and the relatively infrequent use all has compounded to make a large problem, but the problem was definately not the acutal drug use. Very much as alluded to in the first post and since.

I personally feel an "addiction" to the understanding of and the aquisition of a myriad of drugs that a really dont have time to use. I spend much more time playing with the techniques of extraction, growing, purification, and such than I do the use of the substances, and I clearly believe that if fits the definition of addiction as proposed above. Fortunately, so far, this lifelong pursuit has not caused me any legal, family, or job issues.... and hopefully if it appeared that it would I would curtail the behavior, therefore I feel that (rationalize) that is is not a problematic addiction.

A good wise friend and I tripped together and we discussed this. I wondered if it was worth the legal risk that is inherent in such pursiuts, as they could not only affect me, but my loved ones if "the worst" was to happen.

He told me his perspective as his life is similiar. He said that he would not be the person that he was were it not for those pursuits and experiences. He was sure that he would be a lesser person with less insight and a void that these behaviours fill. We discussed how one could fill such with legal pursuits, but the reality is we had both found a lifelong "love" in the exploration of the use and even more the study of such agents.

I agree. Its now, at 50, a huge part of who I am, and I know I am better for it all.

Thanks for the posts.
 
Elemotion
#17 Posted : 2/20/2013 5:23:56 PM

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Philosopher wrote:
Yeah whatever works best for the individual. I see,no reason to not use psychedelics, the first time I used them I basically quit my drug of choice because the mushrooms showed me the harsh reality. Psychedelics really help my recovery, but some people may get the body high and be triggered to go out and use. I've always though the body high is a side affect, the mind high, or enlightenment, new perspective, and journey is what I try to attain.


I should also throw out there that I, even as a therapist. am pro-psychedelic//pro-entheogen. I am a firm believer that a breakthrough experience can serve as a catalyst for healing. Even Bill W (co-founder of AA) wanted to promote the healing properties of LSD, but wasn't allowed to introduce it into the program. My studies and work are highly influenced by my journeys and experiences, so I am all about it! I'm glad that you are another person who can successfully speak on the behalf of entheogens and their benefits!

And, like Gabor Mate, I view addiction as any behavior in which a person engages in, and cannot stop despite multiple attempts, that has negative impact on their life. I don't necessarily view substances as addictive, but I think that their affects can be addictive for someone who is wanting that feeling. This could be doing anything, drugs, sex, stealing, skydiving, cleaning, etc. It's all addiction. Psychedelics allow us to confront our addictions and decide what we want to do about it.
 
The Electric Hippy
#18 Posted : 2/28/2013 5:28:09 PM

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The decision to quit is really where the magic of success lies, because once you've decided to quit, you've decided to stop wanting it. Once you've decided you no longer want it, quitting is easy. I'm 59 days free of nicotine today, which has saved me about $250 US dollars. There are times when I think I want a cigarette, but I have to remind myself that its not the actual cigarette that I want, it's the social normality that smoking used to bring. Once that passes (which lasts about 5 secs) it's over, and I can go back to not having to smoke.
"In a controversy, the instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves" - Buddha


 
FranLover
#19 Posted : 2/3/2020 9:14:55 PM

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bump Smile another great read on the subject is Animals and Psychedelics, here are some pages on Google books;

I've bookmarked these pages

You can go just a couple pages back (2 or 3) to read some very interesting points.
Cura cura cuerpecito/Cura cura almacita/Ayahuasca medicina/eres muy sagrada/ tienes el poder de sanar nuestra gente/Chacrunita medicina...wachumita medicina...Nakaykuna medicina...
I used to think of you. I'd think "She exists. She's out there somewhere." And that would give me strenght.
See the job. Do the job. Stay out of the misery.
 
Jega
#20 Posted : 2/3/2020 10:50:02 PM

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People in hard and unhappy circumstances are prone to drug addiction. It's a coping mechanism to escape the unhappiness.

There was an experiment where they put cocaine next to the food of rats in a cage. The rats would use occasionally and in modration ('recreational users'Pleased but never used frequently enough to be classed as addicts. Once more rats were added to the cage increasing competition for space, food and water and pushing the stress levels up, the rats became addicted. Reversing the situation lead to a decrease in addiction.

The results with the men on active duty who acted like addicts and swiftly lost the habit on returning to more stable and no-doubt less stressful living circumstances makes perfect sense in relation to this.
 
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