Skip to comments.Understanding Addiction
Posted on 05/15/2012 6:25:37 PM PDT by tedw
New You Tube Video on Addiction. Basically I am sick and tired of the so-called "experts" spouting off nonsense regarding drug and alcohol addiction.
The most current one I found was a licensed Clincial Psychologist "enlightening" (tongue in check) us that addiction is a "brain disease". You can find his link here:
The problem with these so-called experts is that they understand nothing. They do not recognize the spiritual realm so they reduce these problems to a physiological level.
They do not recognize the existence of demons or evil and the role it plays in addiction. As a consequence they help nobody. At best they adddict people to anonymous and only rarely is anybody ever really helped.
It's time we had a little light on the subject
Dumb post. Its a hereditary disease. Stop posting nonsense..
I am only speaking of what I know. Dad died at 42. Im 41 and have an insatiable craving for alcohol. I don’t think its behavior. Its passed on genetically..(im irish and 1/4 native american)..if that matters.. not sure. If I did id be rich..
I’m 26 and addicted to heavy metal music. Does that mean I’m being possessed by a demon?
Going back several generations, there is no evidence of alcoholism or even alcohol abuse in my family history yet my brother is and unapologetic alcoholic and I’m not an alcholic. So much for genetics. IMHO
“... it’s passed on genetically”.
I absolutely agree with you. I’m Irish on my Dad’s side and yes... in that family there were addictions. Many of my cousins refused ALL alcohol (even sacramental wine) as a way of “not activating the gene”. Could someone have that gene and be going through a difficult time in their life that equals an addiction? Sure. My Uncle returned home from WWII an alcoholic. He remained one until cancer took him out. So, there were some personal demons... but I believed him when he told me he became a drunk with his first sip of alcohol.
Is this another HumbleGumby thread?
Get a copy of the book Alcoholics Anonymous and read the Doctor’s opinion.
Yeah, I would click on that link but I probably don't have enough spiritual faith, moral fortitude, or capacity for religious discernment, so why bother? In fact, i probably have multiple demons living within me, all doing battle for eternal and perpetual control of my pathetic, defective soul. Otherwise, why else would i see this thread and then start craving chocolate?
Don’t underestimate the desire, unto compulsion, to avoid pain. One dose can wipe it away before it starts, where “it” is agony worth fearing.
“... no evidence of alcoholism or even alcohol abuse...”
Just wondering if you think your brother may be treating an undiagnosed mental disorder like Bipolar with alcohol? I use to work with two women who had issues with alcohol until they were diagnosed with Bipolar. The treatment/medication for Bipolar helped them (although not perfectly). They did, however, get off of alcohol completely.
Before I rush out and buy this book, could you explain to me why I should?
And you received your Doctorate in Neurobiology exactly when?
>>Im 26 and addicted to heavy metal music. Does that mean Im being possessed by a demon?<<
Yes. Hell, yes.
The best information is that addiction is less genetic than it is related to maturity when addictive substances are consumed.
The human brain does not fully mature until the early 20s. The younger a person begins to consume addictive substances, the more their brain adapts to be prone to addiction, not just to a single substance, but to the realm of addictive substances and behaviors.
If they can hold off to their later teenage years, it becomes progressively harder for them to develop an addiction, and if they do develop one as an adult, it is much easier to break the addiction.
Perhaps the worst addictive substance is alcohol, for several reasons. The first is that it does have a genetic component, that being how fast the liver metabolizes alcohol. Those who metabolize it quickly are able to consume much more, and in turn it is more likely to affect their brain.
In the brain, alcohol is almost unique, because it affects almost every one of the multitude of neurochemicals that direct our extremely complex brain function. And these effects may be transitory, or may last weeks or months.
Nicotine is one of the more interesting addictive substances, because the human body is loaded with receptors for that molecule, even in our intestines. It is very puzzling why we are so adapted to a substance we do not naturally produce and would typically only rarely consume.
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, also has a molecular shape that is like one of our natural molecules, but it is almost completely non-addictive, except psychologically.
The most dangerous addictive substances are opiates and synthetic opiates. They are so effective at causing addiction that they almost transcend the brain maturity rule. They do this by performing a function similar to one of our most important brain chemicals that is not a neurotransmitter: the endorphines.
Endorphines are the bodies natural painkillers, and keep us from being overwhelmed by sensory input. Typically, they block over 98% of our sensory information, to protect us.
When addicted to heroin or other opiates, the production of endorphines permanently diminishes, and even temporarily halts. So when a junkie gives up his drug, he is soon overwhelmed by sensation that his brain interprets as pain.
This is the infamous “crawling up the walls”.
Referring back to the original post, I don’t believe alcoholism is a spiritual problem. I believe a alcoholism can have a spiritual solution through AA. Im a hardcore alcoholic and believe there is a genetic nature. There has to be some truth to the theory... not that im a bad person. In working on my 4th degree(mba). My weekends are just a blur.. I think its in the blood and not a weakness of spirit..
He is 60 years old (I’m 65) and doubt he will change, having no desire to do so regardless the underlying reason.
I was trying to rebuke the idea that alcoholism was necessarily genetic, not to attempt a “cure” for my brother.
Or were you being sarcastic?
Good point mom. Dysthymia and manic depression contribute to self medication. Especially in males that wont seek help.. I appreciate your insight..
Wrong. I have family mostly Irish with American Indian and they have no problem with alcoholism. None. It is a morality problem—and habituation in young childhood—modeling....or a void that needed filling.
All addictions are to cover fear, lack of love, insecurities. Eating to much-—during boredom or in high stress situations-—they learned to eat when under stress in young childhood to deal with the stress or boredom. It is a habit. Everything a person does becomes habituated if it is repeated enough times.
All behaviors are learned and habituated. Good moral behaviors are learned and habituated. It is why some cultures are better than other. Behaviors that the cultures promote become “normal” and common. They promoted drinking and smoking-—it became common. True some bodies are affected more easily by alcohol but that is no reason to become a slave to anything if you believe in God and have formed strong morals in childhood. Study the stoics.
Cancer victims in the same family were exposed to the same toxins probably. I’ve known women —daughter/mother who got it in the same year. Cancers take decades to manifest-—they were both exposed to the same toxin at the same time. Families are exposed to the same toxins and same influences and modeling of behaviors. If the adults are drinkers, drug addicts, they teach their children to be the same.
It takes an exceptional outsider to rescue children from a family of addicts-—if the child even survives.
“I appreciate your insight”
I appreciate that you battle this disease and do so honorably. I remember being knee high to a grasshopper when my Uncle told me he believed all of us have some sort of “cross to bear”. Some struggle and keep going.. some collapse under the weight. For whatever reason, he collapsed under the weight.
Very smart uncle, I too believe this . I am sorry that your Uncle collapsed under the weight of his demons. I have seen how this can happen.
Lucky you.. as I previously stated. I speak of what I know. Maybe you were lucky and I was unlucky.. which knows the facts? I admit I know my liver will be shot out in a year. Do you have proof to the reason of the health of your family?? I can’t explain my situation. Im been to Aa for 20yrs and have been to rehab and detox 7 times.. come walk in my shoes...
I’m with you, y.
There may or may not be a genetic predisposition to alcohol or drug abuse; there is also a physical addiction which develops over long abuse.
But it is not a ‘disease’ in that you are physically able to prevent yourself from picking up the bottle and drinking it.
People with MS have a disease. They can’t control their movements. People with leukemia can’t get their immune system to work. People with asthma can’t control their breathing. These are REAL diseases.
When I hear alcohol/drug abuse classified as just a disease, I feel resentment on behalf of those with true diseases.
People with alcoholism can’t control their drinking.
As long as you’re not addicted to Justin Bieber music....that would require a full frontal lobotomy.
I have several of them.No doubt more than you including a 1st, second, and third editions.
Just because something is written in the Big Book doesn;t make it true, although MOST AA’s are so brainwashed its hard to reason with them.
I was an AA for over 30 years, and I can tell you with certainty that most dont understand Alcoholism.
Read a couple of chapters free on google books. If you like it, buy it. If you don’t, then don’t. It doesn’t really matter to me.
See the book “Heavy Drinkin, the Myth of Alcholism as a Disease” for the case studies.
Gee, what a sympathetic response. Makes me want to just jump all over this book. Thanks anyway.
“People with alcoholism cant control their drinking.”
I think it is unusually hard to control it.
However, there is no machine forcing the hand to grip the bottle, take it to their lips, swallow. Will is involved.
As opposed to the person with a migraine; they can’t will it away. A person with kidney failure can’t make his kidneys work by making a decision, however difficult. A person with IBS can’t make their bowels function properly.
An alcoholic is not the moral equivalent to a man with pancreatic cancer. The man with pancreatic cancer REALLY has a disease that he himself can not stop from advancing. An alcoholic is capable of not drinking again. It would be way harder for him not to drink today than for me; I grant you that. Still, it can be done.
So there is a big difference.
Some of the response to my post were somewhat nasty. I should have responded better to you.
Here is what one reviewer said:
“I have never read such an honest and clear account of a life that went down the “wrong path”. Agree with him or not, I couldn’t help but be moved by his openness and willingness to share it all and not hold back. I wasn’t reading a book. I was digging into his mind, and maybe even his soul. It has changd my perspective on addiction and the people with addiction, and it will change yours. A must read!”——5 Stars, Carol at the Book Nook Club.”
Midwest Book Review
Addiction can tear apart our lives. Up From Down: A True Story of Recovery From Addiction is a memoir from Ted Adamson as he discusses his battles with heroin addiction, as he his story with a no holds barred look at addicton and the damage it can do to our lives. Frank and honest, he hopes his story will ring true with other addicts and help them find their way through. Up From Down is an excellent and thoughtful memoir , not to be overlooked.
More reviews on my website:
I’d rather jump into a volcano than listen to pop music.
The answer is to turn to Jesus for the Lord WILL FREE you.
Heart of the Father ministries website:
I think that addiction can be viewed in some ways as a psychiatric disease, with some physical components. And this can get interesting.
To start with, it has been discovered that gamblers get a “brain storm” stimulation, literally, when they *lose*, but only mild stimulation when they win. This sets up a weird mental state called “operant conditioning”, made even stronger by randomness. That is, when random results reinforce actions, the effect is far stronger than when you get the same results every time.
The result is that a more primitive, far less self-aware and thoughtful part of the brain is trained with a stimulus-response action.
And this is where brain maturity comes into play. If a person gets to adulthood without developing this strong operant conditioning, that actually modifies the brain like exercising a muscle, when they are an adult, their brain is far more fixed in its purpose, and thus it is much harder to set up such “voluntary programming”.
They will never get as much stimulation from losing, either.
This is a good model to work with for chemical addictions as well. Today, most addictions are divided into physical and psychological addictions. The common statement is that “physical addiction only lasts three days” before recovery, so after that point it is all psychological.
But this does not take into account actual brain damage.
In the 1980s, the US Army decided to study alcoholism as it relates to leadership. They discovered that by the time a person becomes an alcoholic, they have damaged their forebrain, specifically their “judgment center”, so significantly that they cannot be relied on to have good judgment.
They suggested that after stopping alcohol consumption, it would typically take six months before the average soldier’s judgment was again good. As such, nobody diagnosed with alcoholism should be permitted in a leadership position. Of course they instantly recognized that if they removed all alcoholic leaders, the Army would be decapitated.
So instead, they settled on a long term policy to decrease and discourage alcohol use in the Army.
Bottom line, addiction is a psychiatric disease, with physical components, and physical damage all contributing to it.
Will, and habit, is involved. I have known people who were prone to addiction realize it, refocus their habits, and never drink or use drugs again.
My best friend woke up one day, put the bottle down, and never picked it up. He comes from a family of alcoholics, and didn't want to become his Dad. That isn't a “normal” case, but as you said, you can't will away a disease.
Calling alcoholism a disease only enables those who suffer from it. A disease is beyond your control. I know quite a few obese people who say they have the overeating disease. No, they are choosing to eat to much.
If you make it a point to cut to the chase in AA, and especially read “The Doctors Opinion”, they stress that the solution is spiritual in nature. The rest — the steps, the meetings, the fellowship — are just catalysts to get you there.
At some point, it really becomes beyond your control. At that point, it is truly a disease.
Talk to some REAL alcoholics. Talk to some REAL addicts. They will tell you stories of their experience and you will come away with a mixed opinion. You, like I, will recognize that up to a certain point, it's choice. Then you, like I, will admit that after that point, the power of choice is taken away.
See, I am, alone, utterly defenseless against my first drink or drug. However, I am granted a daily reprieve, contingent on the daily maintenance of my spiritual condition.
Curiously, that is the exact title of my new pop single. Have a listen?
I am well versed in AA, having been involved to some extent for over 30 years. However, not all AA teaching is true and AA is not what it once was.
For example, in the doctors opinion, it states that the body of the “Alcholic” is quite as abnormal as his mind. There have been numerous theories set forward to ‘prove” this over the years, but it has NEVER been proven . AA’s are fond of making a distinction between a “real alcoholic” and a “heavy drinker”. It has never been proven.
In The Doctors Opinion it states that “these allergic types can never safely alcohol in any form”. It’s never been proven that alcoholics have an allergy. The studies (quoted at length in the book “Heavy Drinking The Myth of Alchoholism as as Disease” show that in fact that is not true.
Furthermore, the entire Spirituality of AA is called into question by its acceptance of homosexuality. Gay meetings abound. The newest edition of the Big Book even contains the story of an unrepentant homosexual activists (Tightrope). That kind of so called spirituality isn’t going to help anyone.
In many respects, AA is a place to go to get brainwashed. Not a place to go for a spiritual awakening. At least that is my experience with over 30 years in AA. I write about all this in my book btw.
It’s a disease insofar as some people lack the genetics producing enzymes needed for efficient breakdown of ethanol, making for an objective difference between those prone to debilitating addictive effects vs. those who can imbibe & metabolize with minimal consequence. Hence the “prone to addiction” via broadly-defined “disease”. Walking away, for some, is hard because they’re biologically susceptible to physiological loss of control.
Of course, this does not excuse the choice to make the step over the cliff. Too often the arguments polarize one reason against another, when the reasons are in fact symbiotic.
The only thing I'll observe that you might agree with, is that they can only get you so far. I've grown more than AA and NA have to offer.
Regarding brainwashing ... you know what, when I first showed up, my brain NEEDED a little scrubbing.