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
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.
Y'all taking that comment too literally. The Allergy is a metaphor for an intense mental reaction that takes place in the alcoholic mind when a drink is taken. This reaction is something that I have personally experienced. All your protestations to the contrary won't be able to sway me, because of my experience.
If you have not personally had this experience, then you are definitely not an alcoholic.
Yet your initial post speaks of demons (implying that you believe in God).
So, I remind you: God and demons have never been proven.
Yet they work for you.
So does AA, and God, for me.
Many people get sober in AA by substitution their addiction to alcohol to an an addiction to meetings and the comfort and freindships they find there. Not the same thing as an authentic spiritual awakening.
If you are happy with the brainwashing you find in AA, by all means continue.
I was not happy with a program that promotes things that are not true and is “gay friendly”.
You have been brainwashed.
When a person gets right with God, there is no problem with a drink in moderation. For example, I had a small glass of champagne at a friend’s wedding a few years ago. No problem at all.
I know that conflicts with your brainwashing but it is true nonetheless.
English Standard Version (©2001)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
"A drink" "in moderation" could easily be interpreted by the careless alcoholic that moderation in drinking is possible. Look, what works for you might kill me. Further, I submit you never reached the level of alcoholism and addiction that many of us have.
That said, I am very much a believer in God, that Father.
AA stopped fitting in your life. Fine. But for the vast majority of us, it does fit. And it saves our asses. And many of us go on to become closer to God. And for many of us, that is found through Christianity.
Why you would want to try to interfere in that, baffles me.
Have you ever heard of the “Unbound” ministry?
Absolutely. I agree. Hell, the veterans agree too: The fellowship is not the program.
The spiritual awakening happens after one really works the steps. And sometimes it takes a few times. At that point, God is ready to manifest in all His glory, and he did for me.
I believe there are a million roads to Rome. Yours worked for you. Mine works for me. Why, on Earth, in the name of all that's holy, would you denegrate a viable path that can save lives, and (for those that truly work the program) gets people closer to God?
I've said my piece. I just don't want the alcoholic who still suffers to read your text, assume there is no solution in AA, and then go out and die.
I would strongly suggest that you promote your path, not denegrate another's.
(I have to admit is seems, to me, odd that — after you said you were an AA for 30 years — you would need to be reminded of the old chestnut that “the fellowship is not the program”!)
I don’t need to be reminded it . The program itself is flawed.
From my book:
“However, my experience with both AA and NA is that the majority of people merely substitute their addiction to drugs or alcohol for an addiction to meetings, and the comforts and friendships they find there. This is not to say that I dont believe there are rare individuals here and there who actually do wake up from the psychic sleep they live in, but not many. If you are one of the many individuals who has benefited to some extent from these programs, I hope you will realize that my criticism of the programs is well-meaning. And perhaps you will see through some of these programs institutionalized lies (i.e., you have a disease). It is the Truth that sets us free, not lies. “
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