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Moonlight Graham

Addiction 101

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We can play games with different rationalizations and explanations but when it comes to dealing the problem the following steps are necessary:

1) Acknowledge that addiction has a biological component that makes stopping more than a matter of will power.

Willpower is a poor way to control a behavior. It must be constantly employed. It would be better to eliminate the desire altogether.

2) Remember that the addiction is being used to cope with unresolved issues.

Or so it would seem.I have to say that I have to change my mind about agreeing there being any physiological aspects to addiction. I believe there are but they aren't nearly as insurmountable as is thought.

Smoking is supposedly, at least I have heard more than one person parrot, one of the hardest habits to quit.

I know I tried quitting once when I was in my thirties and after three days swore I would never try again. I had some idea it took willpower or something like that. Then I picked up Allan Carr's book called The Easy Way to Quit Smoking and quit cold turkey. Physiologically I experienced some mild nervousness but not once did I have a desire for a cigarette, and I don't to this day.

It has been said that a success rate of a program at 20% is not effective in the least as 20% of people will be able to overcome their habits somehow themselves. A success rate of 40% is only mildly successful and that is what most programs achieve today. About the best that can be expected is 80% and that is what Allan Carr's success rate is. The book alone may not reach 80% effectiveness but he has clinics in Europe that provide assistance if the book itself is not enough. People do have different levels of comprehension, self-confidence, etc.

3) It is the responsibility of the addict to choose to face these unresolved issues without chemical assistance.

Can't argue that.

4) If the addict makes the choice to face these unresolved issues society will provide appropriate assistance.

In short, the message to addicts is: your current situation is not your fault but getting better is entirely your responsibility. No one can help you unless you are willing to help yourself.

If it is not his fault then he has not started taking responsibility.

The idea is to restore volition to the individual, at least it should be, he used his own volition or justified his decision in first taking the drug. Whether or not his volition was overridden by say peer pressure or societal pressures, stress, he allowed his volition to be overridden.

The medical establishment would love to invent another drug for you to take so that your addiction were cured as long as you took the prescribed medicine. Sort of like replacing heroin with methadone.

Try getting off methadone, I've heard it's a bitch. Better to revert back to heroin and attempt to get off that.

Anyway, what we have now, despite the science, is an increasing problem. I would say a fresh approach is needed.

Dr. Mate, has worked in addiction for many years and he has some good advice but it sounds pretty hit and miss. He would do better to ignore the studies aggrandizing the "scientific" field that pompously lobbies government for cash instead of producing results first. Remember a success rate of 20% is zero success and an abject failure.

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