WHAT IS ADDICTION (part II of II)
Addiction is NOT a disease. Addiction is a DISORDER
“You would have to be half mad to dream me up.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
A LIFELONG DISORDER
There’s no cure for pathological disorders and Addictive-Disorder is no different.
Anyone who tells you addiction can be “cured” is likely a flat-out liar, trying to sell something they cannot deliver or optimistically ignorant.
Addiction-Disorder is dormant in childhood,
much like OCD and other personality disorders,
and becomes active, or symptomatic,
in adolescence and/or when drugs are introduced to the individual.
I was an addict before I ever did drugs as the components of addiction within my brain/mind were present but dormant.
Because of my addictive pathology I was easily willing to say yes to dangerous drugs, even though I was intellectually aware of the dangers and risks.
I was intelligent enough to know what was dangerous and rational enough to know I should avoid them,
however my addict-disordered brain overrode those safety mechanisms. Not my addict-diseased mind; my addict-disordered mind.
There are those who will say “no” to drugs because they lack the addictive disorder brain and those who say “yes” because they do have it.
Once the DOC is introduced, Addictive-Disorder thinking is awakened intensely and begins to manifest, overwhelming reason and logic.
A man who never used drugs even once until he was 35 became a full-blown addict within a month.
Due to circumstance his dormant AD had not been activated until then.
THE POWER OF ADDICTIVE THINKING
If I were to ask you to have lunch at a cannibal restaurant you would say “No!” (I hope!)
“That’s disgusting and sick! I would never eat people!“
And I agree: it is disgusting.
However, in the 1970’s a sports team crashed in the Andes Mountains and in order to survive they were faced with the decision to eat the flesh of the dead passengers who were teammates and friends or to perish.
Faced with survival situations, brain chemistry can literally alter itself, making the repulsive and seemingly impossible, possible.
The fight-or-flight mechanism activates in a survival situation making us capable of doing things we would not otherwise be able to do.
Drug craving/addiction creates a similar paradigm and works with the same neurochemicals.
The need for a DOC becomes so overwhelming that it actually activates the fight/flight mechanism and an addict becomes capable of doing things to fulfill the need that they normally object to and go against their personal principles.
Many addicts in need of their DOC express a feeling of despair so profound that death is preferable to the urge to use being unfulfilled.
If you were stuck in those mountains,
like those poor people about to die, you too would welcome a cannibalistic lunch
(No… they didn’t enjoy it! They were just capable of it).
This is why it is so important not to judge addicts on a personal level for their dishonesty and immorality.
They are overwhelmed and, in many instances, not accountable for their actions.
One of the first issues families present to me as their counselor is the lack of trust for their addicted loved-one.
I ask them if the lying, stealing, and deception is independent of their addiction or are these behaviors always addiction related:
“Are their lies always relatable to using?”
The answer has nearly always been “yes”:
they’re lying and stealing is associated and motivated by their drug need and using;
it is not independent of it.
Addiction does not “go away” as a result of abstinence.
It can become manageable and the addict can remain symptom free for many years and even whole-life,
but they never stop being an addict.
With the introduction of the wrong circumstances,
they could very well relapse at any time throughout their lives.
If that occurs, they and their families must remain calm and work to re-establish abstinence and sobriety by reestablishing the strategies used to establish it the first time.
This is covered in the “treatment” and “recovery” sections.
HOW ADDICTION WORKS is the next blog chapter.
What conventional science teaches about it isn’t wrong—it’s just incomplete!
Basic elementary math isn’t wrong either. But without algebra and trigonometry we stay in the stone age!
Let’s get to the graduate level because… (c’mon… you know…)