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Author Topic:   Addiction By Definition
Phat
Member
Posts: 9561
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 1 of 208 (744495)
12-11-2014 3:03 PM


The Science and Theory of Addiction
Though we(I) have discussed behavioral addiction before, I wanted to start a new topic on this societal phenomenon and share what I have learned the past few years.

In this topic, any addiction is fair game for discussion. Some of the more common addictions facing society today are drinking, legal and illegal drug abuse, gambling, pornography, overeating, obsessive/compulsive disorders,and social media..such as we are on now.

First, lets define addiction.

American Society Of Addictive Medicine writes:

Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry. Dysfunction in these circuits leads to characteristic biological, psychological, social and spiritual manifestations. This is reflected in an individual pathologically pursuing reward and/or relief by substance use and other behaviors.

Addiction is characterized by inability to consistently abstain, impairment in behavioral control, craving, diminished recognition of significant problems with one’s behaviors and interpersonal relationships, and a dysfunctional emotional response. Like other chronic diseases, addiction often involves cycles of relapse and remission. Without treatment or engagement in recovery activities, addiction is progressive and can result in disability or premature death.

Dr. Patrick Carnes, well known sex addictions expert, states that he believes that our society is becoming more and more trapped in addictions and addictive behavior and that this fact is important.

Does anyone here dare be honest and say they struggle with addiction?(You need not name it or get too personal with us)

Does anyone think that addiction is not a definite societal problem and that one mans sin is another mans leisure?

Does anyone have anything to add to get this discussion rolling? (Larni I eagerly await your participation!)

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Chance as a real force is a myth. It has no basis in reality and no place in scientific inquiry. For science and philosophy to continue to advance in knowledge, chance must be demythologized once and for all. –RC Sproul
"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." –Mark Twain

Replies to this message:
 Message 2 by ringo, posted 12-12-2014 11:26 AM Phat has responded
 Message 3 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 12:11 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 4 by Faith, posted 12-12-2014 1:46 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply
 Message 47 by Larni, posted 05-30-2015 7:02 PM Phat has responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13416
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 2 of 208 (744561)
12-12-2014 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
12-11-2014 3:03 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Phat writes:

Does anyone here dare be honest and say they struggle with addiction?


Q: Do you suffer from addiction?
A: No. I enjoy it.

Phat writes:

Does anyone think that addiction is not a definite societal problem and that one mans sin is another mans leisure?


I've heard addiction defined as a behaviour that effects every area of your life - work, home, etc. If you can hold a job and maintain reasonably peaceful interpersonal relationships, I don't much care what bad habits you have.
This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 12-11-2014 3:03 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 12-13-2014 7:08 AM ringo has responded
 Message 42 by Phat, posted 05-12-2015 11:54 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply
 Message 66 by Phat, posted 10-10-2016 10:30 AM ringo has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 3 of 208 (744565)
12-12-2014 12:11 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
12-11-2014 3:03 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Does anyone think that addiction is not a definite societal problem and that one mans sin is another mans leisure?

What I think works is an operational definition. If you have a habit that is causing problems in your life, then it is an addiction.

Using that definition, there are no good or benign addictions. Your habit, vice, pleasure, or whatever is out of control if it is messing up any aspect of your life.

That might also mean that an addiction for one person is a non problem for another.

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 12-11-2014 3:03 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 2:09 PM NoNukes has responded

  
Faith
Member
Posts: 25777
From: Nevada, USA
Joined: 10-06-2001
Member Rating: 1.1


(1)
Message 4 of 208 (744570)
12-12-2014 1:46 PM
Reply to: Message 1 by Phat
12-11-2014 3:03 PM


I think there are people who are more prone to addictions than others. I went through a period back in my thirties where I was drinking a lot and eventually became afraid I might be an alcoholic. But I discovered that I could quit very easily and continue to drink only now and then, so I conclude I wasn't addicted.

On the other hand I was certainly heavily addicted to cigarettes for twenty-five years.

But I have family members who couldn't give up alcohol. Usually they can confine it to a time of day and remain "functional" alcoholics but I found long ago that I can't be around them when they are drinking because of the personality change they go through.

Addictions may be harder on those in the addict's life than the addict him or herself. Besides the personality changes that can be hard to live with, out-of-control alcoholics are hard to be around because they are destroying themselves, which becomes a constant source of anxiety for anyone who cares for them. They can't keep jobs for long. They may lose their driver's license and need you to take them places. When it's really severe they are in and out of the hospital and you are the one who has the responsibility to take them and pick them up. They sometimes quit for periods, unfortunately in some cases during a long stint in jail, usually for driving under the influence, but go right back to it, can maybe keep it hidden for a while but it eventually comes out.

I've never been close to a drug addict but the situation must be similar plus the fact they usually end up on the streets and steal to support their habit. I know at least one marijuana addict though, actually two, but I'm not close enough to them to experience the results of their addiction. It's a daily thing, they can't live without it, but apparently do manage to go on functioning in spite of it. The main symptom is that their thinking can get very odd, so you just know not to talk to them at those times.

I've known compulsive gamblers and they wreak havoc in their families. There is a constant level of anxiety you suffer being in their lives. Are they going to come home broke again, want you to give them some money? If it's a friend, is he going to show up and tell you he's broke and out on the streets unless you put him up and feed him? Blew his paycheck? Could you just get him through to the next one? But he was up all night gambling and in no shape to go to work. Then he discovers money you have hidden somewhere or even some old jewelry that he can pawn and he's off again to try to win the fortune that's going to save us all. That's the thinking of a gambler.

No scientific study here, but some bad memories.

Just for the record, not all of these are my own personal experience, but that of people I've been close to, enough to know what they went through. Some are my own but mixed with others that are close enough for discomfort but not directly my own.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.

Edited by Faith, : No reason given.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 1 by Phat, posted 12-11-2014 3:03 PM Phat has acknowledged this reply

    
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11639
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 5 of 208 (744571)
12-12-2014 2:09 PM
Reply to: Message 3 by NoNukes
12-12-2014 12:11 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
If you have a habit that is causing problems in your life, then it is an addiction.

Using that definition, there are no good or benign addictions.

What about nicotine?

I'm totally addicted but it doesn't cause any problems.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 3 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 12:11 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 6 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 3:11 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 13 by ramoss, posted 12-13-2014 8:04 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 6 of 208 (744575)
12-12-2014 3:11 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by New Cat's Eye
12-12-2014 2:09 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
I'm totally addicted but it doesn't cause any problems.

Smoking causes health problems that are, to the best of my knowledge, inescapable. No one is immune.

But let's assume you are correct. Then you don't meet my operational definition of an addict.

My question to you though is, how do you know if you are an addict by your own definition? Is it because you tried to quit and could not? If so, why did you do try that?

Edited by NoNukes, : No reason given.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 2:09 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 4:11 PM NoNukes has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Member
Posts: 11639
From: near St. Louis
Joined: 01-27-2005
Member Rating: 2.5


Message 7 of 208 (744577)
12-12-2014 4:11 PM
Reply to: Message 6 by NoNukes
12-12-2014 3:11 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Smoking causes health problems that are, to the best of my knowledge, inescapable. No one is immune.

Oh, I thought you meant problems in my day-to-day life. Like if I was getting too drunk to get up and go into work in the morning.

I didn't realize you were talking about health effects.

But let's assume you are correct. Then you don't meet my operational definition of an addict.

Yeah I was just challenging your definition.

My question to you though is, how do you know if you are an addict by your own definition? Is it because you tried to quit and could not? If so, why did you do try that?

I tried to quit smoking because I didn't want to inhale the combustion product of crude plant matter anymore - its not good for your lungs.

I realized that I couldn't quit nicotine, though, so I switched to vaping. Its waaay better.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 6 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 3:11 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 8 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 10:20 PM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 10 by Phat, posted 12-13-2014 7:23 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
NoNukes
Inactive Member


Message 8 of 208 (744582)
12-12-2014 10:20 PM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-12-2014 4:11 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
But let's assume you are correct. Then you don't meet my operational definition of an addict.

Yeah I was just challenging your definition.

I know. But we don't want to talk about silly things like an oxygen addiction or a vitamin D addiction just because you cannot stop using.


Under a government which imprisons any unjustly, the true place for a just man is also in prison. Thoreau: Civil Disobedience (1846)

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him. Galileo Galilei

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. Frederick Douglass


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 4:11 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-15-2014 9:34 AM NoNukes has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9561
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 9 of 208 (744589)
12-13-2014 7:08 AM
Reply to: Message 2 by ringo
12-12-2014 11:26 AM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Critics might suggest that you don't much care what bad habits you have either. Which leads us to the definition again.

Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

One of the major purposes of debate is to help you hone your arguments. Yours are pretty bad. They can use all the honing they can get.~Ringo

If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God — only that God is not wooden. (Leo Tolstoy)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 2 by ringo, posted 12-12-2014 11:26 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 11 by ringo, posted 12-13-2014 10:41 AM Phat has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9561
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 10 of 208 (744590)
12-13-2014 7:23 AM
Reply to: Message 7 by New Cat's Eye
12-12-2014 4:11 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
I realized that I couldn't quit nicotine, though, so I switched to vaping. Its waaay better.
Critics would suggest that vaping is a rationalization(excuse) to avoid the problem. One could argue, however, that the damage caused by vaping is small compared to inhaling nicotine directly...or is that what vaping is?

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

It's easy to see the speck in somebody else's ideas - unless it's blocked by the beam in your own.~Ringo

If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God — only that God is not wooden. (Leo Tolstoy)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 7 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 4:11 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-15-2014 9:40 AM Phat has acknowledged this reply

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13416
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 11 of 208 (744597)
12-13-2014 10:41 AM
Reply to: Message 9 by Phat
12-13-2014 7:08 AM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Phat writes:

Critics might suggest that you don't much care what bad habits you have either.


As I said, as long as they don't screw up my life, no, I don't care. And some of them are kinda fun along the way.

Phat writes:

Which leads us to the definition again.


Your definition does call addiction a "disease". If it doesn't cause any dis-ease - i.e. ill effects such as pain or death, then who cares if somebody chooses to call it a "bad" habit?
This message is a reply to:
 Message 9 by Phat, posted 12-13-2014 7:08 AM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 12-13-2014 4:02 PM ringo has responded
 Message 199 by Phat, posted 06-30-2017 8:15 AM ringo has acknowledged this reply

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9561
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 12 of 208 (744630)
12-13-2014 4:02 PM
Reply to: Message 11 by ringo
12-13-2014 10:41 AM


Addictions and Demons and Things That Go Bump In The Night
I had a day off today and found myself looking at all sorts of old threads. Straggler and I had been discussing demons and whatnot over at Do We Need God and it quite naturally occurred to me to discuss whether any synthesis exists between an addicted brain and a "demon-possessed" brain.

What we do know is that an addicted brain appears markedly different from a "healthy" brain under microscopic analysis.

Sobriety causes the pathways to "dry up" and lose active status towards channeling the addictive behavior. It is almost analogous to the brain being allowed to reboot itself...given enough rest and time away from the addiction.

The full healing process achieved through sobriety usually involves a minimum of six months and an expected duration of two years.

As far as not caring, the first model of the Stages Of Change is pre-contemplation. People in this stage don't care either. (and i'm not your mother...just sayin)

How to Move through the Stages of Change

1. PRECONTEMPLATION
To get to the next stage you will need to:
- Consider new information about yourself and the problem.
- Know the benefits of changing. Express your feelings about the demands on you and about potential solutions.
- Understand others' demands on you to change and how your behavior affects the environment or others.

Example Techniques:
- Have a professional, or someone you trust, give you feedback on your behavior and how it may be affecting you and others.
- Monitor the behavior to see when, where and how much you do it. Note your feelings before, during and afterwards.
- Do some reading to learn more about this behavior.
- Tell someone your feelings about the demands on you to change and about what you believe your choices are.
- Look for ways that society and others will help you to change.
- Notice how your behavior affects the environment or others.

Edited by Phat, : No reason given.


Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

It's easy to see the speck in somebody else's ideas - unless it's blocked by the beam in your own.~Ringo

If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God — only that God is not wooden. (Leo Tolstoy)


This message is a reply to:
 Message 11 by ringo, posted 12-13-2014 10:41 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 14 by ringo, posted 12-14-2014 1:20 PM Phat has responded

  
ramoss
Member
Posts: 3030
Joined: 08-11-2004


Message 13 of 208 (744648)
12-13-2014 8:04 PM
Reply to: Message 5 by New Cat's Eye
12-12-2014 2:09 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
What about nicotine?

I'm totally addicted but it doesn't cause any problems.

Now, that depends on the delivery method , now doesn't it? Lung cancer is a horrible way to die.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 5 by New Cat's Eye, posted 12-12-2014 2:09 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
ringo
Member
Posts: 13416
From: frozen wasteland
Joined: 03-23-2005
Member Rating: 2.8


(1)
Message 14 of 208 (744661)
12-14-2014 1:20 PM
Reply to: Message 12 by Phat
12-13-2014 4:02 PM


Re: Addictions and Demons and Things That Go Bump In The Night
Phat writes:

As far as not caring, the first model of the Stages Of Change is pre-contemplation.


I think we should be in a state of pre-contemplation all the time. The unexamined life is not worth living, as Socrates said. The first line of defense against addiction is awareness.

When I said I don't care I meant that I don't care if something I do can technically be called an addiction. The actual effects on myself and those around me are all that matters, not a match with a definition in a book.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 12 by Phat, posted 12-13-2014 4:02 PM Phat has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 15 by Phat, posted 12-14-2014 1:42 PM ringo has responded

  
Phat
Member
Posts: 9561
From: Denver,Colorado USA
Joined: 12-30-2003
Member Rating: 1.9


Message 15 of 208 (744664)
12-14-2014 1:42 PM
Reply to: Message 14 by ringo
12-14-2014 1:20 PM


Re: Addictions and Demons and Things That Go Bump In The Night
ringo writes:

When I said I don't care I meant that I don't care if something I do can technically be called an addiction. The actual effects on myself and those around me are all that matters, not a match with a definition in a book.

Of course, I understand. And perhaps I should stop trying so much to define addiction so much for everybody else and let each of us settle on a definition that suits ourselves. In our Theological debates, truth is absolute in my mind and relative to the individual in many of my opponents minds---the same could be said of knowledge.

I will share this much. I went to my counselor last week. He is accredited--he is on the state board for problem gamblers and he is acquainted with all of the latest research on addictive behaviors. In our session, he shared two nuggets of truth with me that stand out in my thinking.

  • When I say that gambling hurts nobody else besides myself, it is a lie. Simply not true, in his mind. He mentions that by crippling myself with addictive behavior, I am depriving others of the help that I could give them.(He thinks I am a leader! )

  • IF I can get this addiction cured, all of my other minor addictions of any severity or consequence will also get resolved. It has been his experience that compulsive problem gambling is as hard to cure as a methamphetamine or even a heroin addiction.

    Jon has mentioned that I am the only member at EvC who routinely starts topics to discuss himself. Guilty.

    And I need your prayers and advice. On my end of the deal, I will try and do my best. This is officially day 4 of sobriety.


    Saying, "I don't know," is the same as saying, "Maybe."~ZombieRingo

    It's easy to see the speck in somebody else's ideas - unless it's blocked by the beam in your own.~Ringo

    If a savage stops believing in his wooden god, it does not mean that there is no God — only that God is not wooden. (Leo Tolstoy)


    This message is a reply to:
     Message 14 by ringo, posted 12-14-2014 1:20 PM ringo has responded

    Replies to this message:
     Message 16 by ringo, posted 12-14-2014 1:51 PM Phat has responded

      
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