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Author Topic:   Addiction By Definition
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 5 of 330 (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
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 7 of 330 (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
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 19 of 330 (744754)
12-15-2014 9:34 AM
Reply to: Message 8 by NoNukes
12-12-2014 10:20 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
What's the point in discussing addiction if you're going to rule out one of the most addictive substances that we know of?

And what good is a tautological definition of addiction? "Its a problem when its a problem"

Following your lead would make this whole thread totally pointless.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 8 by NoNukes, posted 12-12-2014 10:20 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by NoNukes, posted 12-28-2014 3:07 PM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 20 of 330 (744755)
12-15-2014 9:40 AM
Reply to: Message 10 by Thugpreacha
12-13-2014 7:23 AM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Critics would suggest that vaping is a rationalization(excuse) to avoid the problem.

The problem is that when my body starts running out of nicotine I get very uncomfortable.

So I treat that symptom by putting nicotine into my body. Vaping involves vaporizing and inhaling a solution of nicotine in glycerin and propylene glycol. I also use a lozenge when I'm in a place where I can't vape.

I am physically addicted to the nicotine.

It does not cause problems in my day-to-day life.

If I was unable to get the nicotine, then it might start causing problems. I haven't crossed that bridge yet.

What is the point of denying that this is an addiction because it doesn't debilitate my life?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 10 by Thugpreacha, posted 12-13-2014 7:23 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(1)
Message 29 of 330 (746102)
01-02-2015 11:48 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by NoNukes
12-23-2014 7:55 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Does it bother you that nobody considers vitamin C an addition?

Not in the slightest.

Are you addicted to vitamin C?

Nope.

For one, I need vitamin C to survive.

For two, never once has my body told me: "I kinda feel like shit, you should get some vitamin C in here".

On the other hand, I do not need nicotine nor caffiene to survive but on many occasions my body has told me to get some so it'll stop feeling like shit.

So I'm addicted to both of those things but not vitamin C.

From Message 23:

On the other hand, the definition is specifically for psychoactive substances and requires that the substance produce intoxication. It would exclude vaping or smoking.

You sure about that? I think nicotine is psychoactive, and that there is a non-zero amount of intoxication.

I don't think that definition excludes nicotine. It might not even exclude caffiene but I'd have to look that up.

From Message 25:

What's the point in discussing addiction if you're going to rule out one of the most addictive substances that we know of?

I've already answered this question twice.

I still don't know the answer. Which message(s) should I read?

And what good is a tautological definition of addiction? "Its a problem when its a problem"

That's not what I said. I said that an addiction causes life problems. I did not attempt to define what "life problems" meant,

No shit, that's why I challenged your definition. It didn't actually define, it just set up a taughtology.

Why can't I have an addiction to something that does not cause me life problems?

but you felt free to tell me that nicotine was not causing you any problems. How were you able to do that?

I was able to do that because your terms were undefined, so I challenged the definition according to the terms as I understood them. It turns out that you were not talking about the same things I was.

What's wrong with you? Are you some kind of oxygen addict?

No, I need oxygen to survive. Addictions are for things that you don't need to live, but you think you need them anyway.

Your brain tricks your body into thinking that it needs the chemical or behavior to survive, but it really doesn't.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by NoNukes, posted 12-23-2014 7:55 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by ringo, posted 01-02-2015 11:54 AM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 36 by NoNukes, posted 01-03-2015 12:15 PM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded
 Message 37 by NoNukes, posted 01-04-2015 2:30 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 31 of 330 (746106)
01-02-2015 11:59 AM
Reply to: Message 30 by ringo
01-02-2015 11:54 AM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
An addiction is a counterfeit "need".

According to my opinion, that is perfectly succinct.

I think its scientifically accurate as well.

But it doesn't fit with the proposed definition that the counterfeit need has to cause some kind of life problem - but I don't agree with that definition anyways.

Nor do I understand why its being pushed.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 30 by ringo, posted 01-02-2015 11:54 AM ringo has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 39 of 330 (746285)
01-05-2015 10:43 AM
Reply to: Message 37 by NoNukes
01-04-2015 2:30 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
But if the vitamin example C bothers you, just substitute oxygen.

Both of those things are required to survive, silly.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 37 by NoNukes, posted 01-04-2015 2:30 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 40 by NoNukes, posted 01-05-2015 1:05 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 41 of 330 (746325)
01-05-2015 2:17 PM
Reply to: Message 40 by NoNukes
01-05-2015 1:05 PM


Re: The Science and Theory of Addiction
Is that excluded using your definition?

Uh, yeah:

quote:
Are you addicted to vitamin C?

Nope.

For one, I need vitamin C to survive.

For two, never once has my body told me: "I kinda feel like shit, you should get some vitamin C in here".

On the other hand, I do not need nicotine nor caffiene to survive but on many occasions my body has told me to get some so it'll stop feeling like shit.

So I'm addicted to both of those things but not vitamin C.


and:

quote:
What's wrong with you? Are you some kind of oxygen addict?

No, I need oxygen to survive. Addictions are for things that you don't need to live, but you think you need them anyway.

Your brain tricks your body into thinking that it needs the chemical or behavior to survive, but it really doesn't.


You replied to that message... twice.

In Message 36, you wrote:

quote:
I lifted it from the definition used by psychologists to describe a number of addictions including gambling and alcoholism.

A number of addictions, but not all of them. And those are a little different. I've been mainly focusing on chemical addictions. The above is more for behavior addictions, and with those it does make sense to include problem-causing as part of the definition.

With gambling, there's no chemical you are intaking that you can become addicted to. And even with alcoholism its hard to determine if the person really is addicted to the chemical, or if they just really like to party.

Without a particular "drug" to point the finger at, we have to define the addiction with when the behavior becomes a problem.

And I don't have a problem with that. But I do have a problem with limiting the term 'addiction' to only those things that cause problems, like you originally did:

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.

That doesn't work as an operational definition, in general, because you can be addicted to specific chemicals even though they don't cause problems in your life.

Defining it your way is more for behavioral addictions, rather than chemical ones. It simply doesn't cover all the bases.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 40 by NoNukes, posted 01-05-2015 1:05 PM NoNukes has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 43 by Thugpreacha, posted 05-19-2015 12:18 PM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 44 of 330 (758609)
05-29-2015 2:52 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Thugpreacha
05-19-2015 12:18 PM


Re: Rational Recovery Philosophy Examined
Cat Sci writes:

For one, I need vitamin C to survive.
For two, never once has my body told me: "I kinda feel like shit, you should get some vitamin C in here".

On the other hand, I do not need nicotine nor caffeine to survive but on many occasions my body has told me to get some so it'll stop feeling like shit.

This observation further supports the RR hypothesis. An addiction by definition is actively courted and desired by our primitive brain.

Yeah, the RR has a waaay better approach than that "powerlessness" crap that 12-step uses.

I'm glad you found something better. How's it coming along?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Thugpreacha, posted 05-19-2015 12:18 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 142 of 330 (797237)
01-15-2017 9:29 PM
Reply to: Message 140 by NoNukes
01-13-2017 5:36 PM


Re: Religious addiction?
It is of course the lexicographers choice as to what any word means.

But some meanings are better than others...

I still don't get why you prefer the tautology that it's only an addiction when it causes life problems? How does that help?

If in fact, addiction is defined as an unmanageable habit, then folks that feel some compulsion to indulge in a non-harmful behavior, like say chewing sugarless gum, would indeed be addicted.

So what? I'm sure there are people who are addicted to chewing gum. Wouldn't understanding that more help us better understand addiction, in general?

But if we harm as a component, then by definition, such chewers would not be addicted.

I'm totally addicted to nicotine and it's not causing any problems in my life, see Message 20. How does it help anyone to pretend that I'm not really addicted to it because there is no harm?

It's okay if you define addiction as you have. But your argument is circular.

How so? The definition you prefer is the one that is circular. See Message 9 and the thread that follows. It ends at Message 41 where you stopped replying.

What's the point of this limited definition?

I get that you don't want to talk about "oxygen addiction", I agree that's stupid, but I've already explained how that's different in Message 29 and Message 41.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 140 by NoNukes, posted 01-13-2017 5:36 PM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 143 by NoNukes, posted 01-16-2017 3:08 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 145 of 330 (797257)
01-16-2017 9:48 AM
Reply to: Message 143 by NoNukes
01-16-2017 3:08 AM


Re: Religious addiction?
I still don't get why you prefer the tautology that it's only an addiction when it causes life problems? How does that help?

Because we don't treat people for chewing sugarless gum for example?

Maybe we should!

Well, treatment is a strong word, but we should at least be willing to help instead of pretending it's a non-issue.

The other advantage, particularly when we are talking about alcohol or drug abuse is that patterns of destructive behavior are a lot more concrete a point than we get from comparing usage patterns, and a lot less deniable. In short, the harm causing aspect of addictions is an easily recognizable idea, and even someone who has a lower level of imbibing can be classified.

So, because it is easier and the alternative is difficult? That's lame and unconvincing.

Look this is not my definition. For example, here is a definition of alcoholism from an article in JAMA from 1992.

I don't care who invented it, you are the one who is pushing it. Really though, I'm talking about a more-encompassing definition for addiction and you are referencing a 25 year old definition of one particular addiction.

Are you just arguing to arguing the definition of a word? Let me know, I'll drop it if that's the case.

Some folks throughout each week but manage to cut themselves off at a level that allows them to live with others in their house without abusing them and to go to work the next morning. Other folks cannot.

I could argue that the functional addict is even more addicted. So much that their sick mind realizes that it needs to maintain itself in order to keep the addiction, and is unwilling to allow "life problems" to interrupt that. These people need help just like the ones with life problems, and to pretend like its not really an addiction because there's no apparent harm is a serious disservice to many folks.

Some else already quoted a similar definition regarding drug dependency earlier in this thread.

I guess I'll go fish, then? How about a little quid pro quo? I gave you links.

I'm totally addicted to nicotine and it's not causing any problems in my life, see Message 20.

We've been through this. I pointed out that tobacco does have health effects. To which you responded something like, "Oh I did not know you meant that." Of course, I did mean exactly that. I understand that you may be vaping now. I don't know if that has health effects.

Right, but we've been passed that. "Having health effects" is not the same as "causing life problems". What if you found out that gum chewing was loosening people's teeth over the years and having health effects? Would you suddenly start classifying that as an addiction to treat?

In any event, my preferred definition is not circular.

"It's only an addiction when it causes life problems", whether circular or not, is not a good working definition.

As I understand it, my definition is pretty much yours with an additional requirement that there be some harmful life consequence.

Right, and I think that sucks. It's like if we didn't teach children how to cross the street until after they've been hit by a car.

Why wait until people start harming themselves before you start trying to help them? Because it's easier? Pssh.

My definition may be very open-ended, but it is not circular. I'd appreciate it if you could point out the circle in my definition.

Maybe its not the definition, itself, but instead like you said it is the argument for the definition. "It's not an addiction unless it causes life problems. Oh, that "addiction" isn't causing you life problems; well, then it's not really an addiction."

Approaching whether or not something is an addiction by determining if it is harming the person leaves out a bunch of addictions that people could use help with. Now, regarding treatment, perhaps there are limited resources that would be better spent on harmful addictions. But that's not what we're doing here. And if people want help with their unharmful addictions, telling them that its not a True AddictionTM is a terrible thing to say to them - and a serious disservice. It's immoral.

Here's my definition of an addiction: a compulsion to act that manifests a false need. You have the urge to do something because your mind has been tricked into thinking that you need to do it when you really don't.

Even when that is unharmful and/or doesn't cause life problems, it is still something we can address and help people with. Also, knowing more about unharmful addictions can only help us better understand the harmful ones. Waiting until people start harming themselves is a terrible approach. We don't wait to teach kids about the dangers of playing with fire until they start burning themselves. And we shouldn't delay helping adults understand addiction until it becomes a problem in their life.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 143 by NoNukes, posted 01-16-2017 3:08 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 146 by NoNukes, posted 01-17-2017 9:36 PM New Cat's Eye has acknowledged this reply

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 160 of 330 (797606)
01-24-2017 12:20 PM
Reply to: Message 159 by Thugpreacha
01-24-2017 11:18 AM


Re: E-motions Day 191
I felt nothing except anxiety and the drive to gamble.

There's medicine for that, talk to your doctor.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 159 by Thugpreacha, posted 01-24-2017 11:18 AM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


(3)
Message 185 of 330 (811800)
06-12-2017 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 180 by Thugpreacha
06-10-2017 5:24 PM


Re: Day 328. Staring In The Mirror
I have personally found that the addiction does get channeled into other directions.

Me too. I done got myself "addicted"* to going to the gym. But I've lost a third of my body weight and now I have a six-pack I can run about two miles and I just bought myself a new bicycle

It's way better than my previous addiction (which will go unnamed).
*Scare quote because I don't consider it to really be an addiction.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 180 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-10-2017 5:24 PM Thugpreacha has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 186 by NoNukes, posted 06-13-2017 1:06 AM New Cat's Eye has responded
 Message 189 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-13-2017 8:44 AM New Cat's Eye has responded

  
New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 190 of 330 (811909)
06-13-2017 10:40 AM
Reply to: Message 189 by Thugpreacha
06-13-2017 8:44 AM


Re: Day 328. Staring In The Mirror
I was once addicted to exercise. I rode my bike an average of 25 miles a day for two years, in my early thirties. Looking back, I see clearly that I was addicted to exercise to the point where I felt bad...depressed, anxious, and guilty...if I missed even a day.

Working out makes me feel great! But yeah, if I miss for a few days I do start to feel worse... although it only seems "worse" as in not-better, but not really worse as in less than normal.

Obviously, the exercise itself was quite good for me. The anxiety and obsession may not have been ideal, however. Keyword: Balance. If I would have kept the habit going and yet addressed my obsession over having to spend each waking moment thinking about my progress, I would have achieved a mindful state of awareness and acceptance...a balance if you will.

Mindfulness is key. In fact, while lifting weights I enter this mental state that's kinda like meditation or something, but it allows me to be very mindful and I find it actually reduced my anxiety.

Physical activity, in general, seems to help with anxiety a lot. Sometimes when I feel the pull of my past addiction, I'll just go for a run or something. By the time I get back the feeling is gone and then I'm worn out and it doesn't come back. Worth a shot

( I still might buy a new bicycle...I need to exercise more and hang out on my computer less)

Sit-ups, push-ups, and pull-ups, Phat. Anywhere, anytime.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 189 by Thugpreacha, posted 06-13-2017 8:44 AM Thugpreacha has acknowledged this reply

Replies to this message:
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New Cat's Eye
Inactive Member


Message 191 of 330 (811910)
06-13-2017 10:42 AM
Reply to: Message 186 by NoNukes
06-13-2017 1:06 AM


I'm still addicted to nicotine (and caffeine), but I'm not going to play the game where you try to guess my past addiction and then we go through the process of elimination.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 186 by NoNukes, posted 06-13-2017 1:06 AM NoNukes has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 192 by NoNukes, posted 06-13-2017 11:41 AM New Cat's Eye has not yet responded

  
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