Life’s a Book; You Can Write the Next Chapter Yourself.

Addiction is NOT a disease — and we’re treating addicts incorrectly

We all know addiction is a disease(no way). It has been so classified by all the authoritative sources. The American Medical Association labeled alcoholism an “illness” back in 1967.

The Centers for Disease Control, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders and Alcoholics Anonymous urge us to think of alcohol and drug addiction as diseases.

Great minds such as Oprah Winfrey, Russell Brand and Joe Biden agree: the then-senator even introduced a bill in 2007 called the “Recognizing Addiction as a Disease Act.” (It never came up for a vote.)

The disease theory has powerful forces behind it, has money behind it. Perhaps most important, it has a comforting thought behind it. Hey, it could happen to anyone. You’re not a morally flawed individual if you catch the flu, are you? We don’t think of people with autism, “They could beat it if they tried.”

“To reject the disease label is not to demote addiction, nor is it to diminish sympathy for the addict’s plight.”

Addiction-as-disease is in some ways a thoroughly American idea. It ties together how we approach medicine (with a precisely defined target and a definitive program to fight it) and our proudly tolerant spirit in which being judgmental is seen as a kind of vice. Plus it opens up profit opportunities from sea to shining sea.

If addiction is a disease, though, why do most addictions end spontaneously, without treatment? Why did some 75% of heroin-addicted Vietnam vets kick the drug when they returned home?

It’s hard to picture a brain disease such as schizophrenia simply going away because someone decided not be schizophrenic anymore.

Addiction is not a disease. It’s simply a nasty habit, says neuroscientist Dr. Marc Lewis, himself a longtime addict and professor of developmental psychology, in his new book, “The Biology of Desire.”

‘Exercise of the will’

Framing addiction as a disease seems like a concept perfectly suited to our times, and yet it reaches back to Aristotle. In 1913, during an era of heavy use of opiates, a book on narcotics urged doctors not to use the word “habit” because “habit implies something that can be corrected by exercise of the will…This is not true of narcotic disease, therefore it is not a mere habit and should not be spoken of as such.

“The man who is addicted to a narcotic drug is as truly a diseased man as one who has typhoid fever or pneumonia.”

In the 1950s, Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous helped advance this line of thinking by calling addiction a “malady” and physical sensitivity to alcohol an “allergy.” Twelve-step groups who are rigid about the disease theory require members to adhere equally rigidly to the prescribed treatment at the risk of expulsion from the group. At times this means intolerance for individual difference and turning a blind eye to epidemiological data.

For instance, AA teaches that any use of alcohol is likely to lead to a relapse into problem drinking, but in fact there are many recovered alcoholics who return to controlled, moderate social drinking. AA’s approach isn’t right for everyone, Lewis points out.

Even worse, AA is especially fervent about instilling in members the idea that they are powerless over alcohol. This is the opposite of teaching addicts to seize control of the future. “Most former addicts,” notes Lewis, “claim that empowerment, not powerlessness, was essential to them, especially in the latter stages of their recovery.”

He adds that people with excellent reasons to feel generally powerless in life, including minorities, women, the poor and those with especially dismal family histories, are the ones most in need of reconceiving themselves as empowered individuals.

“It’s an open question,” Lewis says, “whether the disease nomenclature, partially absorbed into the AA mainstream, has alienated more members than it’s helped.”

It may be that “exercise of the will” sounds unsatisfying simple, a too-easy solution to what can be a monstrous problem. It also causes friction with a culture that extols technical knowledge — the expert-ocracy.

Reliance on experts is supported by both supply and demand sides: As customers, we love to think that if we have a particularly nasty problem, there is someone out there who knows exactly what to do. And the $35 billion addiction-treatment industry is happy to take your money to help.

Very bad habits

Proponents of the disease theory have one talking point that they love to repeat before they hurry to change the subject: Addiction changes the structure of the brain.

This may be enough to convince non-specialists, but to experts in the field the claim that altered brain structure proves the presence of disease sounds ludicrous. The brain is a plastic organ. It changes when you age. It changes when you learn a new language or a musical instrument. It changes when you fall in love. It changes when you have children. It even changes the third time you hear your boss make a dismissive comment and you start to conclude, “This guy’s a jerk.”

The brain is continuously reshaping its neural networks. It’s like the Manhattan streetscape: Some are always under construction.

“To say that addiction changes the brain is really just saying that some powerful experience, probably occurring over and over, forges new synaptic configurations that settle into habits,” writes Lewis, who was a drug addict through most of his 20s. “Addiction may be a frightful, devastating and insidious process of change in our habits and our synaptic patterning. But that doesn’t make it a disease.”

Are we quibbling over mere word choice, though — synaptic semantics?

No, because how we see addiction is critical to how we treat it. Lewis isn’t suggesting telling addicts, “It’s all in your head. Get over it.” But he views the mushrooming of rehab centers with unease: If these businesses actually succeeded in “curing” everybody, they’d have to shut down. Calling addiction a disease is meant in part to emphasize the seriousness of being in thrall to drugs or alcohol, to elevate it to the level of a noble battle with cancer.

To reject the disease label is not to demote addiction, nor is it to diminish sympathy for the addict’s plight.

“The severe consequences of addiction,” writes Lewis, “don’t make it a disease, any more than the severe consequences of violence make violence a disease, or the severe consequences of racism make racism a disease, or the folly of loving thy neighbor’s wife makes infidelity a disease. What they make it is a very bad habit.”

Rewriting your brain

Lewis delves into case studies of addicts to illustrate different strategies people use to free themselves. “Natalie,” for instance, was a nice, middle-class student at a liberal-arts college who gradually sank into a swamp of heroin.

She started on typical college drugs — pot, magic mushrooms, ecstasy. But she found opiates like OxyContin to be a big step up in satisfaction: “They didn’t pitch you into a colorful fairyland, the way mushrooms and acid did. Instead they wrapped you in a stocking of inner peace, utter relaxation. Not the kind of sedation you’d get from a tranquilizer, but something subtler and yet more potent . . . Some misty layer of anxiety was always floating above the surface of things. Until opiates took it away.”

“Natalie” turned to heroin because it was cheaper than pills, first snorting and smoking the drug. But when she saw someone shoot up, she was transfixed. She wanted to join in that ritual herself — the heating of the brown powder in the spoon, the tourniquet, the needle.

Natalie was rerouting her brain with a feedback loop, creating more and more associations with the heroin craving. Soon it became difficult to focus on anything else — job, school, family. Her connections with people outside her drug circle frayed and disintegrated. After a mishap involving a borrowed car and a failed stint in rehab, she found herself spending nine months in a maximum-security prison.

So she taught herself to meditate. It was not as simple as “deciding to get clean.” Rewiring her thinking was work. She was building new neural paths for herself and breaking up the old ones.
“They didn’t pitch you into a colorful fairyland, the way mushrooms and acid did. Instead they wrapped you in a stocking of inner peace, utter relaxation. Not the kind of sedation you’d get from a tranquilizer, but something subtler and yet more potent . . . Some misty layer of anxiety was always floating above the surface of things. Until opiates took it away.”

“We could say that Natalie chose to stop using drugs, but it’s not that simple either,” Lewis writes. “Instead, desire was rerouted. It was now in league with other goals: self-preservation, self-control, a respite from her weariness.” Natalie was educating herself as surely as someone who learns Japanese is doing so.

Natalie had to learn to overcome what Lewis calls “now appeal” — putting short-term gratification ahead of long-term thriving. When we crave something, our brains are awash in dopamine, which brings pleasure in itself. Addiction is less about enjoyment than it is about anticipation, about desire. But resisting temptation requires a lot of brain energy. At some point fatigue sets in and it becomes too exhausting not to give in.

Addicts are told again and again to resist, by counselors, therapists, friends and relatives. Just say no!

“Yet the research tells us unambiguously,” writes Lewis, “that suppression is the wrong way to go, because it accelerates ego fatigue.’

Achieving mastery over yourself requires instead a shift of perspective and a reinterpretation of your emotional state. “Instead of tying yourself to the mast in order to resist the Sirens’ song, you must recognize the Sirens as harbingers of death and reframe their songs as background noise,” Lewis says.

The ability to resist “now appeal” is thought to be centered in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, which is more developed in mature adults. That’s why addiction is so often associated with youth. There is some evidence that people who learn to beat addiction are developing that area of the brain, as you might work on building up your triceps.

Embracing a future

Drugs can help by suppressing cravings or easing withdrawal symptoms, but getting free of addiction is fundamentally a process of internal development, Lewis argues. In case studies he presents in the book, he explains how honest personal reflection, reconnecting how past behavior led to current predicaments and imagining a different and better future were instrumental to successful outcomes for addicts.

“[The brain]… is like the Manhattan streetscape: Some are always under construction.”

Addiction isn’t a direct result of a stress-filled childhood, but there is close correlation between the two, and a survey that explored high youth suicide rates in some Native American areas of Western Canada found that in such communities young people were “incapable of talking about their lives in any coherent, organized way,” Lewis says. “They had no clear sense of their past, their childhood, and the generations preceding them. And their attempts to outlines possible futures were empty of form and meaning. They simply could not consider their lives as narratives, or stories.”

To Lewis, there’s a clear lesson here.

“Humans need to be able to see their own lives progressing, moving from a meaningful past to a viable future. They need to see themselves as going somewhere, as characters in a narrative.”

Life’s a book; write the next chapter yourself.

The above article source can be found here.

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Don’t Allow It!

Never allow your doctor to tell you that addictive drugs are okay.  They are NOT okay. They will cause other disorders and diseases as they kill you slowly. These include: opioids, benzodiazepines, antidepressants, hypnotics, stimulants, and antipsychotics. There is no reason on earth to be given these unless you have to be in the safety of a psychiatric institution. Right now, here in the US, one person is dying from an accidental opioid overdose every 12.5 minutes.  I don’t want you to be part of that statistic.

Court Testimony of Dr Breggin, psychiatrist, in the wrongful death due to psychiatric medications


What hope is there?

Wouldn’t a universal, proven cure for drug addiction be a good thing? And is it possible?

First, let’s clearly define what is meant by “cure.” For the individual a cure means complete and permanent absence of any overwhelming physical or mental desire, need or compulsion to take drugs. For the society it means the rehabilitation of the addict as a consistently honest, ethical, productive and successful member. In the 1970s, this first question would have seemed rather strange, if not absurd.

“Of course that would be a good thing!” and “Are you kidding?” would have been
common responses.

Today, however, the responses are considerably different. A drug addict might answer, “Look, don’t talk to me about cures. I’ve tried every program there is and failed. None of them work.” Or, “You can’t cure heredity; my father was an alcoholic.” A layperson might say, “They’ve already cured it; methadone, isn’t it?” Or, “They’ve found it’s an incurable brain disease; you know, like diabetes, it can’t be cured.” Or even, “Science found it can’t be helped; it’s something to do with a chemical imbalance in the brain.”

Very noticeable would be the absence of the word, even the idea, of cure, whether amongst addicts, families of addicts, government officials, media or anywhere else.

In its place are words like disease, illness, chronic, management, maintenance, reduction and relapse. Addicts in rehab are taught to refer to themselves as “recovering,” never “cured.” Stated in different ways, the implicit consensus that has been created is that drug addiction is incurable and something an addict will have to learn to live with—or die with.

Is all hope lost?

Before considering that question, it is very important to understand one thing about drug rehabilitation today. Our hope of a cure for drug addiction was not lost; it was buried by an avalanche of false information and false solutions.

First of all, consider psychiatrists’ long-term propagation of dangerous drugs as “harmless”:

  • In the 1960s, psychiatrists made LSD not only acceptable, but an “adventure” to tens of ­thousands of college students, promoting the false concept of improving life through “recreational,” mind-altering drugs.
  • In 1967, US psychiatrists met to discuss the role of drugs in the year 2000. Influential New York psychiatrist Nathan Kline, who served on ­committees for the US National Institute of Mental Health and the World Health Organization stated, “In principle, I don’t see that drugs are any more abnormal than reading, music, art, yoga, or twenty other things—if you take a broad point of view.”
  • In 1973, University of California psychiatrist, Louis J. West, wrote, “Indeed a debate may soon be raging among some clinical scientists on the question of whether clinging to the drug-free state of mind is not an antiquated position for anyone—physician or patient—to hold.”
  • In the 1980s, Californian psychiatric drug ­specialist, Ronald K. Siegel, made the outrageous assertion that being drugged is a basic human “need,” a “fourth drive” of the same nature as sex, hunger and thirst.
  • In 1980, a study in the Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry claimed that, “taken no more than two or three times per week, cocaine creates no serious problems.”
  • According to the head of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s office in Connecticut, the false belief that cocaine was not addictive contributed to the dramatic rise in its use in the 1980s.
  • In 2003, Charles Grob, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of California Harbor Medical Center believed that Ecstasy ­(hallucinogenic street drug) was potentially “good medicine” for treating alcoholism and drug abuse.

Today, drug regulatory agencies all over the world approve clinical trials for the use of hallucinogenic drugs to handle anything from anxiety to alcoholism, despite the drugs being known to cause psychosis.

The failure of the war against drugs is largely due to the failure to stop one of the most dangerous drug pushers of all time: the psychiatrist. The sad irony is that he has also established himself in positions enabling him to control the drug rehab field, even though he can show no results for the billions awarded by governments and legislatures. Governments, groups, families, and individuals that continue to accept his false information and drug rehabilitation techniques, do so at their own peril. The odds overwhelmingly predict that they will fail in every respect.

Drug addiction is not a disease. Real solutions do exist.

Clearing away psychiatry’s false information about drugs and addiction is not only a fundamental part of restoring hope, it is the first step towards achieving real drug rehabilitation.


Jan Eastgate
Citizens Commission
on Human Rights International

The source for the above article can be found by clicking here.

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Have You Been Told You Have A CHEMICAL IMBALANCE? Psychiatric Drugs Actually CAUSE A Chemical Imbalance!!!

Faith based recovery that is compassionate, empathetic, transformational, non-12 step, without disease theories, individualized, and delivered to you online and by phone – with 24/7 support for life! Please CLICK HERE.


Faith based recovery that is compassionate, empathetic, transformational, non-12 step, without disease theories, individualized, and delivered to you online and by phone – with 24/7 support for life! Please CLICK HERE.

Psych Drugs Are More Dangerous Than You Could Ever Imagine – Lifespan can be Decrease by 20 Years and More + Terrible Diseases!

Just trying to save the lives of those who will listen!



Faith based recovery that is compassionate, empathetic, transformational, non-12 step, without disease theories, individualized, and delivered to you online and by phone – with 24/7 support for life! Please CLICK HERE.