Tag Archives | Addiction

Hear Dr. Carl Hart Eviscerate Drug Propaganda

HartPhotoVia Midwest Real

Dr. Carl Hart is an Associate Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at Columbia University and the author of High Price

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Before we were engulfed in a tsunami of boundless digital knowledge containing more truth (and garbage) than we could ever digest in thousands of lifetimes, we lived in an incredibly different world. If you were a child of the 90’s like myself, you were constantly inundated with overly-simplistic catchphrase propaganda– “This is your brain on drugs,” “just say no,” the list goes on. I specifically remember being taught in school that marijuana was supremely dangerous because it was a “gateway drug.” The connotation being that if you so much as tried it, you’d probably wind up a strung-out, do-nothing idiot with a Kentucky-fried brain who’d never amount to anything.

This tireless barrage of indoctrination has forged us into a population that looks to traditional sources of authority with an immense amount of skepticism.Read the rest

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The Irrationality of Alcoholics Anonymous

To all the AA people out there, this post is here because debate on the best way to treat addiction is healthy, but the negative sentiments towards Alcoholics Anonuymous are those of Gabrielle Glaser. Her essay was published at the Atlantic, so direct your complaints to them, please!

…The debate over the efficacy of 12-step programs has been quietly bubbling for decades among addiction specialists. But it has taken on new urgency with the passage of the Affordable Care Act, which requires all insurers and state Medicaid programs to pay for alcohol- and substance-abuse treatment, extending coverage to 32 million Americans who did not previously have it and providing a higher level of coverage for an additional 30 million.

Logo AA.svg

“Logo AA” by Anamix (CC)

 

Nowhere in the field of medicine is treatment less grounded in modern science. A 2012 report by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University compared the current state of addiction medicine to general medicine in the early 1900s, when quacks worked alongside graduates of leading medical schools.

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Prisons Are Making America’s Drug Problem Worse

“Even federal prisons know that their inmates need medication-assisted therapy. So why aren’t they changing?” asks Megan McLemore at Politico Magazine:

Today, Gordon Goodwin is in federal prison in Atlanta.  Not too many years ago, he was a student at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, on track for law school. He enjoyed tennis and mountain biking. Today, his future looks bleak—failed by prison drug treatment policies that even the Bureau of Prisons admits don’t work, policies opposed by science and medical professionals, including groups like the World Health Organization.

The Prison Hospital corridor

As criminal justice reform becomes a major topic of conversation in Washington, Goodwin’s journey from would-be law student to prison addict is a cautionary tale of how inmates in the bureaucratic federal system are set up to fail—and how those failures ripple through the prison system and waste taxpayers’ dollars at a time when both states and the federal government are looking to rein in spending.

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How Having Too Much Sex Almost Destroyed My Life

Sarah Scicluna  (CC BY-ND 2.)

Sarah Scicluna (CC BY-ND 2.)

Amanda Van Slyke at AlterNet explores the ramifications of being a female sex addict. We’ve explored sex addiction on Disinformation before, and I thought readers may be interested in what a woman sex addict has to say.

Amanda Van Slyke via AlterNet:

I’m at the checkout buying groceries when the blonde cashier looks into my eyes and smiles. When I go to leave, she does it again and tells me to have a great day—but I swear she was friendlier to me than to the people who came through before I did.

After I leave, I stand in the rain and wait for the bus, running the experience through my mind, analyzing her smile, her voice and what she meant by it all. Was my plaid shirt/toque ensemble giving off the stereotypical sign that I’m attracted to women? Was she hitting on me because she’s also attracted to them, or was I over-exaggerating her friendly demeanor?

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The Four Stages of Being a Dive Bar Regular

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

Alper Çuğun (CC BY 2.0)

I am what is commonly known as a binge drinker. I don’t ever drink at home, but I like to go out. When I go out I like to drink a ton. When I hit the town, I, like all of the other true partiers in the world, want a place to go where I know the vibe and know I am going to get my mind crushing buzz on with the least possible hassle, combined with the most possible fun.

It should also be cheap. For a boozebag, checking your wallet the next day can be a terrifying experience.

Which is why I always have a regular bar that I frequent. The last thing you want to do if you really want to get hammered is wander around aimlessly looking for a good place to drink.

I have been a regular at different bars numerous times throughout my life.… Read the rest

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“Raping the Gods” Examines the Question: Is Sex Addiction Real?

71dlVRUUuSL._SL1315_Although author Brian Whitney is, without a doubt, a sex addict, he doesn’t like the term.

“I hate it when people call me an addict. Some people think sex addiction doesn’t exist, that it is just a made-up term to excuse bad behavior. Another group thinks that a sex addict is a crazy, out-of-control freak who thinks of nothing but getting laid every second of every day. Then there is a third group that thinks it sounds fun: ‘What are you complaining about, man? You get laid all the time and you think it’s a problem?’”

“I could tell a lot of stories about what I was doing, but I’d rather just say I was really fucked up. My major issue was infidelity. I was often involved in three or four different relationships at once. I got an enormous rush from having multiple sexual partners and lying to all of them.… Read the rest

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Schizophrenia, Depression and Addiction All Linked to Similar Loss of Brain Matter

Jon Olav Eikenes (CC BY 2.0)

Jon Olav Eikenes (CC BY 2.0)

via PsyBlog:

Could there be an underlying biological cause for many mental illnesses?

Diagnoses as different as depression, addictions and schizophrenia are all linked to a similar pattern of gray-matter loss in the brain, a new study finds.

The results hint at an underlying biological cause for these mental illnesses.

Dr Thomas Insel, commenting on the study, said:

“The idea that these disorders share some common brain architecture and that some functions could be abnormal across so many of them is intriguing,”

The research, published in JAMA Psychiatry, pooled data from 193 separate studies, which included brain imaging from 7,381 patients (Goodkind et al., 2015).

Patients were experiencing all sorts of different mental illnesses, including depression, schizophrenia, OCD and some anxiety disorders.

Despite this, the researchers identified three structures in the brain which had shrunk across all the different diagnoses.

Continue reading.… Read the rest

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Johann Hari: Everything We Know About the Drug War & Addiction is Wrong

via Democracy Now:

As President Obama seeks $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs in his new budget, we talk to British journalist Johann Hari about the century-old failed drug war and how much of what we know about addiction is wrong. Over the past four years Hari has traveled to the United States, Mexico, Canada, Uruguay and Portugal to research his new book, “Chasing the Scream: The First and Last Days of the War of Drugs.” His findings may surprise you — from the U.S. government’s persecution of Billie Holiday, to Vancouver’s success in addressing its heroin epidemic, to Portugal’s experiment with full decriminalization of all drugs.

TRANSCRIPT

This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: One part of President Obama’s new budget that has received little attention is the war on drugs. The White House is seeking $27.6 billion for federal drug control programs, nearly $1 billion more than last year.

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This Is What It’s Like When Gambling Is Your Drug

Michael Dorausch (CC BY 2.0)

Michael Dorausch (CC BY 2.0)

I have a friend whose life has been dominated by an addiction to gambling. You may well have one, too, although you may not know which person it is.

My buddy is smart and extremely funny, albeit in a way that makes people uncomfortable. He is good looking, dresses well and gives off the air of someone well educated. He also has fucked up his life with gambling in a major way.  I asked him what it felt like to him when he gambled.

“Betting is a feeling of pleasure better than sex, booze, drugs, anything,” my friend tells me. “It made the blood go to the tip of my cock. Betting on games when you don’t have the money is way better than betting when you do.”

via Substance.com:

I have a friend whose life has been dominated by an addiction to gambling. You may well have one, too, although you may not know which person it is.

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