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Brains of Addicts Are Inherently Abnormal

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posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 01:55 PM

Originally posted by MarlboroRedCowgirl
Re: The coffee and ciggerete debate.
Yes. These two substances are accepted "crutches." Although they are unhealthy, they do serve a purpose. If you want to get sober by any means necessarily, sometimes that means tackling one addiction at a time. For me, ciggeretes were around before, during, and after my time as an active addict. I am 22 years old, and I have been smoking for 5 years. Sometimes a smoke has been all there is keeping me from using, and its worth it for me. I am not a ciggerete fiend, I have never stolen or cheated for a pack of smokes. I don't have money for a pack, I do without or stick a patch on. I can only take my sobriety one day at a time. Do I have to have coffee to attend a meeting? Of course not.

These are creature comforts for the addled, not some plague affecting the addict community. There are many who smoke and drink coffee and are not addicts.

Oh i for sure have my cures or crutches! depends on how you look at it. Same with me smoker b4, during, and after. I just caught a lot of slack in meetings for still going to a bar here and there. Hey honesty got me almost stoned "thrown rocks at". I have never had withdrawal from cigarettes or alcohol. but herion is a hell and death to quit. And NA rubbed me the wrong way. AA too. they said a addict is an addict to everything. I don't believe that. I tried it all and was very picky drug addict. I'd sit and watch people do many different drugs and I'd say no. Many times people would offer me drugs if I'd snort it, I said no. I wanted it in my veins, not my nose, but that was coke and i didn't like it any other way and could do without. Anything is better than doing what you were addicted to and couldn't handle. Do what you can handle its legal and your cure, don't let anyone tell you different. I just wanted to point out these are drugs too. I think sugar's a drug, i think? but whatever. I am prescribed pills these are drugs. Aspirin and Anti-biotics are drugs but we need them to cure something else. I don't say caffeine is a crutch. you can have withdrawals from it. but if its keeping you sane. Its your cure. Everyone's is different.

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 01:59 PM
reply to post by Stormdancer777

Oh yes. Chocolate.
We are only human. We do what we can.

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 05:50 PM
reply to post by Spacey

Welcome to ATS Spacey

I hope you enjoy this site as much as I have over the years. News usually gets here first before the mainstream media... if at all.
ive found its members to be some of the greatest debaters,debunkers,journalist,field specialist collected all in one spot!

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 09:19 PM

Originally posted by BO XIAN
reply to post by Tecumte


FWIW . . .

1. I'd find out all I coudl about Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and either teach it to my daughter or get her to a PROVEN excellent therapist of that ilk. ASAP.

2. She CAN learn to overcome such and fight such tenaciously and effectively with lasting results and live above it. I know from personal experience as well as a therapist.

3. If you are at all open to Christianity . . . I'd seek out discerning perceptive prophetically gifted folks who are BALANCED AND BIBLICAL and not wild-haired . . . with a good reputation all around . . . usually an individual or group--better a small group of 2-3 or so called to such . . . who would take a good family history . . . and discern if there's some spirits of depression following the family line down . . . as very often is the case. And would then deal with it accordingly. Most Pentecostal/Charismatic churches should know of such a group but ask them lots of questions to insure a balanced and potent group with a good reputation.

Prayers for you and your family. Dreadful about your mother etc.

Thanks Bo, for the prayers, I believe perhaps there IS power in prayer and meditation and they seem to be something one should have in their medicine bag at all times.

Also I understand, as you mentioned how helpful a good mindset and view is when overcoming many problems. That's true and good advice. But what you didn't comment on, and what was really the bulk of my post was about human bio-chemistry and how rebalancing it really is crucial to healing an addict or even those who suffer cravings. The lack of responses touching on this seems to indicate how many people still are not aware of this absolutely critical component and IMO that is why (a main reason) there is such a revolving door in and out of our wards and prisons and massive relapse rates.

Again I'll just add what is likely obvious, at the core level addicts are not so much addicted to the drug itself as they are the transmitters they help release/create/raise like dopamine, serotonin, acetocholine, epinephrine, nor-epinephren etc. This may not seem inportant at first glance but logic might tell us, that if these transmitters could be created and rebalanced and maintained though other means, one wouldn't need illegal or even synthethic (legal) drugs to do the job. (think millions of kids addicted to Ritalin etc. and being set up for a life of future drug addiction)

But the core point I was making is that the raw materials needed for making these many times are completely missing in hard core alcoholics and chronic hard drug users, from either years of neglect, possibly genetic factors as the article alludes too, chemical imbalances form birth, receptors blocked/non-fucntioning from toxic overload etc. etc., one can do all of the cognitive therapy in the world to someone who isn't *physically* able to manufacture/utilize these raw materials and manufacture the needed quanity's of NT's and it's going to be like telling a severely autistic child to stop banging their head or someone with Terret's to just knock it off and be quiet. Generally not gonna happen.

Also I'll just add, if people REALLy want to do the best for their kids keep them largely OFF the sugar drug. When you start realizing that sugars and their toxic UNnatural counterparts work on NTs like illegal drugs do, you may start figuring out, sugar is as much a gateway as alcohol and more so for some of us. How much sense does this make: Let your children get all pumped up and bouncing off the walls on several mountain dews and a couple of bowls of Captain Crunch and wonder why the school nurse is now recommedning your child be put on Ritalin. I have known of this happening and it IMO is setting up people to become addicts.

I'll mention more later, but first would like to hear others weigh in on what they have found is essential in the physical building/rebuilding process (and yes I'm aware of the mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects as well, but I'd like to hear more on the topic of my post).

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by Tecumte

I used several methods for rebuilding my mentality and psyche during the first part of my recovery. The first step I took, it may seem simple but it helped immensily, was reading. I read literally everything I could get my hands on. I lived in a recovery program, and in a house of 12 woman we had one tv. I know it sounds torturous, but for me it was very beneficial, as I spent most of my leisure time reading. I think in the first 3 monthes of my recovery I read about 100 books (I had ALOT of time on my hands.) It was wonderful because I began to think critically again and anylize in a logical manner. I also began to think creativly, which led me to the second step I took: journaling. Journaling really helped me organize my scattered and unruly thought life. When I put pen to paper, my emotions and feeling just began to feel more real to me. The third step I took was prayer and meditation. This allowed me to get in touch with my higher power in a very real way and calm myself, lower my heart rate, and just exhist in the moment.

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 11:29 PM
reply to post by MarlboroRedCowgirl

Well Cowgirl, (lol), seems like you found a great way to relax and take the stress off, that I think is very critical as well to rebalancing, stress robs the body and mind of the very precious resources it needs in the rebuilding process.

The thing that has helped me personally though more than anything in the last few years is learning what nutrients my own body needs (and in what amounts) to feel good enough and balanced that I don't need large amounts of alcohol or anything else to feel reasonably functional. In fact simple things like making sure I have adequate amounts of good protein for amino acid building blocks, plenty of minerals like magnesium (many alcoholics are depleted) natures own relaxer, absolutely critical B-vitamins (critical in so many brain functions) has helped immensly.(still learning and doing though).

In fact simply raising my magnesium levels I could feel cravings for alcohol rapidly diminish. I still drink very moderately because I actually feel the best with *reasonably* small amounts (of beer and occasional margaritas once a week), but I have balanced my body to where I get 'full' after several and don't want any more, years before that just didn't happen. I absolutely know for a fact that this type of balancing could help many addicts cut way back and still feel satisfied (and maybe even abstain altogether if that is what they were aiming for). I'm still learning though and trying to find what best personally fits my own life and I know we're all a bit different.

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 11:32 PM
reply to post by Tecumte

My husband and I take vitamin B and C daily, we cant really find a good multi. Any suggestions?

posted on Feb, 6 2012 @ 11:59 PM

Originally posted by MarlboroRedCowgirl
reply to post by Tecumte

My husband and I take vitamin B and C daily, we cant really find a good multi. Any suggestions?

Well there are some reasonably good liquid multi supplements out there bound into more 'natural' food based preparations (check the health food store) but there is also alot of junk out there that may not do any good at all or even cause more deficiency's due to the sub par ingredient forms used. I prefer trying to get most of my nutrients at this point from absolute 'super foods', but I'm convinced people such as alcoholics that have damaged systems likely need to take rather large amounts of some nutrients at first due to their likely depletion status. I'm really not talking just randomly popping pills of any kind but a very serious effort to try and understand just what is needed and lacking and at first it is a trial and error process but it gets easier. A problem I have had (like many ) is not staying with the super nutrition that I know radically helps, getting lazy and thinking I don't need it any more and then finding I still do. It's not a quick fix, it takes some time and effort (and money) but I have come to know it's absolutely essential for me and works and I have to keep at it.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 12:17 AM
I like the line from one of Yoko Ono's songs: "Save your sweet talk for when you score.." I translate this as a metaphor which describes a similarity between sexual relationships and opiate addiction. There are many instances in the writings of William Burroughs where the addict has developed or begins to develop a romantic type attachment to his/her supplier and can for example recognize him even at a great distance or pick him out of a crowd observing some poetic gesture that others do not see; a glamorization. Then there is the meet and later the consequent elation and/or relief. This process is identical to a sexual relationship or romantic love. And as has been noted several times throughout this thread, on the chemical level particular brain chemistry is being activated or manipulated. Now supposing the same pleasure centers are being activated whether "in love" or chasing substances of elation, what is the difference from a judgmental point of view?

Someone remarked earlier, "Someone who wanted a bottle of whiskey wouldn't rob their granny's handbag to get it" (but a heroin addict would). If the pursuit of pleasure (and the avoidance of suffering) is nought but the activation of brain chemistry, then how do we measure what is an acceptable process of activation, sociologically, and what is not?

For example during the 1800s Chinese "coolly" laborers were responsible for a great deal of the labor that contributed to the railroad and mining developments in the U.S. They were renowned for their ability to work hard for hours upon end. Many of these workers smoked opium after retiring for the day which didn't seem to affect their ability to contribute to the society. Also law and order of the day saw no reason to declare a war on drugs on these people, which they would have if their addiction was a disturbance to the community. However, once cities were developed and society became more organized, embracing different values then it became a cause for concern.

The most destructive element of the use of opiates is the economic attachment, which proceeds from it being illegal. Opium poppies are not really rare or difficult to grow, and addicts could easily manage the work necessary to cultivate them as well as other supportive food crops. They could then live in communes devoted to their preoccupation. Their would not be any over-population arising from these communes as the drug itself becomes a sex-substitute.

But herein lies the problem. This is society's conflict with substance abuse. Although it is written in the American constitution and accepted generally by all advanced societies, that a basic tenet of freedom
is the right to pursue happiness, realistically it is the right to pursue pleasure through accepted channels. These channels are through sex in a way which develops prosperity, i.e. money.

We cannot evaluate pleasure seeking through the use of brain chemistry-altering substances all the time they remain illegal and in the control of criminals.

The main difference between using sex to alter brain chemistry and using chemicals to alter chemistry is in the creation of wealth.

Those who fixate on a mate and raise a family, say like Elton John and David Furnish may create wealth and replacement organisms but there are other ways replacement organisms could be created or perhaps even emphasis diverted to longevity instead.

posted on Feb, 21 2012 @ 09:11 PM
reply to post by Golden Rule

When I look at the topic of addiction I have to ask what separates the brain of a person who can drink 3 or 4 beers and feel reasonably satisfied vs a person who has to drink a fifth of Jack and beer chasers all night long until they pass out.( And I mean on regular consistant basis, not just the rare to very seldom 'binge'.)

I'm sure there are many 'mental/emotional/spiritual reasons possibly, but when we get down on a finer physical/chemical/genetic level I am fascinated by the range of possibilities of giving hope to the 'hopeless'.

Can an 'abnormal' (out of balance brain) be made more 'normal' (balanced) like say an out of balance heart, or liver, maybe a kidney.........? Certainly more complex, but sharing many of the very same features, you have to have the right materials, animal studies are very uefull in watching how behavior changes with the application (or withholding) of key building blocks.

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