As posted on Facebook:
I am not an addiction clinician, nor do I want to be. However, I think, erroneously, once in a while, that I know just a bit about the field. Clearly not. For if I knew anything at all about addictions, how could I not know that there was so much controversy around the brain/neuro-science theory of addiction. Frankly, now that I know it exists, and I’ve researched the argument a bit, I don’t understand the argument.
Yes, it’s true, I understand more about the complex neuro-addiction claim than I understand the argument against it. No, I’m not a scientist either. Just a writer here. Any thoughts?
My last two posts at my blog for Psychology Today – “The End of Addiction” and “End Alcoholism – Bomb Spain” — have raised some consternation. Are they supposed to be funny, or what?
Stacey Kauffman Peters What is not to understand? Biologically speaking alcohol (for some predisposed) is a way to “self medicate” or “normalize” the brain. Like correcting an imbalance of sorts. I see the nurture part as this: if you use alcohol in your dail…y functioning.. you are missing vital life/social skills that are not developing/maturing. Such that it becomes a coping “crutch”, because no other skills are known. Whether you are using AA or CBT models.. the life/social skills have to develop.. and something to replace the behavior.. however, the biology is still there. fall off the wagon, or move to a new wagon all together (prescription medications etc).
Moderation is a constant struggle for addicts. Which is why AA preaches abstinence.
I found the writer of the letter to be a bit of a moron, myself.
What did you think?See More
Daphne Taylor Street Hi Stacey! I need to be a little cautious here due to the fact that I’m employed by a large substance abuse service provider, and I am not a clinician. I am a writer. Having said that, I’m concerned about the position of this Psychology Tod…ay blogger and what he is proposing. This has nothing to do with his incredibly condescending writing style. His argument is plainly weak. I am very familiar with the neuro-science position on addiction. To dismiss it as something disproved in the 80s is amazing, seeing as how we didn’t have the technology or knowledge of neurology and ability to study the brain as we do now. I’m not willing to embrace that addiction is only a direct result of perception and environmental conditioning. I have personal evidence to the contrary (though anecdotal, it’s still valid). I’m standing by the neuro-addiction position. If I will be swayed from this stance, it certainly won’t be by this weak argument posted in this Psychology Today blog. Hope all is well! –Daphne
Denise Gibbons All I needed to read about the author of that article was that he supports the “harm reduction” model of addictions “treatment”. That’s a crock of BS. This man has a PhD and Dr. Nora Volkow is a M.D. who do you think knows more about the ne…urobiological basis of addiction? Dr. Volkow did the HBO addictions series which I have on DVD. It is insightful and I have used it in many group therapy sessions. There are many idiots out there in the addictions and mental health field. I had a professor in my Master’s program who believed you could treat Schizophrenia with “talk therapy” INSTEAD of medication. Have you ever tried to have a rational conversation with someone who is actively psychotic? Did I mention that this professor had never actually worked with anyone who had Schizophrenia.
Daphne Taylor Street Denise–perfecto! Well stated and I couldn’t agree more.