#1
This is mostly for people who have an understanding of addiction and psychology, but I was wondering, do you guys think there are alternatives to addiction treatment than total abstinence?

I was thinking about it just now, and it seems that total abstinence would make a relapse way more severe, kind of how they suggest for dieters not to cut out foods they like completely, because once they get a taste, it makes them go back in harder than they would if they'd had a little bit this whole time.

I know food isn't the best comparison but it's just a thought.

Another question I have is, what do you think of its classification as a disease? I guess I understand the disease thing because of the nature of addiction, with your body getting to a point of thinking it needs a particular substance, but doesn't this relieve the addict of any responsibility for their actions, and it makes what they were doing not their fault.

What are your thoughts?
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#2
I think abstinence is the only valid option. Look at methadone, most heroin junkies just wind worse off/the same as before
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#4
if someone really wants to quit something, they will, that's just my 2 cents though.

Oh, and be prepared for this to turn in to a "legalise all drugs?" debate.

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#5
quitting cold turkey, or total abstinence is always ugly. whether it's physically or mentally or both, it's never easy.

to ease the problems, if the addiction isn't as severe as someone might seem, and it isn't to something extreme like heroin, a placebo will do fine. telling the person they've been off the drug for about a week and on the placebo will cause some discomfort for a few days, not to mention betray the doctor-patient confidentiality oath.

as somebody already said above, methadone doesn't really work very well for heroin addicts. it numbs you out quite nicely, sure, but it doesn't give junkies the rush they crave. if the heroin addict is addicted to heroin because they're in physical pain and it removes the pain, methadone will do fine.

there are other addictions like eating disorders or hoarding that just needs a psychological work up to get to the root of the issue, then to cut it from its roots.

it's never an easy thing. the options you have are extreme or painful, it's basically an option of being put in a chemical-induced coma until you detox and risk serious brain damage, or you can go through immense amounts of pain.

tl;dr: it's never easy.
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#6
I'm not an addict or a psychologist, btu I've read plenty of books by both, often touching on the subject. My understanding from their perspective is that it's all-or-nothing because it's not something they can control - One leads to another, and so on.

It's something I can understand the mindset with, as I'm awful with time management. "Well, I'll only keep going for five more minutes." "It's only two minutes until 2:50, and that's a nice, round number divisible by ten." "Well, it's only ten more minutes until things on the west coast refresh for tomorrow." "Oh, now I'm in the middle of something, only five minutes more." Except the addictions are life-threatening. "One didn't hurt me, one more won't." "Oh, now I have to have three just for the rule of three." "Well, lets see if we can get to five." etc., etc.

Again, not an addict or specialist. Just going off my impressions from reading the thoughts of former addicts and professionals. It's a slippery slope.
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#7
I seen abstinence and thought this was about sex addiction
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#8
"Heroin-Assisted Treatment" for heroin addicts has been pretty successful in experiments.
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#9
Quote by laid-to-waste
quitting cold turkey, or total abstinence is always ugly. whether it's physically or mentally or both, it's never easy.

to ease the problems, if the addiction isn't as severe as someone might seem, and it isn't to something extreme like heroin, a placebo will do fine. telling the person they've been off the drug for about a week and on the placebo will cause some discomfort for a few days, not to mention betray the doctor-patient confidentiality oath.

as somebody already said above, methadone doesn't really work very well for heroin addicts. it numbs you out quite nicely, sure, but it doesn't give junkies the rush they crave. if the heroin addict is addicted to heroin because they're in physical pain and it removes the pain, methadone will do fine.

there are other addictions like eating disorders or hoarding that just needs a psychological work up to get to the root of the issue, then to cut it from its roots.

it's never an easy thing. the options you have are extreme or painful, it's basically an option of being put in a chemical-induced coma until you detox and risk serious brain damage, or you can go through immense amounts of pain.

tl;dr: it's never easy.


I wasn't referring to the detox, I was meaning leading life afterward. With illegal substances abstinence would have to be the recommended thing, but with alcohol with how easy it is to acquire, I was thinking that teaching the addict to control how much they drink, and I was wondering if that's actually possible.

I mean, do you guys really see the addict as an untamable beast where they can't touch the substance and abstinence is the only way of ever maintaining control of their life, or is there a chance of learning self control?
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#10
People who really want to quit will, intervention programs do work sometimes, but ultimately it is up to the person in question. Also going into an environment where they can't feed that addiction will help, but you have to be careful about the after effects - not having access to something for a long time just makes it that much easier to loose control when you do have access to it.

As for addiction being a disease, I think that is an excuse. There are no medical reasons why you are addicted besides the fact that you have become reliant on it. Addiction is more of a mental issue than a physical one.
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#11
Quote by tayroar
I wasn't referring to the detox, I was meaning leading life afterward. With illegal substances abstinence would have to be the recommended thing, but with alcohol with how easy it is to acquire, I was thinking that teaching the addict to control how much they drink, and I was wondering if that's actually possible.

I mean, do you guys really see the addict as an untamable beast where they can't touch the substance and abstinence is the only way of ever maintaining control of their life, or is there a chance of learning self control?


i don't think addicts can change very much. even if they go through rehab, they're just holding their breath. if they die without having a drink for twenty years, they basically died while holding their breath.

i'll drop the analogy. sorry i didn't read OP, i'm really tired and all i saw was 'abstinence' and i thought i'd go with it.
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#12
Quote by stonyman65
People who really want to quit will, intervention programs do work sometimes, but ultimately it is up to the person in question. Also going into an environment where they can't feed that addiction will help, but you have to be careful about the after effects - not having access to something for a long time just makes it that much easier to loose control when you do have access to it.

As for addiction being a disease, I think that is an excuse. There are no medical reasons why you are addicted besides the fact that you have become reliant on it. Addiction is more of a mental issue than a physical one.


There are medical reasons for them, look up withdrawal. Your body has had a substance in it so much, that it treats it similarly to water or food, and your body thinks its dying since it doesn't have it. The withdrawal syndrome from alcohol can actually kill you.

Quote by laid-to-waste
i don't think addicts can change very much. even if they go through rehab, they're just holding their breath. if they die without having a drink for twenty years, they basically died while holding their breath.

i'll drop the analogy. sorry i didn't read OP, i'm really tired and all i saw was 'abstinence' and i thought i'd go with it.


No man, no worries, it was an insightful post, and you always seem to know what you're talking about with psychology.
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Last edited by tayroar at May 1, 2011,
#14
I'm just gonna point out that therapy using LSD is more effective at helping alcoholism than going to AA.
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#15
Quote by ninjaapirate
I'm just gonna point out that therapy using LSD is more effective at helping alcoholism than going to AA.


Really? Interesting. Do you have anything to back this up? I don't disbelieve it, but a lot of scientific journals will just make claims like that and then refute them in the article to sell magazines.
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#16
Quote by tayroar
Really? Interesting. Do you have anything to back this up? I don't disbelieve it, but a lot of scientific journals will just make claims like that and then refute them in the article to sell magazines.

I know this is wikipedia, but the source is cited on the page.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LSD#Alcoholism

I'm not saying that's the end all be all, but I have heard of people breaking their addictions to such things as coke and alcohol because of LSD use.
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#17
If you think about it really carefully, there is no cure for any kinds of severe addictions.