Addiction in Society

Addiction—the thematic malady for our society—entails every type of psychological and societal problem

Are a "Sensible" and a "Scientific" View of Addiction the Same?

We are lost in the forest of addiction, looking at PET scans instead of at behaviors and experiences. All this leads to a Rube Goldberg way of defining addition. Read More

Sensible Stanton

Stanton, you're making it harder and harder for me to get my dander up about your posts. :( While I generally disagree with many things you say about alot of stuff, this is another one I that I agree with you on. I swear, they're going to take away my Disease-Club membership if you don't stop making good points! You need to start ranting and raving and sounding like an AA-hating lunitic again! Grrrr.

At any rate, as I said, this is an issue I've found myself struggling with. Part of the neurological disease concept that won me over is the dopemine production aspect. The idea that chemical use (alcohol and illectic drug) caused an unnatural spike in dopemine production that cannot be recreated by natural (ie physical) activities cause the primative reward/survivial mechanisms of the brain to be hijacked causing the individual to seek our continued use in spite of detriments to physical safety/survivial. All that fit and made good sense to me. Loved the graphics of brain chemistry that helped that arguement make sense.

Then, folks start talking about how certain behaviors trigger the same system. Wait? What? I thought chemicals caused a spike NOT acheivable in natural activities? How can any natural activities, even one done to "addictive" extremes cause the same spike in dopemine that drugs/alcohol does?

Of that matter, if behavioral addictions are as powerful as chemical addictions, how come folks with food addictions, or shoping addictions, or sex addictions able to learn how to "control" their use of those behaviors, while chemical addictions and gambling addictions the only recourse is total abstinance?

Now, while I agree this arguement is flawed and NOT sensible, I also happen to NOT agree that a return to controlled drinking/using is possible for a true addict/alcoholic. I happen to believe there is a big difference between a behavioral addiction and a chemical addiction. I don't buy the brain science behind behavioral addictions. I don't believe we're doing a good enough job weeding out "true" addicts/alcoholic from folks just having drug or alcohol problems. But, as I said at the beginning, I do agree with you that this whole arguement about behavioral addictions is flawed and that we're taking the wrong approach to those issues.

Tony - you're half way there

Someone who sounds as sensible as you do COULDN'T have their head all the way up their ass (oops, I can't believe I said that!).

Con and Pro

In the words of Seligmann (2002) push the text from -5 up to -3:

"A sensible person who is asked, "Are gambling, sex, and games addictive?" will answer, "Anything can be addictive, or not, depending on how engrossed people become in them, and how much they are DAMAGED by it." In other words, it isn't which activities we focus on and call addictive, it is how the person engages in the experience (compulsively, unable to halt or to cut back, in ways that interfere with their functioning and that harm them) that counts."

The term "DAMAGED" HAS to removed.

To give an example: I'm a fan. Not like some staker, but the "modern consumer" that grab, grab, grab, and never give back. (That kind of people that killed Amy Whinehouse or the other Pop-Diva early this year).

Back to Seligman (2002). I WANT THE FLOW.

Last year I gave you an "aaa" of about a specific joke, that aclassic for the in-group.You "(oops, I can't believe I said that!)". Really? This joke in the comment sectionIS and will be forever.

Its like the aa - one day recoverd- always recoverd.

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Stanton Peele, PhD, JD, is the author of Recover! He has been a pioneer in the addiction field since publication of Love and Addiction in 1975.

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