Addiction in Society

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

Normalizing Drug Use

People who use drugs—even the most "addictive," dangerous drugs—are not particularly prone to become addicted. Read More

ywes !

any system 3 times as efective as 12step
will be 1/3 times its money

thumbs up for this post. Mr Peele

in other words:
Spocks says logic
Doctor hatesb it

Captain kirk says f***/yes

expect stormy times, though, aws ever

Disease or Behavior gone Wild

I don't understand how Volker can espouse the disease theory of addiction in the face of the empirical behavior evidence. fMRI finding measure blood flow not neural activity. As Dr. Peele notes dopamine is secreted in smiling babies.
I wonder if the disease theory is mainly a liberal mind set to promote the premise that, "We are all good boys and girls and should never be blamed for our behavior."


hi stanton, how do you understand that "About 90 percent of cigarette smokers become addicted before the age of 19, according to the CDC" if other addiction rates are so low and addiction is not based on chemicals, why do so many smokers become addicted as opposed to other drug users or alcoholics?

Here's how nicotine fits

The machine-made cigarette is the most efficient drug delivery device ever created. (Think how much easier it is to smoke than to prepare a needle for injection.) Before that, ceremonial smoking in the Middle East (a la the hookah) or among Native Americans sharing a pipe made tobacco addiction difficult (impossible, in fact, for Native Americans, who have been vastly prone to other substance addictions).

That notwithstanding, when I speak to counselors, most of whom are recovering alcoholics/addicts, I ask: "What is the most addictive drug?"

They shout in unison, "nicotine" (or "smoking").

I say, "How many of you have overcome an addiction to tobacco?"

In the right groups, 60 percent of people will raise their hands.

"Wow," I say. "How many of you went to a doctor for a nicotine patch or gum or joined a support group to quit?"

From none to a handful raise their hands.

"You're too radical for me," I say. "More than half of you have quit the toughest drug addiction, and virtually none of you used a support group or treatment to do it."

Here are five facts off of that riff:

1. Unbelievably to most, a HIGHER percentage of drug addicts and alcoholics (about three quarters) quit their addictions than smokers (50%), and most (like smokers) do it on their own.

2. Although a majority of smokers still quit on their own, that percentage is constantly being whittled down by pharma marketing of drugs to quit in ads telling people that they can't quit on their own. (We're down from about 90% self-quitters to below 60%.)

3. As I describe in Recover!, data show that dependent smokers who quit using NRT (nicotine replacement) are MORE likely to relapse than those who quit themselves.

4. Although the standard wisdom is that addicted smokers can't cut back, AS A SOCIETY our smoking addiction has been cut back, now that people must delay to go outside to smoke (which most argued was impossible). The average number of cigarettes habitual smokers smoke today has dropped to 6 from 16 daily.

5. And, in fact, young addicted smokers smoke far fewer cigarettes than their counterparts in previous decades!

Smiling babies

I'm wondering if dopamine is also produced by looking at a smiling baby, especially if the baby is looking you in the eyes. It's a great feeling, anyway!

Doreen -- You could read the

post and find out!

It says "as Ilse Thompson and I pointed out in Recover! Stop Thinking Like an Addict, measurable dopamine and fMRI responses are produced by every notable human experience, including seeing a baby smile."


I think it depends on the person, of course. I am extremely prone to compulsive behavior -- I've been through it with cleaning, dancing, drugs, candy and video games, to name a few. But drugs had a hold on me that nothing else could compare to. A day in a park with friends, and no drugs, sounded like a frightening trial for years, whereas a day alone, behind a trash bin, in the rain, high, sounded like paradise. I even thought most people felt the same and that they just didn't want to admit it. The only other form of entertainment that could come close to what drugs did to my free will was Tetris. Even other video games were just annoying, but Tetris was like being in a better world. Almost like being just slightly high. But not quite.

Damn, Anonymous

Great, interesting comment.

Of course, you really didn't clear anything up, because the only experience you likened to drugs was a game -- and DSM-5 specifically declined to include gaming on the addiction "list" (it's on the "to do" list).

Oh, and the other thing you didn't get into was when you got off drugs.

But I'm going to quote this somewhere.

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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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