Re: Addiction

From: Mike Lorrey (
Date: Tue Jan 22 2002 - 08:10:25 MST

Samantha Atkins wrote:
> Dickey, Michael F wrote:
> > ----Original Message-----
> > From: Brian D Williams []
> >
> > "Alcoholism is not a genetic predisposition to addictive behavior,
> > it is a genetic predisposition to a substance. Once addicted to a
> > substance it is not easy to quit, but I agree it is essential."
> >
> > But, the primary question is, CAN a person DECIDE to quit, or do they have
> > no control over their actions?
> Yes, they can given enough of a major hitting bottom (usually)
> and given a lot of willpower and support to stay on the wagon.
> I've had a few people in my life go through it. It isn't easy.

Hitting bottom offers the best chance to quit, because it generally is
accompanied by enough pain that the negative feedback starts to exceed
the positive feedback.

> But no, the above is not the "primary" question if you think it
> means that it is all a moral question or primarily one. It is a
> bit more complicated than that.

Some individuals can quit anytime, generally when it's still in the
repetetive social habit stage. Such individuals generally are rather
control-oriented and resent their bodies trying to order them what to
do. AA'ers typically call people who quit without a program as 'white
knucklers', and I've known a number of control freaks who went that
route. Makes them even bigger a$$holes than they were before.

Food addiction, I think, though, is the most difficult addiction to
kick, because you can't be a teetotaler from food. You HAVE to learn to
be a moderate consumer of food, since you can't live without it, which
is far more difficult than a regieme of strict avoidance. Furthermore,
the cravings for food don't even have to be present, simply a
manipulative subconcious is required, which drives you to have just 'a
few more bites' at each meal. This is, I think, why there are far more
obese people than alcoholics, and why far more repeatedly fail at
dieting than any other addiction kicking program..

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