Re: Addiction (was "a health dilemma")

From: Alex Ramonsky (
Date: Wed Jan 23 2002 - 02:55:47 MST

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dickey, Michael F" <>
To: <>
Sent: Monday, January 21, 2002 18:20
Subject: RE: Addiction (was "a health dilemma")

> Do the genes that create a propensity for alchoholism also enable your
> brain, subconcioussly of course, to A) recognize an alchoholic beverage
> B)reach a hand out and grasp it C) bring it toward your mouth D)swallow
> Or, at some point in time, are you concioussly aware of these things going
> on. Even being an alchoholic, even being born with the genetic
> predisposition to alchoholism (which is more a genetic predisposition to
> addictive behavior) you can still CHOOSE to not drink, its as simple as
> that.

No, not necessarily. Not if you are in delirium or dementia or you are nine
years old and a 'tramp' offers you an
'orange-juice-do-you-want-to-buy-some-more'. And not if your every moment
without that alcohol feels so terrible that you would prefer suicide to
having to feel it one moment longer.
We can 'give up' pain killers, but if the resulting pain is worse than the
effects of the 'medicine', where do we go from there?
I'm not referring to 'withdrawal symptoms'. I'm referring to the ongoing and
uncured 'symptoms' that led the person to start drinking in the first place.
Why do people feel a need to get drunk / stoned / high / whatever? Isn't it
because their state of mind when straight is not as nice as perhaps they
feel it should be? Because feeling high feels more 'natural' than our
ordinary stressed-out states?
I think people who are alcoholic and who carry on drinking are making this
kind of choice subconsciously...Do I have another drink and trash my
liver...or do I tolerate the horrible way I feel when sober and die of
stomach ulcers and a coronary instead?

  Rats, when in stressed confined
> situations can resort to cannibalism. Does that mean people will too?

Yup. Trapped in an elevator with six of you guys and no food for long
enough, I would most definitely eat you.

> Primates exhibit what is known as the 'Elevator effect' when in stressed
> confined conditions. They are all calm and polite to one another, which,
> surprisingly enough, is how human's behave as well. Just cause a Rat does
> something, does not mean a person will.

No, indeed. ...But they might...(see above)

> "Now someone with the proclivity to tolerate alcohol can develop a
> dependance on the substance, in fact only people with a specific
> genetic proclivity can. If someone with this proclivity does
> develop a dependance then they have to make a conscious moral
> decision to stop. There is considerable evidence that once a
> dependance developes the individual remains sensitive to further
> dependancy. I suspect a physiological change."
> -------------------------------
> There is also considerable evidence that if someone, no matter how
> to something, chooses to stop doing it, he (or she) can. That evidence
> being the multitude of people who have stopped doing something they are
> addicted to doing by just deciding that they no longer want to do it. We
> can, after all 'decide' to stop eating.

It's an equation; or a formula...pain versus gain. It has to be constantly
re-calculated and updated in real time, for me, moment to moment. Just like
people add up calories. If I continue to feel happy and fulfilled whilst
straight, I will never take another drug. If I feel bad, I'll try to find
the least damaging way to change that. My intelligence will work towards
keeping my mind sane, even if it costs this body.
What thinkest thou?

> IMHO that is...
> Michael
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