Quotations on Addiction — Not Found in the Big Book

ADDICTION DEFINITION: “Addiction is a primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory, and related circuitry.” (American Society of Addiction).

HUMAN ADDICTION: “It is becoming apparent that eating and drugs share a common neuroanatomic and neurochemical basis” (Hungry Ghosts page 226. Chapt 20, fn 14, M.S. Gold and J. Star, “Eating Disorder,” Chapt 27 in “Substance Abuse,” by Lowinson et al 470).

CHOICE?: “Addicts had no free will to choose one day not to buy the product” (Dreamland page 55).

WHAT DRUGS DO: “…drugs can’t do anything new…drugs can either speed up or slow down ongoing neural activity—and that’s it” (Never Enough page 30).

NEURAL PLASTICITY: “…there will never be enough drug, because the brain’s capacity to learn and adapt is basically infinite” (Never Enough page 4).

PRE-FRONTAL CORTEX: “…the [addict’s] prefrontal cortex goes offline from the stress, and they revert to familiar and automatic habits” (Craving Mind page 179).

WILL POWER?: “…addictive habits are too deeply entrenched in the brain of the hard-core substance user to be overcome by a simple act of will” (Hungry Ghosts page 317).

UNCONSCIOUS AND AUTOMATIC: “The dilemma of freedom in addiction may be phrased this way: a person largely driven by unconscious forces and automatic brain mechanisms is only poorly able to exercise any meaningful freedom of choice” (Hungry Ghosts page 302).

ADDICTION CONSCIOUSNESS: “…the addiction consciousness was active and looking for more and more external trophies to capture…the anxiety, ennui and fear of the void driving the whole operation…” (Hungry Ghosts 228).

REALISTIC CURE: “…many people—are too deeply enmeshed in substance dependence for any realistic ‘cure’ under present circumstances” (Hungry Ghosts page 336).

WHY BE ALIVE: “Human beings only become addicted when they cannot find anything better to live for and when they desperately need to fill the emptiness that threatens to destroy them” (Chasing the Scream, Mr. Hari quotes Mr. Alexander, page 180).

COMPULSION: “…compulsion is a culturally learned pattern to distract you from self love” (Mind Body Code page 111).

ADDICTION/ COMPULSION/ OBSESSION: “…addiction is acquired dependence… compulsion is uncontrolled behavior… obsession is intrusive thoughts, difficult to stop…” (Mind Body Code page 206).

SELF DESTRUCTIVE DISTRACTION: “…addictive behavior is self-destructive to avoid feeling worthy.” (Mind Body Code pg 25).

SOCIO-CULTURAL DISTRACTION: “…addictions are socio-cultural self-distractions that serve to avoid worthiness.” (Mind Body Code 205).

EXISTENTIAL BURDEN: “…addiction … an attempt to shed my existential burden instead of carrying out the struggle…” (12 Rules for Life, Jordan Peterson page 323).

BODY BUDGET: “…drug addiction is often a misguided attempt to relieve the suffering from a body budget that’s chronically out of whack.” (How Emotions Are Made, pg 188)

JUST STOP THINKING ABOUT IT: “Asking a heroin user to stop thinking about heroin is like asking a drowning person to stop trying to catch a breath of air” (Overcoming Opioid Addiction, Adam Bisaga, page 31).

MORPHINE MOLECULE: “Most drugs are easily reduced to water-soluble glucose in the human body, which then expels them. Alone in nature, the morphine molecule rebelled. It resisted being turned into glucose and it stayed in the body” (Dreamland page 39).

WHY RELAPSE: “Most relapse comes not from the craving for the drug. It comes from this whole other level of unmanageability, putting myself in compromising situations, or being dishonest, being lazy – being a fifteen year old” (Dreamland page 293).

FALLING PREY: “Ambivalence feeds on discord, and the person who is still hostage to addictive thinking may eventually fall prey to it” (Overcoming Opioid Addiction, Bisaga page 205).


1 Comment

  1. Shannon M Brast says:

    Really great sharing

    Liked by 1 person

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