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What is an addiction– Understanding Addiction

  • What is an addiction– Understanding Addiction

    What is an addiction– Understanding Addiction

    We are all addicted to something that takes away the pain.

    This video is not intended to increase your knowledge on addictions by providing you with information on addiction but to help you better understand addictions.

    I remember growing up I was told that knowledge is power. On some level I still want to believe in that statement, but as I am beginning to learn and observe human behavior, I have started to really question if there is any power in knowledge at all.

    Please simplify (2x-3y4)3(x3 + y)0 / (4xy-2)3    =
    Let me give you the answer

    (1/8)(y18 / x12)

    Do you understand the problem now?

    This presentation is not intended to provide you with information to increase your knowledge of addiction, but the goal of this presentation is to help you better understand addiction.

    It is impossible to understand addictions, without first finding out what it is the addict finds or hopes to find from the drink, drug, or addictive behavior.

    One of the hallmarks of addiction is continued use of the substance or engaging destructive behavior despite of negative consequences.  Now Why would someone continue using something despite of all of the consequences?

    Maybe because what they get out of addiction, is worth it to them.

    I ask every single client I work with without exception the following question:

    When I work with Clients I tell them I don’t need them to tell me what was wrong with their addiction,  I want to know what was right about addiction, what did you get out of using?

    Here are some real examples:

    It helped me escape my reality

    It helped me walk across the room and look someone in the eye

    It quieted my mind and helped me sleep at night

    The reason I ask that to every client without exception is this. Almost always the answer to that question points out the value that addiction has to them

    Why did you have the need to be taken out of your reality?

    How did your self-esteem get so low that even eye contact was difficult?

    Why was your mind racing so much that you couldn’t sleep?

    The answer to those questions gives valuable insight into the development of the client and provides a blue print for developing a treatment plan



    Often it is rooted in some type of pain, or discomfort, that significantly increases with stress.

    Drug use provided relief from the pain, emotional discomfort, and stress.

    I often get families that say, well we all have pain, emotional discomfort, and are stressed out. It doesn’t mean we have to use drugs.

    I do agree with that statement but I do oppose the concept.


    Currently in the U.S we are facing a just as serious epidemic with obesity and with diabetes. An epidemic that the health care system will not be ready for. We compulsively spend. Consumer debt is at an all-time high, Gambling and fantasy sports is now a billion dollar industry, the lottery continues to increase each time, and being a family therapist and working with couples, I can confirm that its true, people still do go outside of their marriages and have affairs despite of knowing what it will do to their family.

    There is no secret that many Americans are stressed these days.

    What if they also “use” to cope with their stress. They just found another way to manage their stress.

    The research on addiction and the impact that is has on the brain is clear. The different neurochemicals that get activated through Food, shopping, gambling, and sex produce the same effect on the brain and it’s circuits as drugs do. People are more susceptible to engaging in those behaviors when they are stressed out. Engaging in a behavior will allow the user to feel a temporarily relaxation and relief.

    If I had to respond to the families I would say

    When little Johnny started using he didn’t have his own money to eat what he wanted to eat and when he wanted to eat, he didn’t have money to spend compulsively, he was too young to gamble, and he hadn’t found porn yet. He stole the alcohol from the kitchen cabinet, smoked a joint with his friend, or took a prescription out of your cabinet and when he took that drink, smoked that joint, and took that pill. He found what all of the U.S was already doing.

    When you realize that The addict is not any different than the general population. They just get their dopamine from their drug of choice, while many others are getting it from behaviors they engage in.

    when you are able to see the similarities of the addict with self and others, rather than the obvious differences.

    The complexity of addiction significantly simplify

    You will begin to understand addiction.

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