Article:The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think


The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think

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Interesting read. While there is a book to sell and the fascinating truth exposed by it isn't the earth shattering, mind blowing material the headline portrays.... I found it interesting and it might inspire here.

Keep up the fight and stay strong.

12 Replies

  • Thanks David, a lot to read but interesting and definitely a different way of looking at addiction alright 😃 how are you doing with your quit 😀 x

  • Yes it is somewhat wordy. I think there is a lot to be said about the environmental impacts on what keeps us hooked.

    I'm doing good, today is my last day in Romania, flying back late tonight. The holiday has been good. Relaxing but with enough going on that I don't think about Smoking.

    The difficulty has been socialising with people here, smoking is still allowed in bars/clubs etc... (For now, they are planning on bringing in a law similar to the UK). Those have been the difficult times. When in the past my Fiancée would chat with her friends (I don't speak much of that language yet) I'd sit and puff with my own thoughts. This time round my hands feel particularly empty.

    How are things in your corner?

  • Glad you enjoying the hols and yep it must be really tough socialising in the situation you are in😱 so you have done really well to get through it. When is your wedding💞 x

  • We have two weddings planned!

    UK: March 12th 2016

    Romania: May 14th 2016

    It's been tough but I made it. The flight home was the hardest part, flying is irritating at best. But not hiving the option (I don't want tobacco and nobody else carries an e-cig) makes it much easier.

  • Hiya David, lucky you 2 weddings to look forward to and hope you feeling proud of your achievement, as you say flying can be stressful, so well done for getting over those hurdles 😃 this time next year you'll be half married :D :D x

  • G'day David,

    An interesting article. It fits with what I believe is the case for me. Even though nicotine withdrawal can be uncomfortable, if it is the only reason we smoked we would all be "cured" after 2-3 weeks.

  • What goes on in the brain is a strange thing, I should be over the nicotine withdrawal by now (or at least most of it). Yet I have had some of the strongest cravings while on holiday (the beer and smoke mental link). Although most fortunately, I have had a decreasing amount of the other "symptoms" such as vivid dreams and irritability.

    The intense craving where I'm borderline shaking and wanting to scream are short and I know I can "ride them out". I also know that they will get less intense over time. That and I have now gone through the process of sitting surrounded by smokers.

  • Thanks David, an interesting read. Did you know in the Vietnam war, there were so many soldiers taking drugs that when it ended, the US government had in place a drugs programme to help the addicts. The surprising thing was that once home, the majority of soldiers were just fine. Like the rats, they had family and friends, a different set of circumstances.

    The hypnotherapist take on this , it is not the addiction that ties you in to cravings and wanting more, but the association build on this. This is why, when helping people change habits, finding their "triggers" are crucial. If people are satisfied in other ways, there is no reason to turn to drugs of any sort.... any habit in fact is glued in place with associated links and what peoples expectations are in that moment.

    For instance, A cuppa and biscuit, a cigarette and alcohol, chocolate and comfort. It is all part and parcel of how we process thoughts.

    As we hypnotherapists say- The mind is the best of servants and worst of masters !

  • Hi David, thank you for sharing this with us - it's very interesting indeed :-)

    It does give a fresh look at the concept of addiction - are we addicted or do we just think we are? Personally, I believe that if we are not addicted but if we think we are, is just as powerful and challenging an ordeal to face :o I hope that makes sense :D

    I will most certainly set some more time aside to re-read through this article again :-)

    Safe Home tonight :-)

    Linda, I do like your saying and think it's great "The mind is the best of servants and worst of masters" How true :-)

    Roneo, let us help you to make your way into the safer place - The Rat Park ;-) I do believe we run a similar kind of place here, even though it may all be in cyber space - the support is real :-)

  • As Roneo said, this is an interesting extension of some of the things he and I have discussed in the past.

    I think much of the difference between smoking and harder drugs (which have a far more profound impact on people) is that when we are happy we don't want to escape to that degree.

    We all need to find (or build) our rat park :)

  • In golf, when trying to ingrain changes to our swing, we repeat an action hundreds of time in practice to build "muscle memory". Of course, no such thing exists, but, in reality we are educating our brain to react instinctively, without conscious thought. We have trained our sub conscious thousands of times to react to particular "discomforts". Nicotine depletion is the initial physical discomfort. In the course of "ingraining", we also convince our sub conscious that smoking is a reward, satisfies hunger, cures boredom, anxiety, depression, poor concentration (as a stimulant, it may make a real contribution. So, when that need to "do something" in response to a discomfort gnaws at you, smoking, as a panacea for all ills is the instinctive solution. The trick is to find a healthy alternative rather than suppress the urge & ingrain it into our "muscle memory".

  • I like the "muscle memory" example, I think it sums things up very well.

    Sadly, without nicotine or any other drug we can't get the same short term "buzz" of the stimulant and it's collective psychological impacts. Perhaps that's the real difference.

    The joys of the rat park are slow to build, it takes time to build the right environment. Making and catching up with friends and family takes time and investment, or going someplace pleasant. They tend not to provide immediate gratification, instead it's a slower release of the pleasure chemicals over time, say an afternoon in the park/evening with friends.

    By contrast, in the cage environment there is no easy access to slow burning release of pleasure chemicals. There is a general lower level of of them in a residual manor in the body (not to mention fewer happy thoughts in the mind). We then desire a "short cut" (our drug of choice).

    The interesting thing is how smoking (in many cultures) is allowed and easily integrated into the "rat park" environment (a puff with our friends down the pub). Here the line becomes crossed, and things more complicated. Nicotine isn't the same intense strong buzz that other drugs provide (at least from anecdotal evidence), it's a series of smaller stimulations which get topped up over time. But also the "buzz" wares off quickly, unlike alcohol (anther highly addictive substance) it's perfectly socially acceptable to have a puff after breakfast.

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