Here are some thoughts after reading “Addiction as a Brain Disease”.
“For many years, people with addictions were seen as weak or having no willpower.”
For many years, the ironic brain disease in this case is believing a person has absolute control over reality (only hypocritically when convenient for that believer, of course).
“It was assumed that because addiction begins with voluntary behavior that people could just stop by making the decision and having the will power.”
If you stir liquid in a glass, momentum increases. If you stir hard and long enough, reversing the stirring direction forms tension. If that tension could be made strong enough, the stirring device breaks.
It’s critical to understand that everything is energy, at least according to mainstream physics. I’ll spare you the details here, but feel free to challenge that scientific affirmation.
Desire is energy. Thought is energy. Distinction is energy. Control is energy. Experience is energy. Consciousness is energy. And so on.
Addiction comes from stirring your life in a direction to a degree dangerously against the balance (stability) of your humanity.
The energetic momentum is really there, so reversing direction forms the aforementioned tension. If the addiction is strong enough, reversing direction breaks the addict.
If any of us swims against a powerful enough riptide, drowning is the result. In that crisis, the goal is to swim at an angle towards the shore in hopes of passing the side of that powerful current to then enable reaching the shore.
Addiction is no different, and in some cases, the damage is tragically too much (the currents are strong enough everywhere to result in drowning — e.g. drug overdose).
Addiction prevention is critical, so is the corresponding education.
Ultimately, restoring and maximally sustaining human balance is the optimal focal point for proper living, and that’s why I firmly believe meditation (composure) is essential to survival and responsible “thrival”.
Achieving the meditative state is exercising the core muscle. The more familiar you become via that exercise, the more likely you can return to that composure in a crisis (like avoiding panicking in the riptide scenario to likely drown desperately swimming against that deadly tide).
Despite sadly popular demonization for decades, certain psychedelic experiences (e.g. cannabis — science term for marijuana, if unclear) can powerfully help on this front too.
Humanly teaching meditation is challenging. It involves focusing upon breathing, so the rest of the mind relaxes — but the focus upon breathing must become the focus upon not focusing (logically hard to convey).
However, psychedelics (via a harmonious neurologically symphonic resonance) can bypass that challenge by nicely (but firmly) encouraging the user to experience the undeniably supreme value of that energetic oneness (composure).
There are two basic results of psychedelic experiences. One is harmonious and the other dissonant. The latter can be problematic (especially upon high intensity), but with low-enough psychedelic intensity, that dissonance is like musical tension (a fun kind of dissonance for those whom like it rough).
Now you logically know why harmonious psychedelic drugs are touted as being able to help addicts recover. They powerfully symphonically insist upon restorative composure and giving the addict a sense of the ultimate reward, so they can then tune their sober mind in that supremely awesome direction through a healthy reward system.
Moreover, and unlike alcohol, psychedelics don’t affect the ‘wisdom’ part of the brain. If you’re wise sober, that wisdom remains even under intense psychedelic effects — a key point towards the educational nature of proper psychedelic use.
Psychedelics can be extremely powerful, so they effectively command respect. Recklessly experimenting with psychedelics is terribly risky, so terribly stupid (uncool).
With cannabis leading the charge, stress management is about to gain a seriously powerful boost, and I look forward to exploring that boost in detail with our community for better health — when the seriously destructive drug prohibition addiction is finally publicly addressed by ironic intervention (i.e. when legal liability is no longer an issue against yours truly).