Mechanics Of Addiction Part 1 - What Is Addiction Really

Released on: February 19, 2008, 8:03 am

Press Release Author: Narconon Arrowhead

Industry: Healthcare

Press Release Summary: The following article is the first in a five-part series
written by Gary W. Smith, C.C.D.C., who has over 30 years experience in the chemical
dependency treatment field. Mr. Smith is the Executive Director of the Narconon
Arrowhead Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation and Education Center in Canadian,

Press Release Body: Whether a person is genetically or bio-chemically predisposed to
addiction or alcoholism is a controversy that has been debated for years within the
scientific, medical and chemical dependency communities. One school of thought
advocates the \"disease concept,\" which embraces the notion that addiction is an
inherited disease, and that the individual is permanently ill at a genetic level,
even for those experiencing long periods of sobriety.

Another philosophy argues that addiction is a dual problem consisting of a physical
and mental dependency on chemicals, compounded by a pre-existing mental disorder
(i.e., clinical depression, bipolar disorder, or some other mental illness), and
that the mental disorder needs to be treated first as the primary cause of the

A third philosophy subscribes to the idea that chemical dependency leads to
permanent \"chemical imbalances\" in the neurological system that must be treated
with psychotropic medications after the person has withdrawn from their drug of

The fact remains that there is some scientific research that favors each of these
addiction concepts, but none of them are absolute. Based on national averages,
there is a 16% to 20% recovery rate, the message is pretty clear that these
theories are just that theories and we have a lot more to learn if we are to bring
the national recovery rate to a more desirable level.

There is a fourth school of thought which has proven to be more accurate. It has to
do with the life cycle of addiction. This data is universally applicable to
addiction, no matter which hypothesis is used to explain the phenomenon of chemical
dependency. The life cycle of addiction begins with a problem, discomfort or some
form of emotional or physical pain a person is experiencing. The person finds this
very difficult to deal with.

Here is an individual who, like most people in our society, is basically good. He
has encountered a problem that is causing him physical or emotional pain and
discomfort that he does not have an immediate answer for. Some examples would
include difficulty \"fitting in\" as a child or teenager, puberty, physical injuries
such a broken bone, a bad back or some other chronic physical condition. Whatever
the origin of the difficulty is the discomfort associated with it presents the
individual with a real problem. He feels this problem is a major situation that is
persisting and he can see no immediate resolution or relief from it. Most of us
have experienced this in our lives to a greater or lesser degree.

Once the person takes a drug he feels relief from the discomfort, even though the
relief is only temporary, it is adopted as a solution to the problem and the
individual places value on the drug or drink. This assigned value is the only reason
the person ever uses drugs or drinks a second, third or more times.

There is a key factor involved in this life cycle scenario that determines which one
of us becomes an addict and which one does not. The answer depends on whether or
not, at the time of this traumatic experience, we are subjected to pro-drug or
alcohol influences via some sort of significant peer pressure that influences our
decision making process in regards to how one will find relief from the discomfort.
Peer pressure can manifest itself in many different ways. It can come from friends
or family members or through some venue of advertising or promotion which, when
combined with the degree of relief we receive from the drug or drink, determines the
severity of the use. Simply put the bigger the problem the greater the discomfort
the person is experiencing. The greater the discomfort the more importance the
person places on relieving it and the greater the value he assigns to that which
brought about the relief.

For those that start down the path of addiction they will encounter other physical,
mental and life style changes along the way that will begin to disintegrate the
individual's quality of life. If the drug or alcohol abuse continues unchecked,
eventually the person is faced with so many unpleasant circumstances in their life
that each sober moment is filled with so much despair and misery that all he wants
to do is escape these feelings by medicating them away. This is the downward spiral
of addiction. At this point for most there are only three eminent outcomes; death,
prison or sobriety.

For more information about addiction or if you would like a free copy of the Life
Cycle and Mechanics of Addiction 5 part series call 1-800-468-6933 or email Megan
Bedford at


Web Site:

Contact Details: Narconon Arrowhead
HC 67 Box 5
Canadian, OK 74425

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