Living Up To The Hype – Harvard & The Social Network

"Final Clubs" party scene from The Social Network

One prevailing theme of this blog is that, in regard to choices about substance use, what goes on in the mind (in the way of thoughts and beliefs) is profoundly more significant than any supposed gene or other biological factor associated with "addiction".  This factor is evidenced again and again in so many ways.  One noteworthy example was mentioned in a current Newseek story by Nick Summers about the impact of the movie "The Social Network" on the actual clubs it portrays. The movie is set … [Read more...]

Charlie Sheen Confirms That Chuck Lorre Is an AA Member

sheen big book

UPDATE 3/7: It's not just Sheen's comments which indicate Lorre is an AA member.  Comments by CBS execs from a recent story in the New York Times seem to confirm the same thing: The current conflict escalated after Mr. Sheen began speaking out against Chuck Lorre, the show’s creator and a reliable hitmaker for CBS. As he was criticizing Mr. Lorre, Mr. Sheen was railing against the organization Alcoholics Anonymous. The senior executives said the two issues were linked because of Mr. Lorre’s … [Read more...]

Charlie Sheen Turns On The Cult – And Feels The Wrath of Alcoholics Anonymous

clare 2

The latest news on Charlie Sheen is BIG news.  He has publicly called AA a cult, indicated that it's been screwing up his life for 22 years, and that it has control over his family.  These latest comments have brought things to a true tipping point.  He's being universally attacked as a crazy person for criticizing AA, and no one in the major media seems to have the slightest interest in investigating his claims.  I contend that Sheen's comments are 100% correct. While Sheen is the most … [Read more...]

Feelings & Realities


Remember how you felt back when your high school sweetheart broke up with you?  Did it feel like the end of the world?  Did it feel like you would be alone for the rest of your life?  Did it feel like no one would ever love you again? For many people, those feelings were very real - yet things turned out differently.  It wasn't the end of the world, they didn't end up alone, they found love and companionship elsewhere.  In most cases they found even greater relationships.  They changed, they … [Read more...]

Comparing Apples to Melons – Four Loko


The February issue of the NIAAA Spectrum, boasts that their research was used by the FDA to crack down on the makers of alcoholic energy drinks such as Four Loko.  The way they present the information in this piece is instructive of the basic intellectual dishonesty which runs rampant in anti-drug/alcohol circles.  With a bit of basic math, their exaggerations fall apart.  Take a look at this excerpt: Four Loko is a fruity-flavored beverage that comes in 23.5-ounce cans and is about 12 percent … [Read more...]

The Tragedy of Motivational Interviewing


Motivational Interviewing is a style of counseling developed by longtime addiction researchers.  As far as what is currently available in the "treatment" world, it's probably the most useful thing available (not counting solutions outside of the world of formal "treatment" for addictions) and has the most evidence to back it up, ranking #1 in a survey of the effectiveness of known treatments.  Whereas most counselors assume the addict to be "in denial", lying, diseased, powerless, and … [Read more...]

Obesity as a Brain Disease


There is a push to classify obesity as a brain disorder or disease.  Is this good or bad, I don't know.  It could be good if it happens, because it really is just a furtherance of logic that will hopefully collapse in upon itself at some point.  Obesity itself isn't a behavior, it is sort of a state of being, but it's the behavior that the diseasers are targeting.  They're saying that fat and sugar and salt reinforce consumption of foods that contain them within the brain, and that the obese … [Read more...]

Choice and Will Power


As the hate-mail I receive shows, some people are very turned off by the tagline of my site which reads: Addiction is not a disease, it is a choice. One of the most common interpretations among the haters goes something like this: "When you call addiction a choice, you're not offering a solution, you're only telling people that they should just use will-power."  I'm going to state clearly now, for anyone who cares to pay attention - I am not saying that will-power is the solution. In the … [Read more...]

69.5% of Treatment Revenues Come From Public Funds


I found some interesting info in the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reports today, and made a table with it.  It lists the 4 major types of treatment, and the percentage of their revenue which comes from public sources. On average, these facilities are collecting 69.5% of their revenue from some form of government (source).  Another NSDUH report shows us what sources individuals are using to pay for treatment. Many people are using 2 or more sources, like a … [Read more...]

Charlie Sheen Case Reveals The True Character of The Recovery Culture

bad dog

The news reports on Charlie Sheen's recent exploits make excellent fodder for examining our culture's beliefs about addiction.  They're giving me too many ideas to write about.  For now, I'll focus on the schizophrenic nature of our beliefs.  A report in the Daily News questions the wisdom of Sheen's latest treatment episode, which he will undergo at home rather than at a treatment center: The clearest benefit for a patient receiving rehabilitation treatment at home is that he receives all the … [Read more...]