Posts tagged addiction

P.S.H.

I had a drink with him once a year or 2 ago, in a dark, divey bar in the West Village. It was Sunday night, late. He sat next to me, chatted and had one drink. The bartender knew right away what he wanted without asking. He had such fantastic eyes… the crazy, but gentle kind. A few friendly exchanges, he emptied his glass, nodded with a half smile and left a twenty. I remember thinking, that was too brief, who has just one bourbon?

The Rational Choices of Crack Addicts

scottdshaffer:

“They didn’t fit the caricature of the drug addict who can’t stop once he gets a taste,” Dr. Hart said. “When they were given an alternative to crack, they made rational economic decisions.”

I want to know how this behavior compares to the behavior of gamblers, because playing slots and the lottery seems irrational from an economic point of view. It would be funny (and sad) if rational drug use is stigmatized and criminalized while irrational gambling is promoted by the state.

Interesting point. It’s about “providing attractive alternatives”, isn’t it. Very respectable work by Dr. H, highlighting social policy of problems we are content to slap a disease label on, wrap it in some stigma and jack up the penalties across the board. The options are less than desirable when you are dependent on drug related policies (which include chemical dependency facilities).  It’s no surprise that this narrative comes in handy for some politicians…but also this:

“Eighty to 90 percent of people are not negatively affected by drugs, but in the scientific literature nearly 100 percent of the reports are negative,” Dr. Hart said. “There’s a skewed focus on pathology. We scientists know that we get more money if we keep telling Congress that we’re solving this terrible problem. We’ve played a less than honorable role in the war on drugs.”

 The video is worth a watch. 

Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center




Drug addiction in China is highly stigmatized. And now, some doctors are trying to cure it with a radical procedure known as as a “stereotactic ablation.” More simply, it’s the practice of destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers” (the nucleus accumbens) in heroin addicts and alcoholics as a way to stop drug cravings. At the same time, however, damage to this region could also impair a person’s ability to experience natural longings and other emotions, including joy. [& img via]




So the idea is using heat to kill cells in a targeted area of the brain, which is also used in severe cases of depression and OCD. But in the accumbens, it’s a risky surgery to consider because, “That region is saturated with neurons containing dopamine and endogenous opioids, which are involved in pleasure and desire related both to drugs and to ordinary experiences like eating, love and sex.” @maiasz over at Time Healthland details this trade off:




…21% of the patients they studied experienced memory deficits after the surgery and 18% had “weakened motivation,” including at least one report of lack of sexual desire. The authors claim, however, that “all of these patients reported that their [adverse results] were tolerable.” [via]





…because there is probably a pill for the other stuff.

Physicians in China treat addictions by destroying the brain’s pleasure center

Drug addiction in China is highly stigmatized. And now, some doctors are trying to cure it with a radical procedure known as as a “stereotactic ablation.” More simply, it’s the practice of destroying parts of the brain’s “pleasure centers” (the nucleus accumbens) in heroin addicts and alcoholics as a way to stop drug cravings. At the same time, however, damage to this region could also impair a person’s ability to experience natural longings and other emotions, including joy. [& img via]

So the idea is using heat to kill cells in a targeted area of the brain, which is also used in severe cases of depression and OCD. But in the accumbens, it’s a risky surgery to consider because, “That region is saturated with neurons containing dopamine and endogenous opioids, which are involved in pleasure and desire related both to drugs and to ordinary experiences like eating, love and sex.” @maiasz over at Time Healthland details this trade off:

…21% of the patients they studied experienced memory deficits after the surgery and 18% had “weakened motivation,” including at least one report of lack of sexual desire. The authors claim, however, that “all of these patients reported that their [adverse results] were tolerable.” [via]

…because there is probably a pill for the other stuff.

scienceofthekgb:
In light of a recent Wired article about psychopharma use during Gitmo interrogations, we revisit this topic:
In your experience, what are the types of techniques of psychological torture used?xKGB:  Forcible narcotics addiction - here you can use also depressants, stimulants, opiates or hallucinogens (psychedelics), depressants (alcohol, barbiturates, antianxiety drugs with effects of euphoria, tension reduction, disinhibition, muscle relaxation, drowsiness; stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine (crystal meth).
Once you’ve made an addict, information can be easily obtained, the drug has now become more important than the protection silence offered… if you are not mad by then.
***
According to reports, Haldol is our choice “sedative” in Gitmo. A footnote in the Pentagon’s inspector general report (p.4) explains that:
Haldol is antipsychotic used in the treatment of schizophrenia and, more acutely, in the treatment of acute psychotic states and delirium. Side-effects of Haldol include; anxiety, dysphoria, and an inability to remain motionless. 
What we know:
Prisoners inside the U.S. military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given ‘mind altering drugs,’ including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums.” 
A patient on Haldol can develop long-term movement disorders and life-threatening neurological disorders. […] But did they consent? (No.) Did the medics consult the prisoners’ medical background before administering drugs? Were prisoners still under the effect of the drugs during interrogation? The report concludes: very likely.” [via]
I then asked my contact, “How reliable is the information?”

scienceofthekgb:

In light of a recent Wired article about psychopharma use during Gitmo interrogations, we revisit this topic:

In your experience, what are the types of techniques of psychological torture used?

xKGB:  Forcible narcotics addiction - here you can use also depressants, stimulants, opiates or hallucinogens (psychedelics), depressants (alcohol, barbiturates, antianxiety drugs with effects of euphoria, tension reduction, disinhibition, muscle relaxation, drowsiness; stimulants (cocaine, amphetamine, methamphetamine (crystal meth).

Once you’ve made an addict, information can be easily obtained, the drug has now become more important than the protection silence offered… if you are not mad by then.

***

According to reports, Haldol is our choice “sedative” in Gitmo. A footnote in the Pentagon’s inspector general report (p.4) explains that:

Haldol is antipsychotic used in the treatment of schizophrenia and, more acutely, in the treatment of acute psychotic states and delirium. Side-effects of Haldol include; anxiety, dysphoria, and an inability to remain motionless. 

What we know:

Prisoners inside the U.S. military’s detention center at Guantanamo Bay were forcibly given ‘mind altering drugs,’ including being injected with a powerful anti-psychotic sedative used in psychiatric hospitals. Prisoners were often not told what medications they received, and were tricked into believing routine flu shots were truth serums.” 

A patient on Haldol can develop long-term movement disorders and life-threatening neurological disorders. […] But did they consent? (No.) Did the medics consult the prisoners’ medical background before administering drugs? Were prisoners still under the effect of the drugs during interrogation? The report concludes: very likely.” [via]

I then asked my contact, “How reliable is the information?”

"Addiction Is Not A Disease Of The Brain"

…we haven’t discovered, in the reward reinforcement system, a neurochemical signature of addiction. We haven’t discovered the place where addiction happens in the brain. After all, the so-called highjacking of the reward system is not itself a neurochemical process; it is a process whereby neurochemical events get entrained within in a larger pattern of action and decision making.
Is addiction a disease of the brain? That’s a bit like saying that eating is a phenomenon of the stomach.  

 
By Alva Noë, a professor of philosophy who works on perception and consciousness at the University of California, Berkeley.
Feel like you are being told the opposite of what was just recently declared by the American Society of Addiction Medicine? Then read more here.

"Addiction Is Not A Disease Of The Brain"

…we haven’t discovered, in the reward reinforcement system, a neurochemical signature of addiction. We haven’t discovered the place where addiction happens in the brain. After all, the so-called highjacking of the reward system is not itself a neurochemical process; it is a process whereby neurochemical events get entrained within in a larger pattern of action and decision making.

Is addiction a disease of the brain? That’s a bit like saying that eating is a phenomenon of the stomach.  

By Alva Noë, a professor of philosophy who works on perception and consciousness at the University of California, Berkeley.

Feel like you are being told the opposite of what was just recently declared by the American Society of Addiction Medicine? Then read more here.

Sex addiction divides mental health experts - latimes.com

willw2:

Patterns of extreme sexual acting out are described variously by therapists as an addiction, as a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder or as a symptom of another psychiatric illness, such as depression.

Homosexuality was once considered deviant, but that reference was dropped from the DSM decades ago.

Yeah people disagree. Some suggest that when people use sex to cope with problems in their life (ie I don’t feel good let’s have sex and feel better), that’s sex addiction.  The idea that it could be some sort of obsessive compulsive act is another angle.
The idea that homosexuality was once considered a diagnosable psychiatric disorder shows how far we’ve come, and probably hints that we have further to go….

"It’s alarming "for a group of psychiatrists to try to legislate how much sex we can enjoy before we’re labeled mentally ill," said on of the nay sayers.  Interesting point.