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Addiction and 'addictive personalities'

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
A couple of thoughts - apologies if this is a bit abstract. To me addiction is when a hole is formed that must be filled. The hole may shrink over time, but it is very easily opened again or filled with something else, which then itself widens the hole.

People say there are 'addictive personalities' but I think there are just addicts and non-addicts. Anyone can become an addict, and when they do it is difficult to stop being one, even if the addiction changes. For example I know many people who have replaced speed with cocaine, cocaine with alcohol, ketamine with alcohol, cigarettes with alcohol, food with cigarettes, etc.

Is it inevitable for addicts to choose another vice - be it to class A drugs or anything else - to comfort their urges? Is it necessary for addicts to avoid temptation altogether or can all addictions be suppressed with enough willpower?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm not entirely sure. For me, having spoken extensively with my psych about this, I tend to use things (food, alcohol, solvents etc) as a means of escaping and dealing with my issues, but I'm not sure that's necessarily true for everyone. My Dad gave up smoking a few years ago, and as far as I can see, his other vices haven't increased at all. My mother, on the other hand, smokes and drinks like nobody's business, especially when her students coursework is due in...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say that there are people with weaker willpower than the norm, who are more likely to start a habit (perhaps under peer pressure), and less likely to be able to quit afterwards (because they have trouble ignoring the craving).

    Some addictions are simply very powerful. My grandfather found himself unable to quit smoking, but he switched to a pipe under his doctor's advice. This undoubtedly made him a lot more pleasant to be around (pipe smoke smells much better than fag smoke), and probably extended his life quite a lot - he lived to 95. I don't know when he started smoking, but it was probably at a time when smoking was considered both healthy (or at least neutral) and fashionable.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What about someone who uses alcohol to "fill" the hole, if they become a registered alcoholic, they can claim benefits for being on the register. Would that also affect it? Yeah it might cut on crime if people wont steal to buy booze (Even though it's so dirt cheap these days!) but it's sending the wrong message?

    Not saying all alcoholics abuse it, but temptation and all that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'd say that there are people with weaker willpower than the norm, who are more likely to start a habit (perhaps under peer pressure), and less likely to be able to quit afterwards (because they have trouble ignoring the craving).

    Some addictions are simply very powerful. My grandfather found himself unable to quit smoking, but he switched to a pipe under his doctor's advice. This undoubtedly made him a lot more pleasant to be around (pipe smoke smells much better than fag smoke), and probably extended his life quite a lot - he lived to 95. I don't know when he started smoking, but it was probably at a time when smoking was considered both healthy (or at least neutral) and fashionable.

    When you learn about addiction you discover it has nothing whatsoever to do with will power.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    When you learn about addiction you discover it has nothing whatsoever to do with will power.
    Please elaborate - do you agree with my original point?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Please elaborate - do you agree with my original point?

    Your original points ....well the addictive personalities bit seems to be in vouge right now and I'm really unsure about that.
    I know people who went in rehab and took all this stuff on board and are afraid even to have a codiene cos they are taught ...that this could spark it all off again.
    Stop heroin but don't have even one drink ...cos you'll become an alcoholic ...and yes we all lknow that does happen but ...not to everyone.
    Not even to the majority in my experience.
    I know a lot of people who were addicted to heroiun and packed it in all by themselves ...without hearing all the latest in fashion speak ...twenty years later they get pissed twice a year ...drink at weekends ...roll a spliff ocasinally and live near perfect industrious family lives as if nothing happened ...I'm one of them.
    I'm a bit wary of the latest anything ...as you get older you see the latest stuff swept aside for the next latest stuff time and again.
    As for will power ...some of the strongest willed people on the planet can fall into any of a myriad of addictions.
    You ok ...personally?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You ok ...personally?
    Yeah cheers mate. Thanks for the input.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    People who drink/smoke/inject to excess virtually always do because they are self medicating. I know someone who works with crack/heroin addicts and he has said that they have almost all had absolutely horrible lives with quite a few of them being the victims of childhood abuse/neglect.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    budda wrote: »
    People who drink/smoke/inject to excess virtually always do because they are self medicating. I know someone who works with crack/heroin addicts and he has said that they have almost all had absolutely horrible lives with quite a few of them being the victims of childhood abuse/neglect.

    Theres a lot of truth in that but it doesn't have to be abuse or obviously horrible.
    Heroin certainly can't be classed as a recreational drug ...where opium could be.
    Heroin is a very strong pain killer as I'm sure everyone is aware.
    I think thats why I fell in love with the stuff ...it killed the pain I was carrying through life.
    Crack ...tried it hated it.
    I think crack addiction is a sign of really not caring any longer.
    Tobacco is a big mystery to me.
    Highly addictive and seriously dangerous ...and I'm still smoking it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Heroin is a very strong pain killer as I'm sure everyone is aware.
    I think thats why I fell in love with the stuff ...it killed the pain I was carrying through life.

    Exactly. Its the same with the sedatives, people take them to forget.
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