Addiction

What an interesting article.

My dad is part of the 5% that came home from Vietnam to a lifetime of drug addiction. What was broken there?

I’ve had people tell me that I’m addicted to drugs (the only one I’m still using is pot–the others aren’t appealing anymore), that I’m addicted to cutting (don’t do it now that I have good reason to pick other methods of coping), that I’m addicted to sex (I haven’t picked up promiscuous sex in years; if I need positive touch I can get it now without having to beg strangers), and that I’m addicted to various other things I don’t do any more.

Truly I should have stopped everything I was doing in my life to move into the 12 step approach to life. Clearly, without a 12 step program I will never do anything but drugs, promiscuous sex, and cutting.

Err… or something.

10 thoughts on “Addiction

  1. DSH

    (I didn’t read article) I think the 5% addiction number for Vietnam vets is an under estimate – I know a number of anecdotes(family of friends) about addiction in Vietnam vets that makes me think the problem was much larger.

    I hadn’t known before that was part of your father’s story.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      I’m really not sure where he got that number.

      Well, my father was a coke addict before Vietnam. I have no idea how his whole set of issues interacted there. My dad has his entire unit wiped out three times while he was in Vietnam. Each time he was in the hospital unit for something minor like a sprained ankle or a cut on his arm. Kind of funny.

    2. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      Also: I was told that my father used a lot of coke in Vietnam. I don’t know if he was someone who used heroin and there is no one I can ask. Not sure if I was unclear.

  2. inflectionpoint

    Recent research shows that 12 step groups have about a 10% success rate.
    Maybe other options are valid? I am not sure I’d do something with a 10% success rate, I might as well roll my own program, equally likely to make things better…

  3. Loren_Q

    I didn’t read the article. But like DSH think the 5% is underestimated.

    12-step stuff can be useful, as long as you do the “take what you like and leave the rest…” although I take what works for me and leave the rest.

    Believe me, I leave a lot out.

    I’m not gonna slam 12-step, but I am more than happy to slam those 12-steppers who tell me it’s the one twue way. Bullshit, I say. It totally freaks out big-book thumpers who tell me I’ll go out because I don’t do the 11th step prayer that I have 20+ years of continuous sobriety and 30+ years drug free.

    You were addicted to drugs, cutting, sex, etc. and you found a way to make sure that didn’t get in your way or lessen you. Go you.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      I will slam 12 step programs. They are frequently court mandated and have a failure rate between 90% and 95%. I’m very ok with slamming such an organization. I think that is awful.

  4. P.

    My brother has had a lot of success with AA. I think it’s been almost a decade now and I’m really happy that he has had such a positive experience. He says that it helps give him tools for emotional issues, which was his big trigger. I happen to believe that my family is predisposed to addiction.

    Even though I appreciate that my brother completely overhauled his life, partially because of AA, I would never go to one (I self-identify as an alcoholic). I’ve probably gone clean ten times so far, but I eventually give up because I don’t see a reason not to. The secretive nature of AA can cause problems, too: http://www.propublica.org/article/how-alcoholics-anonymous-can-be-a-playground-for-violence

  5. DSH

    I have since read the article.

    I think it has an important set of points (addiction is not what most people think it is, the way it is routinely treated is wrong…) but it may be too simplistic – I don’t think human connection is *all* it would take to fix all addiction.

    1. Krissy Gibbs Post author

      I didn’t get the impression from the article that he thought that it was the *only* thing necessary. But halving the rate of active heroin users through treatment instead of punishment shows that treatment is more successful than punishment.

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