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Addiction Questions

If heroin is the most pleasurable drug, how is my son going to ever be able to stop using it?

The Freedom Model spends many pages helping you understand that drugs, even heroin, do not contain addictiveness. This idea is a myth. Here is a brief excerpt that can help you understand that your son can move past heroin use because that is what both reality and the research demonstrate. Take a read:

Substances aren’t inherently pleasurable. You can’t put any drug into any person at any time or in any place and reliably produce a pleasure that all people find impressive and care to repeat. This truth holds for all drugs, even those deemed the most “addictive” because of their assumed inherent pleasure. DeGrandpre mentioned a British study from 1964 involving opiates to make this point:

Two consecutive doses of morphine were given to 150 young males with no previous opiate experience. After finding that only three chose to have the experience repeated and that none believed they would seek out the drug recreationally, the authors concluded, “Opiates are not inherently attractive, euphoric or stimulant” in nature. Clearly, a love of opiates had yet to be cultivated for these individuals. (p. 214)

Right now, you might be a bit incredulous reading this because you’ve taken opiates, alcohol, cocaine, or some other favorite drug that you find to be more pleasurable than any other experience you’ve ever had in your life. We understand, but an open mind is essential if you wish to change. Remember, new thoughts are required to make new choices and develop new preferences. You might consider the idea that this pleasure is more of a love that you cultivated, rather than the inevitable product of an inherently pleasurable or euphoric quality contained in the drug you’re fixated on. You might choose to challenge the notion that the substance you prefer holds a magical key to your brain’s pleasure center. You might apply your new knowledge of the “drug, set, and setting” model of drug effects and the idea that drugs act as active placebos to the issue of pleasure. By thinking critically about your favorite drug, you might find that it doesn’t contain an inherent irresistible pleasure.

 

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