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Addiction Questions

Whenever I get stressed out, I smoke crack. Is this a common problem you’ve seen? Does stress cause people to smoke crack?

Again, like some of the other answers to questions like yours, the word “cause” is a problem here. No one is CAUSED to use substances, ever. However, you might personally use the existence of stress as a REASON to use crack. Being caused to do something is involuntary, and finding reasons to use is voluntary. Since humans cannot be caused to think in a certain way, your connection between stress and your crack use is a reasoned out decision based on your temporary pursuit of happiness. Consider what The Freedom Model for Addictions has to say:

“Since stress is a common daily problem, experienced by literally everyone, and not a formally diagnosed mental illness or disorder, there are no specific statistics about it. But in analyzing this issue you might refer to general addiction rates. While everyone experiences stress, only a minority of people use substances in a way classified as “addicted.” Furthermore, most people, more than 9 out of 10, get over their addictions and presumably have high levels of stress at the very moment in life that they choose to cease using substances “addictively” (since their lives are often in a state of wreckage from past problematic substance use when they quit/reduce).

It also helps to consider a wider context. Most of this data looks at only Americans. The United States has one of the highest standards of living in the world, but if you look at third-world countries where many drugs are produced, cheaper, and in abundant supply, you will see far lower rates of addiction. How can this be, when people who live in those countries face so many more stressful events and conditions than we do? Either we as U.S. citizens have it harder than they do, or we have contrived a false connection between stress and substance use.

Other problems require the same logic. For example, we had a friend who began heavily smoking crack when her cat died. She blames the death of her beloved pet as the cause of her crack use relapse. Of course, millions of people lose their pets every year, and while it’s painful, most of them do not smoke crack as a result. So the causal connection of these two events is nonexistent. However, this connection can feel very real to those who’ve been led to believe that when facing any adversity, they’ll be uncontrollably driven to substance use. Letting go of the mythical causal connection between such events puts you back in the fully conscious driver’s seat of your own life. You can then focus on your reasons for substance use (i.e., the benefits you see in it and whether it still works for you) and make your choices accordingly, with no sense of compulsion.

This brings us to the conclusion that there are no causal connections between these problems and heavy substance use.”


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*In cases of physical withdrawal, medical treatment and/or medical detoxification services may be necessary. Consult with a licensed physician..
The Freedom Model and the Freedom Model Retreats, divisions of Baldwin Research Institute, Inc., do not provide any services that require certification by New York State’s Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services. The information in this book is designed to provide information and education on the subject of substance use and human behavior. This book is not meant to be used, nor should it be used, to diagnose or treat any associated condition. The publisher and authors are not responsible for any consequences from any treatment, action, application, or preparation, by any person or to any person reading or following the information in this book. The publisher has put forth its best efforts in preparing and arranging this. The information provided herein is provided “as is” and you read and use this information at your own risk. The publisher and authors disclaim any liabilities for any loss of profit or commercial or personal damages resulting from the use of the information contained in this book.


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