[ExI] Aging out of addiction?

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Sat Oct 4 15:32:18 UTC 2014

My personal experience with addiction, use, abuse, or ?>?>?  I hope this
helps someone.

I smoked two packs a day for 25 years and quit cold turkey.  After a week I
never experienced any urgings, but ten years after that I took a big drag
and inhaled and said 'Yep, you'll be back to two packs in a second if you
let yourself.'  Never since.

When I reached the stage of getting up at 6 and pouring a quadruple vodka
with a coffee chaser to kill the burning inside, I quit cold turkey.  Felt
better immediately and had no urgings to go back.  But 8 years later I was
at a gala with free drinks and had three double vodkas in 15 minutes.  So I
said "See, you just can't drink, you can't moderate it."  Have not had so
much as a beer since.  Yes, alcohol has been in the house the whole time.
And yes, I've had plenty of stress that might cause a person to go back to
his abuses.

Now I don't know what you call these abuses, but I did not meet the
definition of an alcoholic although clearly I had a big problem with it.
Maybe I was just a drunk, although I never missed a teaching day - did my
job well.

I think it is pretty silly to call someone a shopping addict or sex
addict.  Not the same at all.

While I am on the subject, let me relate an allergy that manifests in
emotions:  I discovered that bourbon whiskey made me angry and
belligerent.   Other alcohols did not.  I'll bet that many people have this
kind of behavioral allergy, perhaps to bourbon, perhaps to beer or who
knows what.  We all know people who can change rather drastically when
under the influence.  I think of it as an allergy. Maybe if they would just
change their type of alcohol they'd not experience what can be fatal

Hope this helps someone.

bill w

On Fri, Oct 3, 2014 at 2:32 PM, Henry Rivera <hrivera at alumni.virginia.edu>

> As is noted in the comments in that page, I think the referenced study may
> be using "addiction" in a non-clinical way and may be referring to what
> used to be called "abuse" prior to DSM-5. My experience treating addiction
> and my review of the literature supports that addicts are vulnerable to
> relapse for the rest of their lives even after a period of abstinence. Many
> do recover and stop using. Despite the commentary on that page, providers
> are not hopeless about addiction. I think what is happening here is
> conflating use with abuse with dependence, especially with respect to
> illegal substances. Anyone with personal experience or with others who use
> substances knows that just because someone uses cocaine, for example,
> doesn't make them an addict. I have had way too many patients die from
> their addictions, and I have many patients who had had exceptional luck and
> are elderly addicts but are still alive. Addiction is progressive and is
> often fatal in my experience. Using "addiction" too loosely is a disservice
> to those who struggle with this issue.
> -Henry
> On Oct 3, 2014, at 1:52 PM, Dan <danust2012 at gmail.com> wrote:
> http://econlog.econlib.org/archives/2014/10/aging_out_of_ad.html
> So I wonder how many treatment programs are no better than homeopathy or
> doing nothing. (And, yah, a case can be made the last two are equivalent.;)
> Regards,
> Dan
>  My latest Kindle book, "Born With Teeth," can be previewed at:
> http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00N72FBA2
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