[ExI] addiction

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Mon Mar 21 19:39:06 UTC 2016

General question about addiction:  just what constitutes addiction?  I
think it's very fuzzy.  If one bases it on the appearance of withdrawal
symptoms of a physical sort, then I am an addict, as I have been taking
Tramadol for decades for my back pain.  When I started adding some decaf to
my regular coffee beans I noticed some withdrawal.  Ditto when I quit
alcohol and tobacco.  I must be some sort of poster boy for those who get
addicted and then get unaddicted.  Quitting tobacco was by far the worst,
followed by the time I ran short of Tramadol and could not get any more
fore several days.  I was told when I started that one that it was not
addicting!  Talk about needing more study of a drug......Curiously I had no
withdrawal from quitting alcohol, despite drinking a fifth of vodka a day.
Felt better immediately.

I might accept gambling as an addiction but not sex or shopping.  It can't
just be something that one overdoes.  It has hurt one's life in some way.
You can't just miss it if you don't have it.  I might have to start
planting on my roof if I want any more roses, as I have 120 now and no more
room.  Will I have withdrawal?  Stay tuned and see.

On Mon, Mar 21, 2016 at 12:02 PM, Anders Sandberg <anders at aleph.se> wrote:

> The problem is that we need the nicotinergic receptors for memory and
> attention. The dopamine receptor variants involved are also pretty
> important for personality.
> Schizophrenic people also tend to smoke, often explained as
> self-medication.
> On 2016-03-17 18:49, Tara Maya wrote:
>> Interesting! I wonder if we could edit out the gene that cause nicotine
>> addiction if it would have the side benefit of making one less susceptible
>> to cults! That would probably be a huge boon to civilization. I suspect
>> cults of all sizes, some a billion adherents strong, have done more damage
>> than smoking...
>> On Mar 16, 2016, at 9:18 PM, Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> It's genetic.  Only a minority (5-10%?) of people can be addicted to
>>> opiates at all.  The genes involved are not yet understood, but it
>>> should not be hard to do given the big data bases like 23andMe.
>>> Addition to nicotine is better understood.  I don't think anyone who
>>> has a double dose of the D5 version of the dopamine receptor gene who
>>> is addicted to nicotine has ever gotten off some form of nicotine.
>>> There may be a cross susceptibility between nicotine and cult rewards.
>>> The scientologists are well known for their very high rate of smoking.
>>> Keith
>>> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat
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> --
> Anders Sandberg
> Future of Humanity Institute
> Oxford Martin School
> Oxford University
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