Dr. Barnes and Dr. Wilson personally answer the phones from 8:00AM until 5:00PM (PST) everyday.
In U.S. & Canada: 888-541-6350
In Southern California, Nationally, or Internationally, call:
818-466-9258

Non 12 Step News for July 9, 2017

What Cookies and Alcohol Have In Common

This Sunday’s New York Times Op/Ed section had an article exploring the connections between brain chemistry and various forms of “addiction.” Summarized, it comes down to your brain’s D2 receptors, which light up with pleasure when dopamine hits them. If you have fewer receptors, or have diminished them through excessive alcohol, drug, or high fat/sugary foods, you will be more inclined to seek pleasure through even more excessive use/abuse.

That sounds like bad news, except that, on the positive note, our brains are highly plastic and can be reset to derive pleasure that doesn’t involve calorie dense processed foods, alcohol, or drugs.

We can train ourselves, consciously, out of the easy rewards and back into the longer term, healthy alternatives.

The article also stated that further research has shown that there is a definitive connection between stress and addictive behaviors.

This connection helps explain the current opioid crisis, which in 2106 claimed over 59,000 American’s lives, and can be directly linked to the stress of vanishing prospects of what was once a thriving middle class. Faced with dwindling job prospects, reduced standards of living and status, people are turning to other sources of comfort and relief – food, alcohol, drugs.

As we have long noted, anxiety is a prime mover in alcohol abuse. And anxiety has been spiking lately, reducing our inclination to fix it. “What’s the point?” many of you ask. Adding that “The future looks unbearably bleak.”

None of us can escape the general malaise but we can escape personalizing it. We do have more control over our situation, behaviors, and emotions than most of us give ourselves credit for.

Remember the Rat Park TED Talk we featured awhile back? Change your environment, change your behaviors.

We teach Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which is essentially a do-it-yourself technique for managing negative emotions. And Assertiveness Training to overcome false “powerlessness,” and diet and exercise options to enhance pleasure while regenerating D2 receptors (there is an inverse correlation between the number of receptors and the attraction to addictive behaviors).

Epictetus noted some 2000 years ago that “it isn’t our circumstances, but our view of them, which creates our miseries.”

Let us help you recreate you views, manage your environment, regulate your behaviors, and create a life where various forms of self-abuse are not only no longer sought out, but become boring, unnecessary, irrelevant and even anathema.

Let us help you recreate you views, manage your environment, regulate your behaviors, and create a life where various forms of self-abuse are not only no longer sought out, but become boring, unnecessary, irrelevant and even anathema.

Alcohol Use Will Always Expand to Fill the Available Space

If you drink at all you will find that alcohol is all too ready to fill the vacuum nature is said to abhor.

Retire? Alcohol is all too happy to step up and replace the rewards you used to get from work.

“Empty Nest?” Alcohol will fill those obsolete roles.

Laid off? Divorced? Displaced? Same quick, easy, cheap, available, and socially promoted answer.

And it “works!”

What’s not to like?

Besides destroying your life, motivation, relationships, and health? In addition to exacerbating boredom, loneliness, anxiety, physical and emotional pain, paranoia, and despair?

Not much, I suppose, but, isn’t that enough?

Tired of putting in time waiting to die? Aren’t there a few other things on your bucket list? Or at least, might you let us help you create that list?
Most of us will die regretting what we didn’t do, not what we did. Let’s get out of our own way and shorten that list of regrets.

Kris Kristofferson: “I’d rather be sorry for something I done, than something I didn’t do.”

Katherine Hepburn’s mother: “Don’t die wondering.”

By |2017-07-10T06:12:06+00:00July 9th, 2017|Newsletters|0 Comments

Leave A Comment


Important This site makes use of cookies which may contain tracking information about visitors. By continuing to browse this site you agree to our use of cookies.