Introduction - What is Addiction

What is addiction? Who gets addicted and why? What makes an addicted person different? What makes a person less addicted?How are we going to solve the problem at a personal level? And how are we going to solve the problem on a national level?
These are all relevant questions to raise, and yet there is no definitive answers and no solutions seems effective.

Introduction to The Prefrontal Cortex

In the last module we had a look at the right focus for dealing with addiction. That is: The ability to take steps to self correct when we sense that our behavior will lead to prolems, trouble or danger. We call this ability self control. Other names are executive function, willpower or self regulation. In reality all these names refer to our ability to self correct –  that is: How to put yourself on a different path, when you sense that you are going in the wrong direction.

Misconceptions in Treatment

So the state, health, function and education of the PFC is what determines your self-control. It determines your time frame: are you focused on the next few hours or what you want to happen in the next month or the next year? It determines if you avoid things that hurt your long-term health including the long-term health of your brain and self-control. It determines how much control you have over the use of alcohol, drugs, medications and other tempting short-term fixes that comes at a long-term price.

4 Stroke Model of Addiction

The four stroke model of addiction is a detailed map of the main phases in the self perpetuating progression of addiction. It details how addiction gets stronger while you don’t see it as in your long term interest.

Keep your stick on the ice

According to da.urbandictionary “The most basic and important piece of advice in hockey (and maybe even in life) Also possibly the most repeated advice from coaches, often screamed in frustration when some knob misses an easy tip into a wide open net because his/her stick is nowhere near the ice, or the goalie lets in a soft five-hole goal for the same reason.”


Brainfade – technically ego depletion – is when you have used up enough resources to affect your mental performance. This will typically make you revert to instinctive, habitual and desire driven behavior. This might not be a problem, but if you have habits that fuel addiction it will be. Brainfade is a condition where you are least likely to chose to work on long term goals and most likely to go for some kind self soothing. This is called emotion focused coping. There are many kinds of emotion focused coping, and not all of the are bad. But taking a drugs or engaging in other kinds of addictive behavior can be.

The problem with brainfade is not that you cant perform at your best level. It is that you revert to behaviors that are not under your rational control. Depending on what these are, brainfade will tend to get your in trouble. Specifically, brainfade will tend to fuel the four stroke cycle of addiction by priming you for short term solutions and the stress that follows.

Food Addiction and Self Control

Eating disorders and food addiction will limit self control and executive function because those functions are heavily dependent on a stable energy supply ultimatly derived from food sources. When the brains energy supply is suboptimal, behavior relies on instinctive or habitual behavior that can be run on automatic while energy is sparse.

The Disease Model of Addiction

The disease model of addiction have failed in a number of ways. But it still informs the majority of individuals as well as institutions tasked with helping people overcome addiction. And while it is mistaken on the causes of addiction it does point the way towards a real understanding of addiction.

Our main tasks at Resource Addiction is to present an alternative view on the causes of addiction and ultimately on the methods of treatment, recovery and sustained abstinence.



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