View Full Version : The Real Cause of Addiction

Dennis Leahy
13th May 2015, 04:17
(A quick search before posting this shows me that giovonni posted this in the "Up At The Ranch..." thread back in March. However, I feel it is powerful, paradigm-changing information that should also see the light of day in the "Health and Wellness" section of Avalon.)
Here is an article that I found to be moving/heartening/paradigm altering. It is sort of a synopsis of the book, Chasing The Scream: the First and Last Days of the War on Drugs, by Johann Hari.

The article is titled, The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think


Please read this when you have the time to read it at a casual pace and have the time to think about it. In a huge way, you probably won't be surprised one iota. You'll know in your heart-of-hearts it is true, but it also dispels the misinformation that we have been dragging around with us.

Please don't just read this opening to the article. We all know someone who is addicted to something, and we may face addictions ourselves. I believe this is critical information

Love ya,


It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned -- and all through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. This story is so deeply ingrained in our minds that we take it for granted. It seems obvious. It seems manifestly true. Until I set off three and a half years ago on a 30,000-mile journey for my new book, Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days of the War on Drugs (http://www.chasingthescream.com), to figure out what is really driving the drug war, I believed it too. But what I learned on the road is that almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong -- and there is a very different story waiting for us, if only we are ready to hear it.

If we truly absorb this new story, we will have to change a lot more than the drug war. We will have to change ourselves.

I learned it from an extraordinary mixture of people I met on my travels.

(read more...) (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936.html)

13th May 2015, 07:55
Excellent article, Dennis. Thanks.

13th May 2015, 09:21
Dennis, the article is so on the mark and I suspect it is true about jailing people in cells, too. Thank you!!!

13th May 2015, 09:46
Yes, building community and bonding is the answer.
I found out about rat park, and the Portugal decriminalization thing on the Internet.
I also found community on the Internet.

The real cause of isolation is competition, is comparing,
and the end result is then low self esteem.
So much so that people end up feeling hostile towards each other.
And advertising memes fuel this drive, to have more, to have the latest.

My Costa Rican husband was living in the U.S. for a few years while younger,
and was appalled at the conversations about latest model lawn mowers between some guys he had hoped to bond with.
He stood no chance of finding points of reference, being a poor Latino back then.
He didn't even own a lawn. Yet they ignored the fact that here was someone feeling left out.
Consumerism and competitiveness had made them insensitive to the social needs of others.

It was all about excelling back then, and now unfortunately this same thing has even arrived here in Costa Rica,
where malls and shopping centers are sprouting at a faster rate than they did in the U.S. during the eighties.

Inviting people into one's home for coffee and hearing their story is the answer.
Or better still, organizing pot lucks.

13th May 2015, 09:55
I havenít had time to read the opening link Dennis.
I can only give my own experience on alcoholism--which is a legal drug.

There is some medical evidence that the alcoholics brain is different from normal.
Cant remember where I read that or even if its true.
However it seems to run in my family --both grand parents had this "condition", one brother too.
My aunt and mum had these tendencies also.
The reaction I had to my first drink was unusual--I was very high on just a half pint of lager, then the hangover was that bad that I consulted the Dr two days after. I was fifteen.


13th May 2015, 11:12
Great insight.

It in no way contradicts the work of Christina and Stanislav Grof, who hold addiction as ONE OF the main signs of spiritual emergence/emergency. In fact, the 2 ideas complement one another. Isolation, whether self-imposed or from outside, can be an indication that one doesn't resonate with the (increasingly insane) beliefs held up as consensual reality. And when alone, the bottle (or the chocolate bar) provide a very tempting (though inadequate) substitute for love and affection.

Hmm, I have a bottle of Spanish Chardonnay on my left and a large dark Toblerone on my right - make of it what you will ! :blushing:

It's really good to see that someone had the idea (obvious when you sit and think about it) of running that experiment with multiple rats, and of creating the rat city....... Now - if only someone would realise that bringing up a little boy in the catholic church, teaching him that women are the source of all evil and that fleshly desires are the work of the devil leads inevitably to distorted sexual feelings, with obvious consequences, then we might be able to make some progress on another front too.

13th May 2015, 11:23
Great article for sure, Dennis. Thanks for sharing!

While environment is no doubt the cause of people turning towards drug abuse, Chris is definitely right about genetics. When it comes to drugs, alcohol is the Medusa of them all. From what I've been told, alcohol is literally a mind-control substance that has been taken advantage of by Dark Occultists. From what I understand, when somebody excessively drinks alcohol, their DNA is warped and the alcohol literally creates a virus-like program inside of the DNA so an individual is drawn to the substance like a magnet.

When this particular individual has children, that same warped DNA is passed on. These children are unfortunate inheritors of this alcohol-laced DNA, and they are naturally drawn to the substance more-so than the average person. The virus is already programmed within their DNA, and it tells the brain to seek out the substance. As soon as these people have their first sip of alcohol, a light switch activates within their brain and they are immediately hooked.

It is unfortunate, and it locks the person's brain into the Reptile brain, where all of our aggressive, competitive, hierarchical, and egoic behaviors lie. As soon as a person such as this drinks, their R-complex literally takes over as the central command center of the brain, replacing the Neocortex (human brain, left and right hemispheres).

Alcohol also shifts the control of the brain to the Limbic System (Mammalian brain), which is where all of our emotions lie. This is why when people drink, they get extremely emotional (especially women) and start playing the role of victim. When very imbalanced, alcoholics fluctuate from being the dominator (R-complex) to the victim (Limbic system), causing people to make horrible decisions they would otherwise never make.

The Occultists spread this virus within society, programming us like computers. All they need to do to run the virus on the biological computers (humans) is to load software in the processing unit (brain) through cultural engineering (alcohol being a socializing substance) and to make it so the stress and loneliness of such a culture causes people to load the virus into their computers at will. Then sit back and watch people turn into Lizard-think.

Let me say that it is no accident that alcohol is legal.

13th May 2015, 15:04
Thanks so much Dennis for posting this. I would not have seen it otherwise.

Dennis Leahy
14th May 2015, 01:45
I did a poor job of searching to see if this had already been posted here on Avalon. It was posted. January 25th, 2015 : http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?79306-The-likely-cause-of-ADDICTION-is-not-what-you-think

I was alerted by PM from a member (thank you!)

Now that I have gone to that other thread (that I somehow missed the first time around), I see some good discussion there as well. So, the two topics really should be merged. However, (as my keen-eyed friend pointed out), the synopsis of the book presented in the HuffingtonPost article is longer, and a bit more in-depth. So, I propose to leave this topic up for a bit before merging old and new - in the hopes that our new readers may get even more from the expanded article (linked in my first post), that will be buried in the middle of the thread after the merge (and the new combined thread moved to "Health and Wellness.")

14th May 2015, 03:08
I remember years ago an old timer told me that heroin was used as a medication frequently back in the 1930s (?), but there was no addiction problem. I imagine that back then, the world was far less competitive, less inquisitive (intrusive) and less rejective than it is now.

I think that some people have bad childhood experiences that turn them to alcohol, or other drugs, and that this damage is extremely difficult to heal as it was very fundamental in the person's formation, and may have many derivative disasters/failures/disappointments throughout the person's life right up to the present. Very difficult to come to terms with.

While I think of it, there is a condition that can affect horses, it's called wind-sucking. It starts with the horse chewing on a rail or post, then tugging on it, and over time they sort of stretch their neck and suck in air. It's quite a horrible, loud and violent thing to witness. It also kills the horse eventually. The thing is it normally only happens when horses are either alone and/or terribly bored for extended periods, like locked in a stable. Horses given a new, more interesting life, can sometimes give up the habit.

Excellent article.

14th May 2015, 04:29
Has anyone here ever heard of Dr. Gabor Mate? He's done extensive work on addiction and other things.


14th May 2015, 15:45
This is something I've actually understood instinctively, but for me it was something difficult to prove and also difficult to remember or put your energy into, so it kind of just passed my attention when I first discovered this. But over time I've realized that it works like this. I've expanded on it and concluded that this is also how at least some illnesses can be treated - you need to shift the environment such that it heals the wounds created indirectly by the things that were a product of the old environment.

14th May 2015, 16:37
The wisest sentence of the twentieth century was E.M. Forster's -- "only connect." But we have created an environment and a culture that cut us off from connection, or offer only the parody of it offered by the Internet. The rise of addiction is a symptom of a deeper sickness in the way we live -- constantly directing our gaze towards the next shiny object we should buy, rather than the human beings all around us.

As someone that has experienced intense addiction I read the article with interest and thought about it for a couple of days. Looking at my own addiction I admit that the initial set up for it was the alienation described in the article. There is the alienation that one can experience from our social structure and from the technological advances that we now deal with. I believe my alienation started in a family that never was emotionally honest or available.My parents were perpetuating what they had experienced If I was to cry as a kid, I was told to go into my bedroom and not come out till I had a smile on my face. We were always "fine" and yet I knew we weren't. Emotional outbursts were ridiculed in my family and still are.

The alienation I speak of above, however, is a drop in the bucket to the alienation I have felt, living on this planet. This is not something that happened after I became aware, it has always existed, since my first memories. This world is just alien to me, too violent , too competitive, too dishonest. When I experienced a miracle fix, something that made me feel all was well, I latched onto it.

I have always been told that addiction has a strong genetic component. Could what we interpret as a genetic predisposition really be a behavioral predisposition? Is it really generations of alienated, emotionally stunted families that create the addicted family members? I think this makes sense.

The historical obstacle for me in regards to sobriety is knowing I will never feel the connection that many experience on this earth, it's never going to be ok for me as a sober citizen, thus came the learning of "acceptance" of things as they are. For me that is the key. In fact, in a state of acceptance I have been pleasantly surprised to learn that I can experience a unity, a belonging, if you will to things, good and ugly, beautiful and evil. That is the best that I will do and it is ok with me.

Thank you, Dennis for this most interesting topic.

14th May 2015, 16:58
In all cases, perterpam, we are directly tied to the biology of us, and it all can and has displayed the ability to grow or re-grow. time. time and attention will enable this.

19th May 2015, 18:54

To make you feel different, different to the s**t everyday conditioned failed urbanisation and lack of 'tribe' village connection with all its tradition, culture, spirituality and yes 'drug' use in a structured way to heal and go on dream quests.

Westerners have no tribalism and shaman, hence they have some past life memory of it but have to try to 'do it on their own' without a guide.