Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Will The Real Cause Of Addiction Please Stand Up?

I just got a comment on my piece Capitalism, Pain, and The War On Drugs. My commenter is long on ignorance and short on facts.

First of all, in order to prove that drug addiction is inherited, one would need to identify the gene responsible. So much for that theory. My opinion: bullshit.
Some of the genes have been identified. You can read about them: Genetic Discrimination Note that I wrote that in Dec of '05. We know more now than we did then.

In addition the NIDA says Addiction Is A Genetic Disease.

So right away you are on weak ground. i.e. the government says you are full of it.
Second, just because people with problems tend to have drug problems says nothing about drugs themselves.Logic is not commutative, unless one is willing to assume that cause and effect are interchangeable. Then again, conservatives often rely on religious mysticism for intellectual guidance, to the chagrin of physicists around the globe.
Funny thing is, I was a physics major in college and spent a major portion of my career as an aerospace engineer. One step short of rocket scientist.

The NIDA says that besides genetics there is some kind of envionmental trigger. I believe that trigger is trauma. I cover that in Heroin.
Third, PTSD is such a novel concept that there is no reliable information about it, never mind a genetic test for susceptibility to it.
PTSD is not a nebulous concept. It is about fear memories. Here is a study on the subject: Fear memories, the amygdala, and the CB1 receptor done at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

Further we have research by the discoverer of the CB1 receptor, Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, that looks at PTSD and the Endocannabinoid System and explains the applicability of the mice studies to humans.

In addition a genetic test is being developed for PTSD by the very same discoverer of the CB1 receptor: A Test For PTSD.
Fourth, most 'graduates' of AA go on to become responsible social drinkers. Some day I must find out how they managed to alter their genomes. Did asking Christ into their hearts do it?
Well no. It is actually explained by Fear memories, the amygdala, and the CB1 receptor. Fear memories decay over time. The rate of decay is variable and is genetically dependent. No need to go to AA meetings or asking Christ into your heart. Just wait and try to keep youself comfortable while the fear memories decline. (Any way I'm pretty much Jewish and claim that you only need to go to the head man, but that is a minor theological dispute.) The science is out there for any one truly interested in the subject. It amazes me that with research so easy in these internet days so few people avail themselves of the opportunity.

Finally our friendly commenter finishes with:
But then, I am just a radical lefty liberal, with no credibility, so go ahead and ignore me.
I will assume you are correct in your self description - radical lefty liberal. I also agree that you have no credibility. However, you are not being ignored. Just ridiculed for you ignorance. As usual for a lefty you are weak on science, strong on opinion, and unwilling to put your name (not even a pseudonym) next to your opinions. My condolences.


Timothy said...

Just one issue: most 'graduates' of AA go on to become responsible social drinkers

Graduates of AA? People graduate? I've been in AA for 8 years and I've never heard of a graduate, or even a graduation ceremony.

I have, however heard of people drinking again after a period in AA. It rarely ends well.

M. Simon said...


You are quite right.

Some get over it in years. Others decades. Some never.