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Top 7 Addictions That Are The Most Difficult To Quit

Here are – in reverse order of difficulty – the seven addictions people find hardest to quit.  You might be surprised…

By Dr. Stanton Peele

7. Cocaine. Cocaine is an episodic-use drug. It is one moreover associated with certain lifestyles – at one time (if not now) people in the financial industry and entertainment fields – and more often younger people. Studying long-term users of cocaine, Ronald Siegel found most moderated, controlled, or quit their use over time. Patricia Erickson and Bruce Alexander surveyed the research and found that fewer than 10 percent of cocaine addicts continued their addictions for substantial periods. After cocaine use peaked in the 1980s, most middle-class users quit (although use in inner cities continued some time longer). Remarking on this phenomenon, David Musto concluded: "The question we must ask ourselves is not why people take drugs, but why do people stop." He surmised that people with fewer resources had less to counterbalance their addictions.

6. Alcohol. Alcohol is the addiction most written about, both in scientific literature and as recounted in personal memoirs. Alcoholics Anonymous members swear AA is the only way to recover; treatment experts claim alcoholism is inescapable without treatment. But epidemiological research does not find this is true. The National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism in 2005 published the results of its National Epidemiologic Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions. NESARC conducted 43,000 face-to-face interviews with a sample of Americans about their lifetime alcohol and drug use. Among these, 4,422 were classifiable at some point in their lives as alcohol dependent (or alcoholic). Somewhat more than a quarter had received any kind of treatment (including in an emergency room, attending AA, etc.). Among the large majority who went untreated, fewer than a quarter drank alcoholically at the time of the interview. Most (about two-thirds) of this group continued drinking non-alcoholically.

5. Valium. In general, drugs used for pacifying purposes (which are usually depressants), taken regularly over long periods of time, are hard to quit. This holds for sedatives, sleeping pills, barbiturates, and tranquilizers. Several best-sellers have been written about the difficulty in quitting Valium (benzodiazepine tranquilizers): Barbara Gordon’s I’m Dancing as Fast as I Can and Betty Ford’s The Times of My Life. A prominent New York City newscaster, Jim Jensen, recounted in People how he readily quit cocaine but couldn’t get off Valium: "Valium withdrawal soon plunged him into a massive depression that left him unable to eat or sleep. It took two more months in two hospitals for him to regain his mental and physical health." Ah, but Americans love these drugs, need them to survive – although in good part they have been supplanted by antidepressants.

4. Heroin. Powerful analgesics, taken regularly, are difficult for many (but not most) people to quit. After all, most of us have had intravenous supplies of narcotics in the hospital, followed by prescriptions for powerful analgesics when we went home. What is remarkable is not so much that heroin can produce serious withdrawal for some, but how variable this syndrome is and how comparable it is to other depressant and painkiller drugs and analgesics (like Vicodin and OxyContin), which are the fastest growing drugs of abuse and today are taken by the majority of illicit narcotics users and overdose victims. So much has been written about heroin withdrawal, it is mainly worth noting that when people quit the drug with little difficulty (as the major league ballplayer Ron LeFlore did when he entered prison and took up baseball) it is simply considered impermissible to describe or portray this aspect of their stories.

3. Cigarettes. In ratings by cocaine and alcohol addicts, smoking is regularly cited as the more difficult drug to quit, generally on par with or more difficult than heroin. Nonetheless, more than 40 million living Americans have quit smoking. While impressive, this still only represents about half of all of those ever addicted to cigarettes – although a higher percentage of those in higher socioeconomic groups have quit. When I speak to recovering people at addiction conferences I ask, "What is the toughest drug to quit?" By acclimation, the audience shouts out, "cigarettes" or "smoking." I then ask, "How many people in this room have been addicted to cigarettes but are now off them?" Half to two-thirds – often hundreds of people – in the room raise their hands. "Wow," I enthuse. "And how many have used any kind of therapy – medical or a support group – to quit?" Never have more than a small handful done so.

2. Potato chips. I use potato chips, of course, to stand for all kinds of alluring but fattening foods. These comfort foods, which deprive more Americans of life years than any other substance, are inextricably integrated with our own lives, and with the lives of all Americans. Although overweight is disapproved and regularly lectured against, it still doesn’t have the stigma of drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes, so that hidden (and not so hidden) food addictions are more readily tolerated. That gastric bypass surgery is growing so rapidly shows that this is the substance addiction people find hardest to quit, even those for whom it causes serious, life-threatening health conditions. In fact, we will never resolve our massive food addictions in the United States, but we hope to come up with medical cures to prevent their negative effects, as if we would succeed by simply deciding to let smokers continue to smoke noncancerous cigarettes.

1. Love. Ah, love is the hardest addiction to quit. It certainly causes more murders and suicides than any other addiction. And if you think people miss smoking, consider what people are like when they break up with long-time lovers or get divorced – even when they hate their spouses! (See the response to this post, "My divorce has left me . . .") On the other hand, we read frequently about people who totally sacrificed their lives to a lover who betrayed them or otherwise destroyed their psyches, yet who still didn’t quit the relationship – what is the answer, after all, when an abuse victim is asked why they simply don’t leave an abusive spouse? "Because I love him, and can’t live without him." I regularly counsel spouses of substance abusers about this.

Don’t despair, however, no matter what your addiction is. The large majority of addicts give up every kind of addiction. So can you. That most people do it, one way or another, tells you that it lies within your power.

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image Stanton Peele has been investigating, thinking, and writing about addiction since 1969. His first bombshell book, “Love and Addiction”, appeared in 1975. Its experiential and environmental approach to addiction revolutionized thinking on the subject by indicating that addiction is not limited to narcotics, or to drugs at all, and that addiction is a pattern of behavior and experience which is best understood by examining an individual’s relationship with his/her world. This is a distinctly nonmedical approach. It views addiction as a general pattern of behavior that nearly everyone experiences in varying degrees at one time or another.

fast drug rehabilitation http://www.fastdrugrehabilitation.com

Native health care legislation occupies forum.

Native health care legislation occupies forum at the DNC E

by Carol Berry
DENVER – A key bill assuring health care for Natives is stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives where adjournment is only a few weeks away, but legislators and tribal leaders hope for a last-minute strategy to ensure its passage.

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act has languished 17 years without reauthorization and, ”

Native health care legislation occupies forum at the DNC E

by Carol Berry
DENVER – A key bill assuring health care for Natives is stalled in the U.S. House of Representatives where adjournment is only a few weeks away, but legislators and tribal leaders hope for a last-minute strategy to ensure its passage.

The Indian Health Care Improvement Act has languished 17 years without reauthorization and, ”There are no circumstances under which Indian people should have second-class health care,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan , D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Indian communities should ”demand that it be passed this Congress,” he said of the health bill.

His remarks were addressed to a panel Aug. 27 of tribal leaders and delegates at the Democratic National Convention moderated by Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, whose executive director, Jackie Johnson, was also a panelist.

Two hurdles to its passage are an anti-abortion amendment and an objection to the Cherokee Nation’s decision to deny citizenship status to freedmen. The latter also affects funding to the Cherokees under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.

Dorgan said he hopes the health bill will clear the House in the next few weeks, but if that fails, he will work to attach it to an omnibus bill or appropriations bill in order to ensure passage because ”we don’t have to wait anymore.”

The housing bill, funding for tribal colleges and Indian education, and law enforcement improvement are also on his agenda, and consultation with tribes and others is important to ”find out what works.”

Citing an Amnesty International report on crime in Indian country, he said one in three Native women will be raped or sexually abused in her lifetime; yet on a reservation the size of Connecticut, there are only nine officers and they may not reach a violent crime scene for 90 minutes because of the vast distances they have to cover.

Off-reservation law enforcement and U.S. attorneys decline to enforce cases referred to them at rates ranging from 50 to 76 percent for murder and rape or other sexual abuse, and ”we have to ask U.S. attorneys to stop declining cases,” he noted. Jurisdictional authority in Indian country can vary according to whether the crime is a felony, whether it takes place on Indian lands, is committed by or against a tribal member, and other factors.

Dorgan said the basic question is, ”What is our value system?” and the answer is revealed in part by what the nation spends its money on. Terming the question a ”matter of priorities,” he said ”keeping this country’s promise” should take precedence.

The NCAI in a prepared release distributed to attendees said the Native health bill delay continues ”despite the fact that Natives suffer higher health disparity rates than all other U.S. populations, and that health services are only available to Natives if ‘life or limb’ is at stake.”

Health care spending for Natives is less than half the amount the U.S. spends for federal prisoners, although infant mortality is 150 percent higher for Natives than whites, suicides 2.5 times the national average, and life expectancy 5 years less than for all others, it states.

Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich., who established the Native American Caucus, told attendees he will urge his fellow members of Congress to get past the anti-abortion and freedmen issues surrounding the health care bill and will work to see that it is ”enacted into law one way or another.”

Kildee also described issues concerning tax-exempt bonds and pension reform in Indian country and tribally controlled community colleges, urging the motto, ”Sovereignty today, sovereignty tomorrow, and sovereignty forever.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., a sponsor of the Indian health care bill, said such authorization is ”always a problem when the president isn’t supportive.”

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., said ”We cannot afford $10 to $15 billion a month on this war,” and urged a change in priorities.

Other speakers included Mark Macarro, tribal chairman, Pechanga Band of Luise�o Indians, DNC platform committee member, who termed the platform a ”very powerful document” that reaffirms tribal sovereignty and is the ”strongest ever” platform for Indian country.

Keith Harper, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, an attorney specializing in Indian affairs, said, ”We’ve suffered through a long, cold winter of George W. Bush” and ”we need a fundamental change.”

Indian country ”suffers from invisibility,” he said, but Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is committed to a ”new politics that includes voices from disenfranchised communities.”

Harper called for a senior policy adviser for Indian affairs for day-to-day contact with the president, for a tribal ”G8” summit, and for influence on judicial selection to develop a more tribe-friendly Supreme Court, or ”tribal sovereignty as we know it will be fundamentally undermined.”

Wizi Garriott, Obama’s chief organizer in Indian country, said North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska are among states where the Indian vote is very important, and Native vote coordinators and field organizers will be working to get voter turnout.

Tribal sponsors of the event at Denver Art Museum conducted by NVisionIt LLC were the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Gila River Indian Community, Mississippi Band of Choctaw, Pechanga Band of Luise�o Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Seneca Nation.

There are no circumstances under which Indian people should have second-class health care,” said Sen. Byron Dorgan , D-N.D., chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Indian communities should ”demand that it be passed this Congress,” he said of the health bill.

His remarks were addressed to a panel Aug. 27 of tribal leaders and delegates at the Democratic National Convention moderated by Joe Garcia, president of the National Congress of American Indians, whose executive director, Jackie Johnson, was also a panelist.

Two hurdles to its passage are an anti-abortion amendment and an objection to the Cherokee Nation’s decision to deny citizenship status to freedmen. The latter also affects funding to the Cherokees under the Native American Housing Assistance and Self-Determination Act.

Dorgan said he hopes the health bill will clear the House in the next few weeks, but if that fails, he will work to attach it to an omnibus bill or appropriations bill in order to ensure passage because ”we don’t have to wait anymore.”

The housing bill, funding for tribal colleges and Indian education, and law enforcement improvement are also on his agenda, and consultation with tribes and others is important to ”find out what works.”

Citing an Amnesty International report on crime in Indian country, he said one in three Native women will be raped or sexually abused in her lifetime; yet on a reservation the size of Connecticut, there are only nine officers and they may not reach a violent crime scene for 90 minutes because of the vast distances they have to cover.

Off-reservation law enforcement and U.S. attorneys decline to enforce cases referred to them at rates ranging from 50 to 76 percent for murder and rape or other sexual abuse, and ”we have to ask U.S. attorneys to stop declining cases,” he noted. Jurisdictional authority in Indian country can vary according to whether the crime is a felony, whether it takes place on Indian lands, is committed by or against a tribal member, and other factors.

Dorgan said the basic question is, ”What is our value system?” and the answer is revealed in part by what the nation spends its money on. Terming the question a ”matter of priorities,” he said ”keeping this country’s promise” should take precedence.

The NCAI in a prepared release distributed to attendees said the Native health bill delay continues ”despite the fact that Natives suffer higher health disparity rates than all other U.S. populations, and that health services are only available to Natives if ‘life or limb’ is at stake.”

Health care spending for Natives is less than half the amount the U.S. spends for federal prisoners, although infant mortality is 150 percent higher for Natives than whites, suicides 2.5 times the national average, and life expectancy 5 years less than for all others, it states.

Rep. Dale Kildee, D-Mich., who established the Native American Caucus, told attendees he will urge his fellow members of Congress to get past the anti-abortion and freedmen issues surrounding the health care bill and will work to see that it is ”enacted into law one way or another.”

Kildee also described issues concerning tax-exempt bonds and pension reform in Indian country and tribally controlled community colleges, urging the motto, ”Sovereignty today, sovereignty tomorrow, and sovereignty forever.”

Rep. Frank Pallone, D-N.J., a sponsor of the Indian health care bill, said such authorization is ”always a problem when the president isn’t supportive.”

Rep. Norm Dicks, D-Wash., said ”We cannot afford $10 to $15 billion a month on this war,” and urged a change in priorities.

Other speakers included Mark Macarro, tribal chairman, Pechanga Band of Luise�o Indians, DNC platform committee member, who termed the platform a ”very powerful document” that reaffirms tribal sovereignty and is the ”strongest ever” platform for Indian country.

Keith Harper, Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, an attorney specializing in Indian affairs, said, ”We’ve suffered through a long, cold winter of George W. Bush” and ”we need a fundamental change.”

Indian country ”suffers from invisibility,” he said, but Illinois Sen. Barack Obama is committed to a ”new politics that includes voices from disenfranchised communities.”

Harper called for a senior policy adviser for Indian affairs for day-to-day contact with the president, for a tribal ”G8” summit, and for influence on judicial selection to develop a more tribe-friendly Supreme Court, or ”tribal sovereignty as we know it will be fundamentally undermined.”

Wizi Garriott, Obama’s chief organizer in Indian country, said North Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, and Alaska are among states where the Indian vote is very important, and Native vote coordinators and field organizers will be working to get voter turnout.

Tribal sponsors of the event at Denver Art Museum conducted by NVisionIt LLC were the Eastern Band of Cherokee, Gila River Indian Community, Mississippi Band of Choctaw, Pechanga Band of Luise�o Indians, San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and Seneca Nation.

These teens are part of the Garden Warriors program.GARDEN MARKET at WOLVES DEN

GARDEN MARKET at WOLVES DEN
EVERY THURSDAY THROUGH AUGUST 21
Dream of Wild Health will be selling fresh, organic produce at the
Wolves Den, 1201 E. Franklin Avenue, Mpls, on Thursday, July 31, from 10
am to noon. This week Native teens from the Twin Cities will be selling
at low cost freshly picked produce including green beans, carrots, kale,
onion bunches, zucchini (summer squash), cabbage, radishes, flowers, and
more. These teens are part of the Garden Warriors program, a four-week
garden apprenticeship that teaches teens about healthy food, organic
gardening
, diabetes prevention, and job skills.

/Dream of Wild Health is a 10-acre Native owned and run farm in Hugo,
MN
. For more information, visit www.petawakantipi.org./