Jordan Peterson on the Psychology of Addiction

Let's talk about addiction so there are a series of actions that occur before consume cocaine some of them are local are those things that happen immediately before and some others are distal they are further back in the sequence of events and when you have a dose of cocaine produces a dopaminergic discharge that feels very good but that also causes the circuits that were immediately active before that grow up that is the Reinforcement then the growth is proportional not linearly but it is proportional to how soon that event has happened the closer you have been the stronger it will be but even those who are far away get some reinforcement because you could ask What did you do before getting your last dose? and the answer would be: well, how much earlier? well, the closer you get * Reward * and then what happens if they take that person out of their normal environment and put them in a treatment center they will treat them for their physiological addiction which is something strange in the case of cocaine Not so long, a week is enough two weeks, no doubt even with heroin and alcohol surely if they manage to go through abstinence without dying and then they finished they are no longer physiologically "dependent" but when they let that person go first thing that happens that old friend with whom they always went out to take drugs appears and bang he wants to take like crazy and that's because that thing in there is not dead at all Y is activated by the foot and it's a circuit no, not that it's a personality and he only wants one thing he wants cocaine will suppress any unrelated thoughts and will use lies that's not a problem especially if lies were reinforced, which surely have been "Where are you going, little boy?" They imagine? they will have a lie for that and 10 minutes later they will have the drug and that little lie has only grown or maybe they think they try to leave and they think "the devil" and everytime 10 minutes before taking the drug they say "to the devil" and they do it 1000 times Well, believe me, the circutio "al diablo" That damn is strong then it comes alive and it's not that it just goes away can not it's you has grown up in there now you can build other circuits on top to turn it off and you can contribute to them breaking down over time after not giving him what he wants but they're going to have to not give him what he wants in all the multiple contexts that are associated with the drug some of you probably smoke and try to stop smoking and what they will see is that when they have a craving is when they have a coffee or when dinner is over after a phone call or just get up in the morning or when they have regularly used the drug whatever they have related to consuming it even complex things like ending a conversation they can produce a sharp craving and that can be extinguished with time if they punish him either by punish him or not letting him get what he wants but for that you have to build another circuit that cancels it and that circuit is a bit fragile the stress tends to alter it Can that be mediated by things like people reading about quitting smoking or iboga? Yes, sure good with iboga is different, because it seems to have a direct physiological effect addiction has a cognitive component It is full of thoughts and desires and needs maybe they have to rebuild their entire personality to get cornered that thing religious conversion for example is a truly effective treatment for alcoholism that's partly why AA works for the people who work but religious conversion, which implies a complete conversion of personality is actually one of the few things we know as an effective treatment for alcoholism we do not know how to induce it although that is not entirely true either because during the first experiences with LSD, it seemed to be very promising for the treatment of alcohol addiction there are recent studies with psilocybin that demonstrate if they have a mystical experience when receiving psilocybin your cup of success in stopping smoking round 80% which is much higher than any pharmacological intervention has achieved

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