Thursday, May 14, 2009
Addiction - Outsourcing Happiness
Addiction is a brain disease. The brain has a capacity to produce opiates and cannabinoids, adrenalines and aldehydes. Daily the normal human body produces roughly 1 to 2 ounces of alcohol naturally. Given the presence of cannabinoid receptors the body is also producing cannibis equivalents. As well there are endorphins which are like heroin. Indeed everything that makes one high only does so by mimicking a naturally existing system of happiness production. When children of 1 or 3 or 10 are happy they literally shake with joy. There is no greater 'high' than that of a gleeful infant.
When a person becomes addicted to foreign substances it's as if they have outsourced the body's own happiness, laid off it's own happiness workers and shut down the hometown factory. It doesn't happen suddenly. A few lay offs lead to more and more until finally all the brains happiness is outsourced to Scotland, India,Afghanistan, France, Columbia, where-ever. The problem invariably follows with extended supply lines. Given it's not the real thing too, there's never enough and always there's a need for more. Alcoholism and drug addiction are simply unnatural.
When one abstains from drugs and alcohol it's like the body is told, we're going to return production to the hometown. The outsourcing suppliers aren't going to be happy. And the hometown happiness factory workers aren't going to come back en mass because frankly they've been brought back to work and laid off with many false promises. At first they dribble back in until there's a real committment.
Eventually though, with abstinence over a year or two or five the whole hometown factory complement is back at work. With abstinence it's possible for the brain to restore happiness.The brain has neuroplasticity and is a self healing organ. Natural highs become possible again. The hometown factory returns to full production with even greater efficiency.
Recovery is about being born again with the potential for the joy of a child. It's in the laughter of an infant our greatest happiness is found. Within ourselves lies the chemistry of the brain for all the joy and happiness that is humanly possible.