The Debunking of Addiction Pseudoscience

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Dr Quackenfraud explains addiction

A little over a year ago, if you dared challenge the prevailing claims of modern addiction science, such as “Addiction isn’t a real disease” or “Drugs don’t make you rob drugstores” or “Blackouts are just an excuse for not remembering traumatic episodes of anonsex” the Steppers (and secret steppers) were quick to rain down on you a stream of insults and accusations of ‘ignorance’ and say, “This is established science!  You need to educate yourself!”  If you persist you would be accused of being a ‘flat-earther’ and ‘paranoid delusional’ and ‘medical liable’ and you might be diagnosed with ‘drug-induced brain-damage’.  These days such vitriol is rare, and in fact I frequently offer the counter-challenge.  Here are some recent results that may find a more receptive audience, now that the grip of the 12 Step Mafia on academia and the media outlets has been loosened.

“Stop exaggerating the harmful effects of drugs, and teach people how to be safe with drugs.”  Carl Hart is the voice of reason in the science debate, explaining that there is no neurological test for ‘addiction’, even if he hasn’t come out against it explicitly, and I hope we hear more of him.

This is an important piece from Ken Anderson who puts the dangers of rehab in stark relief, and I wrote an article about it.  My claim is that yes there are deaths from overdose, but they are caused by ‘treatment’ not ‘addiction’ or ‘lost tolerance’.

This research shows that ‘treatment’ is the #1 correlate with morbidity – more than such factors as excessive drinking, depression, and any other consequence the researches could think of.  Hmm.

This study shows how standard cold-turkey detox is actually the real danger of drug use, causing both damage to the brain and even ‘addictive’ behavior and personalities.  Said one of the researchers:  “The mainstay of current approaches to treating addiction might actually aggravate it.”  (Yeah, that’s what I been sayin!)

This post on The Fix shows that there is absolutely no consensus on treating opiate dependence even among the ‘experts’.  An honest appraisal would reveal that the field is no more than witchcraft and skullduggery, and ‘treatment’ is more dangerous than blood-letting.

The Washington Post shows how decriminalization greatly reduced the death rate in Portugal.  (Note that Portugal does not offer 12 Step treatment.)

There is no evidence that the Drug Court Caliphate (typically 12 Step/abstinence based) is at all effective in its stated goals of reducing crime, drug use, suicide, and total prison time.

This study shows that teen binge drinking is strongly correlated with how many movies they watch that model it, far more than other “risk factors such as familial alcohol use, parental monitoring, and sensation seeking” — which suggests that ‘alcoholic’ behavior is culturally motivated and not caused by ‘disease’, even later in life.   Unfortunately the researchers conclude (patronizingly) that movies should be rated by alcohol content — as if preventing children from watching them is more effective than forbidding the behavior itself.

For the sake of balance, here is a report by NIAAA chief George Koob explaining how the demon alcohol infests your soul and requires immediate exorcism.   Interestingly, the original research is valid – lots of people have binged on alcohol at least once in their life, and are none the worse for wear.  Now all of a sudden they need ‘early intervention’?

This careful meta-analysis suggests that the heretofore enigmatic high school ‘coolness’ factor is actually determined primarily by one’s drug dealer connections.

I’ll spare you the oft-replicated but quickly forgotten research that shows that meth and cocaine are no more addictive than pornography or Oreo cookies.  Of course, addiction has long been beset with fundamental iatrical quandaries including:

  • It’s a disease that makes you lie, yet its confession is completely true.
  • It’s a disease caused by being irresponsible, poor judgment, seeking thrills and stealing stuff and it’s characterized by being irresponsible, poor judgment, risk taking and stealing stuff.  And relapses.
  • It’s the only disease whose characteristic symptom is ‘denial’ – the more you protest the more likely you have it.  (Other than cooties, of course.)
  • It’s the only disease of which the most important qualification for a treatment provider is that they’ve had it.
  • It’s the only disease with a scientifically proven spiritual treatment regimen, whose existence is doubted only by ‘pernicious’ Cartesian dualists.
  • It’s the only disease for which your prognosis worsens considerably after treatment.

I believe that researchers are quickly closing in on the simple fact that ‘treatment’ is actually a brainwashing and bullying religious cult that creates the overdose epidemic.  (And that ‘addiction’ is not a disease or learning disorder, but simply a religion of modern-day demon possession.)  The solution is to let people use drugs and stop bothering them and they’ll be fine.   It’s fun to watch as people slowly wake up from the modern delusion known as ‘addiction’.  And the hysterical and frantic last gasps of the Drug Warriors.

59 thoughts on “The Debunking of Addiction Pseudoscience”

  1. Hey, Silver Darling and Gavin, I have been watching this loon for about 2 years. Argued with him at first until I realized that he was just a web troll with his own site. He is incapable of honesty or reasonable argumentation. I just drop in now and then to see if by some miracle he has begun to undersatnd lies can never serve a higher purpose. No such luck yet!!

  2. I’ll spare you the oft-replicated but quickly forgotten research that shows that meth and cocaine are no more addictive than pornography or Oreo cookies

    You mean the study carried out by undergrads and the following media hype? The one ridiculed by the Globe and Mail and xojane.

    I can’t see any any mention of ‘meth’ in that study. Perhaps you could point out where it is? Perhaps you’re confusing your meth and your morph?

    I suggest you do a lot more drugs, it may give you some valuable insight into what you’re talking about. Pseudoscience indeed.

    1. No I’m referring to science like this:

      http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2015/01/07/sugar-health-research

      Which shows that that sugar is far more addictive than cocaine. And yes I’ve done lots of drugs. In fact I’m an addict and alcoholic. However I differ from most addicts in that I don’t equate ‘sobriety time’ with ‘time since last anonsex’.

      BUT thank you for not hurling insults and Nazi slogans in your comment. You are making progress. 🙂

      1. In fact I’m an addict and alcoholic

        But according to you addiction and alcoholism are myths. so how can you be an addict? Or have you just realised you’ve got a problem ?

      2. shows that that sugar is far more addictive than cocaine

        But you believe addiction is a myth. So how can either of these substances be addictive? Is addiction a myth or not?

        Also i suggest you offer your local crack head a bag of demerara for a couple of rocks, i’m sure they’ll be happy to oblige.

      3. oh, you mean the science that shows that rats in a cage prefer sugar to cocaine? And you want to extrapolate that to humans?

        If you look at rats and then humans you’ll notice there are big differences in appearance and behaviour. This is one reason bringing a new drug to market requires testing on human subjects.

      4. Yes I am an addict. Don’t tell me I don’t understand because I understand perfectly well. And of course you can’t always extrapolate rat experiments to humans. Thank you for pointing that out. So much of the current ‘disease model’ is based on animal studies. But two can play at that game. Of course, one of the best players is Bruce Alexander, who showed that the original animal research on addiction was complete bunk. You should look it up, would remove some of your cherished ignorance.

      5. But you are happy to imply one can extrapolate rat experiments to humans in your blog posts. Is that disingenuous or merely a lack of literary rigour on your behalf?

        Still you do not explain how you are an addict but addiction is a myth. How do you explain that?

      6. Yes I am an addict. Don’t tell me I don’t understand because I understand perfectly well.

        Do you understand that if you are an addict that means you have an addiction?

        12 steppers would tell you that this blog and your further protestations over the interwebs is you denying that you have a problem.

        But presumably you enjoy your addiction and have no problem stopping your drug use?

      7. In fact I’m an addict and alcoholic

        If you are an alcoholic then by definition you have the disease of alcoholism alcoholic , noun: a person suffering from alcoholism.

        I know you dislike dictionary definitions and prefer to give words your own meanings but it is strange that someone who puts so much effort into criticising the disease model chooses to label themselves alcoholic. Why do you call yourself alcoholic?

      8. And a christian believes in christianity. Does that mean jesus is real?

        no, it doesn’t. but it does mean that a self proclaimed christian believes in jesus … by the same token a self proclaimed alcoholic believes in alcoholism.

        There are a lot of terms for people who have problems with alcohol , so it is strange that someone who protests so loudly against the disease model refers to themselves with one of it’s primary labels.

        Dost thou protest too much?

        .

      9. I’ll accept alcoholism is a real disease if you accept jesus as your personal savior

        huh? I don’t call myself a christian while you repeatedly call yourself an alcoholic. Do you see your contradiction there? Why do you repeatedly try to sidestep simple questions?

        Personally i’m not sure about the disease model. I’m not sure how much ‘powerlessness’ is learned and how much is innate for the problem drinker or drugger. I’m not sure of the balance between the functional use of the disease/powerless model versus how dangerous it can be, irrespective of any evidence for or against its existence. I think it depends on the person and there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ recovery modality.

        I do believe that fear, denial and distraction are major factors in problem drinkers and druggers not stopping hurting themselves and those around them.

        I am 99% sure that you have reached a point where somewhere inside you, you know that you have to stop drinking and drugging and abstinence is your only real option. Your avoidance, anger, tragic ‘humour’ and labyrinthine arguments all point to that fact.

        Respect to you for pushing the boundaries of denial, you fight like a true alky-junkie clinging to the fantasy of safely using again, terrified of losing your crutch. You can’t admit to any flaws or inconsistencies in any of your claims because that would call them all into question. You’re not powerless, sure you can get high and keep it under control.

        More respect to you though if you can stop, stay stopped long enough to stay alive, get well and use your experience to help others.

      10. Addiction is not a disease, glad you agree. And glad you’ve dropped the nasty insults and Nazi slogans. That is progress. At least, assuming you are not just pretending to be nice to draw in the newcomer before you launch into the suicide bullying again. Can the leopard change its spots? We shall see:

      11. Addiction is not a disease, glad you agree

        But i don’t agree. my thoughts are placed simply above, please try and read them as they are written not as you would like them to be written. Your generalist, selective comprehension is a problem in trying to communicate with you. It seems many people find it a problem. And before you shout:

        You’re saying i have a learning disorder

        Note that i am being serious, giving you the benefit of the doubt that you are not deliberately misconstruing what i say and i am highlighting my difficulty with your actions, not you as a person. Try and accept it as advice for changing your behaviour to help spread your message. I’m sure underneath that confused anger you are a nice guy really.

        If you truly want an insult free conversation then perhaps you can drop the insults too?

        just pretending to be nice

        you launch into the suicide bullying again

        Hypocrisy is so tedious.

    1. AA has propaganda mouthpieces in every country. But it is very fringe. Of course, if it grows then you can expect more deaths from overdose caused by tenacious suicide bullies like you. But thanks for showing that you are a secret stepper after all!

      1. Portugal does NOT offer 12 Step as standard or required ‘treatment’ in any jurisdiction or in response to drug use, which isn’t even a crime there. I stand behind my claim. If you disagree, show evidence to the contrary. Will you stand behind your challenge? Or will you just offer up more insults, vitriol, hatred, and bigotry? Time to put up or shut up.

      2. Your webs is too trash for long threaded comments , so take this as an answer to your vague statement about Portugal.

        Will you stand behind your challenge?

        All the way; if i go to Portugal (the country) , AA is on offer to me there. If you mean the Portuguese state does not pay for 12 step treatment then that would be similar to many countries. It does not mean, as you imply in your typically vague statement, there are no Anonymous members in Portugal. There are many and you’ll probably find a good few English speaking meetings there too.

        Speaking about English i know you like to generalise and redefine meanings of words but for the sake of clarity, and you not sounding like a complete fool, try being clearer with your use of language.

      3. OK and the death rate in PT is much lower, precisely because it is not required or prescribed ‘treatment’. If it were, deaths would go up, as happens in English speaking countries like US and UK. The reason is that AA requires the confession that you have a disease. People in PT know that is complete absurd bunk. Of course you will insist a small number of people in PT practice the 12 Steps, which proves that PT offers AA. Well it is fringe at best, and I’m sure that most people in PT see AAs as brainwashed suckers. But hey enjoy your pyrrhic victory.

      4. Until very recently 12 step treatment was only rarely prescribed in the UK. Still it is far from common. 12 steps are not as mainstream as they are in the USA.

        For heroin addicts the typical treatment model is methadone + counselling (sometimes), rarely abstinence. The typical outcome of that model is people destroyed by methadone (more difficult to withdraw from than heroin), overdoses as people mix other drugs with methadone, or overdoses as people leave prison after being jailed for stealing to support their habit.

      5. [AA is ]fringe at best, and I’m sure that most people in PT see AAs as brainwashed suckers

        You didn’t read that Portuguese newspaper article did you? Try google translate to get the gist.

        For someone who’s never been to Portugal and probably never met anyone Portuguese it is rather presumptious of you to be sure of what Portuguese people think.

  3. “What a good follower of 12 Step Sharia you are. Are you going to stone people for blasphemy if they challenge sacred cult doctrine? Or just harangue them online endlessly?”

    Wow and you have the gall to be upset with me for suggesting that you might be a Satanist or jihadist. And here you are calling me out for being that. You are such a hypocrite. Why don’t you go to your local Westboro Baptist congregation and head on over to demonstrate at one of our fallen hero’s funerals. I dare you. I would love to see your face when bikers come to kick your intolerant ass.

    1. AA is a blatantly satanic cult, as proven by the fact that its members will call you ‘satanic’ if you challenge their insane doctrines. Thank you for demonstrating that. Do you really think that people will be so quick to attend your meetings now that they know how aggressively and threateningly you operate? Of course, some will. Have fun with the psychos and criminals who show up. LOL 🙂

      1. I will tell you this AM, if and that is a huge IF, AA was a satanic cult, I would much rather that then your brand of so called Christianity. I mean even the KKK hated your group. But go ahead and spread all the lies and hatred you want about a group of people that you have absolutely no knowledge of and I will be right here to counter you. You have shown yourself for the hypocritical, hating, liar that you are. People are much smarter than you give them credit for and they will know you for liar you are. Have a blessed day.

      2. LOL ok thanks for admitting it might be a satanic cult. People should know that the liars psychos and criminals with plastic smiles defending their cult tenaciously alternating between pious sanctimony and bullying threats might not always have their best interest at heart. You are destroying your cult, and it’s fun to watch your increasing desperation and confusion. Blessed be, Gav. Blessed be. 🙂

      3. AA is a blatantly satanic cult, as proven by the fact that its members will call you ‘satanic’ if you challenge their insane doctrines

        huh? so the way of telling if people are ‘satanic’ is if they call others ‘satanic’ ? so that’s makes you satanic … oh god, and now me!

      4. I don’t mind if you’re satanic. Just don’t offer your religion as ‘treatment’ for a ‘disease’ then pour billions into scientific research for it and claim that anyone who complains is ‘satanic’.

      1. What a good follower of 12 Step Sharia you are. Are you going to stone people for blasphemy if they challenge sacred cult doctrine? Or just harangue them online endlessly?

      2. Agreed, the Myth is spouting nonsense and will not answer directly to anything that questions his logic. Hypocrite is one term but when it’s deliberate misinformation (or at an unlikely best not bothering to check facts) it becomes unpleasantly dangerous. It seems deeply narcissistic , shouting in the playground for attention …

  4. “I don’t need adherents. I just need to watch as you destroy your mischief and suicide cult with your increasingly desperate, mendacious and bullying comments.”

    You are the one who sounds desperate to me. As far as bullying tactics how about the one where you told me I should move to Syria. Mischief indeed. You are the very mouth piece of satan that you have been babbling about in this blog and yours is the cult of suicide, telling people who are on the verge of death because of their disease that they don’t have a problem and that they can go ahead and continue destroying themselves. What church do you belong to that spouts such poison? The Westboro Baptist church I suspect.

  5. I have given our little give and take of the past few days some thought. Since I had clearly won the debate (which was never really a debate) with facts, logic, well-reasoned and well-buttressed arguments, and above all, the “elephant in the living room” – the enormous size, longevity, and the successful recovery rate of AA – I had decided I would just leave the field triumphant and let it go at that. Your scalp, after all, is hanging on my saddle.

    But on second thought, I recognized that this would be unfair – and even harmful – to the alcoholic or addict who, seeking help, stumbled across your misbegotten website and fell under the spell of your insistence (just what they were looking for, of course) that there is no such thing as addiction. Your focus on AA as a mischief-making drinking club and a suicide cult makes the job quite easy, and I think it will be fun to watch you squirm.

    So, I have decided to post comments fairly regularly on the various topics on your site, with factual information about Alcoholics Anonymous, reporting to you the good and the bad about the fellowship (AA does have some character defects and errors in logic and reason that can give ammunition to people like yourself) and correcting some of the more egregious and hilarious errors you retail regularly.

    Sorry to be such a pest, but then you’ve brought it upon yourself. Incidentally, I plan to enlist some of my AA friends to do likewise. Most have not seen your website, but I know they will be interested in joining in the conversation. I fear you are not only outnumbered, but overmatched by intelligence, truth, evidence, and many, many years of experience with alcoholism and other addictions. I hope your readers will find my (our) postings enlightening, and perhaps an antidote for your fanciful but dangerous notions.

    Sowwy. But now you’re really in for it.

      1. Actually CWWJ has provided you and your “fans” plenty of facts that bolster his/our argument. The only long streams of insults and braggadocio has come from yourself and others like yourself that you have missinformed/lied to. Tell me AM, how many adherents to your church do you have? What does your church demand of you adn their other followers? What practices do they preach? Do tell. Give us your churchalog right here for all to see.

      2. CWWJ explains ‘addiction’ to first year medical students at his local prestigious medical institution, though he has failed to produce a single fact in any of his comments, other than his own sorry drunkalog spanning decades of anonsex and ‘blackouts’. My churchalog is written on every page of this site. I don’t need adherents. I just need to watch as you destroy your mischief and suicide cult with your increasingly desperate, mendacious and bullying comments.

  6. Having clearly won the argument along with such worthies as Gavin and John, I’m going to move on to other pursuits. I think we have pretty well painted you into a corner, whoever you are, and when you increasingly resort to spleen in short bursts, we know we’ve got you on the run.

    AA really needs no defense anyway, and my only motive in responding to your over-the-top outpourings is to perhaps protect some young and naive alcoholic or addict in need from buying any part of your ravings.

    Just a word of advice: Don’t think you can ever convince someone of your point of view by insulting him or her. Your insistence on calling your opponents liars really gets you nowhere, and describing AA as a “cult” that “bullies people into suicide” is so ridiculous that any fairly intelligent reader would dismiss it out of hand. The notion of 2.4 million people from all walks of life being held in bondage by mysterious AA Svengalis is too laughable for even the most naive to take seriously.

    But there is a curious fascination that you do hold for normal people. We wonder: who would devote so much of their lives to tearing down a respected fellowship like AA? Who would squander their talents on building a web site with such an ignoble purpose? What drives your unhealthy obsession?

    Perhaps a new 12 step program should be in the offing for you and your ilk, maybe one called “Anti-AA Anonymous.” We’re here to help. But for now, ‘bye.

      1. I don’t recall ever having asked you to prove a single point since the whole exercise you’ve devoted you r life to is pointless. You have failed to prove a single point in your argument against AA. We have refuted your baseless charges with 80 years of experience, millions of adherents, and simple common sense, a quality which you sadly lack.

        Face it, nameless, you lost this debate before it ever began.

        Sowwy.

      2. Your mischief and drinking club and brainwashing and bullying suicide cult of powerlessness, to which you’ve devoted your life, and as you revealed its tactics here, is crumbling. Face it nameless, you lost this debate. Oh how you must regret ever posting. What were you thinking??!!

      3. This research shows that ‘treatment’ is the #1 correlate with morbidity – more than such factors as excessive drinking, depression, and any other consequence the researches could think of.

        are you referring to the research you link to with ‘#1 correlate’ ? the ‘The Psychological Damage of Alcohol Abuse Can Be Lethal’

        where in that article does it show

        that ‘treatment’ is the #1 correlate with morbidity

        it does say

        On the positive side, the study found that individuals who reported strong supportive relationships with peers and friends to be somewhat protected from the consequences of impulsivity: They were less likely to die than those who lacked that resource.

        supportive relationships like AA or SMART ?

        .

    1. tut, tut, tut. Now you’re getting a-n-g-r-y!! Don’t lose that cool superior demeanor. It is, after all, all you’ve got.

  7. I’ve suffered from depression for as long as I can remember, at one point was so bad that I was spending all my day contemplating suicide and the part that angered me the most was the fact that I couldn’t sleep and the severe insomnia almost drove me mad. Only a couple months ago I come across a review about the Thought Elevators program
    it contains some meditation techniques that helped me to get rid of depression, now I fell more confident, happy and for the first time in many years I can say that I am happy to be alive
    If you want to check it out yourself you can read
    about it here
    http://thebestyouu.net/thought-elevators-review/

  8. I have addressed your remarks on issues relating to alcoholism and AA, but have not entered the fray regarding drug addiction. I will do so briefly here.

    Much of what you say about drug addiction is supported by evidence, albeit there are still conflicting views and certainly no simple solutions. Drug addiction may well be more of an environmental problem than a brain problem, i.e., the lifestyle of the potential addict conditions his thinking and makes drug abuse more attractive and thus more likely. Change that environment and the need for drugs diminishes or disappears (the famous rat experiment).

    With alcoholism this is not so. There is much new evidence about alcohol use disorder that has influenced the APA to revise its DSM IV that divided AUD into two broad categories: abuse and dependence. DSM V now appropriately reveals AUD is more of a continuum of alcohol usage, ranging from mild, low-risk drinking all the way up to what we have always known as alcoholism, i.e. high risk dependence upon alcohol and extreme difficulty in giving it up.

    Here, Alcoholics Anonymous was prescient in the 1938 writing of the basic text from which the fellowship drew its name. In that book is a description of alcohol use that all but mirrors the 2013 DSM V model. Ranging from mild to severe, the symptoms are described in lay, real-life behavioral terms. The less severe the problem, the easier it is to address and eliminate.

    The “hard drinker” is the last step down the usage ladder before the real alcoholic appears. He is the man who, although drinking heavily can moderate of stop his destructive drinking when given a sufficient reason to do so.

    But it is the “real” alcoholic that AA can rescue: the drinker who has succumbed to the high risk behavior now described in the DSM V, and who, despite every incentive, wish and desire to stop drink, simply cannot.

    This is one o f the challenges faced by the quantitative researcher into AA. He will measure attendance at AA and then identify those who remained in AA and those who dropped out. The dropouts are then described as failures of AA. But there is a fundamental flaw in the model. Most of the dropouts are not in the high-risk range, and could not be accurately described as “alcoholics.” Therefore, the researcher who counts dropouts as part of his sample is surveying the wrong population.

    Just as a treatment for diabetes cannot be accurately surveyed if it measures those who followed the treatment regimen and those who refused or discontinued the treatment, only a survey of the followers of AA’s treatment model — the 12 steps — can provide an accurate picture of the success of the model.

    This was borne out several years ago in NIAAA’s longitudinal survey of some 43,000 problem drinkers and ex-problem drinkers. Surprisingly, some 85% of those interviewed had never attended AA. Of the 15% who had attended AA, only one-third remained in AA; the rest dropped out at some point within the first year. Of that one-third who stayed in AA, 64% remained abstinent. Even more surprisingly was the fact that 37% of the AA dropouts also remained abstinent!

    What about the majority of the drinkers — the 85% who never attended AA? Only 16% of them achieved abstinence using all other treatment methods plus self recovery combined.

    What would have happened if all 43,000 had gone to AA?

    1. Wow you are quite the long-winded bloviator. What would have happened is that those 43,000 would likely have bullied each other into suicide like you guys do every day and then you’d call them “real alcoholics” and then say “People are dying we must do something!” Thank the HP they didn’t fall for your nonsense. Fortunately I’m not too worried. If your drunkalog is as boring as your comments people will be leaving in droves.

      1. Now, who’s boring? Ever read any of your own posts from start to finish? That’s okay, neither has anyone else.

      2. I am not quite sure where you get this inane idea that AA’s bully anyone into suicide or anything else. You dream too much I think. And HP? What is HP to you? Allah?

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