Old 08-26-2008, 08:31 AM
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Thumbs up Cbt

A Cognitive-Behavioral Approach: Treating Cocaine Addiction.

* CBT is on self-control strategies, that is, what patients
can do to recognize the processes and habits that underlie and maintain
substance use and what can be done to change them.

* In CBT, substance abuse is a learned
behavior that can be modified.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:05 AM
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Brains are cool.

I was reading about them today, mainly on wikipedia, so just a wee bit dumbed down But like, brains are COMPLICATED, so it helped. I have been thinking a lot in the past couple weeks about AA's higher power and how it just wasn't going to work for me because I don't believe in an external being that could take away my urge to drink. I believe that I have to retrain my brain from its Pavlovian response to alcohol, teach myself different ways to trigger my dopamine system. Pavlov occurred to me for the first time when I picked up a glass of what I thought was orange juice, put it up to my face to drink, and the strong smell of vodka smacked me upside the head! I put it down in a hurry, walked it over to my SO and told him to drink it fast or pour it out, so no harm done, but I was shocked at the saliva that dumped into my mouth when I smelled the alcohol. I am totally one of Pavlov's dogs, just have a less healthy trigger than they did.
When I was drinking, ohhhh so long ago, lol (9days), my nucleus accumbens, the pleasure center, was running the show. Short term rewards were in charge, and the biggest trigger for that nice big rush of dopamine was alcohol. Tomorrow didn't matter, next week didn't matter, what's a hangover, screw my responsibilities and self respect, where's the next drink because I want to keep feeling good rightnow. Well, now I am going to let my prefrontal cortex take over. Here's what Dr Wiki has to say about the prefrontal cortex.

This brain region has been implicated in planning complex cognitive behaviors, personality expression, and moderating correct social behavior. The basic activity of this brain region is considered to be orchestration of thoughts and actions in accordance with internal goals.

The most typical neurologic term for functions carried out by the pre-frontal cortex area is executive function. Executive function relates to abilities to differentiate among conflicting thoughts, determine good and bad, better and best, same and different, future consequences of current activities, working toward a defined goal, prediction of outcomes, expectation based on actions, and social "control" (the ability to suppress urges that, if not suppressed, could lead to socially-unacceptable outcomes).

Have I found my Higher Power? The only thing is it's not somebody else, it's still me. So maybe it doesn't work for AA purposes, but I really like the idea that I'm handing over my control to a part of my brain that is focused on my long term best interests. My prefrontal cortex does NOT want me to drink. If I drink, it gets knocked out of commission and my limbic system totally runs wild with my body in tow. And again I know this is oversimplified, for one thing the PFC and limbic system aren't so strictly separated- they influence each other- but it's helpful for me to think of it this way. And maybe the balance of influence can be off? A little too much limbic, not enough prefrontal cortex?

I like thinkin about thinkin.
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