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The Freedom Model for Addictions - 2

Old 03-25-2018, 05:00 AM
  # 141 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Tatsy View Post
The difficulty I perceive in this discussion (which I appreciate) is that people are second guessing, based on their reading of the excerpts and not the whole book.
Yes, that is the difficulty. This thread can help us learn about the Freedom Model from it but the trouble is it's new to all of us!

Of course we now have Steven's offer to ask any questions we might have and that's obviously a great way to learn about the model.

Here's question I'd like to ask Steven: if you have a friend who's not happy with their level of substance use and asks you how the Freedom Model can help them and what is the best way they could approach it what would you say?

Of course, because we all dip in and out of this forum as and when we can and want to, please don't anyone feel they have to wait for an answer to this before posting anything that they would like to
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:09 AM
  # 142 (permalink)  
 
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ok, so here's my question again. AlericB and Steven, do you believe that my level of functioning and decision making is the same after 10 pints as it is with no pints?
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Old 03-25-2018, 08:17 AM
  # 143 (permalink)  
 
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Also would like to add that I'd love to read the book for purposes of discussion, except that I don't want to drop the $30 for it. I stopped drinking forever 11 years ago, so I'm cheap now in terms of material related to addiction. I'll just have to go by what the author posts here.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:27 AM
  # 144 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
ok, so here's my question again. AlericB and Steven, do you believe that my level of functioning and decision making is the same after 10 pints as it is with no pints?
Although not addressed to me, IMO, 10 pints wouldn’t be moderating and afterwards, the pre-frontal cortex, executive functioning etc., would certainly be affected and less effective at making or sticking to a decision.

I bought the Kindle version for less than £10, because my alcohol challenged relative, for discrete reasons, cannot use AVRT. Therefore I was researching another, non-program, non-religious, non-meeting, non-disease model, method; and discovered the Freedom Model.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:31 AM
  # 145 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by soberlicious View Post
ok, so here's my question again. AlericB and Steven, do you believe that my level of functioning and decision making is the same after 10 pints as it is with no pints?
I think soberlicious that the Positive Drive Principle (PDP) says that we will always choose to do that which we perceive will make us the happiest in that moment. If we've had 10 pints we're probably quite likely to feel that that means carrying on drinking, whereas if we haven't had a drink at all we may decide that we'd be happier not drinking even if just for that day.

Two different outcomes of course but both are the result of where we saw our happiness lie and so our capacity to choose is the same in both situations. It wasn't impaired by the 10 pints - we choose to carry on drinking because that was our preferred option at that time.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:45 AM
  # 146 (permalink)  
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So your ability to make logical, rational, happiness-based decisions is the same, after 10 pints or 0 pints? A drunk chooses to beat his wife after 10 pints because, logically and rationally, he decides that that is what will make him happiest at the moment? I must be misunderstanding you, because that would make no sense.
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Old 03-25-2018, 09:59 AM
  # 147 (permalink)  
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A Female BAC Chart is linked below. This is a near & dear topic around MesaVille, since Missus Mesa partakes sometimes; albeit it at a greatly-reduced level now with GFs.

The reason so many States have the .04 BAC DWAI level is because it's known to be a point at which both Motor Skills and Judgement are impaired.

Note the 2 Drink intake Threshold for some Body Weights...
.
- Female BAC Chart -
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:00 AM
  # 148 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
So your ability to make logical, rational, happiness-based decisions is the same, after 10 pints or 0 pints? A drunk chooses to beat his wife after 10 pints because, logically and rationally, he decides that that is what will make him happiest at the moment? I must be misunderstanding you, because that would make no sense.
You are misunderstanding me. I'm agreeing that you're very likely to make bad and irrational choices when you've had 10 pints. However it is still your choice no less than it was your choice if you are sober and make a healthier choice.

I'm saying that because of the PDP you always have the power of choice and will always choose to do whatever it is that you perceive as your happiest option. The fact that that option may be monumentally the wrong thing to do does mean that you do not think that it's a good idea at the time and that you are not choosing it.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:38 AM
  # 149 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by JeffreyAK View Post
Clearly there is, it's really self-evident. If it were not true, we wouldn't have drunks continuing to drink to blackout, or doing ridiculous embarrassing things, we wouldn't have drunk drivers, we wouldn't have innumerable instances of domestic violence and fights involving drunk people, etc. I wouldn't use the words "lack of control", but clearly there is a reduction in control applied. "Inhibition of control caused by the degraded decision making abilities" is closer, I think. I can't imagine that anyone here hasn't experienced this first-hand.
That was in response to soberlicious saying: "Would you agree that there is an amount of substance that could alter one's decision making? If you agree that there is an amount, how can one know that amount?"

(sorry but I don't know how to reply with both those quotes showing up as quotes)

JeffreyAK's response assumes that people don't make bad/irrational/troubling/non-optimal choices while sober. There are people who choose to drive recklessly while sober. There are people who engage in violence while sober. There are people who do all sorts of awful things while stone cold sober.

Drunk drivers know they shouldn't drive, whether for the fact that their reaction times and sensory perception may be impaired, or the fact that they'll be dragged through hell if they get caught. But they say "screw it" and drive anyway. They rationalize how they'll get away with it, or how they'll do it safely because it's a short ride on an empty road, or whatever.

Considerably less drunk driving happens now than in the 80s when the big efforts against it started. It's down by something like 50%, even with lowered limits and dramatically increased enforcement (which should reveal more drunk drivers). Did 50% of drunk people stop having their *judgment* impaired by alcohol so that they can now choose to call a cab?

I'm highlighting the term judgment because I think we need to clarify what we mean by the term. Do substances impair our sensory input and processing of that input so that it's harder to judge when to hit the brakes or turn a steering wheel or speed up or slow down or whatever? Absolutely. And they can impair our abilities which might fall into a realm of judgment for all sorts of activities. I think "judgment" is often used to refer to the problems we have with physical activities while intoxicated. But the term "judgment" is also used to describe "moral" choices - whether or not to hit someone, cheat on a spouse, call the cocaine dealer, or even have another drink. I don't think it's right to conflate these two sorts of "judgment."

In The Freedom Model we discuss this conflation, to say that these "moral" choices aren't rocket science or even as tough as parallel parking. If you've agreed to monogamy, it takes no special level of cognitive functioning, -and in fact very little other than to just know that you yourself are in a monogamous relationship- to not cheat. There is no "judgment" involved in terms of some kind of tough logical reasoning, rigorous fact-gathering, and intense mental problem-solving process. We call these matters of judgment, but they aren't. You don't need to be Einstein, and in fact you can fall on the exact opposite end of the mental ability scale as Einstein and still not cheat on your spouse. It takes no "judgment," even thought the choice to cheat falls in the realm of choices we refer to as "poor judgment."

And I'd say the same about calling the coke dealer so you can keep the party going, or having the Nth drink that people always tell me they know will put them into a blackout before they take it.

Anyways, we often demonstrate "poor judgment" with or without substances. We needn't postulate pharmacologically "impaired (moral) judgment" to explain these choices. We also shouldn't conflate these types of choices with those that do take some lightning fast reasoning and fully engaged cognitive ability (like operating heavy machinery).

ETA: I will address the issue of "lowered inhibitions" a little later when I have some time. It is also covered in The Freedom Model.

Last edited by StevenSlate; 03-25-2018 at 10:41 AM. Reason: to add at end
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:40 AM
  # 150 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by AlericB View Post
You are misunderstanding me. I'm agreeing that you're very likely to make bad and irrational choices when you've had 10 pints. However it is still your choice no less than it was your choice if you are sober and make a healthier choice.
I think this is getting a little off-topic. TFM doesn't promote heavy usage - it only suggests that moderate usage may be an option if you genuinely want to moderate, ie not just like the idea of moderation but really want to use heavily. I think, by definition, if you are moderating you are not sufficiently impaired that you're not able to make a choice that is informed by the impact that choice will have on your overall "happiness". YMMV.

I think TFM would work for me if I was to define "happiness" as a longer-term goal. having a drink right now would probably make me happy for 10 minutes, but over the longer term the downsides would outweigh that pleasure. thinking of "happiness" in terms of "utility", from Utilitarianism, which is defined as "pleasure or absence of pain, or as Aristotle's "eudaimonia", often translated as "happiness", but more correctly as "flourishing", would be more helpful for me.
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Old 03-25-2018, 10:46 AM
  # 151 (permalink)  
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I see on a blog of yours in an about me section , you list " I believe.." s and "I do not believe" s.
In it you state that you do not believe heavy use is immoral , nor do you believe active addicts to be acting immorally. You also say you do not believe that narcotics should be illegal to sell or trade between consenting adults( a view I hold also), though I do not think the two are mutually exclusive. I think it should not be illegal to use or sell/trade , but I do believe heavy use to be immoral , as I see it as purposely putting one's self and others in possible harms way on each instance.

My question then relates to Aleric's comment regarding the PDP and its function , is the only consideration of one's actions to be based on the level of happiness achievable for one's self given the choice of whether to self intoxicate and or the desired level of intoxication? Is freely choosing to involve others in the consequences , or possible consequences part of the PDP ?
Is there clarification on this or similar points in the Freedom Model ?

Last edited by dwtbd; 03-25-2018 at 10:49 AM. Reason: edited to add that Steve cross posted and I will consider his post as it directly relates
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:21 PM
  # 152 (permalink)  
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Steven, you completely lost me. Would you agree that there is an amount of substance that could alter one's decision making? I mean here, ability to make rational choices, as rational as you be able to make if you were not under the influence.



Originally Posted by StevenSlate View Post
That was in response to soberlicious saying: "Would you agree that there is an amount of substance that could alter one's decision making? If you agree that there is an amount, how can one know that amount?"

(sorry but I don't know how to reply with both those quotes showing up as quotes)

JeffreyAK's response assumes that people don't make bad/irrational/troubling/non-optimal choices while sober. There are people who choose to drive recklessly while sober. There are people who engage in violence while sober. There are people who do all sorts of awful things while stone cold sober.

Drunk drivers know they shouldn't drive, whether for the fact that their reaction times and sensory perception may be impaired, or the fact that they'll be dragged through hell if they get caught. But they say "screw it" and drive anyway. They rationalize how they'll get away with it, or how they'll do it safely because it's a short ride on an empty road, or whatever.

Considerably less drunk driving happens now than in the 80s when the big efforts against it started. It's down by something like 50%, even with lowered limits and dramatically increased enforcement (which should reveal more drunk drivers). Did 50% of drunk people stop having their *judgment* impaired by alcohol so that they can now choose to call a cab?

I'm highlighting the term judgment because I think we need to clarify what we mean by the term. Do substances impair our sensory input and processing of that input so that it's harder to judge when to hit the brakes or turn a steering wheel or speed up or slow down or whatever? Absolutely. And they can impair our abilities which might fall into a realm of judgment for all sorts of activities. I think "judgment" is often used to refer to the problems we have with physical activities while intoxicated. But the term "judgment" is also used to describe "moral" choices - whether or not to hit someone, cheat on a spouse, call the cocaine dealer, or even have another drink. I don't think it's right to conflate these two sorts of "judgment."

In The Freedom Model we discuss this conflation, to say that these "moral" choices aren't rocket science or even as tough as parallel parking. If you've agreed to monogamy, it takes no special level of cognitive functioning, -and in fact very little other than to just know that you yourself are in a monogamous relationship- to not cheat. There is no "judgment" involved in terms of some kind of tough logical reasoning, rigorous fact-gathering, and intense mental problem-solving process. We call these matters of judgment, but they aren't. You don't need to be Einstein, and in fact you can fall on the exact opposite end of the mental ability scale as Einstein and still not cheat on your spouse. It takes no "judgment," even thought the choice to cheat falls in the realm of choices we refer to as "poor judgment."

And I'd say the same about calling the coke dealer so you can keep the party going, or having the Nth drink that people always tell me they know will put them into a blackout before they take it.

Anyways, we often demonstrate "poor judgment" with or without substances. We needn't postulate pharmacologically "impaired (moral) judgment" to explain these choices. We also shouldn't conflate these types of choices with those that do take some lightning fast reasoning and fully engaged cognitive ability (like operating heavy machinery).

ETA: I will address the issue of "lowered inhibitions" a little later when I have some time. It is also covered in The Freedom Model.
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Old 03-25-2018, 12:55 PM
  # 153 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by StevenSlate View Post
I'm highlighting the term judgment because I think we need to clarify what we mean by the term. Do substances impair our sensory input and processing of that input so that it's harder to judge when to hit the brakes or turn a steering wheel or speed up or slow down or whatever? Absolutely. And they can impair our abilities which might fall into a realm of judgment for all sorts of activities. I think "judgment" is often used to refer to the problems we have with physical activities while intoxicated. But the term "judgment" is also used to describe "moral" choices - whether or not to hit someone, cheat on a spouse, call the cocaine dealer, or even have another drink. I don't think it's right to conflate these two sorts of "judgment."

In The Freedom Model we discuss this conflation, to say that these "moral" choices aren't rocket science or even as tough as parallel parking. If you've agreed to monogamy, it takes no special level of cognitive functioning, -and in fact very little other than to just know that you yourself are in a monogamous relationship- to not cheat. There is no "judgment" involved in terms of some kind of tough logical reasoning, rigorous fact-gathering, and intense mental problem-solving process. We call these matters of judgment, but they aren't. You don't need to be Einstein, and in fact you can fall on the exact opposite end of the mental ability scale as Einstein and still not cheat on your spouse. It takes no "judgment," even thought the choice to cheat falls in the realm of choices we refer to as "poor judgment."

And I'd say the same about calling the coke dealer so you can keep the party going, or having the Nth drink that people always tell me they know will put them into a blackout before they take it.

Anyways, we often demonstrate "poor judgment" with or without substances. We needn't postulate pharmacologically "impaired (moral) judgment" to explain these choices. We also shouldn't conflate these types of choices with those that do take some lightning fast reasoning and fully engaged cognitive ability (like operating heavy machinery).
I agree that understanding conflation as both a weakness and a tool of language is important in understanding where recovery models choose to place meaning, focus of attention, implicit vs explicit cognition, etc.

And it is clear in your example of conflation wherein “judgment” is used instead of “reaction time” or “predicting outcome percentages”, or “deciding whether or not to break a pledge”.

How do you respond when someone learning about the Freedom Model imagines that your use of “pursuit of happiness”, or just “happiness”, is a conflation of lots of quite different aspects of people’s lives?
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Old 03-25-2018, 01:19 PM
  # 154 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by StevenSlate View Post
Sorry, I know I'm probably going deeper into this than your question required. But basically (and I'm probably telling you nothing new because Trimpey has written some great stuff on this theme - I'm not sure where but I know I've read it) - some people grab onto all these other issues and ride the fence for the rest of their lives, never deciding to be done with reckless substance use once and for all. They want the trust back, they want all their depression and anxiety to go away, they want everything to be perfect or they're gonna go on some kind of bender. Our experience has been that when we've tried to help people with all these issues at our retreats, many used the issues as excuses to ride the fence. They might still do that, but we won't help legitimize it.

So, we just deal with helping them to understand "addiction", their freedom and power to choose, and the potential benefits of various substance use options (heavy/moderate/abstinent) - so they can deal with this one issue and move on. It was a big choice to leave the other stuff out, and if we start to get feedback that suggests we need it, we'll revisit that. So far, our retreat guests don't seem to miss it. They're loving this new text better then anything we've ever taught.
I can imagine how difficult it is to leave “happiness” in and leave all that other stuff out. If it were suggested to you that instead of starting to re-include that other stuff, you were to figure out a method of recovery that left even “happiness” out, do you think it would be possible?
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Old 03-25-2018, 02:32 PM
  # 155 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
My question then relates to Aleric's comment regarding the PDP and its function , is the only consideration of one's actions to be based on the level of happiness achievable for one's self given the choice of whether to self intoxicate and or the desired level of intoxication? Is freely choosing to involve others in the consequences , or possible consequences part of the PDP ?
Is there clarification on this or similar points in the Freedom Model ?
Let me respond to this point as you referred to a comment I made or actually didn't make.
I didn't suggest for a second that one's happiness concerns oneself alone. I believe most of our happiness comes from having good relationships and so of course our pursuit of happiness includes a genuine concern for others.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:32 PM
  # 156 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by GerandTwine View Post
I can imagine how difficult it is to leave “happiness” in and leave all that other stuff out. If it were suggested to you that instead of starting to re-include that other stuff, you were to figure out a method of recovery that left even “happiness” out, do you think it would be possible?
Your question has nothing to do with the Freedom Model which is concerned with helping people find a method of recovery that they are happy with.

Please stay on topic.
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Old 03-25-2018, 03:33 PM
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Red face

Deleted. Posted twice.
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Old 03-26-2018, 03:58 AM
  # 158 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by StevenSlate View Post
But it says you can change your preference for substance use, and end up preferring abstinence, and carry that out easily once you've realized it offers you more happiness than substance use. It offers a benefits to benefits analysis as means to figure out if abstinence is for you. It also has 4 chapters questioning our culture's view of drugs as all-purpose magical elixirs. The purpose of that is to de-romanticize substances. Part of why we have exaggerated desires for substances is because we've exaggerated their powers/benefits. When you know the truth, that there's little or nothing to lose by giving them up, then giving them up begins to look less like a loss, and more like a gain.
This has been really useful. We hear so much that there is no pleasure that really matches substance use - I've just been reading an article that says that the "runners high" is just a pale imitation of the buzz you get from drugs or drink.

I realise that I've still been unquestioning believing this and so still romanticising drink . And I guess while I still believe that only drink can make me really happy, even though this belief is largely unconscious or hidden, I'm not going to be able to convincingly change my beliefs and see that I'd be happier changing my drinking habit.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:41 AM
  # 159 (permalink)  
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While I believe it is instructive to dispel the 'cultural myths' around recovery. I don't think exaggerated pleasure is one. The idea flies in the face of the subjectivity of experience , no ?
Why would it be important to strip any or all effects of an object of desire in order to resist indulging the desire? Wouldn't that be a refutation of freewill?
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:11 AM
  # 160 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dwtbd View Post
While I believe it is instructive to dispel the 'cultural myths' around recovery. I don't think exaggerated pleasure is one. The idea flies in the face of the subjectivity of experience , no ?
Why would it be important to strip any or all effects of an object of desire in order to resist indulging the desire? Wouldn't that be a refutation of freewill?
Perhaps it's like this. Suppose you have an obsessional love for someone that's destroying you. Would you not agree that it would be a good idea to try to dispel your obsession by reassessing and de-romancing the person. Is our "love" relationship with drink really any different?

Rather than a refutation of freewill that would be an assertion of your will, that is, your capacity to determine your choices.
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