On August 24, 2011, the ASAM released a new document defining addiction which you can read by clicking the link at the end of my blog. In this release, Dr. Raju Haleja, former president of the Canadian Society of Addicction Medicine and Chair of the ASAM committee that crafted the new definition says that "Addiction is addiction. It doesn't matter what cranks your brain in that direction, once it has changed direction, you are vulnerable to all addiction."
My memoir, Addictionland, which will be published and released in the upcoming year (sign up for email notification), supports this concept and demonstrates how a person with a good head on her shoulders can become addicted to mutliple unhealthy substances/behaviors as a result of her brain function. What I love most about this new definition is it helps break the stigma of addiction which happens to be the leading reason addicted people do not seek the help they desparately need.
This is not to say brain chemistry is the only reason people get hooked on drugs or shopping or gambling. Obviously, trauma and low-self esteem and/or depression can lead to the same negative results. What this does say, however, is that according to 80 leading mediccal experts, the chronic neurological disorder is the primarcy cause of addiction and that is a BIG DEAL!!
Next question. What can I do about it if I am one of those people? For one thing, you can join our site and blog about your experience. Or, you can write to me (someone who has overcome addiction to food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, and unhealthy relationships) and allow me to share my experience with you.
Wishing you all the best,