By Stanton Peele
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Extra resources for 7 Tools to Beat Addiction
The Vietnam War. Not surprisingly, many average youths became addicted to narcotics in Vietnam. Conditions were alternately harrowing and tedious, the soldiers were young and on their own for the first time, and heroin was cheap and easily available. This situation so scared the government that the Defense Department created a special program to deal with what they anticipated would be the masses of ex-GI heroin addicts roaming the streets of American cities. Administering this program was an assistant secretary of defense, Dr.
However, only one in five of those former addicts who used a narcotic after they got home became readdicted! Robins and her colleagues were shocked by these results. Among other startling findings, they determined that the relapse rate was higher for veterans who were treated for their addiction than it was for those who were not. In 1993, twenty years after the original research in the Vietnam War era, Robins was asked to reevaluate her findings in the prestigious British journal Addiction. Here is her summary after two decades: These then were the major conclusions: narcotic use and narcotic addiction were extremely common in Vietnam; availability was the main explanation; those with a history of deviant behavior before Vietnam were particularly at risk; addiction was rare and brief after return even when men continued to use narcotics; veterans re-addicted and entering treatment had as high a relapse rate as civilians [and higher than the untreated soldiers].
When you don’t have these things, you may need help to acquire them. This may involve counseling or remedial steps, including job training, practice at relationships and intimacy, gaining an education, working at a job, developing a healthy lifestyle, and so on. Some therapies (like the Community Reinforcement Approach) help you to develop such skills. And to support the change process, you will need to focus on the rewards you experience when you rein in your addictive behavior. Therapy may help in this area, too.
7 Tools to Beat Addiction by Stanton Peele