Conventional Addiction Treatment Can Increase Dependence

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Despite heroic treatment efforts, most people who have become dependent upon a substance (e.g., alcohol, food) or an activity (e.g., gambling, pornography) relapse again and again. In fact, for certain individuals, the conventional therapeutic strategy—with its emphasis on admitting powerlessness over a “disease”—makes their problem worse. In fact, many high-functioning individuals who have fallen into an addictive trap can learn to exercise their will, so that they can follow their path of greatest advantage rather than continue to yield in the direction of least resistance. The Path of Greatest Advantage, written by psychologist William Dubin, Ph.D., provides the tools and methods that enhance willpower and promote good long-term outcome for individuals who have developed an excessive appetite.

The Path of Greatest Advantage

Depending upon an external agent to free you from slavery is part of the slave mentality that maintains the addictive trap. You become free of dependence when you can act in accord with your own interests despite the pull of local stressors and temptations. The capability to exercise your will emerges during a developmental passage that no one can take for you nor spare you

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Despite heroic treatment efforts, most people who have become dependent upon a substance (e.g., alcohol, food) or an activity (e.g., gambling, pornography) relapse again and again. In fact, for certain individuals, the conventional therapeutic strategy—with its emphasis on admitting powerlessness over a “disease”—makes their problem worse. In fact, many high-functioning individuals who have fallen into an addictive trap can learn to exercise their will, so that they can follow their path of greatest advantage rather than continue to yield in the direction of least resistance. The Path of Greatest Advantage, written by psychologist William Dubin, Ph.D., provides the tools and methods that enhance willpower and promote good long-term outcome for individuals who have developed an excessive appetite.

Conventional treatment for addictive disorders often makes the problem worse. The term “iatrogenic” refers to a pathological condition caused or exacerbated by treatment efforts—that is, outcome would have been better if the treatment had not been administered.

For example, most treatment for problem drinking is based on the 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous, which advocates that alcohol abusers admit powerlessness over their “disease” and comply with a treatment program developed and supervised by an external agent [e.g., treatment provider, support group]. For alcoholics whose cognitive or medical condition allow them no options other than to replace dependence on a substance with dependence on a more benevolent source of control, this is the only viable approach. However some problem drinkers can develop the skills and faculties to act in accord with their interests, even during crises. For those capable of exercising will, promoting the idea that they have a disease over which they are powerless can increase their dependence and expectations of being helpless during a crisis.

The Problem of Immediate Gratification (The PIG)
Addicts are suckers for the promise of an immediate payoff. True to form, most seek immediate gratification of their desire to be free of their problem. Turning responsibility for good outcome over to a powerful external agent can make a desperate person feel better right away. Indeed, accepting the passive, patient role does promote good short-term outcome as long as the external source of control is salient. The downside of this strategy shows up when the source of control is not available to exert its influence. Individuals who are not prepared to cope with crises of stress and temptation are vulnerable to relapse when they encounter high-risk situations on their own.

Over the past 30 years, psychologist William Dubin, Ph.D. has accompanied thousands of individuals through their passage to freedom from dependence. The Path of Greatest Advantage: How to escape addictive traps and act in accord with your interests and principles is the resource kit that has emerged from these collaborations. The ambitious goal of this kit is to enhance the user’s ability to follow his or her path of greatest advantage rather than yield in the direction of least resistance.

“Depending upon an external agent to free you from slavery is part of the slave mentality that maintains the addictive trap. You become free of dependence when you can act in accord with your own interests despite the pull of local stressors and temptations. The capability to exercise your will emerges during a developmental passage that no one can take for you nor spare you,” says Dr. Dubin.

The passage from dependence to personal sovereignty is a difficult one with many traps and pitfalls. Real escape from dependence requires that the individual, rather than an external source of control, be the responsible agent of change. The Path of Greatest Advantage provides methods and tools developed by Dr. Dubin and the thousands of collaborators he has accompanied through their passages to freedom from dependence. The text contains understandings, tools, and methods that were acquired through the painful education yielded by these collaborations. Because the subject matter is subjective experience, passive reading of text is insufficient to acquire the procedural skills to influence it. Consequently, the text is sumplemented with audio and multimedia files, including thought experiments, meditation exercises, and hypnotic inductions to enhance the user’s ability to manipulate his or her subjective experience..

Good long-term outcome is the byproduct of learning to exercise these abilities during the real-time crises awaiting each of us. The kit offers several general strategies to approach the problem, along with a wide range of specific tactics to cope with crises. The wide range of options allows each user to match tactics and tools with his or her unique circumstances.

Dr. Dubin is available to discuss a wide range of topics pertaining to addictive disorders and their treatment. The Path of Greatest Advantage (Paperback, 169 pages, ISBN 978-0-9818972-0-2, including a CD-ROM and access to clinical support from our dedicated web site) is currently available at Amazon.com and directly from the publisher, PARTS Press (http://www.partspress.org). Retail price is $39.99.

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