Does Blocking Alcohol Use Memories Stop Relapse

In a recent study at the University of California San Francisco, neuroscientists determined that rats became problem drinkers after spending seven weeks being given a choice of either water, or a mixture of water and twenty-percent alcohol.  Apparently, some rats preferred the water spiked with alcohol.

The Story Continues

Let’s take a rather tongue-in-cheek look at this study. It seems the rats eventually drank the booze mixture in large quantities.   The little guys then had the booze mixture taken away from them for ten days, after which they were given only a drop of alcohol, supposedly just enough for the taste and the smell of it to stir-up the rat’s booze-drinking memories.  But wait, there’s more!  Just afterwards, some of the little boozers were given a drug called rapamycin, and for two weeks following that, it was found that the rats who were drugged were less likely to drink.  As a result, the researchers are now thinking it’s possible that continued research by others might potentially lead to rapamycin or a rapamycin-compound being used as an effective treatment for alcohol abuse in the future.  And that would be, theoretically, because the drug blocked the rat’s alcohol-use memories.  Carrying that theoretical supposition further–the use of the drug somehow stops a human being from drinking by assuming that his or her memories of alcohol-use are being “blocked”.  And supposing even further that if they are blocked, then this “blocking” will make the person stop drinking, or stop reverting to drinking.

Not being a scientist doesn’t prevent any rational person from seeing the gaping holes in this kind of “logic”.  Number one, human beings are not rats, and do not behave like rats.  Don’t know about you, but I’ve never met a rat that held a job, supported his family, or attended his kid’s softball games.

Never met one down at the local bar, either.

Secondly, attempting to second-guess the memories of a rat, and what is really going on in their little heads, is actually preposterous.  Really.

And most illogically unworkable of all is the premise that giving an addict a drug to make him stop using a drug is a valid and safe treatment. It is not, and it is ultimately destined to fail.  Substituting the use of one drug for the use of another drug is not true sobriety, and does not result in a drug-free life.

A Different View

It is a common misunderstanding today how the mind really works, and who Man really is.  Not that long ago, it was common knowledge that Man is spiritual in nature.  He also has a mind, which he uses to think with, to compute problems with, and with which to store information and memories.  The mind continues to record our experiences throughout our life, good or bad. One of the biggest, if not THE biggest falsehood in our culture today is that we are our brains.  We are not.  And that the brain is the mind.  It is not.

A simplistic and easily understandable example of how a person thinks and uses his or her mind can be found in those great little illustrations in comic books, or the comic section of the traditional Sunday newspaper.  In those illustrations, you see your comic book characters, from Garfield to Superman, getting a thought or seeing a mental picture, illustrated with those traditional little comic-book style bubbles above their heads.  Remember? That’s how the mind works, thoughts and pictures.  It’s not a mystery.  Really. You can find out for yourself, simply by getting a picture “in your head” of something or someone you like, or something you can easily remember.

And when a person is using and abusing drugs, the mind is still working, and recording experiences and memories.  Unfortunately, drugs and alcohol can act to bury those memories, which can then react against the individual later. The solution is not, then, to further inhibit the ability of the person’s mind to function by crippling it with more drugs, but to help the addict get sober with an alternative, drug-free rehabilitation program that does no harm like Narconon.

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