Addictions

Listening for the Light: A New Perspective on Integration Disorder in Dyslexic Syndrome, Schizophrenia, Bipolarity, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Substance Abuse

Introduction (pp. 10-11)

Substance Abuse

Chapters 8, 9, and 10 of Listening for the Light are about addictions and about psychosis in addictions. The level of success I attained in observing Daniel’s reactions to medication helped me to be aware of real changes taking place in his addictive behaviours that others missed or dismissed. For those fighting addictions or supporting those who are, the details and patterns of behaviour reported here will not seem merely tedious, messy, and unpleasant. They provide familiar points of reference. They illustrate the impact of illicit and prescription drugs on the ear and brain and hence on behaviour, but in in a new light, namely the differing functions of the two halves of the brain and the innate inability of some people with audio-processing deficits to control hemispheric shifting. They also explain the hemispheric shifts that take place in anyone under the influence of alcohol and drugs. The patterns of ascent out of psychosis that Dan became active in facilitating demonstrate the learning process that was possible because of his listening intervention. His experience at The Listening Centre underlay Daniel’s ability and willingness to pick himself up and keep trying, despite his losses.
Many young people are doing damage to themselves with drugs and other harmful substances and behaviours. A great deal is said about why they should not. Much less is said about why they do drugs—about the factors that work upon a young person to tempt him or her into experiences from which he or she may never recover. Even less is said about how they may not. The fundamental new knowledge in Listening for the Light posits an underlying physiological condition that may be treatable in some addicts. It will help those already reaching out to addicts to better understand where some addicts “are coming from,” why their brains make them behave in particular ways, and how existing methods might be modified to be more helpful.
. . .    The particular psychological and neurological dangers of overmedication to substance abusers—drug addicts and alcoholics—are sometimes overlooked or poorly understood. Neuroleptic medications for psychosis can perpetuate drug abuse by providing precisely the “escape” for addicts that they find on the street. To some degree, masking symptoms also removes from the addict the uncomfortable symptoms that may provide negative reinforcement against the addiction; but reduction or withdrawal of medication is a manoeuvre that can be overdone. Because the medications currently in use can cause psychosis and, possibly by damaging the ear, make that condition permanent, they can be as much a part of the problem as other factors impinging on psychosis. I think the learning presented here will show that a much finer line of mercy and wisdom could be attained in regard to medications for addicts in psychosis.

You can read about the new paradigm of ear-related behaviour and the effects of drugs on the ear in my publications at: http://www.northernlightbooks.ca

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