Acropolis manor

How many of you are psychologists? I’m not, obviously, but my source is–a psychopharmacologist–one who studies drugs and the effects they have on the brain and body–to be specific.

Don’t get me wrong. Addiction IS hard to overcome. It IS really, really damaging to your health. My only point is that this idea that “drug addiction changes your brain” is total hogwash. It alters the chemistry of your brain for a short while. Overdoses can lead to other side effects, as kaleid pointed out. Brain damage can certainly occur. However, the idea that drugs actually change your brain–fool your brain into requiring the substance–it’s just not true. What makes narcotics abuse so dangerous is the environment in which it occurs compounded with the effects of the drugs themselves. Drug abuse is often coupled with poverty, homelessness, and other health issues. Drug abuse is also very often co-morbid with depression and/or other disorders.

All I’m saying is that rather than spreading this mantra that drugs are unbeatable, brain morphing substances is incorrect and unproductive. If we want to solve the substance abuse issues that plague many of our cities, we have to step back for a second and admit that it’s a manageable, beatable problem–if we can’t do that, we’ve already lost the fight.

Finally, to those of you who assume that I haven’t had family or friends with diseases or addiction issues–you assume too much. I just don’t give in to the hype as fast as you do.

The following is not my opinion regarding the subject just a bit of info I thought was interesting that I read.  First though let me just say I do believe acute drug addiction is more than just a mind state and can be very hard to treat.  However I feel that treating addiction as a “life destroying disease” can often be abused as an excuse not to try.  Obviously drug addiction is very case-by-case so I’m sure it doesn’t apply to all relapsing addicts. 

Definition of drug addiction:

Addiction is a primary, chronic, neurobiologic disease, with genetic, psychosocial, and environmental factors influencing its development and manifestations. It is characterized by behaviors that include one or more of the following: impaired control over drug use, compulsive use, continued use despite harm, and craving.

From Neuroplasticity section of the wikipedia article on drug addiction:

“Before a person becomes addicted and exhibits drug-seeking behavior, there is a time period in which the neuroplasticity is reversible. Addiction occurs when drug-seeking behavior is exhibited and the vulnerability to relapse persists, despite prolonged withdrawal; these behavioral attributes are the result of neuroplastic changes which are brought about by repeated exposure to drugs and are relatively permanent.[4]”

[quote]The term “addiction” is used in many contexts to describe an obsession, compulsion, or excessive physical dependence or psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction, video game addiction, crime, alcoholism, compulsive overeating, problem gambling, computer addiction, pornography addiction, etc.

In medical terminology, an addiction is a state in which the body relies on a substance for normal functioning and develops physical dependence, as in drug addiction. When the drug or substance on which someone is dependent is suddenly removed, it will cause withdrawal, a characteristic set of signs and symptoms. Addiction is generally associated with increased drug tolerance. In physiological terms, addiction is not necessarily associated with substance abuse since this form of addiction can result from using medication as prescribed by a doctor.

However, common usage of the term addiction has spread to include psychological dependence. In this context, the term is used in drug addiction and substance abuse problems, but also refers to behaviors that are not generally recognized by the medical community as problems of addiction, such as compulsive overeating.

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences to the individual’s health, mental state or social life.[/quote]

It’s more than the drugs. It’s more than what they do to you. Some people are predisposed to having an addictive personality. Which makes it a disease, period. So yes, an addict may not be physically addicted to a substance any longer, but that doesn’t mean they are over their addiction.

What I don’t understand, eccentric. Is why you always put so much of the wrong effort into your knowledge. You have huge opinions on many many matters, but most of the time you’re proved wrong and backed into a corner. Why keep doing it, you must like the attention.

Now syanora, I’m off to work. Have fun then.

PS, Nice one Transcending. You got to it before I did.

That’s just flat out wrong. I’m basing what I’m saying on someone who’s dedicated his career to drugs and their effects on the brain. Funny you mention the infamous ‘addiction gene.’ The psychologist I mentioned earlier used it as the subject for his Masters thesis–he argued against it’s existence.

You’re using this idea of severe drug addiction as a crutch. People can’t quit themselves, it’s impossible. One can’t just stop smoking, they need a patch. You can’t just quit drinking alcohol, you need AA meetings. You can’t stop using narcotics, you need a clinic.

Again, I’m not saying that kicking a drug habit once you’re addicted is extremely difficult to do, or that we shouldn’t help people–but we have to encourage knowledge in the fact that kicking the habit is possible… not brand drugs as unconquerable.

The psychologist I mentioned earlier used it as the subject for his Masters thesis–he argued against it’s existence.[/quote]

Did he do his Masters thesis before or after fMRI revolutionized brain research?  It’s pretty awesome to watch the brain actually change.  Live.  In 3D. 

It’s also awesome to do genetics research coupled with fMRI. 

fMRI resolution is following Moore’s Law as well.  We can do stuff now at twice the resolution that we could just 18 months ago. 

Just saying that you shouldn’t make assumptions about what is accepted as scientific consensus without reading first.  Remember what happens when you assume something.

For example, when you say this:

Pretty much all fMRI-based research into addiction has shown that you are wrong.

Drug addicted brains are physically different than “normal” brains.  And we can see it.  In 3D, live, with increasing resolution.

Maybe it’s an addiction?

Bubbasteve - Let’s just make it clear I was not supporting your previous post.  I don’t fully agree with you but I’m not going to get into it. 

I’m going to go out on a limb here and support eccentric.  Let me just clarify that I disagree with eccentric on a few issues and I do believe that drug addiction permanently alters the brain.  However I would like to look past that because I don’t think I need to believe that addiction doesn’t change the brain to agree with this:

or this

[quote]If we want to solve the substance abuse issues that plague many of our cities, we have to step back for a second and admit that it’s a manageable, beatable problem–if we can’t do that, we’ve already lost the fight.

I don’t agree with eccentrics arguments but I do agree with what I think his central message is.

A pretty clear contradiction in just two lines of your opinion - wow.  

Many people that are in active addiction WANT to stop using - as someone else already pointed out.  They try - and sometimes they are successful, but not usually for an extended period of time.  An addict will want to stop and find themselves almost in an ‘autopilot’ state of mind to get more of their chosen substance.  Breaking that cycle is difficult - but I don’t think anyone here is saying that it CAN’T EVER be done.  You misunderstood me when I said that an addict is an addict FOR LIFE - or perhaps I wasn’t clear enough.  

Addicts have an incurable disease called addiction.  The disease is chronic, progressive and fatal.  However, it IS a treatable disease.  Addicts are never cured - the disease is carried with them for the rest of their lives.  But it is possible to recover from the disease.  Clean addicts - even those that have been clean for a very long time - can still exhibit behaviours that resemble active addiction.  That is the part of the disease that I was talking about.  If an addict doesn’t keep up with keeping themselves healthy then it is very easy to fall back into the rationalizations of “I can use successfully now and not get in trouble - I can say ‘no’ now and not use like I used to.”  

Oh, and this quote of yours:  

That is completely false.  Some people can quit those things cold turkey and never look back.  Perhaps they weren’t ‘true addicts’ as someone suggested, or they are just able to do it.  I have a family member who quit smoking without any assistance from pills or the patch.  I know some alcoholics that are able to maintain a sober lifestyle for 25 years without meetings.  And you don’t need a clinic to stop using narcotics - while it is usually suggested because the withdrawal symptoms can be medically dangerous, it is not always necessary.  There are NA meetings as well - it all depends on the addict.

Quoting the whole paragraph from eccentrics post shows that you two actually agree kaleid. 

As TranscendingRationality said, I was being facetious. I should have been more specific, though–sorry that caused you to misunderstand me. :confused:

I’ll say it again:

That’s wrong, and current medical imaging can show that prolonged drug addiction can permanently alter the way a brain works. 

If this is your “only point” then you need to at least do the most basic google search and see if it’s true or not.

If you are interested in addiction alternatives, google " The Orange Papers " Don’t be afraid.
Life is for you.

Maybe so, but it’s not a crutch to every addict.  Sure, every addict at some point will always play the victim/poor me card - but there will come a time that it no longer ‘works’ - the addict can no longer fool anyone into thinking that they are an addict because of .  This is what addiction IS - I don’t care how ‘bad’ of an addict someone is, they are still an addict.  Sure it sucks to have to deal with it (whether you are an addict or care about someone that is) but it CAN be dealt with.  The addict that is homeless living on the street using needles every day is the SAME as the addict that hides at home, maintains a ‘normal’ lifestyle while popping a couple of pills to relax, but their family has no clue that they are an addict.  You don’t have to be this bad to qualify to be an addict - which is where I know eccentric and I agree (or at least, I think we do). 

I do not believe that the brain doesn’t change with substance abuse though - sure, some addicts get clean and find there is no residual damage - but that is not the case for every addict.  I agree with MiG - go look it up instead of just repeating the same tired argument. (and yes, I will also stop repeating my ‘same tired argument’ as well)  :wink:

I worry that this is not a discussion but a debate on the merits of debating. More importantly that real world out there doesn’t much care for science and perhaps has little time for debate. What that world is concerned about is getting through each day.

A centre close to home, close to a possible family that cares but can do little to change the pattern of a wayward son, or friends who have tried to help but are without the capacity to do so, a centre that means a whole lot more than $$$ and policy, that’s what we are talking about here.

Addiction is not affordable. It is not arguable. It exists and it will kill.

Well-said, BakerWriter! 
As a society we can choose to ignore addiction in our community and pretend that it does not exist or that it is a trivial issue.  There are real costs associated with addiction: crime, family strife, increased strain put on the medical system, etc.
Addiction is an illness that should be treated.  Addicts deserve our compassion, not scorn.

If  anyone still reads the snooze, local contractor, Mark Rudderham submitted a letter to the ed.
He claims Acropolis Manor is a servicable 30 year old building, which I think should be the real issue here.,not the thinly vieled  NIMBYism and DENIAL that has seemed to be all to common in some posts.
I think parking is a red herring,  the building is a useful asset to the community, its future use is not material,When the Healthcare in our community is run by bean counters in Pr. George, Prince Rupert suffers.
When the City gave the land for the new building I don’t believe any thought was given to preserving the old building for future use by the community.
The Lib. Gov. dictated the model for Health care in the North replacing community healthcare with an 8-10 hour bus ride to PG, this just further demonstartes to me that as far as the Libs are concerned they have abandoned rural BC.

As far as this ongoing debate around the issue of drug and related addiction problems and possible treatments, we can all agree to disagree on the extent, reasons and possible solutions, as this is a very deep social issue that will not likely be solved anytime soon, or on this forum. But this thread began with the concern about the pending destruction of the existing Acropolis building and a petition to save it. I am almost fifty years old, was born and raised in this city and had both parents spend many years in this facility and would like to add my ‘two cents’ to this discussion.
The older, existing Acropolis building is or could be perfectly servicable for many more years for any number of a wide variety of possible uses. The building itself is therefore a definite asset to this community and the people of this region and it would clearly be a real shame to see it gone as it has huge potential.
The problem, and part of the reason for the decision of the NHA ( Nothern Health Authority ) is that any renovation and/or future maintenance costs are huge and simply not in the budget, which is already very limited and is tied to our population base and existing service levels. Also there are numerous liability issues related to current ownership and any future use of this building by any other user group (s).
These issues could be mitigated and resolved, however not easily nor simply. We as the concerned people of this city and region need to make a firm and unified stand in order to voice this concern to the NHA, as they have quite clearly already made the decision of what to do with this building and are not likely to change this decision easily. However, together we can make a difference and effect this change, but all levels of government would also need to agree and put this pressure on the NHA in order to make this happen. So Jack Mussallem, Gary Coons, Nathan Cullen and anyone else in a position of authority, if you are listening and/or reading this, please to your parts to help in this effort to do what is very clearly the right thing.

The problem is worse then what is being written in here, when someone goes to the Senior Center next to the Salvation Army and see this giy by the name of Larry Wong sitting on this picnic bench smoking a joint in front of the people driving into the parking lot, telling or sharing his bullshit words of wisdom to the ones who have nothing better to do with the existence. You have so called preacher ment inside who refuse to address this situation. So what we have here is people who keep turning a blind eye to the so called problem. Now I do not say it is bad to smoke a joint but do not rub it in peoples faces and especially when half of the town contribute money to that place.


are you sure its him he could be the wong guy you are thinking of