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Was Nancy Reagan right? Can we "Just Say No"? Powerlessness and victimology in addiction recovery



  • Regina Garson 6 years ago

    Excellent article with many points well taken, I am certain it will stimulate debate. On a very real level, your arguments are valid. I would like to hear debate on this one.

  • Leslie Basden 6 years ago

    Thank you so much for your comment!

  • Brenda Green - Topeka Freethought Examiner 6 years ago

    Subscribed. Looking forward to reading your posts. I agree with you .... my philosophy toward life: decide it, and then do it.

  • Jane Doeski 5 years ago

    First of all, addiction and habit are not the same thing. Leslie seems to think addiction is just a mind game that responds well to " just say no". The fact is, both alcohol and drugs affect people physically as well as mentally and emotionally. Most ingested substances affect the central nervous system and usually require help before applying "no" to ones verbiage. When one is wrapped up in hard core addiction, choice is limited. People actually die because their body's are screaming for their drug of choice. Or maybe, according to Leslie, they forgot to "just say no".

    This June I will be clean and sober for 28 years. My recovery entailed a 12 step program, AND I did not subscribed to the "god concept" that many (perhaps most) believed was necessary for recovery. Yet it was clearly apparent that my own strategies were not working very well ~ otherwise I wouldn't have sought help now would I? In that sense I was powerless because I could not do it alone with the resources that I had at that time. What I learned was a "one day at a time" strategy, that I was able to build upon. That strategy, along with many other useful strategies, was the power I need to detoxify and move forward without a substance. Some of those strategies included honesty, willingness to show up, an open mind and group support.

    "Just Do It" may work well when a person is dealing with the mental gymnastics regarding a bad habit is, when it comes to a powerful physical addiction the phrase is useless. If you are addicted to a substance such as alcohol, cocaine, or heroine, please seek professional help. Addiction is mentally, physically and emotionally powerful and requires more than "just do it" nonsense.

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