4 Repetition is fundamental to tobogganing and recovery In tobogganing its

4 repetition is fundamental to tobogganing and

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4. Repetition is fundamental to tobogganing and recovery. In tobogganing it's simple the more runs you make, the more skilled you become. But in addiction, repeated attempts are criticised, especially by those entrenched in legalistic or moralistic positions. Addiction experts remind us that Relapse is part of recovery (Witkiewitz and Marlatt 2004 ). Each time you go through the pro- cess of failing, or almost succeeding, you are more likely to try more skilfully next time. Few addicts quit without several tries. 5. For both tobogganing and recovery, self-compassion, self-confidence, and respect and admiration from others help the person keep trying until they get it right. If we were to scorn and denigrate those whose toboggan flips over, they'd be less likely to take another run. So let's respect and encourage addicts who need a number of tries to finally quit. ADDICTION RESEARCH & THEORY 251
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Risks of being misunderstood when one denies that addiction is best viewed as a brain disease Nick Heather Portrayals of addiction rejecting the premise that it is a chronic, relapsing brain disease for example, that it is bet- ter seen as a disorder of choice (Heyman 2009 ; Heather and Segal 2017 ) - are frequently misunderstood or misrepre- sented. Examples may be found in the comments of an anonymous reviewer of an article now published analysing the role of compulsion in theories of addiction (Heather 2017a ). Some of these misunderstandings and how they may be countered might be paraphrased as follows: I. The view that addiction is a disorder of choice trivialises a tragic condition and does a huge disservice to the field. There are no logical grounds for concluding that seeing it as a disorder of choice trivialises addiction; no advo- cate of such a view is unaware of the tragic consequen- ces of addiction. II. Seeing addiction as a disorder of choice is dangerous because it is close to the moral argument that we in the addictions field have been trying to stamp out for 40 years - that individuals with addiction are bad people who should be punished. Advocates of addiction as a disorder of choice explicitly state that it is not a free choice for which addicts should be blamed and specific- ally reject the idea that it represents a moral failing (e.g, Heather 2017b ). It is conceded that a theory couched in terms of weakness of will and self-control may present special difficulties for communication with the general public. Misunderstandings would likely be fuelled by oversimplified, distorted or sensationalist portrayals in the media, including those prompted or taken advantage of by scientists and clinicians with vested interests in the BDMA. III. The argument that cravings are only sometimes powerful and generally not difficult to resist is blatantly false.
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