You don’t wake up one morning and decide to be a drug addict. It takes at least three months’ shooting twice a day to get any habit at all…. [It is] no exaggeration to say it takes about a year and several hundred injections to make an addict. William S. Burroughs, Junky.

  1. Read chapter “A” is for Attachment in LP Workbook Two).
  2. A Toxic Attachment (i..e addiction) is anything upon which your Physical Unit is dependent. A toxic attachment is anything that you cannot stop without serious emotional, psychological, and physical distress. A toxic attachment is an attachment that causes you or the ones that surround you harm.
  3. Toxic attachment is caused neurologically by Dopamine Attachment. Dopamine is a “learning chemical.” When a substance or behaviour makes us feel good, dopamine is released. This release tells our brain to attach to the substance or behaviour so we can feel good again. This is natural and sensible. This builds neurological attachments to things that are good for us, usually. However, when the dopamine release attaches us to behaviours and substances that are otherwise toxic, our attachments are toxic attachments. Because attachment  is a natural neurological attachment, we prefer to call addictions Toxic Attachments.
  4. Toxic Attachments are caused sociologically and psychologically by Toxic Socialization. Toxic attachments arise when we cannot change our environment (i.e., when we cannot halt the toxicity). In these cases, we find things to make ourselves feel better, to self-sooth, to self-medicate. When we cannot halt the toxicity, we
    1. Seek out things to calm us (drugs, alcohol, shopping, ex))
    2. Look for ways to escape (e.g., running, heroin, sex)
    3. Consume things that make us feel good (opiates, sugars)
    4. Find things that help satisfy unsatisfied need (e.g., smoking to belong)
  5. Toxic attachment develops over time as dopamine releases attaches us to the things that make us feel better. Attachments become toxic when a) the substances, behaviours, or people you are attached to are toxic, b) when we cannot stop or withdraw, and c) we justify and make excuses for our substance abuse and toxic behaviours.
  6. You can develop toxic attachments to anything, any behaviour, or any person. Anything that gives escape, relief, or pleasure, and that repeatedly triggers dopamine expression in the brain, can become a toxic attachment.
    1. Substance Attachments are attachments to substances (i.e., alcohol, cannabis, opioids, etc.).
    2. Behavioural Attachments are attachments to behaviours (i.e., shopping, exercise, sex, smartphones, social media, etc.),
    3. Relationship Attachments are codependent attachments to people.
  7. Prepare to treat toxic attachments by conducting an LP Attachments Analysis. An form for addictions analysis in included in the LP HEALING Map file.

Required Readings

  1. Lightning Path Workbook One – “A” is for Toxic Attachment
  2. No, Dopamine Is Not Addictive, 2017, Psychology Today.
  3. Money: The most dangerous addiction in the world
  4. Facebook addiction

Further Exploration

  1.  Carlton K. Erickson and Richard E. Wilcox, “Neurobiological Causes of Addiction,” Journal of Social Work Practice in the Addictions 1.3 (2001).

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