THE INESCAPABLE LOGIC OF ANY VALID ADDICTION ETIOLOGICAL PARADIGM
Like it or not there’s an inescapable logic to the Hypoism paradigm. You may not like the paradigm or its outcomes, but to dispute it you must dispute the logic, period. Thus, anyone who denies this logic has the responsibility to argue and disprove the following logic, piece by piece. This must be the basis of any debate about the cause of addictions.
Using drugs (legal, illegal, and alcohol) as the prototype addictor, the logic is as follows (I footnote individual arguments that need expanding that will appear at the end of the paper):
- Many people use drugs but only a small percentage get addicted. This shows the cause of addictions is in the person not the drug.
- Addictions to specific drugs all have high heritability[i]. This means that addictions are mostly and possibly completely genetic.
- That addictions are genetic means there must be some mechanism in the body causing addictions and that specific genes and their alleles work within that mechanism to cause addictions. This means there is a mechanism present in everyone from which addictions originate and the genes that cause addictions work within this mechanism, and only those people with the correct genes or alleles of these genes will get addicted.
- Some genes or their alleles cause addictions to certain addictors and others to other addictors. This means there are two simultaneous issues here: 1) general addictability, plus 2) specific addictions to specific addictors[ii].
- All drugs of addiction act within the reward center of the brain as natural neurotransmitter substitutes, and most likely elsewhere as well. This means that the mechanism that causes drug addictions includes the reward system[iii].
- The evolutionary (enhanced survival) purpose for the reward system and that of the larger brain mechanism that utilizes the reward system within it are the reasons this brain mechanism exists. How this mechanism works and where it is located in the brain are the reasons why it causes addictions and other symptoms of Hypoism when effected by the low activity of the specific allelic genes working within this mechanism. These unusual and unique behaviors must be explained and dictated by the actual function of this brain mechanism, a brain mechanism that evolved to handle specific survival functions, instincts. Hypoism explains why addictions are not freely made choices, but are inexorable and unconscious decisions that overwhelm conscious decision-making, the unexplained paradox of the current addiction paradigms.
- The understanding of the brain mechanism that causes addictions must explain and dictate all addictions[iv] as well as the treatment, prevention, and public policies of addictions[v]. Self-explanatory.
- It turns out that the particular brain mechanism we are dealing with here is what I have called “The Decision-Making apparatus,” the instinct regulating system derived via human evolution over hundreds of millions of years. The alterations of this brain mechanism by the genes and their alleles must explain all characteristics of the paradigm[vi]. The Hypoism paradigm.
- It turns out that it does. How do we know? All addictions are explained by this one system as they must for the addiction paradigm to be valid. They all include either 1) addictions to natural neurotransmitter substitutes, drugs (act like the endogenous reward neurotransmitters within the mechanism) or, 2) addictions to specific instincts (behavioral addictions). Thus, the origins and the characteristics of all addictions are fully explained by genetic alterations of this one brain mechanism[vii]. Only Hypoism does this.
- Any addiction paradigm must reconcile all of the above including the mechanism of recovery and relapse. Hypoism is the only current addiction paradigm that does this. Thus, Hypoism must replace all other addiction paradigms until some other one does it better. Moreover, prevention, treatment, and public policy must be derived from this paradigm as well.
- Similarly, if one is going to dispute Hypoism, one must dispute these points, one by one. To date, no one has accepted this paradigmatic challenge, a very telling fact concerning all other addiction paradigms.
[i] The heritability argument, including general addictability as well as specific addictor addictions: Heritability is a complex epidemiological genetic concept much misused by the addiction experts. For example: if an epidemiologist studies “alcoholism” in a population and finds 60% heritability, then says “alcoholism is 60% genetic and thus 40% environmental (by default),” this is incorrect. The correct conclusion is really, “alcoholism is at least 60% genetic and the other 40% can still be genetic and/or environmental in etiology,” because if one studies heritability closely one sees that there are many genetic factors and principles left out of this particular epidemiological tool. Proof of an environmental role in the etiology of addictions can’t be derived from heritability studies. And that has been the problem in the past and present in assigning an environmental role in addiction etiology; that it has. Proof that environment has some role in etiology must come from other types of studies. These studies have never been done. Thus, the belief that addictions are caused by both genetics and environmental causes as derived from epidemiological studies is absolutely false and knowingly a lie. There is no proof, yet it is “accepted.” To reiterate: there is plenty of proof that addictions are mostly genetic in etiology but no proof at all that environment has any etiological role. In fact, if you read my book and articles about this stuff you will see that I specifically state that addictability is completely genetic but addictions to specific addictors may have environmental influences. In other words, for one to be an addict of any kind one must have the correct genetics (Hypoism), but the specific addictions (symptoms), which addictor one uses and gets addicted to, may be influenced by environmental issues such as availability, past experiences, peer influences, etc. as well as genetic issues, the specific alleles of specific genes one has inherited. This statement is completely different from stating, “addictions have been shown to be etiologically partly genetic and partly environmental.”
For a review of the best epidemiological studies, although they continue to make the above mistakes without discussing or admitting the nuances of the term heritability, read: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/recentgeneticstudiesonvariousaddictionsfromalargetwinregistr/
For a review of the term heritability, read any recent Genetics textbook.
[ii] General addictability has yet to be studied as an entity, but the data from the COGA study could be looked at to delineate this trait. One such report from the COGA study is: Laura Jean Bierut, MD; Stephen H. Dinwiddie, MD; Henri Begleiter, MD; Raymond R. Crowe, MD; Victor Hesselbrock, PhD; John I. Nurnberger, Jr, MD, PhD; Bernice Porjesz, PhD; Marc A. Schuckit, MD; Theodore Reich, MD, Familial Transmission of Substance Dependence: Alcohol, Marijuana, Cocaine, and Habitual Smoking. A Report From the Collaborative Study on the Genetics of Alcoholism, Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1998;55:982-988. In addition, Goldman and others have delineated this concept in their writings: David Goldman, MD; Andrew Bergen, PhD General and Specific Inheritance of Substance Abuse and Alcoholism, Arch. Gen. Psych. Vol. 55 No. 11, November 1998. So far, however, no epidemiological studies on general addictability have been undertaken. My prediction is that they will show much higher heritability than for specific addictions, thus, adding more weight to the Hypoism paradigm.
[iii] Because the reward system subserves other brain mechanism(s), the other, larger, brain mechanism(s) must be the cause of addictions, not merely the reward center itself.
[iv] This brings into account “behavioral” addictions as being part and parcel of the same addiction paradigm.
[v] A general principle of all medical science.
[vi] Read: http://www.nvo.com/hypoism/thehypoismaddictionhypothesis/
[vii] Animal addiction studies over the last fifteen years all point to this.