Why the Paradigm Issue is the Most
Why the Paradigm Issue is the Most
Important Issue in Addictionology,
Oprah, Why Can't I Fly Even If I Believe I Can?
A paradigm1. discussed at end of piece is an overall concept dealing with any particular
issue. It dictates causation and consequences. It can be correct
as easily as it can be wrong. It can be based on fantasy, delusion,
and superstition as easily as it can be based on reality. It can
be believed or disbelieved. However, in actuality, there is only
one correct paradigm for any particular issue, whether it be known
or not, and no matter how many people believe otherwise. All incorrect
paradigms will lead to wrong or at least inconsistent and randomly
successful policies (ways to deal with and use the issue for which
the paradigm was devised). For example, gravity is a paradigm.
It always has its effect no matter what other paradigms about
the same issue are believed by anyone. No matter how you feel
about it, if you jump off the Empire State Building you will not
fly but will splatter on the sidewalk every single time you jump.
Poison will kill you if you drink it even if you believe it is
harmless or even good for you. Moreover, it will kill you if you
understand how it acts on your body or if you don't. Paradigms
don't care about what anyone believes or understands. They just
are. They are either true or false and they have their effects
no matter what anyone believes.
Current addictionology is directed by an incorrect paradigm. It's like the golfer (addiction expert) who keeps slicing the ball (addicts) into the lake, but instead of changing his swing (paradigm, beliefs), blames and changes the ball. The golfer keeps slicing, hooking, topping, and shanking, but the balls still gleefully hop onto the tee and end up anywhere but where they want to be. Only when the balls realize they need to find golfers who hit them straight will they end up on the fairways and greens where they belong. One definition of insanity is, "doing the same thing and expecting different results." Believing the same thing and expecting different results is also insanity. If we keep believing nonsense and expect success, we are to blame.
Wrong paradigms occasionally, by fortuitous chance, have outcomes
you desire or even occasionally predict, such as guessing heads
or tails. When this happens, people can come to the conclusion
that the paradigm on which the outcome was derived was the cause
when, in fact, it wasn't. On the other hand, correct paradigms
always produce and predict the actual outcome even when they aren't
known or appreciated. The former is superstition and the latter
is science. The history of man is that of superstitious paradigms
eventually being replaced by scientific ones, irrespective of
peoples' beliefs and desires.
Before bacteria were discovered as the cause of infectious
disease, people believed all kinds of things about infections.
One such infectious paradigm was called the "Miasma"
paradigm of infections known at that time as suppurations, producers
of pus, because the word infection hadn't been invented yet. Whether
people liked it or not, knew about it or not, bacteria continued
to interact with the human body according to the dictates of the
actual paradigm of bacteria and the body's immune defenses. Occasionally,
people recovered from infections after they were treated by the
miasma paradigm's treatment regimens by the then current experts
in miasma. The experts took the credit for these successes and
blamed the victims if they happened instead to fail to produce
Believing they and their paradigm were responsible for the
successes, these experts long promoted their miasma paradigm,
ignoring another paradigm, even when this was the correct paradigm.
Of course, this obstreperousness and closed-mindedness caused
undo death and suffering for the vast majority of people infected
with bacteria. The experts didn't seem to be concerned about this.
They were more concerned with their paradigm and their power.
Point: Just because there is a random success, it doesn't mean
the paradigm is responsible for the success or that the paradigm
is correct. The following rendition of this story is from Hypoic's
Handbook, in its attempt to discuss the paradigm problem in
"This particular principle is illustrated by the story
of Dr. Ignaz Semmelwies and child bed fever in the 1840's. This
story is about deadly infections in otherwise healthy poor women
giving birth in hospitals in the 1840-50's before the discovery
of bacteria as the cause of infections. The cause was attributed
to overcrowding, poverty, poor ventilation or, "miasma"
which was defined as some bad spirit in the air (a clearly superstitious
explanation, as we know well today). Then, as now, when people
didn't understand a problem, they attributed its cause to some
superstitious idea and even frequently blamed the patient for
causing it him/herself.
When women gave birth at home, they didn't get puerperal sepsis.
It occurred only in hospital wards for poor women, women giving
birth out of wedlock, or in women with some other complication
of delivery that necessitated hospitalization. Dr. S. was working
in the field of obstetrics at a time when the medical establishment
was resigned to the existence of PS and its unpreventable nature
under its current paradigm of thought. Dr. S. began to research
this unresolved reality over the strong objections of experts
in the field. He noticed a simple correlation between the high
incidence of PS in a group of women (first division) whose babies
were delivered by medical students and a low incidence in the
second division who were delivered by midwives. He saw the students
come out of the dissection room to deliver. He hypothesized that
the students were carrying something on them from the dissection
room into the delivery room. He instructed the students to wash
their hands between the morgue and the delivery room and was immediately
rewarded with a drop in PS from 25 percent to 1.2 percent, and
eventually 0 percent. The medical establishment strongly opposed
his new idea, leading to his ostracism. Despite this, he continued
his work and wrote many papers on the subject, but the value of
the idea was never fully appreciated in his lifetime. He died
in a mental hospital after suffering a nervous breakdown resulting
from his ostracism and failure to have his idea accepted by the
medical community. Eventually, his ideas became standard practice
and led to the revolution in the bacterial etiology of infectious
disease, which became the new and present scientifically based
paradigm. Superstition, ignorance, and
failed policy were finally replaced by science, knowledge, and
successful policies. The superstitious paradigm was replaced by
the scientific paradigm. This is the story of advances in medicine
Currently, addictionology, be it based on psychiatric, medical,
pharmacologic, religious, A.A., S.O.S., Moderation Management,
Rational Recovery, or any number of other paradigms, is in the
position of the Miasma paradigm of infectious diseases in the
1840's. These paradigms are incorrect and have damaging effects
on addicts no matter how many people believe them or how important
these people are. Because there is an occasional and random superficial
success with an addict using one or the other of them to get sober,
they are believed and promoted as true. Addicts who fail to achieve
sobriety according to these paradigms are judged to be at fault,
not the paradigms themselves. Addicts and their families are crucified
on the crosses of these wrong paradigms and believe they truly
are guilty and hopeless. "The experts must be right. They
are the experts," we all passively say en mass.
Well, the history of medicine is replete with paradigms and
their experts being 100% wrong until the correct paradigm somehow
forces itself into our consciousness and takes over with all around
and consistent success in all areas of the issue. In the case
of addictions this ranges from recovery to attitudes to public
policy. Remember, the paradigm is either correct or incorrect,
it's never both. Moreover, when it's correct, it's provable, not
Does the true addiction paradigm exist today? Not quite. If
it did, would we be scrambling around with the drug war, superstitious
treatments and recoveries, hundreds of thousands of addicts in
jail and dying each year, and infinite numbers of randomly effective
treatments among addicts, from "medications" to acupuncture
to religion to psychotherapy to various meetings to meditations
to various rituals and other unproven and baseless practices?
What exactly is the current paradigm of addiction? What is the
pathophysiology? How has it been proven? These answers don't exist
because there is no correct paradigm today. The current adage,
"There are as many answers to addictions as there are addicts.
We must apply the right one to the right addict," is nonsense
we no longer can or will stand to hear. No other correct paradigm
works this way. The correct paradigm works in all instances whether
we know about it or are ignorant of it.
If we want the correct answers to these questions we must first
admit the current paradigms are wrong, dump them in totality,
and honestly begin the search for the correct paradigm.
The following quote presents us with the only admission of the current addiction paradigm vacuum, but the addictionology field has ignored it, to the detriment of their integrity and honesty. In Chapter 8, Psychodynamics, from Substance Abuse- A Comprehensive Textbook, Ed. by Lowenson and Ruiz, the bible of the present addiction paradigm, is the following statement by the authors of the chapter in the opening paragraph: "Unraveling the etiology of substance abuse continues to be a challenge. There have been many technological advances in understanding the chemistry of human behavior, including the highly significant discovery of opiate receptor sites and endorphins, as well as other neurotransmitter systems. However, the substance abuse field continues to be in a PREPARADIGM stage of development, suggesting a lack of agreement between theory and treatment. Sederer notes: To set foot into the field of psychiatry (or the addictions) is to encounter an overwhelming mass of clinical data, hypothetical notions, and theoretical constructs. Dopamine mingles with denial, and serotonin with symbiosis. Defenses and divorce appear as meaningful, and influential, as gamma aminobutyric acid and the endorphins. Urban drift, ego-deficits, and ventricular enlargement may be found rubbing conceptual shoulders.í"
Preparadigm means no paradigm.
I have attempted to synthesize the Hypoism paradigm of addictions
from the current realities and science of neurobiology, how the
brain works, and how addicts seem to work, and, more importantly,
how they don't work. I don't claim it is correct, but Hypoism
is testable and provable (or disprovable). Hypoism fits the clinical
picture of addicts and addictions more thoroughly and completely
than do the wrong paradigms. Hypoism is based on a pathophysiology
which predicts and deals with all problems and all aspects of the problems
faced by addicts, not just one or another of them.
The current addiction paradigms
have no neurobiological basis and don't deal with all these aspects. They are based on psychobabble and unsubstantiated and haphazard empiricisms. They don't explain or remedy the obvious difficulties we are having with addicts and addictions. Hypoism explains
why the drug war, prevention efforts, and current recovery and
treatments don't work completely, consistently, and thoroughly.
Yet, we persist in using the incorrect and clearly unproved
(actually disproved but this hasn't been and won't be admitted)
paradigm. That is caused by the very nature of humans as superstitious
beings. Even after the correct paradigm exists, humans would rather,
in many instances, believe their superstitions in place of proven
science. The evolution/creationism schism is a deep example of
this human trait. I'm not AGAINST beliefs or religions. They are
instinctive and part of our common humanity. However, I'm rather
FOR reality and FOR using reality for materialistic (life on earth)
purposes. You wouldn't suggest defying the paradigms of gravity
or infectious diseases while living on earth because of some religious
belief, would you? Well, we are doing just that today in our misguided
attempts at dealing with addictions. Please, believe whatever
you want, but use and scientifically research Hypoism as a way
to finally discover the true paradigm causing addictions.
Whether it is true or just a bridge to the true addiction paradigm,
Hypoism is what we need right now to modernize addictionology.
Please read the book, the complete paradigm and its scientific
basis is not on this web site, to see for yourself whether it
lives up to my claims. Either way, I hope you realize we are currently
without the real addiction paradigm and to continue using the
impostor paradigms is senseless and hurtful, even for those of
you who believe you have found the best paradigm for yourself.
This false belief perpetuates the current and future harm to all
other addicts and to those of you who will, god forbid, relapse.
1. paradigm - A thorough understanding of the word paradigm and its differentiation from an opinion or belief is necessary to get to the root of our current mess in the field of addictions today. The bottom line is that the correct paradigm of any issue will lead to correct attitudes, treatments, recoveries, research, predictions, and policies. The incorrect paradigm doesn't and can't do this. If an incorrect paradigm has a success, it is by chance and is not universal or reproducible. A correct paradigm answers all questions about issues pertaining to it and even predicts future answers to questions that haven't been asked yet. The incorrect paradigm doesn't do this. In fact, the incorrect paradigm must invent new rules or myths for each new event that doesn't fit into it. Thus, incorrect paradigms get more and more complicated as time passes where only "experts" are capable of remembering all the rules that don't seem to make any rational sense to ordinary people, but are believed anyway. Freud's psychoanalytic model of human nature is a recent and still believed, by many, example of this. People are capable of believing incorrect and correct paradigms equally. The history of human ideas is full of incorrect paradigms being believed with intense fealty, despite their incomprehensible and clearly false characteristics. An excellent example of this is the celestial spheres model of the universe (astronomy) as experienced from the earth by all people to see and evaluate. Galileo Galilei was born in 1564. He eventually got into all sorts of trouble with the word paradigm due to his clear observations of reality. In an attempt to reconcile the motions of the "heavenly" bodies with the belief, imposed by the church, that the earth was the center of the universe, Aristotle and others formulated a scheme whereby each celestial object rode on a perfect sphere. Each sphere moved according to Godís will and according to some set of rules that would prove the ultimate perfection of God, universe, and man. The scheme became so complicated that eventually there were over eighty spheres doing all sorts of weird movements in order to reconcile improvement in astronomical observations with this religiously biased theory. We all know how this religious scheme panned out. Building on Copernicusís thesis and his own observations of the moons of Jupiter, he replaced the church authorized celestial spheres theory of the geocentric (the sun and everything else revolves around the earth) universe as promulgated by Aristotle, with the sun centered solar system and modern astronomy. He also began the modern scientific revolution by demanding valid scientific method in theory and research. For this heresy he was coerced to retract his theory, excommunicated, and put under house arrest for the last eight years of his life. Only recently, over 350 years later, was he unexcommunicated by the Pope.
People, be they ordinary or expert, have much difficulty admitting when their paradigmatic beliefs are wrong despite all rational evidence against them. This is the nature of belief. The evolution-creationism "debate" is another example of this. Most people still believe in creationism, over 150 years after evolution was explained and proved many times over since then.
The future of addictionology and addicts around the world hinges around our collective dumping of the current incorrect paradigm that attempts but fails to be a valid paradigm and causes the mess in the field of addictions, and finding and using the correct paradigm whatever it turns out to be. Addicts must do this. The experts, for a variety of despicable and pathetic reasons, will never do this.