My 1st and 3rd book contain my experiences (see About the Author and His Intent), the contents of my journals, descriptions of others’ experiences, and discussion about the Subculture, the Health System, and much more. When I think about my work in the street, still being on the street, the political ads to save addicts, and my actual, introduction to the system as described in my journals, a common denominator came to light. This common denominator must be sent to the Political Engines and Money Organizations. I thought I would share it with you.
The people that I have met over the years want to help people in need, and they will overextend themselves to do it. They are giving back! The phrase, “giving back” has infinite meanings but the simple explanation is “helping people.” These volunteers want to change someone’s life for the better. A majority of the volunteers I have spoken with lost their money in the 2000’s, have had depression, have had a family member die from homelessness or drugs,…the descriptions drag on.
Note: “The past is real, the future is real but what is not real is what we are going to do about it!”
Since we started the website, Addiction-Reality-Education, we have shared real medical solutions from people who have touched the symptoms and disease of substance abuse. Although their names have been changed, they still risk exposing their past and experiences in order to help. It is their experiences and contributions from the sciences that people will read or use. See The Real Purpose of A-R-E
One important discovery: Evidence is building to support the 90-day rehabilitation model, which was stumbled upon by AA (new members are advised to attend a meeting a day for the first 90 days) and is the duration of a typical stint in a drug-treatment program. It turns out that this is just about how long it takes for the brain to reset itself and shake off the immediate influence of a drug. Researchers at Yale University have documented what they call the sleeper effect–a gradual re-engaging of proper decision making and analytical functions in the brain’s prefrontal cortex–after an addict has abstained for at least 90 days.
This work has led to research on cognitive enhancers, or compounds that may amplify connections in the prefrontal cortex to speed up the natural reversal. Such enhancement would give the higher regions of the brain a fighting chance against the amygdala, a more basal region that plays a role in priming the dopamine-reward system when certain cues suggest imminent pleasure–anything from the sight of white powder that looks like cocaine to spending time with friends you used to drink with. It’s that conditioned reflex–identical to the one that caused Ivan Pavlov’s famed dog to salivate at the ringing of a bell after it learned to associate the sound with food–that unleashes a craving. And it’s that phenomenon that was the purpose of my brain scans at McLean, one of the world’s premier centers for addiction research.
What does this mean? There is no answer, but there is a fact. Positive results for addiction treatment have come from those who have seen or touched the disease. Whether it has been from family, friends, their own illness that they recognize, or just unfortunate events in life, there are people who understand. These are the people who must advise the political and money organizations. These are the people who must be one level from the top and one level over the implementation of the solutions.
Organization heads who set directions and have the money, including the politicians who visit shelters (such as Governor Baker from Massachusetts and Governor Hassan of New Hampshire), do nothing unless they engage the people who have touched the reality of the street and the wards; not just talk and have pictures taken of beds with sheets and people who smell good. Only then will positive results from the millions of dollars spent be seen in this decade.
Massachusetts and New Hampshire are just two states in the United States; I’m sure you can easily see the same in you own states.
By publicizing the work of knowledgeable people through social media, these effective ideas may take root and show merit. Please help A-R-E do just that.
Brian Masters (pen name for William Reiley Butler)