Listen to the addicts themselves

Don’t believe that addiction to drugs and alcohol is a myth?  Well, just listen to the addicts themselves.  Here’s an entertaining and inspiring speech by radio/tv personality and comedian, and addict, Danny Bonaduce.  He spent 17 years on drugs and alcohol, and was in and out of rehab 28 times.  He’s speaking at an East Las Vegas Narcotics Anonymous meeting.  Download the mp3:


(He’s speaking under the pseudonym “Adam T”.)

In his speech he explains that the addict goes from drug to drug (alcohol, cocaine, vicodin), and then to other non-drugs such as over-eating and compulsive shopping. The person does the drug not because the drug is addictive, but because they are driven to addictive behavior in itself.  He calls it ‘musical poisons’.

“The addict is driven by resentment and selfishness, and this drives them to obsession.” In his case, he describes how he is vulnerable when he feels unappreciated and ‘no one likes me’. Engaging in the addiction allows him to feel in control, like his life is manageable. It doesn’t matter if the stimulus is a drug or behavior, it serves the same purpose. It’s a desire to keep going back to some self-destructive behavior. Like many drug addicts, he is a contrarian, and does the opposite of what people tell him to. “Tell me to go right and I’ll swerve left.”

He’s been homeless, on skid row, in jail, probation, has had needle track marks from his wrist to his neck.  He’s lost his wife and family.  He is the epitome of a drug addict, and yet he denies there even is such a thing!

To be fair, he does believe that addiction is a disease.  However, it could be an obsession with anything, such as gambling, sex, or hoarding. It is not limited to drugs. He explains that this is why treatment programs that address only drug use are doomed to fail: because they fail to understand that addiction itself is the disease. Having spent a half million dollars on rehab, he would know something about this.

He also addresses the role of the enabler with these memorable bromides:

  • If you baby the addict, you’ll bury him.
  • What’s the difference between a codependent and a toilet seat?  The toilet seat don’t follow you around after you shit all over it.

Fortunately there is a cure to addiction, and that is: Narcotics Anonymous. If you follow the 12 steps obsessively, then you will find a cure. It works precisely because it is simply a new addiction to replace the others.  In this sense the addict can never be cured, but at least he can replace the addiction with a more positive obsession, in Bonaduce’s case a belief in god.  Among other NA mantras: ‘keep coming back’ and ‘the program works if you work it’.  Bonaduce stresses the importance of daily observance and practice in the life of the recovering addict.  He adds, “The disease of addiction is the only disease when treated that leaves the sufferer in a better position than if they never had the disease. And the only way to know that is to have the psychic change and live these 12 steps.”

If addiction really is a disease, it is also the only disease that cures itself.

4 thoughts on “Listen to the addicts themselves”

  1. how true it is I don’t know his g/f passed away 6yrs. into their renthiolsaip with their unborn child. That has been a problem for him and me since. I met him 2yrs after their death. When I found out the first time he told me he did it to get closer to her. That was very hard for me. He has smoked every 2mths since he has gone 3mths and the bindge ranges from 1-14 days. I tried everything I could possibly try to help him but nothing ever worked. I helped him get through his withdrawls, the sweats, shakes, muscle spasms, pain like he was dying. All I could do was hold him because it was his body fighting itself. This is the worst part of it to see him suffer. He was hurt and collected a very large sum of money in Jan. 2008 and was broke within 3mths. I had left him for 6mths. Feb 2008 Aug. 2008. It was the worst time ever in my life. He wouldn’t leave me alone I had a restraining order on him and he violated it many times, he went to jail and came out. He still came over and called and wanted me to hear him shoot himself. Long story short it was hell but I gave up tring to keep him away and took him back. He used 2wks later. Every time it’s the same, I don’t want this anymore, I scared myself lastnight I almost died, I’m done., I wish I would have died, I can’t believe I did this why dosen’t God help me to stop, I don’t know why I left, I’m sorry, and much more. I can tell him what he will say before he says it, it’s an endless routine and he dosen’t see it. I’m at a crossroad in my life and I’m very scared not only for my children and myself, how am I going to keep him away and not let my boys see him like that?, but for him as well, will the next hit kill him? I know I can’t change him and I’m affraid he will not stop. Every time he goes out I’m worried and stressed that he will not come home because he is down a gravel road in the middle of nowhere and no one will find him. Or some dealer will shoot him and burn his body. I’m helpless when it comes to his addition the only comfort is that I leave him in God’s hands. For all of you guys who want to know what to do for your b/f or g/f even sibling or child don’t give them money, if they say they need food buy it for them, if they say they need gas put it for them. I know it’s hard but it’s the only way, I’m sorry. If you are in a new renthiolsaip and just found out get out before it’s too late because they pull you in and feed off of your love & pitty for them. And for those of you who use Stop and get help PLEASE for your sake and your families. May God Bless You All

  2. I found the CURE for addiction and I have proof for this claim. Click on my name and wtesins Powerful Stories of Freedom. I personally know and have wtesinsed over 100 addicts who have found True and Lasting FREEDOM after being enslaved by their addictions for so long. I have been through many programs for my addiction, but have never found so much Hope, Joy, Peace, and Love than I have in the program I am in now. And the people I know who have given their stories are experiencing the same!

    1. Amber I dont know if you visit this site anymore but from wreehver you are in this world please know you’ve touched me e2€“ Ie2€™m hugging you now.. First off, I am so utterly sorry for your loss. I cant imagine that pain and what that pain drove you to do. I am suffering from the same cursed affliction. I used to do crystal meth for 7 years and found the strenght to quit that e2€“ after my best friend died in a car crash: she fell asleep at the wheel driving home from work (I suspect she may have been coming down after a 1 or 2 day binge). After 7 long months of agonizing detox no treatment centers I too did it on my own with God, I felt like such a miserable failure to have stumbled upon this hatred dispicble drug. You see, I have always been big, fat, thick, call it what you want, morbidly obese. My first go round with meth I was pushing 350. A few great jobs later (no drug is worth your livlyhood e2€“ learned that the extremely hard away e2€“ like 2 stints in a mental hospital within a years time) I was 30lbs from my goal weight. Shedding almost 110+ lbs was no easy feat e2€“ meth is a very time consuming sport. Cheap but it takes over your life consuming it. Any hoot e2€“ after my friend passed on, I stopped. She made everyone in our e2€œcirclee2€9d swear theye2€™d never sell or smoke with me. A promise still kept 3 c2bd years later to her even in death. After fruitless attempts at trying to score, I was introduced toe2€a6. God I cant even write it, let alone voice it aloud e2€“ a co-worker had hyped up CRACK like THE very best thing. A sensual high, a wave of euphoria not like dropping Ecstasy or other drugs come close toe2€a6 the devils sales pitch. June 2008 I started and here it is Dec 2009 & I too am struggling with quiting. All the speeches to myself e2€“ last time, never again, I promise you God im done e2€“ and yet here I find myself high again. What started out as a 20- 40 habit smoking with the one who introduced me to it, like some type of drug advisor, led to 20 e2€“ 40 on my own cause I always had to share with the e2€œhousee2€9d. She kept me safe, kept me from overdoing it, kept me from smoking on the streets until I couldne2€™t afford her e2€œhelpe2€9d anymore. At my worst, I too was pushing a $300 habit. I have a little girl too e2€“ a vision of beauty. I still done2€™t understand how this perfect being, this gift from God came from such a wretched diseased mother. If her father only knew the shit Ive done. I consider myself a fantastic mother e2€“ that is when Ie2€™m not cracked-out, jones-ing, looking for the next way to get some $ an elaborate story to my family, pawning this or that e2€“ theree2€™s only so much lying you can do before all dirty deeds see the light of day. I too have never been caught by the law but I am fearful as well I will OD on the street with paraphanelia on my person in my home and then the whole sorted tale will be told and everyone will be able to put the pieces together. I am so sorry again for your losse2€a6 a terrible price to pay. I am scared my debts will be called in by God shortly. I feel as if im on borrowed time. I done2€™t live with my childs father e2€“ a novel in and of itself there. I am a selfish, sneaky, manipulative, conniving child of God with an enormous demon on my back. Ive even contemplated killing myself to be free from this disease e2€“ so more selfish thinking of an addict: who would take care of my child? Sometimes we need a death, to get caught by the law or family, to undergo the darkest of consequences we ourselves created with no one else to blame. I pray I outrun mine long enough to quit for good e2€“ starting this drug I weighted 400lbs and have lost over 130lbs to date (and $10,000 in 1 years time on my habit). May all those who read this be blessed e2€“ the help you need is out there in some form, God (always the best way), rehab, etce2€a6. or even the words and story of a stranger. Done2€™t let your demons control you e2€“ God is waiting for you to ask for His help e2€“ He is an on-time God: He always comes through. Thank you Amber for this therapy e2€“ I think I just found the strength I needed

    2. I am the wife of a crack head. I didn’t know it when I maeirrd him. I am 52 years old and he was my 9th and 10th grade crush. We never dated and when he came along 2 years ago I just knew this was it. We were maeirrd in 3 weeks and 1 day. I immediately noticed things like he wouldn’t sleep and just down right crazy stuff. It has been 2 years and dozens of promises later and we separated the day before our 2 year anniversary. I have no real foundation with this man except a 9th and 10th grade crush that is sweet and innocent. This has been a horrible roller coaster ride and I have nothing left. I want him to get help not to get me back but I feel his life depends on it. I hope the best for him but I can not be the one that fixes this. I almost didn’t survive this thing. I ask myself over and over what did I do wrong. Why could I be enough. He needs help and support. As far as I know he is on day 14-28 hopefully can’t be sure because he doesn’t live here. Have been through that day over and over in the last two years and only hope he will go past it. Other family members have fessed up to him having drug problems since his teens that attributed to 3 other fail marriages and who knows how many relationships. I guess my comment is I respect all those who have gotten off and stayed off. Not to save a relationship necessarily but to save themselves. Life is too short and precious to go UP IN SMOKE!!!!!!.Also it has been a constant clean and discovery process the last month with the discovery or so many pipes and pieces of pipes, empty coke baggies and this brassy steel wool stuff. Yesterday was a spoon and hyperdermic needle. This all makes my head spin because none of this took place during the time I was either awake or at home. This has been like nightmare on Elm Street. The only way to stop and end it is to have the Crack Addict leave. I am sorry for all of you who chose and now fight this every day but my heart also goes out to the people who love you. Who will never ever be the same. If you haven’t quit please quit before the calsulties increase. We don’t want to be here either. Please please hang in there and fight because the other side is sooooooo sooooo sooooo tired.

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