An Interview with Dr. Yakov Marshak
SB – What is a cause of pathological dependency? SB – Doctor, please explain why a drug or an alcohol addict does not stop using or drinking, even after some of his friends have already died from substance abuse?
To understand how this vicious cycle of addiction works, try to hold your breath for one minute. The psychological and physical discomfort will increase, becoming intolerable in the end. You will take a deep breath and experience a distinct sense of relief. The addict functions in a similar manner. Ultimately, he will surrender to a drug of his choice.
I think that a drug addiction is the extension of what I call “natural addictions”. Breathing, satisfaction of hunger and thirst, sex drive are all examples of our “natural addictions”. All these behaviors have their own cycles. If we begin to suppress them, we will suffer progressively and at the moment of resuming their use, we will rapidly transit from the state of sharp discomfort to the state of well-being.
SB – How is dependency formed?
Drugs rapidly change the state of emotional discomfort to the state of euphoria. This sensation is imprinted into our emotional instinctive memory on the unconscious level as a feeling of great and unconditional love. It is interesting to note that this feeling of love that has been “stamped” in the brain is impossible to erase. From that moment, his whole life is dedicated to a single goal – use of the drug, everything else in the world is converted into a source to fulfill this objective. Addict’s priorities are altered and all emotions are exploited as a tool to obtain drugs.
SB – Doctor, can an addict be trusted?
You can’t trust a person who is acting-out a part in the script which he has created with the ultimate goal to get drugs. The addict’s mind is much more motivated than the mind of a sober individual; therefore it has to work a great deal harder. Addicts are creative, witty, and at times are ingenious in reaching their objective.
SB – Is it true that addicts have no willpower?
To the contrary, their willpower toward “reaching goal” is untamable. Our willpower is controlled by reward system – an organ in the brain which governs our life and forms our behavior. It makes our thinking bough rational and adequate. On the other hand, when this system is damaged by drugs, it issues commands that destroy addict’s own life, while using all of his abilities to that end. In order to heal an addict we need to “fix” his organ of mood regulation.
SB – What kind of treatment do you consider to be the most effective?
Unfortunately, techniques like aversion therapy, hypnosis, and even brain surgery can not effectively restore addict’s mood regulation. At our clinic we practices the use of the principally new, patented method for restoration of the mood regulation system. We teach a patient special exercises and skills which restore his ability to live a life of happiness and well-being. The method is called the “Brain Building and Mind Reconstruction.” This technique normalizes the mood and corrects the character of our patient.
SB – What can family members do if there is an addict in the family?
It is essential to choose a reliable and comprehensive treatment program. Then, without losing a single day, begin to fight for his life. Sadly, it can be very short for the drug users.
SB – What can be done if an addict refuses to be treated?
You must decline to assist in his suicide. Give an addict a choice: either he goes into treatment with your absolute support, or he will be denied any assistance from you – including food, money, and the roof over his head… until he comes to his senses.