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Monday, March 03, 2014

Astros prospect Jon Singleton discusses his struggle with marijuana

Jon Singleton is considered the top first base prospect in baseball — a big, dynamic left-handed hitter with power and composure who can use the entire field.

He’s one of the players expected to help the Astros back to respectability after three straight 100-loss seasons.

All that despite a couple of very public setbacks. And for the first time publicly, he’s opening up about his battle with an addiction to marijuana and monthlong stay at a rehabilitation center.

“At this point it’s pretty evident to me that I’m a drug addict,” he told The Associated Press over breakfast on a recent day near the Astros’ camp. “I don’t openly tell everyone that, but it’s pretty apparent to myself.”

Vividly so.

“I know that I enjoy smoking weed, I enjoy being high and I can’t block that out of my mind that I enjoy that,” he said. “So I have to work against that.”

...“I knew I had a problem,” he said. “Even after I failed the second drug test I couldn’t stop smoking weed. It was really bad. Me going there was definitely the best move.”

He didn’t feel that way when he first entered. Fearing the unknown, he says he didn’t sleep for three days straight.

“They would turn off the lights at 11:30 and I would just sit there and stare at the ceiling because I couldn’t go to sleep,” he said. “My heart was beating too fast. I would get night sweats. It was bad. I legitimately went through withdrawal.”

Singleton desperately wanted to leave and wasn’t open to the recovery process.

“But after I was there for so long it just grew on me,” he said. “I was like, ‘I’m going to be here for 30 days, so I might as well get the best out of it that I can.’ I used it as a learning experience.”

Thanks to Cheech Barnald.

Repoz Posted: March 03, 2014 at 08:58 PM | 55 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: astros

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   1. Enrico Pallazzo Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:19 PM (#4665778)
Sounds like a guy who should have gone to college to get all that stuff out of his system. Then again he started at 14, so who knows how that might have affected him.

He's stayed away from the hard stuff so I would expect him to be fine as he matures. He seems smart and level-headed which should help him unlike, say, Matt Bush. Now I have someone on the Astros to root for!
   2. madvillain Posted: March 03, 2014 at 09:23 PM (#4665779)
Lede is buried IMO:

Last season when he made his debut in Triple-A after stopovers in both Low-A and Double-A following his suspension, he struggled. He hit just .220 in 73 games and his old demons resurfaced.

“I went through some slight anxiety, some depression because I wasn’t being successful,” he said. “That was definitely difficult and that drove me to drink.”

He admits to abusing alcohol as a substitute for marijuana, getting drunk almost every day and “waking up hung over every morning.”


So, even if he was "addicted" (mentally at least, physical withdraw from weed is damn near impossible, the addict will deal with PAWS however) to weed, it clearly was not as detrimental to his career and life as drinking, and MLB's asinine drug policy pushed him in that direction.

If the policy is about harm reduction, they should breathalyze the players when they get to the facility and lay off the piss tests for weed. If a player wants help for weed, he knows where to find it within the team, instead of being penalized for using a drug that often times has less detrimental effect for every day users than booze.
   3. JE (Jason) Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:21 PM (#4665800)
So, even if he was "addicted" (mentally at least, physical withdraw from weed is damn near impossible, the addict will deal with PAWS however) to weed, it clearly was not as detrimental to his career and life as drinking, and MLB's asinine drug policy pushed him in that direction.

If the policy is about harm reduction, they should breathalyze the players when they get to the facility and lay off the piss tests for weed. If a player wants help for weed, he knows where to find it within the team, instead of being penalized for using a drug that often times has less detrimental effect for every day users than booze.

On the bright side, he didn't get mono.
   4. Jacob Posted: March 03, 2014 at 10:30 PM (#4665802)
Boo this man!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uUPHlAbAf2I
   5. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:45 AM (#4665846)
... physical withdraw from weed is damn near impossible



I would hesitate to make such blanket statements. For one thing MJ is very elusive drug, how it acts, and how it acts on different people are very hard to pin down. Also it is not being studied enuf to say.

I met quite a few people in Marijuana Anonymous who claimed to have real physical withdraw effects. Like headaches, insomnia and that sort of stuff. The stuff you'd laugh at say, that's nothing. But they thought it was...

I knew this girl in the program. She was a doctor. Not a professor, a real life doctor who treated patients. She said she needed to smoke it every 3 or 4 hours and had withdrawl effects if she didnt. She said every night she would wake up at 3 or 4 AM to smoke MJ in order to GET BACK TO SLEEP! It was hard to believe.

A few months later she disappeared from the program and someone told me she just cant stop smoking.
   6. theboyqueen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:53 AM (#4665850)
The idea that there is some essential difference between "physical" withdrawal and "mental" withdrawal is quite wrong. Mind-altering drugs would not work if this were the case.
   7. theboyqueen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:56 AM (#4665851)
And there is no question that substituting alcohol for any other drug, much less marijuana, is likely to be a disastrous trade.
   8. Jason Michael(s) Bourn Identity Crisis Posted: March 04, 2014 at 01:45 AM (#4665874)
He should get back on the dope to stay away from the bottle.
   9. vivaelpujols Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:41 AM (#4665887)
I've know a few people who have went to rehab for Marijuana addiction. IMO it's bullshit.

“They would turn off the lights at 11:30 and I would just sit there and stare at the ceiling because I couldn’t go to sleep,” he said. “My heart was beating too fast. I would get night sweats. It was bad. I legitimately went through withdrawal.”


That's called anxiety, likely brought on by the fact that he's assuming he's addicted to marijuana and being off it is going to #### him up. Have a little self control, don't smoke weed for a week and I'm sure you're sleep goes back to normal. Even if it doesn't, it takes me 2-3 hours to fall asleep every night. Same with some other people I know. Suck it up and lie in bed scared for a little while, you're not gonna die. Calling that withdrawal symptoms makes a mockery of the idea of addiction.

Then again I think MLB players should be allowed to smoke weed if they want.
   10. Poster Nutbag Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:00 AM (#4665888)
If as much effort was put into studying the damn plant as has been put into demonizing it, the world may just be a much better place right now.

Just sayin'.


Sidenote: Has Singleton ever sucked dick for weed?

(H/T to #4 for beating me to the punch, it was literally the first line I thought of when I read the headline)
   11. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:42 AM (#4665914)
I've never known anyone addicted to weed, but I don't think starting at 14 and using regularly from that point could be good. Like viva said, it sounds more like an anxiety problem than a physiological addiction.
   12. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2014 at 09:48 AM (#4665917)
I knew people in Portland who struggled so hard with marijuana that I would have to measure it out for them.

Maybe that's a different kind of struggle.
   13. zonk Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:03 AM (#4665927)
Ehh... I'm a bit dubious about MJ 'addiction', too -- but if you're pursuing a very lucrative career in a game that you probably love - and you find yourself getting busted twice for a banned substance (however silly it is for it to be a banned substance, especially for a ballplayer rather than say, a pilot) then I do think that you've probably got addictive personality issues that require the help of a mental health professional. No shame or harm in that. People make crutches out of all sorts of things -- healthy, neutral, and unhealthy -- and turn them into problems. Singleton's problem likely isn't weed per se, it's something more. The shame of it is really that if he had settled on pot as a sort of quack palliative, well, one can do one hell of a lot worse and one hell of a lot worse legally that pot.

As for me, I just got done pricing Chicago to Denver Amtrak tickets for a little weekend getaway....
   14. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:17 AM (#4665937)
you've probably got addictive personality issues that require the help of a mental health professional


+1
   15. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4665955)
And there is no question that substituting alcohol for any other drug, much less marijuana, is likely to be a disastrous trade.

I'd have to think switching from heroin or crack to booze is a good trade.
   16. BDC Posted: March 04, 2014 at 10:35 AM (#4665957)
Addiction is a word that gets so broadly used in various parlances that it can be a pretty unhelpful term, as several here have noted. It's a word that applies to several different patterns of behavior from true physical dependency across to exaggerated habit. And it doesn't help that the term "addiction" gets moralized on top of that.
   17. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:11 AM (#4665972)
However you categorize Singleton's struggle, weed dependency is a sucky thing. I hope he overcomes it enough to have the baseball career his talent deserves without finding a more dangerous substitute.
   18. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4665974)
Then again I think MLB players should be allowed to smoke weed if they want.


I think it should be handled just the same as alcohol.
If you want to drink/smoke after the game, go ahead.
If you drink/smoke too much on your own time, the team will probably have a problem with that and intervene.
If you show up drunk/high for a game, the team has every right to discipline the player.
   19. Greg K Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:15 AM (#4665975)
I always thought Jon Singleton was Ken Singleton's son. But now looking online I'm not finding any confirmation of that, and I can't remember where I originally got that idea.

Is there any relation?
   20. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:20 AM (#4665981)
No Greg, Jon Singleton is the guy who directed Boyz in da Hood.
   21. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4665982)
Is there any relation?


I don't believe so. Nor is he related to former OF Chris Singleton, filmmaker John Singleton or country music singer Jonathan Singleton.
   22. Rants Mulliniks Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:21 AM (#4665983)
Does the MLB policy also outlaw weed if it is consumed in CO or WA?
   23. Greg K Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:22 AM (#4665985)
I don't believe so. Nor is he related to former OF Chris Singleton, filmmaker John Singleton or country music singer Jonathan Singleton.

Next you'll tell me Trot Nixon and Otis Nixon aren't brothers. I mean, they're both from North Carolina!
   24. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:41 AM (#4666018)
Greg, your post could use some fixin'.
   25. Random Transaction Generator Posted: March 04, 2014 at 11:53 AM (#4666028)
Does the MLB policy also outlaw weed if it is consumed in CO or WA?


Probably.

Side note:
While watching a Canadian show called "Border Security", one episode quickly explained to the viewer the following legal trapdoor (opposite of a loophole):

While it's legal to carry a personal-use amount of pot on you in Washington State, and it's legal to carry a personal-use amount of pot on you in British Columbia, when you attempt to cross the border between Washington State and British Columbia, you can get arrested/detained for carrying a personal-use amount of pot across the border. The border itself prohibits any transportation of drugs between the countries.
   26. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:00 PM (#4666032)
Next you'll tell me Trot Nixon and Otis Nixon aren't brothers. I mean, they're both from North Carolina!


Burns: I wonder if this Homer Nixon is any relation?
Smithers: Unlikely sir. They spell and pronounce their names differently.
   27. Lassus Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:30 PM (#4666067)
Next you'll tell me Trot Nixon and Otis Nixon aren't brothers. I mean, they're both from North Carolina!

Don't forget Mojo.
   28. Nasty Nate Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:37 PM (#4666072)
PRAY...FOR...MOJO
   29. The District Attorney Posted: March 04, 2014 at 12:38 PM (#4666073)
Nor is he related to former OF Chris Singleton, filmmaker John Singleton or country music singer Jonathan Singleton.
His other problem is that he came in nearly 2,000 pounds above the Astros' target weight for him.
   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: March 04, 2014 at 02:31 PM (#4666182)
His other problem is that he came in nearly 2,000 pounds above the Astros' target weight for him.

I would guess the weed addiction could have a little bit to do with that.
   31. geonose Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:03 PM (#4666217)
Does the MLB policy also outlaw weed if it is consumed in CO or WA?

MLB doesn't test for weed, but MiLB does. Not sure why the double standard for minor leaguers as opposed to major leaguers.
   32. Morty Causa Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:12 PM (#4666225)
   33. madvillain Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:15 PM (#4666227)
That's called anxiety, likely brought on by the fact that he's assuming he's addicted to marijuana and being off it is going to #### him up. Have a little self control, don't smoke weed for a week and I'm sure you're sleep goes back to normal. Even if it doesn't, it takes me 2-3 hours to fall asleep every night. Same with some other people I know. Suck it up and lie in bed scared for a little while, you're not gonna die. Calling that withdrawal symptoms makes a mockery of the idea of addiction.

Then again I think MLB players should be allowed to smoke weed if they want.


Bingo. Watch someone coming off a serious heroin or meth problem and compare that to "not being able to fall asleep". I've had too much experience with a close family member coming off hard drugs, and it's not pretty, in fact it's awful. Having paramedics forcibly restrain a family member while they are screaming "I hate you" as they go off to forced rehab, now that's some withdraw. Then, while in rehab said addict is too unruly for a roomate and must again be forcibly restrained. 3 days later things are little better. 8 months clean later they are a lot better, but a relapse, and not in the "oh I smoked a joint before going to a movie" is always in the cards.

Weed is a drug, it's just very frickin' benign in the general scheme of things. I'd rather someone smoked weed than popped any number of pharms, including ritalin, xanax, and adderol.
   34. zonk Posted: March 04, 2014 at 03:18 PM (#4666234)

MLB doesn't test for weed, but MiLB does. Not sure why the double standard for minor leaguers as opposed to major leaguers.


I thought MLB did?

I could have sworn Geo Soto got popped for dope a year or so back... but maybe it was longer ago/under the old agreement. You know, the inability to properly calibrate the passage of time and all :-)
   35. geonose Posted: March 04, 2014 at 04:11 PM (#4666285)
I could have sworn Geo Soto got popped for dope a year or so back

That was at the WBC. International competition also tests for weed.
   36. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:06 PM (#4666345)
There is a difference in degree between something that is both a physiologic and psychological addiction (e.g. alcohol, heroin, benzos, etc.) and those that seem to lack the physiologic component, like pot. While those blessed without an addiction may find meaning in those distinctions, and while they're critically important from a treatment standpoint, that's cold comfort to the person going through the psychological withdrawal.

One thing to remember is that no one sets out to be an addict, and you'd be hard pressed to find an addict or one who treats them who can tell you when the line was crossed. That's not to absolve the addict from responsibility, but it's to suggest that the situation is lot more nuanced than many may accept.
   37. madvillain Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:34 PM (#4666367)
I agree completely Pooty. Recently Slate took some heat (no opinion on Slate.com in general) for posting this.

It's hard to know when the line is crossed, and it varies from case to case. In Singleton's case, it seems like life as a pothead was pretty damn good. It certainly didn't hurt his performance on the field in any noticeable way. Personally, I find adult life kinda boring and monotonous, pot, for me, makes a lot of things fun, which allows me to relax at night without thinking of the million things you have to think about and do when you're an adult. There have been times where I feel smoking less pot would have improved my life, but there are also many, many times where pot has made my life much more enjoyable -- backpacking for example goes great with it. So does eating out, or playing frisbee.

I don't begrudge anyone their choices that's for sure.
   38. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: March 04, 2014 at 05:52 PM (#4666388)
I hear you, madvillian. I've had/have friends on all sides of the line: alcoholics/junkies (active and in recovery, low and high bottom, back and forth), functional alcoholics/potheads/pill poppers/dabblers who walk the tightrope well enough, and the abstemious. It's really up to the individual to decide if they've had enough, and it's up to those around them to decide if they've had enough of dealing with the user and the using.

I read that Slate piece. I had a mixed reaction to it. At points it sounded like he has it together, at times it sounded like denial. He'll figure it out. Or he won't, and things will truly suck for him and those who love him. That's how it goes.
   39. CrosbyBird Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:25 PM (#4666410)
There is a difference in degree between something that is both a physiologic and psychological addiction (e.g. alcohol, heroin, benzos, etc.) and those that seem to lack the physiologic component, like pot. While those blessed without an addiction may find meaning in those distinctions, and while they're critically important from a treatment standpoint, that's cold comfort to the person going through the psychological withdrawal.

Marijuana addiction is like addiction to gambling or addiction to unhealthy food. Psychological addiction is still difficult to overcome; your body isn't really experiencing significant physical symptoms, but your brain will work to convince you that whatever minor upsets you experience in everyday life can be addressed by going back to whatever you're psychologically addicted to. "Gambling reduces my stress so I won't be so wound up." "My stomach is upset and this crappy food is the only thing I can tolerate." "I'm having trouble sleeping and smoking a joint will relax me, allowing me to sleep."

The real problem is that these all are compelling reasons because they're not entirely false. Being denied something that brings you pleasure is stressful, and indulging that pleasure relieves stress. I don't really like the term addiction because there's a lot of controversy over psychological addiction and it shouldn't be lumped in with physical addiction. Deny an addict heroin or alcohol, and the mere lack of the drug can actually kill you. Deny an addict marijuana and he'll experience some short-term appetite, sleep, and stress issues.

Frankly, I think the psychological addiction is the harder to overcome, because it essentially lasts forever. My mom hasn't smoked in over twenty years, and she would buy a pack of cigarettes tomorrow if there were some legitimate news report that debunked the health risks. She is one of those ex-smokers that can't tolerate even a little secondhand smoke in closed spaces despite years of a 3-pack-per-day habit. People fall off the wagon after ten years of sobriety, long after any physical effects of withdrawal.
   40. Sunday silence Posted: March 04, 2014 at 06:58 PM (#4666434)
Definitely impressed by the number of primates who consider themselves experts in addiction.
   41. CrosbyBird Posted: March 04, 2014 at 07:01 PM (#4666440)
Definitely impressed by the number of primates who consider themselves experts in addiction.

Since there is a history of alcohol and gambling addiction in my family, I've made it my business to educate myself. I wouldn't call myself an expert but I am informed.
   42. Sunday silence Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:56 AM (#4666582)
Yes some of the comments were really astute. I like how you made a connection between what we call "psychological addiction" and "physiological" and explained in in a way that I had never thought of before. I thought that was really good. Also the concept of not focusing on the word "addiction" because we bring so many preconcieved notions into it.

The thing is, everybody is going through life in a more or less unique path. We often try to understand one another based on our own life experience. And that can be very useful. I often figure people out by putting myself in their shoes.

But other times, people are going through something entirely different that we are. I went into MA with certain preconcieved ideas and I couldn't believe these people were actually having with draw symptoms. As I never really did, or at least not what they went through. I found it hard to believe, and didnt believe them at first. But later I came to accept that they responded to the lack of pot differently than I. As I get older, I try to be more circumspect about such things, especially human nature. It's not good to think you know what someone is going through. Although empathy is a good thing...

THe thing with pot is it sort of defies classification, it is very elusive. Some books would classify it as Hallucinogen, others as as stimulant, others put it in it's own class. That was back in the 70s; have no idea what the current thought is on that.

Also it had very different effects on different people. THere were people in the group who had been diagnosed as depressed; and for them when they got high they said they would read books and get real quiet. There was another kid, teenager, who said when he got high he liked to fight and get into trouble. He had been diagnosed as ADD.

Its very interesting, marijuana sort of amplifies the type of personality that we are. At least that was my take on it after talking to many people in the group.
   43. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: March 05, 2014 at 03:22 AM (#4666590)
Next you'll tell me Trot Nixon and Otis Nixon aren't brothers. I mean, they're both from North Carolina!

Don't forget Mojo.


Michael J. Schmidt has no Elvis Andrus in him.
   44. vivaelpujols Posted: March 05, 2014 at 03:29 AM (#4666592)
Yeah yeah there's a lot of confusion attached to marijuana. We still know that a significant number of people who smoke pot every day and quit for weeks or months at a time suffer zero withdrawal symptoms - a much higher percentage than of habitual heroin users who suffer zero withdrawal symptoms. And we know that the withdrawal symptoms are possibly insomnia, anxiety, or malaise but nothing as drastic as heroin withdrawal. If you absolutely need to stop smoking pot, you should be able to do it on your own. Unlike alcohol - which is physically addictive and withdrawal can kill you, and unlike heroin - which can #### you up as a person and has horrendous withdrawal symptoms.
   45. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: March 05, 2014 at 04:44 AM (#4666594)
Goddam, Gonfalon. Perfect, every freaking time.
   46. CrosbyBird Posted: March 05, 2014 at 06:50 AM (#4666596)
If you absolutely need to stop smoking pot, you should be able to do it on your own.

Why "on your own"? I don't think there's anything wrong with someone getting help even if a lot of people don't need it. I figure it's enough to stop when you need to no matter how many shoulders you lean on.

I think we're a lot less likely to see serious addiction in a person if there's less judgment on those that, for whatever reason, need a little support. There are some people that have differently-functioning brains that can't safely drink recreationally, even though I can. That doesn't make me better than those people any more than I'm better than someone who has a broken leg.
   47. zonk Posted: March 05, 2014 at 08:56 AM (#4666601)
Definitely impressed by the number of primates who consider themselves experts in addiction.


Well, we are dealing with a lot of people who have spent untold hours that could have been spent working or tending to family ruminating on the same website about the world through a baseball-flavored lens for 10+ years. I'm just glad my employer doesn't test for John F Mabry.
   48. BDC Posted: March 05, 2014 at 10:51 AM (#4666642)
Oh, I have definitely felt like one of BF Skinner's pigeons when I click on every new comment in a Jeff Francoeur thread hoping for reward :)

Michael Pollan has an interesting chapter on marijuana in The Botany of Desire, on how the plant and humans have gotten along in tandem for mutual benefit.
   49. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:02 AM (#4666648)
Definitely impressed by the number of primates who consider themselves experts in addiction.


There was a week there when I first got Earl Weaver Baseball that I would play til 2, 3 am, for days at a time. I was out of control. So yea, I've been through some ####.
   50. zonk Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:14 AM (#4666654)
There was a week there when I first got Earl Weaver Baseball that I would play til 2, 3 am, for days at a time. I was out of control. So yea, I've been through some ####.


My best/worst ever was shortly after I got one of the Civ4 mods... It wasn't planned, but a snowy, no plans weekend - but I started playing Saturday morning and played straight through - no sleep, only stopping to use the bathroom and (I think, it's a blur, I don't recall) answering the door for food delivery - until Monday morning at ~7 AM. Definite fugue state... I was seeing things, badly out of sorts... Apparently, I talk to a friend on the phone Saturday evening about going out for drinks - don't recall the conversation at all. Also talked to my grandmother Sunday - don't recall it happening. 'round about ~2 AM Monday, I realized there was no way to get an adequate amount of sleep to go to work so I dashed off some excuse e-mail, played another 5 hours, then slept for about 15 hours.
   51. Greg K Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:26 AM (#4666664)
My best/worst ever was shortly after I got one of the Civ4 mods... It wasn't planned, but a snowy, no plans weekend - but I started playing Saturday morning and played straight through - no sleep, only stopping to use the bathroom and (I think, it's a blur, I don't recall) answering the door for food delivery - until Monday morning at ~7 AM. Definite fugue state... I was seeing things, badly out of sorts... Apparently, I talk to a friend on the phone Saturday evening about going out for drinks - don't recall the conversation at all. Also talked to my grandmother Sunday - don't recall it happening. 'round about ~2 AM Monday, I realized there was no way to get an adequate amount of sleep to go to work so I dashed off some excuse e-mail, played another 5 hours, then slept for about 15 hours.

Ouch, not nearly that bad, but the closest to that I've had is when Europa Universalis IV came out. I think I played 19 hours out of the first 36 it was available. Thank you Steam for keeping track of time played so I know exactly how awful I am at being a person.
   52. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:30 AM (#4666669)
My best/worst ever was shortly after I got one of the Civ4 mods... It wasn't planned, but a snowy, no plans weekend - but I started playing Saturday morning and played straight through - no sleep, only stopping to use the bathroom and (I think, it's a blur, I don't recall) answering the door for food delivery - until Monday morning at ~7 AM. Definite fugue state... I was seeing things, badly out of sorts... Apparently, I talk to a friend on the phone Saturday evening about going out for drinks - don't recall the conversation at all. Also talked to my grandmother Sunday - don't recall it happening. 'round about ~2 AM Monday, I realized there was no way to get an adequate amount of sleep to go to work so I dashed off some excuse e-mail, played another 5 hours, then slept for about 15 hours.


I distinctly remember one Sunday afternoon & evening during my senior year in high school (might've been during the summer, though) when I found myself several weeks behind in reading the comics I bought regularly (a fair number), so decided to get caught up in one fell swoop. No idea how many hours I spent immersed in the things, but I was having a hard time with my senses & with reality by the time the next morning rolled around. One of the goddamnedest things I've ever experienced.

I experienced a touch of the same sort of thing about 3 months ago the day after I got back home from my annual holiday drive to & from NE Lousiana/SW Arkansas. Through at least mid-afternoon, I was feeling a genuine disconnect from my surroundings & kept losing track of what I was & had been doing & experiencing. (Good thing I had the day off work.) That was after only an 8-hour drive or so, which shouldn't be that big a deal; it's almost enough to make me think I must be getting old.
   53. Pooty Lederhosen Posted: March 05, 2014 at 11:31 AM (#4666671)
Definitely impressed by the number of primates who consider themselves experts in addiction.

I'm no expert, but it's something I've had to learn about.

CrosbyBird's parsing of the physiological/psychological components is astute. AA talks about addiction as a physical allergy and an obsession of the mind. The physical allergy - don't get hung up on the terminology, which doesn't map well to what we now know as allergy, this was written in the 1930's after all - manifests itself as a compulsion/inability to not stop after the first drink, what it calls the phenomenon of craving. The obsession of the mind is what makes an alcoholic unable to resist that first drink of their own volition, despite knowing the potential consequences of it.

It's as good a practical explanation as any that I've come across.
   54. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:24 PM (#4666773)
The physical allergy - don't get hung up on the terminology, which doesn't map well to what we now know as allergy, this was written in the 1930's after all - manifests itself as a compulsion/inability to not stop after the first drink, what it calls the phenomenon of craving.

I've never even "experimented" with any drug other than alcohol. And even with beer I only drink it when I'm at a restaurant, even though I love the stuff.

But that "compulsion/inability to not stop after the first drink" affects two distinct cravings I have, both likely related to my sweet tooth: Ice cream and liqueurs. I can keep many pints of Haagen-Dazs in my freezer, and several bottles of liqueurs standing next to my wife's wine (which I hate), and I can let them just sit there unopened for weeks or even months at a time. But as soon as I crack the seal, I'll finish the pint of ice cream in one sitting, the quart in two, and I'll polish off the Kahlua or the Cointreau at the rate of 5 or 6 jiggers in a row within a half hour. And then when the bottle's empty, I won't touch another drop for weeks or months, without any craving at all. Maybe I just think that once the carton or the bottle has been opened, I'd better finish it off before it goes bad or something. I've never been able to figure this out.
   55. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: March 05, 2014 at 02:44 PM (#4666792)
Andy, it's like opening up a thread where you know Ray's posted. :)

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