The Game Changer


pc (1)In today’s world you’ve got to be politically correct. We no longer say ‘handicapped’ we say ‘physically challenged’. Those we once called ‘bums’ are now called ‘homeless people’, and ‘failure’ is now called ‘deferred success’. The ‘founding fathers’ has been changed to ‘the founders’ (less sexist), and illegal aliens are now called ‘undocumented immigrants’, although the term ‘white trash’ (losers of European decent) is still acceptable. Garbage men are now called ‘sanitation engineers’, and even the word ‘ghetto’ has been replaced with the term ‘economically disadvantaged area’, though I doubt if that makes the ghetto dwellers feel any better about themselves or their community.

gamechangerIn the world of addiction, we need to update some words, phrases, titles, and concepts, starting with the word or title of ‘addict.’ This already has some pretty negative connotations, and I would like to refer to them as ‘devotees’ or anything else, but addicts. We have already progressed by calling patients ‘clients’, and have changed ‘relapse’, to ‘slip’. Now lets talk about the ‘treatment plan’, really better described as a ‘game change’, and call it just that. The game changer is written and managed by the client, (the devotee or whatever name we finally come up with), under the supervision of the counselor.

And here are some misconceptions I would like to clear up;

Addicts suffer from a chronic disease of the brain reward circuitry. It is not irreversible disease… changes in our brain’s neuro maps can be changed back, over time.

Moderation and harm reduction can be taught- to some people, that is. Harm reduction could using a condom or wearing a seat belt, walking to the bar, instead of driving, or choosing a glass of wine over a dose of heroin.

Most people think of addicts collectively as not very smart, when in fact, they are a highly intelligent group, constantly outsmarting even the best trained clinicians.

Lastly, it always leaves me with a void, when I hear folks declare themselves at AA or NA, before a meeting… “Hi, my name is John and I’m an alcoholic”, or “Hi, my name is Andy and I’m a heroin addict”. Let us replace this outdated, outmoded phrase with “Hi, my name is Madeleine, and I’m changing my game”.checkers-150x150

December 19, 2017


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