Understanding Addiction

Abstinence Exercise and Paper Project

This experience is designed to help you experience some of the feelings/thoughts that individuals with addiction issues experience as they quit their drug or behavior of choice. This exercise requires that you give up a substance (nicotine, caffeine, or alcohol as examples) or a behavior (social media use, eating sweets, playing video games, or watching TV/movies on Netflix as examples) for a period of time: October 12 – November 9, and reflecting about it for a submission the following week.

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This is four weeks worth of time and the purpose of this project is to increase empathy for those who are asked to abstain from something desirable. The project does not serve to emulate recovery, but rather to foster insight into the psychological aspects of quitting, so to speak.

Part 1

This 2 page paper is to be written to the substance or behavior from which you are abstaining. This is to be written in the first person (e.g., “caffeine, you have always been there for me in the morning…”) and should cover the following 5 areas:

How my addictive substance/behavior is loved and is considered a “friend”

How my addictive substance/behavior is sensual (appeals to my senses)

How my addictive substance/behavior provides “healing” or is a “balm” to my emotional wounds

How my addictive substance/behavior controls and promotes my feelings of helplessness and entrapment

How my addictive substance/behavior is hated – what it has “cost” me

Part 2 – “ Log Review and Reported External Barriers of Goals”. Servers as initial examination of your kept weekly logs: 10/12 -10/18,10/19-10/25, 10/26-11/1, & 11/2 – 11/8 and to report the level of adaptability after the first couple of weeks in keeping a record. Length 1 Page

Part 3 – “ Discussion of Abstinence Successes, Limitations, Lessons Learned, and Reflective Summary”, length for this section is two-pages.

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