Treatment & Recovery

Eco-Crisis, Spirituality, and Addiction

Eco-Crisis, Spirituality, and Addiction

Bruce K. Alexander

Professor Emeritus, Simon Fraser University,

Vancouver, BC, Canada

Workshop Presented at Healing Our World and Ourselves Conference

Vero Beach, Florida, February 21, 2014

(I have received expert guidance on this project from several friends and colleagues who are recovering from addictions and also actively involved in environmental or social justice issues. Most of them are members of AA and/or other 12-step groups and are therefore anonymous. They do not all agree with all of the ideas stated here.)

In the twenty-first century, the miracles of modern technology and science are bringing forth a world civilization that encompasses virtually all peoples, cultures, and religions of the planet. This is a wondrous new stage in human progress, but it has brought deadly problems in its train. Right at the head of the deadly train, the new civilization appears to be well on the way to destroying the sustainability of the Earth’s intricate and fragile ecosystems. The ultimate nightmare is before us: Destruction of life itself may turn out to be a side effect of modern, globalized civilization. (McKibben, 2010; Kolbert, 2013).


The Eco-Crisis and Spirituality

I believe, with Thomas Berry (2009), that the degradation of the Earth cannot be stopped until the great mass of people feel in the core of their beings that, whereas the Earth is ours to revere and cherish, it is sacred, and thus not ours to ruin and destroy. Saving the earth – from ourselves! – is, thus, a project of spiritual transformation. 

More and more people are centering their spiritual energy on reverence for the Earth and are making the environment their sacred calling. We can hope that this emerging environmental spirituality will spread like wildfire, as other forms of spiritual conversion have spread in the past, before it is too late. When it vitalizes enough people, all misguided efforts to maintain the present destructive economic and political system can be overcome, even though they are backed by enormous wealth and military power. In fact, it is hard for me to imagine anything short of widespread spiritual transformation that could avert the ecological crisis – along with the social, moral and economic crises – that are upon us now. 

So I feel happy on those days when I can see this spiritual transformation underway among people around me. On such days I rejoice to have even a small role in world-wide movement whose members I stumble upon everywhere I go  and whose work fills me with and admiration and love. As you might expect, I am very, very happy to be here at this conference today.

The Eco-Crisis and Grim Psychological Realities

Unfortunately, this bourgeoning spiritual transformation is impeded by some grim psychological realities of the 21st century. Some of the grimmest are: 

1. Severe Addiction. Many people in all social classes are severely and grossly addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, money, pornography, entertainment, gambling thrills, Internet games, social networking, energy guzzling cars and homes, career success (Hedges, 2012), and many other pursuits (Tiqqin, 2012). Many of these addictions seriously deplete scarce, non-renewable resources. All of these addictions consume human energy that might otherwise be devoted to spiritual transformation and environmental and social action. In other words, many people act as if they were spiritually committed to their addictions.

2. Severe Power and Wealth Addiction. A few people are so specifically fixated on addictions to power and wealth that they strive ruthlessly for command positions in corporations, financial institutions, and military bureaucracies and use these positions to feed their addictions, even when it means destroying the earth, the lives of their fellow human beings, and their cultural treasures (Slater, 1980; Cramer, 2002; Polk, 2014). Only a small number of people achieve such positions, and not all of them are addicted of course, but those who are dangerously addicted to power and wealth have millions of willing servants and employees, some of whom, hold powerful positions in governments (Gabriel, 2014; Buxton, 2014).

3. Everyday Excess. Many more of us who are not driven by gross addictions and who fully understand the eco-crises that face us still find it difficult not to consume more than our share for ourselves, our children, and our families. The cumulative effects of small, repetitive acts of overconsumption, multiplied by countless millions of slightly greedy practitioners, contribute to environmental crises in major ways (Briggs, 2012).

4. Debilitating Recovery. Many of us who have been addicted in the past struggle for recovery from our addictions of all sorts are so taken up with our emotional baggage of traumas and failures, and our present needs for spiritual solace and social support, that we have no energy left to contribute to devote to solving the problems of society and the Earth, even if we are fully aware of them (Alexander, 2010, chap. 12). It is possible that people may become “addicted to recovery,” in a sense. As my current hero, Mary Pipher suggests, “It is not mentally healthy to sit idly by and watch the human race destroy its mother ship” (Pipher, 2013, p. 117).

5. Apathetic Acceptance. Many of us cannot help accepting myths about “green corporations”, “green technology”, “good corporate citizens”, and the “global warming standstill”, that are promoted by governments and corporations to distract us from ecological and political reality. We know in our hearts that these are deceptive generalities, but it is comfortingly easy to accept them rather than facing up to the harshness and uncertainty of the real world.

6. Half-Hearted Resolve. Even those of us who actively protest ecological degradation, limit our commitments. Many people – and I am one of them -- tend to drop out of the demonstrations when the police begin cracking heads and arresting people. We tend to withhold vital financial support to increase our personal nest eggs for an imagined future that may never arrive.

The spiritual change that can transform humanity into a protective force for life on Earth is impeded by grim psychological realities like these. Overcoming these problems may prove to be a matter of life and death, on a planetary scale.

The Role of Addiction

All of these psychological realities can be understood more fully by examining the psychology of addiction. Please do not misunderstand. I am not saying that people who contribute to one or more of these six problems are addicted in the stereotyped and sensationalized way that severe alcoholic and cocaine addicts are described in the popular media. However, when addiction as it really exists is sensitively and soberly studied, beyond the sensationalized images, the picture that emerges can help us to understand and improve ourselves and others around us who are impeded in the spiritual journey and the environmental activism that needs to occur. This is the conversation that I propose for the group discussion that follows this presentation.

At first, you may think it is frivolous to talk about psychology when there are so many urgent environmental and political matters on the table. But think about the title of the conference: “Healing the Planet, Healing Ourselves.” I think there is wisdom in that title. I don’t believe we can succeed at the spiritual and political work that is needed without doing some personal healing at the same time, and I don’t believe we can heal ourselves without seriously changing the environment that is making us weak and sick.

The six grim psychological realities that I have listed would suggest that is not just evil CEOs and politicians, but rather the collective behavior of almost all of us that has brought the ecological crisis into being. We are going to have to have the courage to change ourselves and others psychologically, as well as spiritually, before the crisis can be brought under control. I am proposing that we use the very newest knowledge about the psychology of addiction to gain some insight into the necessary changes. 

Addiction: Two Working Assumptions

        Addiction is a critically important aspect of human psychology that will help us to understand our ecological crisis. However, a century of distortion and misrepresentation make it difficult to understand addiction in a sober way and seem to place it in a either in a criminal or a medical domain, both of which lie far afield from environmental issues.

I will ask you to make two working assumptions with me for the discussion period that will follow: 

Working Assumption #1. Assume that the traditional way of using the word “addiction” in the English language is the most important way of understanding addiction. Addiction in this traditional sense means a state of single-minded involvement with any activity or pursuit -- drugs being only one corner of the immense, doleful tapestry of human addictions. It also includes a full spectrum of severity. Addiction, in this traditional sense of the term, includes overwhelming involvements to drugs, food, sex, money, and financial speculation that are normally associated with the word “addiction,” including those that are spectacularly tragic and sometimes fatal. It also includes everyday addictions that make some of us hyper from too much coffee, overweight from eating too much, distraught over dysfunctional love relationships, indebted because of unnecessary spending, and bankrupt because we lead gamble more than we should. 

I am asking you to trust your own experience. Think for a minute about your own experiences, past and present, of single-minded involvement. For many of us these will not have much to do with alcohol or drugs or disease or catastrophe, although for some of us it will. I believe if you think about it carefully, you will see a whole spectrum from relatively minor single-minded involvements to very serious and life threatening ones. I think you will see that the majority of addictions, from the minor to the severe, have little to do with drugs. I think you may be able to locate yourself and several people you know well at various points on this spectrum at various times, for longer or shorter periods.

This very broad spectrum is exactly what the words “addicted” and “addiction” referred to in the English language for centuries, before they became exclusively associated with evil, brain disease, alcohol, and illegal drugs at the beginning of the twentieth century (search Google Ngram viewer, 1600-2008).

Addiction in this traditional full-spectrum meaning of the term is important because it can transform individual’s lives profoundly – for better and for worse – and it can have major effects on civilization and the planet in the long term.

Research that was widely publicized in October 2013 drew public attention to the inconvenient fact that in some experimental situations rats act as if Oreo Cookies are more addicting than cocaine (Hamblin, 2013). Whereas I have no intention to demonize one of my favourite childhood snacks, I think that the reasons this little bit of research set off such a flurry of discussion is that many serious people sense that it is highly likely that serious addiction to sugary foods is a much greater problem in many parts of the world, including the United States and Canada, than is addiction to cocaine (Davis, 2013). The world-wide epidemic of obesity, diabetes, and eating disorders may well be one testimonial to the fact that drug addictions are not the most important corner of the tapestry of human addictions by any means. Of course other people thought that the idea that Oreos could be as addicting as cocaine was ridiculous (Smith, 2013). We will engage this issue further in the discussion session. 

Working Assumption #2. Assume that both severe and minor addictions are much, much more common among people who are disconnected from their own inner richness of experience and from the family, community, and spiritual ties that have been the natural legacy of human beings as long as the species Homo sapiens has existed. 

I not speaking of anything unfamiliar here, but of a state of being that is often called “wholeness,” “being fully human”, “psychosocial integration”, and is related to the currently popular idea of “mindfulness” (but it is a broader idea, I believe). I am saying that this state of well-being that everybody wants and needs has become increasingly rare in a modern civilization that has been fragmenting over the centuries, as it “globalizes.” I think the fragmenting of the modern world is best understood in terms of the enormous growth of the economic philosophy underlying multinational, free market capitalism (Alexander, 2010), but others understand the underlying cause in different terms, for example the domination of the modern world by scientific and industrial rather than intuitive modes of thought (McGilchrist, 2009, chaps. 7-12) 

Again I would ask you to trust your own experience. Think about people you actually know who are the most intensely or severely addicted, whether somebody else or possibly even yourself. Were they just normal, happy campers who mysteriously fell under the spell of a demon drug, or the irresistible delights of food, sex, or the glittering fashions that are available at the mall? Or were they people who had a sense of emptiness because of failed  connections with their own deeper consciousness and with others.  Did they learn to fill the emptiness that they felt, at least partially, with drugs, excessive eating, compulsive sexuality, mall merchandise, gambling, or whatever?

This assumption can be drawn as a big circle, which depicts a vicious cycle around an Oreo cookie.

Note that the problem of dislocation is not the same as income inequality. Inequality is a huge toxic side-effect of the current economic system (Wilkenson & Pickett, 2009) but, I would argue, not the worst (Polanyi, 1944; Alexander, 2010).

Un-Assumptions

May I ask you, for the purpose of the forthcoming discussion, to forget about some other assumptions about addiction that some of you may normally make? These are, first, the moralized view of addicted people as drug-crazed monsters that you may have been taught as a child, especially if you are as old as me. I can actually remember the Batman comic where I first learned this concept and how it was confirmed by my parents. This was the official view of addiction up to the 1960s. 

May I ask you, second, to forget the medicalized view of addiction as a relapsing brain disease caused by drug use which you may have been taught more recently? I know that for some people this view has been an important, or indispensable part of their own recovery from addiction (Brand, 2013). But even if you can honestly say that this belief has saved your life, I would still like to ask that you look far beyond that belief for now, if that is possible, because this belief is not the most useful way of understanding addiction in the context of the larger environmental and social issues which are the topics of today’s discussion.

 Unfortunately, one or the other or both of these contemporary assumptions about addiction have been represented as the exclusive truth about addiction during the entire lifetimes of everyone in this room (unless somebody here is more than a century old or grew up in a country that is more enlightened on these matters than the U.S. or Canada). 

The medicalized view is currently most salient. It is promoted, through the many publications and other media releases of the American National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (e.g., Hoffman & Froemke, 2007), as well as by talented researchers from around the world who are supported by these agencies (e.g., Deroche-Gamonet, 2004; Robinson & Berridge, 2008; Koob, 2009; Sinha, Shaham, & Heilig, 2011; Marhe, Luijten, & Franken, 2014), and by eloquent biographical writers who are regularly featured in the mass media (D. Scheff, 2008; Brand, 2013; 2014).

I do not have time today to explain the problems of viewing addiction either as an act of wanton evil or as an incurable brain disease in the ecological and social context of this conference, but I have written a book explaining these problems called The Globalization of Addiction: A study in poverty of the spirit (Alexander, 2010). I written shorter explanations of the falsity of both of these views on my website, especially my paper “The Rise and Fall of the Official View of Addiction” (Just Google this title, or find it on my website, globalizationofaddiction.ca). The shortest explanation based on my research appears in a science comic book published in 2013 and available free on the web (ratpark.com). 

Many researchers other than myself have made names for themselves over the decades by showing why various aspects of both the moralistic and medical views are false (e.g. Beecher, 1959, chap. 14; Chein, Gerard, Lee, & Rosenfeld, 1964; Peele & Brodsky, 1975; Reinarman & Levine, 1997; Heyman, 2009). The best known today is Carl Hart, a young Floridian from Miami who is now a professor at Columbia University (See Tierney, 2013). His best selling book is called High Price.

The subtitle of the book that is difficult to read in this picture is: “A neuroscientist’s voyage of self-discovery that challenges everything you know about drugs and society.”

This brilliant young psychologist has succeeded better than any one in previous generations of psychologists and social scientists in alerting the public to the worst flaws in the criminal and medical views of cocaine addiction. He is especially persuasive because he grew up in a crack-using neighbourhood in Miami, in the midst of people who were suffering terribly. Carl Hart has emphasized that most of the evidence against the medicalized view of addiction as a loss of control and a relapsing brain disease has been around, sometimes for several decades. 

Normally, however, a few years after a researcher like Carl Hart makes a splash by showing that the moralized and medicalized views have outlived their usefulness (except sometimes in individual therapy), they disappear from the headlines and the simplistic views that addiction is an unspeakable evil or an incurable brain disease caused by exposure to drugs fills up the media and the public consciousness again. 

This recurring relapse to the moralistic and medicalized views of addiction occurs both because these views are lavishly funded and because they serve as effective distractions from the full complexity and severity of the addiction problem in modern society. Very powerful vested interests and emotional needs have made the moralized and medicalized views of addiction seem like the exclusive truth about addiction for far too long. 

Although I cannot convincingly show you why the moralistic and medicalized views of addiction have long outlived their usefulness in the short time that I have to speak here, I can tell you on the basis of decades of face-to-face work with seriously addicted people and of immersion in the research in the field that they are totally inadequate. I can tell you on the basis of extensive speaking engagements in Canada and Europe, that neither of these views is taken anywhere near as seriously outside the United States as they are here. I can also assure you that the meaning of the word “addiction” that is built into traditional usage of the English language over centuries – a meaning which has nothing to do with evil, criminality, brain disease, incurability, or drugs – makes much more sense than the moralistic and medicalized views and can be extremely valuable in helping us to understand our impending environmental catastrophe and to attain the spiritual growth that could will enable us to prevent it, or at least ameliorate it. This is not to say that the medicalized view is not useful in treatment, because it often is. When treatment is under way, whatever ideas work should be used, but when larger social issues are under consideration, it is important to weigh the evidence more carefully.

Because I cannot prove the inadequacy of the moralistic and medicalized views of addiction right now, I will ask you to make the two assumptions listed above for the sake of the ongoing discussion, even if you have your doubts about them. Later, I will be delighted to argue over them if anybody wants to. After all, I am an professor and arguing is my favourite sport.

NOTE: THE FOLLING 3 PAGES BEFORE THE REFERENCES ARE THE HANDOUT FOR THE DISCUSSION THAT WILL TAKE PLACE IN VERO BEACH, FLORIDA ON FEB. 21 2014. I HOPE TO SUMMARIZE THE RESULTS OF THAT DISCUSSION AND ADD THEM TO THIS DOCUMENT AFTER THE CONFERENCE.

Working Assumptions and Questions for Group Discussion Session:

Two Working Assumptions about Addiction: 

a. Drugs addiction is just a small corner of a much, much larger addiction problem that involves food, gambling, sex, money, power, social networking, internet pornography, internet games, etc.

b. Addiction rarely occurs in people whose society gives them a reasonable sense of identity, belonging, and meaning. Rather, addiction serves as a desperate way of adapting to psychological emptiness, that can have tragic consequences.

Questions for Discussion:

1. Do you think that there must a widespread spiritual transformation will be necessary to overcome the state and corporate forces that keep us locked in the march towards ecological disaster?

2. What is your reaction to the idea that addiction to junk foods (including Oreo Cookies) may be as harmful in American and Canadian society as addiction to cocaine?

3. If you can temporarily adopt the two working assumptions proposed above, can you relate them to analysing and overcoming the six “grim psychological realities” that I discussed earlier and are summarized below? I think you may find that the first two on the list of six are obviously connected to addiction, but the later ones are more difficult to connect. You may conclude that some of the later ones have no real connection to addiction at all, and please say so if you do. However, I currently believe that understanding the psychology of addiction helps to illuminate all six.

4. What do you think can be done about each of the six grim psychological realities in the immediate future?

5. Do you think Mary Pipher is correct when she says, “It is not mentally healthy to sit idly by and watch the human race destroy its mothership”. If you do, what implications does this have for the recovery from mental health problems, including addiction?

The Six Grim Psychological Realities that Perpetuate the Ecological Crisis, Summarized for Discussion.

1. Severe Addiction. Many people in all social classes are severely and grossly addicted to alcohol, drugs, food, money, pornography, entertainment, gambling thrills, Internet games, social networking, energy guzzling cars and homes, career success, and many other pursuits. Many of these addictions seriously deplete scarce, non-renewable resources. All of these addictions consume human energy that might otherwise be devoted to spiritual transformation and environmental and social action.

2. Severe Power and Wealth Addiction. A few people are so specifically fixated on addictions to power and wealth that they desperately strive for command positions in corporations, financial institutions, and military bureaucracies and use these positions to feed their addictions, even when it means destroying the earth, the lives of their fellow human beings, and their cultural traditions. Only a small number of people achieve such positions, and not all of them are addicted of course, but members of the ruling elite who are dangerously addicted to power and wealth have millions of willing servants and employees. Some of their servants and employees hold powerful positions in government.

3. Everyday Excess. Many more of us who are not driven by gross addictions and who fully understand the eco-crises that face us still find it difficult not to consume more than our share for ourselves, our children, and our families. The cumulative effects of small, repetitive acts of overconsumption, multiplied by countless millions of slightly greedy practitioners, contribute to environmental crises in major ways.

4. Debilitating Recovery. Many of us who have been addicted in the past struggle for recovery from our addictions of all sorts are so taken up with our emotional baggage of traumas and failures, and our present needs for spiritual solace and social support, that we have no energy left to contribute to devote to solving with the problems of society and the Earth, even if we are fully aware of them. It is possible that people may become “addicted to recovery,” in a sense. I agree with Mary Pipher, who suggests: “It is not mentally healthy to sit idly by and watch the human race destroy its mothership”.

5. Apathetic Acceptance. Many of us cannot help but falling for myths about “green corporations”, “green technology”, “good corporate citizens”, and the “global warming standstill”, that are promoted by governments and corporations to distract us from ecological and political reality. We know in our hearts that these are deceptive generalities, but it is comfortingly easy to accept them rather than facing up to the harshness and uncertainty of the real world.

6. Half-Hearted Resolve. Even those of us who actively protest ecological degradation, limit our commitments. Many people – and I am one of them -- tend to drop out of the demonstrations when the police begin cracking heads and arresting people. We tend to withhold vital financial support to increase our personal nest eggs for an imagined future that may never arrive.

References:

Alexander, B.K. (2010). The globalization of addiction: A study in poverty of the spirit. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Alexander, B.K. (2013). The rise and fall of the official view of addiction. Retrieved 20 October 2013 from www.globalizationofaddiction.ca/articles-speeches/240-rise-and-fall-of-the-official-view-of-addictionnew.html

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Brand, R. (2013, March 9). My life without drugs. The Guardian. Retrieved February 4 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/culture/2013/mar/09/russell-brand-life-without-drugs

Brand, R. (2014, February 6). Philip Seymour Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws. Retrieved February 7 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/06/russell-brand-philip-seymour-hoffman-drug-laws 

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Briggs, B. (2012, August 22). Americans throw away 40 per cent of their food: study. NBC News. Retrieved January 30 2014 from www.nbcnews.com/business/americans-throw-away-40-percent-their-food-study-959078

Buxton, N. (2014, January 27). Global inequality is about power, not just wealth. Retrieved January 31 2014 from,   http://newint.org/blog/2014/01/27/inequality-power-wealth-davos/

Chein, I., Gerard, D.L., Lee, R.S., & Rosenfeld, E. (1964). The road to H: Narcotics, delinquency, and social policy. New York: Basic Books.

Conniff, R. (2003). The Natural History of the Rich: A field guide. London: William Heineman.

Cramer, J.J. (2002). Confessions of a street addict. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster. 

Davis, C. (2013). Compulsive Overeating as an Addictive Behavior: Overlap Between Food Addiction and Binge Eating Disorder. Current Obesity Reports, 2, 171-178. 

Deroche-Gamonet, V., Belin, D., Piazza, P.V. (2004). Evidence for addiction-like behavior in the rat. Science, 305, 1014-1017.

Gabriel, T. (2014, January 21). Ex-Governor of Virginia Is Indicted on Charges Over Loans and Gifts. The New York Times, Retrieved January 31 2014 from www.nytimes.com/2014/01/22/us/former-virginia-governor-and-his-wife-are-indicted.html?_r=0

Hamblin, J. (2013, October 17). How Oreos Act Like Cocaine.  The Atlantic, Retrieved January 24 2014 from http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/10/how-oreos-work-like-cocaine/280578/

Hart, C. (2013). High price: A neuroscientist’s voyage of self-discovery that challenges everything you know about drugs and society. New York, NY: HarperCollins. 

Harvey, D. (2011). The enigma of capital and the crises of capitalism. London, UK: Profile Books.

Hedges, C. (2009). Empire of Illusion: The End of Literacy and the Triumph of Spectacle, chap. 4, pp. 112-113.

Heyman, G.M. (2009). Addiction: A Disorder of Choice. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Hoffman, J., & Froemke, S. (2007). Addiction: Why can’t they just stop? New York: Rodale.

James, W. (1990). The Varieties of Religious Experience. Vintage Books Edition. (Original work published in 1902).

Kolbert, E. (2013, Dec. 23). The Lost World: Annals of Extinction (Part 2), The New Yorker, 89 (42), p. 48-   . 

Koob, G.F. (2009). Neurological substrates for the dark side of compulsivity in addiction. Neuropharmacology, 56, 18–31.

Marhe, R., Luijten, M., & Franken, H.A. (2014, January 10). The clinical relevance of neurocognitive measures in addiction. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 4 (Article 185), 1-7.

McGilchrist, I. (2009). The master and his emissary: The divided brain and the making of the western world. New Haven, Connecticut: Yale University Press.

Peele, S. (2014, January 1). Government Says You Can’t Overcome Addiction, Contrary to What Government Research Shows. Reason.com. Downloaded February 1 2014 from http://reason.com/archives/2014/02/01/the-government-wants-you-to-know-you-can 

Peele, S., & Brodsky, A. (1975). Love and addiction. New York: Taplinger.

Pipher, M. (2013). The Green Boat: Reviving ourselves in our capsized culture. New York: Riverhead Books.

Polk, S. (2014, Jan. 18). For the love of money. The New York Times Sunday Review. Retrieved January 19 2014 from www.nytimes.com/2014/01/19/opinion/sunday/for-the-love-of-money.html?ref=opinion

Reinarman, C. and Levine, H.G. (1997). Crack in America: Demon Drugs and Social Justice. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.

Robinson, T.E. & Berridge, K.C. (2008) The incentive sensitization theory of addiction: some current issues. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B, 363, 3137-3146.

Ryan, D. (2013, Sept. 28). Lonely at the top, but loving it: Joo Kim Tiah finds solitude drives him to business success. The Vancouver Sun, pp. C1-C2.

Sheff, D. (2008). Beautiful Boy: A father’s journey through his son’s addiction. New York: Houghton, Mifflin, Harcourt.

Sinha, R. & Shaham, Y. & Heilig, M. (2011) Translational and reverse translational research on the role of stress in drug craving and relapse. Psychopharmacology, 218, 69–82.

Slater, P. (1980). Wealth addiction. New York: Dutton.

Smith, D. (2013, October 21). Are Oreo cookies really as addictive as cocaine? The Guardian. Retrieved 6 February 2014 from http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/oct/21/oreos-addictive-cocaine

Tierney, J. (2013, September 16). The rational choices of crack addicts. The New York Times, Retrieved 30 Sept 2013 from www.nytimes.com/2013/09/17/science/the-rational-choices-of-crack-addicts.html?pagewanted=all

White, W. (2011). Transformation of the Culture  of Recovery in America. Dawn Farm. Retrieved 8 February 2014 from http://vimeo.com/31925737

Wilkenson, R. & PIckett, K. (2009). The spirit level: Why greater equality makes societies stronger. New York, NY: Bloomsbury Press.

Wilson, G. (2013). Notes from speech delivered at Our Children, Climate Faith Conference August 16, 17 at Strafford, Vermont, USA. Conference site:  http://faithclimateconference.org/welcome-rev-gregory-wilson/

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