Science Interviews


Mon, 25th Mar 2013

How did you beat addiction?

Anonymous, Squeaky Gate student

Listen Now    Download as mp3 from the show Getting Lost! Navigating the Brain

BeerHannah -  Moving to the back of a bus, where I'm returning from the Royal Albert Hall with the Cambridge based music charity, Squeaky Gate, that I volunteer with, having just performed live as part of a series of concerts to help destigmatise mental health issues. 

I'm speaking with one of the anonymous lead vocalists about his experiences with addiction, a condition that also involves the hippocampus.

Male -   I discovered alcohol at 15 and it seemed to turn the lights on in my head and it did everything that I wanted it to do. 

It gave me confidence.  It enabled me to talk to people.  At first, it was just going to pubs just like everybody else, socialising and it was fun. 

It led to 27 hospital visits, 17 detox visits, various psychiatric evaluations.  It eventually led to me throwing up 4 pints of blood because I had the blood vessels in my throat burst. 

I remember coming back from that experience, and I went back to alcoholics anonymous and for the first time, I opened my ears and I listened.  I sat and I listened, and discovered the reasons why I was doing what I was doing. 

So, I went to old pubs that I used to drink in, I just forced myself to walk in and either just stand in them or occasionally, I would speak to a couple of people that are still there, and just rewrote a different memory. I walked out and I've never been back.

Hannah -   Next, we meet up with a scientist to find out about a new treatment for addiction and posttraumatic stress disorder to find out more about re-writing the script in your brain.


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