Addiction and trust: Marc Lewis at TEDxRadboudU 2013

A former drug addict himself, Lewis now researches addiction. In order to get over ones addiction, he explains, self-trust is necessary.

Unfortunately, self-trust is extremely difficult for an addict to achieve. There are two factors that make it so difficult to get over an addiction: lack of self-control and an inability to put off reward. An addict wants his fix and he wants it now, despite the risk of losing out on a happier, healthier future.

The way to build self-trust, Lewis explained, and get over an addiction is for the addict to begin an internal dialogue with his future self to convince his present self that it can, in fact, live without its addiction.

Lewis finished by explaining how he did just that. By writing the simple word ‘NO’ on a piece of paper and reading it at every moment he had a craving, he gradually started believing that if he could cope a few hours without drugs, then he could cope for a few days and, eventually, for good.

He pleads that the only real way to help addicts is to motivate them to place their trust in themselves and to encourage them to engage in their own positive internal dialogue.

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