Booze aversion therapy

This is something that feeling has mentioned on her blog as I believe the Dutch have a study programme that works on and as alcohol aversion therapy.

Aversion therapy is a form of psychological treatment in which the patient is exposed to a stimulus while simultaneously being subjected to some form of discomfort. This conditioning is intended to cause the patient to associate the stimulus with unpleasant sensations in order to stop the specific behavior (wiki)

One of the drugs used to manage alcohol dependency Antabuse works on the principle of booze aversion therapy as it gives you many unpleasant symptoms including nausea and vomiting if you drink having taken it.

So while trawling Youtube I came across this video published in March 2014 which uses the same principles and I thought I’d share it here to see what you thought.

There is something quite powerful about images of booze followed by images of bleach and feeling if you’re reading this I’d be really interested in hearing in the comments if this helped you when you stopped?

What do you think?  Does this help or would it have helped you stop?

Edited to add: feeling has very kindly written a whole post in response to my question – which talks you through how to access and use the Dutch programme that she has used.  She says ‘I did a free alcohol desensitization training which is still in its test phase but I think it works’ so if you’d like to have a go at it go here:

Thank you so much feeling 🙂

18 thoughts on “Booze aversion therapy

  1. Apart from his rather irritating voice i really liked that. Personally, I don’t hold with the disease theory either – probably why as and I didn’t get on! I really do think of it as a poison now.

  2. Its funny I tried to watch this a few days ago and just couldn’t. I didn’t get it. And, then I read your blog and thought OK its aversion therapy, kinda get that. So I watched it through this time.

    What stopped me the first time, aside the odd match of text/words/images was, erm, coughs, expanses of flesh, the bums and boobs. Didn’t really see any need for so many of them. Made me feel a bit uncomfy to be honest, which is why I switched it off to begin with.

    I thought I’d go back and count them, but decided against it!!

    Once I got the aversion side of it I kind of got it. The idea of keeping wine under the sink with the cleaning products rather than in the larder also appealed.

    Although not just hiding it for myself this time 😉

    PS thanks for yesterday’s comments.

    1. Daisy – I know what you mean and can only assume it’s because it is designed by a man (not meant in a sexist way) and there was a comment on Youtube that mentioned it too to which he replies: I grew up watching ‘Charlie’s Angels’, though, and tried to learn form the pro’s and make it ‘visually interesting.’ ;Dīģŋ I think it has it’s place in our sober toolbox though for moments of weakness and you’re welcome re yesterday’s comments 🙂

  3. A great vid 🙂 aside from the abundance of flesh 😉 it made some very good points, to me the images of the people in despair from drinking were more powerful than the bleach. I also like how it noted that people who don’t have drinking problems just don’t get it…we can’t have just one, or it may cause them to think about their own drinking habits. Thanks for sharing. xx

    1. It’s really interesting isn’t it Lori – about which part of the vid triggers the aversion for us? Bleach, people in despair of acres of flesh! 😉 You’re welcome 🙂 xx

  4. I really liked it. It reminds me of Allen Carr’s book. Changing my perspective to look at alcohol as a poison rather than a treat was pretty significant for me.

    1. Yes it is reminiscent of the Allen Carr/Jason Vale argument Anne isn’t it? Glad you liked 🙂

  5. Hi!

    Nice, apart from the boobs and bums (which are nice in itself, not meaning to dislike the women) but it does feel like Stephan Doty has changed his addiction too ;-). What about adding some guys hurting themselves and others with stupid behaviour? But the whole movie: all true in my not so humble opinion.

    Personally I am in this phase where I have difficulty even looking at the first picture with the two wine glasses without becoming a little sick because of the un-truth in it. I’ve done this ‘brainwashing’ to seeing alcohol as a poison myself while reading Jason Vales book. I also paid good attention to where Jason’s comments connected to my memories and feelings and addiction.

    And I’ve practised during my desensitization course to create internal nausea when seeing alcohol. I use that ‘technique’ (?) on myself because it has helped me before when quitting smoking.

    Your post did however, inspire me to finally finish my own post on the free alcohol desensitization course that I did. Yeah! My movie is not even 0,01% as good as this but it’s there finally, including a manual as to how to get into the free training. If I may spam it in here?

    Hope you enjoy!

    xx, Feeling

    1. Your post in response isn’t spam! Plus I’ve already added a link to my edited original post 😉 BTW Your video said it was private when I clicked on it so I couldn’t view it to see if you had guys hurting themselves and others with stupid behaviours or more girls doing mudwrestling 😀 🙂

  6. If alcohol was my problem I would simply quit like I did with nicotine, cannabis etc aversion misses the point of what addiction actually is.

    1. I agree Paul – that addiction is more complex an issue than just stopping the substance/behaviour. I like the Allen Carr/Jason Vale approach but it doesn’t address the issue completely for me either. It can be a good re-inforcer though once you’ve quit and are working on what the underlying addiction driver is.

      1. the first step is accept one has a disorder called alcoholism – no long term recovery is truly possible until then. It is us who has to change, to have catharsis – addiction is the result of me using substances and behaviours to “treat” my emotional dysfunction. After some time this behaviour worsens that dysfunction and finally that dysfunction is so habitually chronic that it compulsively drives the addiction. Addiction develops in an interaction between emotional dysfunction and substance/behaviour and it is a progressive disease. It only gets worse, more severe in time. Just because one has not arrived at the endpoint of addiction does not mean they will not….it is acceptance of one’s condition in their innermost heart – this is the key. Self knowledge is simply not enough, this disorder is too profound and will ultimately overwhelm as it can usurp various areas of the brain such as memory, affect, motivation, attention etc. Areas all vital to actual self regulation. I have not had a craving for alcohol for several years all because I accepted in my innermost self that that I am an alcoholic. My relationship and memory association to alcohol has changed. I know longer crave something that almost killed me and will kill me. I do not fear it either. I have however a healthy respect for the havoc it can reap on many lives. I have been placed in a place of neutrality. I try to make sure on a daily basis I am emotional balanced and that takes care of the rest. My disease feeds of emotional distress, without this it lies pretty dormant. I have accepted my alcoholism without reservation. Absolutely. This is the start of a profound change much greater than one could ever imagine – accepting I am an alcoholic is the single greatest decision I have ever made. Alcohol was part of making my condition worse but ultimately it is a symptom of an underlying condition. Paul

      2. I completely agree Paul and thank you for sharing. In the early days of my stopping drinking though using the ETOH-olic word was anathema to me. It has taken me this long (almost 15 months) to acknowledge to myself what you acknowledged to yourself. Sometimes we have to meet people where they are – and if this video is their starting point and helps them to stop initially without needing to tackle the emotionally thornier subject of why each of us drank then great. At the beginning I couldn’t tackle my underlying emotional dysfunction and distress as this was a trigger to drink so I had to get enough distance between me and the substance to allow some reflection to take place, that wasn’t at risk of being emotionally hijacked by a craving when the going got too tough. I’m happy that you have reached that place of neutrality 🙂

  7. Dear Lucy,
    I haven’t watched the video yet, but I notice I have been doing my own aversion therapy without even trying! A few times I’ve had urges, I instantly thought of how that glass of wine tasted, and I was turned off!
    Thank you!

  8. Good video. I really enjoyed it. He unpicks a lot of the thinking that keeps us drinking (possible slogan there? 😉 I take other people’s points about irritating voice, acres of flesh etc, but for me anything that helps in that mental battle, that internal voice that I need to shut up with a good bit of reasoning, is provided in this video. I like the way he unpicks every reason to drink and provides an opposite view.

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