Behavioral Change - Red Bull Essay

Total Length: 1308 words ( 4 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 4

Page 1 of 4

Because "drugs of abuse change the brain, hijack its motivational systems and even change how its genes function," withdrawal can seem unbearable. Begley purports that changes evolving from use of addictive drugs continue long after a person stops using.

Post Acute Withdrawal Syndrome (PAW, 1), sobriety-based symptoms, make sobriety challenging. Research documents that in 75-95% of recovering alcoholics tested, the presence of brain dysfunction. PAW, a bio-psycho-social syndrome, evolves from by alcohol or drugs damage to an addicted person's nervous system, along with the psycho-social stress of coping with life without using drugs or alcohol. Two things contribute to the severity of PAW:

The severity of the brain dysfunction caused by the addiction and the amount of psycho-social stress experienced in recovery. (PAW, 1)

Symptoms of PAW

Inability to think clearly Memory problems

Emotional overreactions or numbness

Sleep disturbances

Physical coordination problems

Stress sensitivity

The following stabilization techniques reportedly help a person remain drug free and retain sobriety,




Reality testing

Problem solving and goal setting

Backtracking (PAW, 7)

Managing PAWS

The following components contribute to managing PAWS:


Education and retraining

Self-protective behavior




Balanced living (PAW, 8)


Relapse, reportedly the end result of an unconscious, albeit, progressive, sequence of warning signals "is not a single event (i.e. returning to abuse), rather it is a process," according to Gorski and Miller. The following list depicts numerous symptoms which may lead to a relapse: or what the 12 Step programs commonly call "stinking thinking."

Exhaustion person may permit him/her self to become overly tired and/or not care for his/her health. "Good health and enough rest are essential to recovery." (Crews)

Dishonesty -- a pattern of unnecessary "little" [?] lies and deceits initiate this pattern. Lies to oneself, rationalizing, creating excuses for doing what one knows he/she should not do follows.



Depression: Not dealing with negative feelings may lead to depression.





One needs to resolve to maintain discipline when things appear to be going exceptionally well. "More relapses occur when things are going well than when things are going badly.
" (Crews)

Expecting Too Much From Other People

Letting Up on Disciplines: "Prayer, meditation, daily inventory..." (Crews)

Use of Mood Altering Chemicals

Wanting Too Much

Forgetting Gratitude: One needs to make a point to remember where he/she started how his/her life improved when clean/sober.

It Can't Happen to Me": Dangerous perception. Omnipotence: A combination of numerous above components contribute to this feeling when one perceives he/she possesses all the answers, for him/her self and others. Unless radical change occurs during this time, relapse will likely occur.


Relapse costs a recovering addict more than he/she would ever want to pay. Recovery, on the other hand, which comes with change, takes time, and even though as Hooker notes at this start of this paper, may be inconvenient, is an investment in/for life.


Begley, Sharon. "How it All Starts Inside Your Brain: Science: New research on how cocaine, heroin, alcohol and amphetamines target neuronal circuits is revealing the biological basis of addiction, tolerance, withdrawal and relapse." Newsweek, February 12, 2001.

July 2008

The Columbia World of Quotations. (1996). New York: Columbia University Press.

July 2008

Crews, Charles W. Modified from "A Look at Relapse"

Nordqvist, Christian. "French ban on Red Bull (drink) upheld by European Court," 08 Feb 2004. Medical News Today. 8 July 2008


Shaffer, Howard J. Ph.D., C.A.S. "What is Addiction?: A Perspective." Harvard Medical School

Division on Addictions. July 03, 2007, last update. 8 July 2008

Shepherd, Ken. Business & Media Institute, 23, Nov. 2005. "A Load of Red Bull - New York Times hits energy drink makers as profiting from 'addiction.'" 8 July 2008

Stages of Change." (N.d.) 8 July 2008

Have Any Questions? Our Expert Writers Can Answer!

Need Help Writing Your Essay?