How To: Beat addiction

So, if you followed last week’s How To, you got your band back together. How’s it going? Oh, you say your big reunion tour’s over already? That’s OK, because every band goes through a couple of false starts before the big reunion (see: every Van Halen attempt to reunite with Diamond Dave).

But before that happens, it’s time to evaluate what went wrong. Just like any breakup, we’ll bet dollars to donuts that it failed for the same reason that led to your first breakup: addiction. Also, you should probably change your socks.

The Guys love you very much, but we hate to see you hurting yourself. That’s why we’ve written this intervention: how to beat addiction.


  • Mind power
  • Willpower
  • Schopenhauer

1) Admit you have a problem.
OK, we stole this from AA’s first step of twelve. Don’t worry, though; there are considerably less steps to our plan and none of them involve religion or owning up to your mistakes. That’s living in the past, and we’re looking at the future.

Admitting you have a problem means actually identifying where all your money/self-respect have gone. You can’t just say, “I have a problem,” because every problem requires direct solutions. So, call up your mom.

(Sorry, moms, but we can’t help your kids go back to school.)

2) Figure out why it’s really a problem.
The only problem with addiction is that it typically involves activities that are awesome. It’s tough to call getting drunk every night and scoring threesomes with strippers a problem. The rewards from snorting premium coke with Primus clearly outweigh the consequences. A crippling sex addiction isn’t really crippling, unless you do it so much that you pull a hammy … which is also pretty awesome.

Alright, this isn’t working. It’s time to read about other people’s problems with addiction. Order the Behind The Music box set on Netflix, clear a weekend and watch all of them. Just for good measure, talk to a few homeless people. We’ll wait for you to get back from doing that.

All done? Now say, “That could be me!” Congratulations, you are now ready to fight — and beat — your addiction.

3) Bargain with yourself.
There’s only one aspect of yourself that beats out your addiction, and that’s materialism. Promise yourself that you’ll use all the money you normally spend on cigarettes to go on a cruise or buy a car.

4) Substitute one addiction with another.
Alright, so quitting gambling for one week meant you didn’t earn enough money to eat, much less go to Aruba.

It’s time to make a distinction here: there are addictions, and there are socially accepted addictions. Find an addiction that your peers will tolerate that will relate enough to the addiction you’re looking to beat. Here’s a table with some sample substitutions:


Socially-acceptable addiction


You’re out of money because you gamble all the time, but you still earn enough to eat every couple of days.


You still make money, but still get to spend time away from your suffocating wife and kids. We recommend a career in stocks or insurance.


Do we even need to write a description here? Nobody over the age of 12 brags about all the people they saw drinking at that concert they went to with their big brother …


… But you’ll always hear stories about all the weed being passed around. Just like drinking, you can still forget the last three minutes of conversation, fall down and explain why Willie Nelson is the voice of every generation. The best part is that you can smoke up and still pass as the DD.

Serial Murder

If you fall into this category, you know it’s because people are like potato chips: bet you can’t eat just one. Most people, however, don’t understand you and throw around unfortunate terms like “monster.”

Celebrity Gossip

It’s all the thrill of the hunt, but no real felony charges (even if you kill royalty). Think of it like catch-and-release fishing or photo safaris.


Smoking doesn’t seem like a big deal, but that’s because you’re a smoker. Everyone else at the bar plans to live forever, you dick.


Seriously, have you ever heard someone say, “Get that joint out of my face,” and fake a cough? Even when people turn it down, they apologize and give an excuse like, “My job gives drug tests.”


This only applies if you’re obese. We’re not here to judge: secondhand fat only kills sumo wrestlers and washed-up actresses.


Somehow, it’s more acceptable to be an adult playing a Japanese children’s game. We live in a truly strange time, indeed.

Way to beat your addiction, you junkie! Now your own Behind The Music special can end with footage of your cleaned-up self piloting a refurbished tug boat in the Hudson River.

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