The Addict Brain as Muddy Water Metaphor

Notice a river after a storm. It’s water is muddy resembling chocolate milk. Miles of storm induced agitation has stirred up layers of sediment from the bottom of the river; as well as introduced new filth from rain cleansed ground that border the river banks. The combination of new filth and layered sediment turn otherwise fresh clear water into dirty, filthy brown yuck. Before the water can be used for drinking or other human use, it must be restored to its natural clear and fresh state.

If one were to take a bucket and dip it into the muddy water, one would then have a bucketful of muddy river water. Set that bucket of dirty water down and leave it undisturbed for a few days and then take another look: it’s clear. By simply allowing it to be still all of the sediment and filth sank to the bottom of the bucket. It’s still there, but the water is now naturally clear.


Addict Brain Clouded by Years of the Storms of Addiction

This metaphor is apropos for the alcoholic mind and the addict brain. (For purposes of simplification, the term “addict brain” shall be used for both the alcoholic mind and the addict brain. Both terms are used in “Alcoholics Anonymous” and the “Basic Text of Narcotics Anonymous” to describe the mind of the alcoholic/addict. I refer the reader to those publications for greater clarity.) For the addict brain is clouded by years of the storms of addiction as well as by the deep layers of polluted incorrect beliefs about being a man that remain in the sedimentary floor of our male psyche.

Addict Brain Engaged on Obsession: Bucket Brain

Thus when a man finds his addict brain fully engaged on an obsession, he can be considered as having “bucket brain.” When a man has bucket brain he has no choice but to get loaded or act out in rage or some other self-sabotaging behavior that often includes traumatizing someone else.

The MONTANA Model – A Solution for Bucket Brain

By GlacierNPS (Glacier's Clear Water Uploaded by AlbertHerring) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia CommonsFor simplicity, the solution for bucket brain is to do nothing, take no action and to become quiet and still through mindfulness and meditation. Only when clarity is returned should action occur.

Mindfulness and meditation are key components of the MONTANA Model used for the treatment of drug abuse and alcoholism in men.

Dr. Kenneth Chance, D.Div. is the founder and CEO of The Montana Society, Inc., a 501 c-3 not-for profit corporation dedicated to helping men discover their true authentic selves. Dr. Chance is also the founder and Executive Director of Arrowhead Lodge Recovery in Prescott, Arizona, a residential drug and alcohol rehab center for men. He may be reached at Arrowhead Lodge Recovery at (928) 288-2004 or via email: Contact Dr. Ken Chance.

Photo Credits: from Flickr by User: AlbertHerring from Flickr by User: AlbertHerring