Thoughts on Addiction
A professor of mine asked the class, “Are you concerned about a friend's drinking and/or other drug use?” and “Do you wonder if s/he has a problem?” She then asked us to list 10 warning signs that indicate our friend or family member needs help. I explained that I am trying to adopt a collectivist world-view where no constituent of a species or fellow inhabitant of a planet can alter itself without altering the rest of the species or inhabitants. I think our individualistic society lies at the root of the drug and alcohol problem. We feel bad for people that struggle with drugs and alcohol and we may even be affected by their struggle ourselves, but we see it as their problem. This is our problem, so I chose to list 10 warning signs that indicate your species needs help.
1. If alcohol kills 2.5 million of your kind a year, your species needs help.
2. If tobacco kills 5.6 million of your kind a year, your species needs help.
3. If the accidental death of your kind from prescription drug overdose quadruples in less than a decade, your species needs help.
4. If alcohol is involved in 37% of all traffic deaths among persons aged 16 to 20, your species needs help.
5. If your society believes a war on drugs that does not involve the dismantling of the system which facilitates the sale of drugs will help anything, your species needs help.
6. If your society views addicts as a scourge, your species needs help.
7. If your society recognizes addiction as a disease, but still thinks imprisoning those afflicted is the answer, your species needs help.
8. If your society perpetuates a system that rewards the exploitation of addicts and their families, your species needs help.
9. If your society adheres to its system over the health and well being of its people, your species needs help.
10. If those in charge of making drug policies in your society can be swayed by the dealers of drugs and alcohol, your species needs help!
This list could go on and on, but the bottom line is, civilization as we know it causes all of these issues. I am so sick of band-aid legislation, drug studies, rehabilitation and beating around the bush designed to help people re-adjust to civilization, to get them over the hump, back on their feet so they can continue participating in a system that is failing them miserably.
Plain and simple, people begin to abuse drugs to escape something that is unpleasant. Pain, insecurity, loneliness, fear, stress or simply boredom is but a handful of these unpleasant things. Think deeply about some of these things.
Consider someone using drugs to escape from the stress of their job. If you ponder the case deep enough you will inevitably arrive at the question of why this person subjects themselves to the job in the first place. Well that’s easy; the person has to earn money to pay the rent and to eat. Right? Don’t stop there. Why does this person have to pay to survive in a world they didn’t ask to be born into? What are their alternatives?
Consider someone using drugs to cope with the loss of a loved one to cancer. Those who are familiar with my writing have heard this from me before, but I will say it again. Cancer, in some ways touches the lives of nearly every person on Earth regardless of race, religion, political affiliation or nationality yet we allow companies to profit off causing it and then it cost money for the research and development of treatments and cures. Nations should be uniting with extreme urgency to save Grandma, Grandpa, Mother, Father, Sister, Brother, Daughter, Son, Husband, Wife, friends, neighbors, etc. etc. with all they can muster, without a price tag , but we don’t. We adhere to the monetary system, the system of civilization above the survival of our loved ones and ourselves. The resources are there. The knowledge is there. But, apparently someone has to pay. Someone has to profit.
Consider someone using drugs to fit in or to alleviate their loneliness and insecurity. Civilization might appear to establish community, but it has done the opposite. It has broken up the small sustainable communities by luring them into its core with empty promises. For the people of “developed” countries this process is all but complete, so it’s difficult to see it happening, but in China the systematic pilfer of the periphery is in full swing.
Jennifer Rigoni, a former Apple employee said Apple’s Chinese plant could hire 3,000 people over night, an unimaginable feat for an American plant. Apple’s analysts predicted it could take up to 9 months to find 8,700 engineers it needed from America’s labor pool; China filled the order in 15 days. These workers are lured from the countryside with promises of a better life. Apple’s Chinese production workers live in dormitories adjacent to the factories. They work 12 hours a day 6 days a week for sometimes less than $17 dollars a day. It has been rumored that these workers are at times roused in the middle of the night to meet last minute deadlines. Does this sound like a good life to you? These dormitories are not communities; they are machines with human components. I could go on and on about divisions, labels, borders, dualism and other things that destroy our sense of community, but this piece is about addiction.
Addiction is a broad term that usually refers to a state where a person feels mentally or physically compelled to consume a certain drug, but people can become addicted to almost anything you can imagine. Pornography, gambling, food, money, television, oil, speed are but a few of these things. In many ways addiction has created and maintains civilization as we know it. It all started with an addiction to control and power. This addiction is perhaps the worst of them all. It supports all the rest.
"Psychology / Edition 6 by Don H. Hockenbury, Sandra E. Hockenbury." Barnes & Noble. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Jan. 2013.