Everyone seems to think you get addicted to drugs because your body begins craving the substance after a few days on the drug, but this isn’t completely true… Diamorphine is the pain killing agent given in hospitals to those needing surgery and, believe it or not, diamorphine is pure heroin. Thousands of people leave a hospital every day after having an operation and being on diamorphine, but none of them come out of the hospital as addicts!
Am I missing something here?
Before I continue with this, I must encourage you to watch the video above that I made about this exact issue. I also really recommend you check out Chasing The Scream: The First And Last Days Of The War On Drugs by Johann Hari, as this is where a lot of my information is coming from. Also, check out my post from yesterday if you haven’t seen it already.
Side note, I recently added a “Movies” section to accompany “Music” in “Ebert Suggests” on my site, so be sure to check that out when you get the time!
During the Vietnam war, 1 in 5 US soldiers used heroin to help get through the tough times and not a single one of them came home addicted to the substance, where 95% of them stopped almost instantly. Our ideas about addiction come from an experiment on rats, where the subjects were left alone in their own cages and were given two water bottles, one with heroin laced water and one with normal water. Fondly enough, after trying water from each bottle, most of the rats became addicted to the heroin and kept drinking the poisonous water until it overdosed and died.
Although this research seems to prove that what we think about addiction is true, there was a follow-up study in the 1970s by Canadian psychologist Bruce K. Alexander, who saw a fatal flaw in the preliminary study – all the rats were isolated and alone in their cages. To combat this, he decided to put all the rats into the same cage next, and so, rat park was formed. In rat park, all the test subjects could live together in one big cage, where they could play, run about and have all the sex one could possibly ask for. The researchers attached the same two water bottles to this cage for the newly formed rat community, and surprising, not a single rat died. Rats did try the heroin laced water, but none of the rats became addicted, nor did they drink the poison compulsively to death.
The key to breaking bad habits is to good habits. We NEED to connect and we NEED to feel good about ourselves, as it’s not always about the drugs but the lifestyle we lead. Whether that’s family, relationships, porn, games, social media or drugs, if you don’t enjoy life and the good things within it, you reside to bad things, like drugs – this is just one sign of the disconnection that’s happening all around us.
In an increasingly materialistic world, we all have less and less close friends on average than we did in the past, but our “space” in the world has been slowly increasing with our increasing presence on social media and what not. War on drugs makes it worse – instead of helping those who are already in tight spaces, we cast them out of society, make life harder for them, we even throw them in prison in some circumstances.
Society needs to change its approach on drugs and addiction and embrace the people, not the virtual personas that are starting to replace us and our interactions. The key to stopping addiction is to interact. The key to fighting drugs is to connect.
This concludes my thoughts on drugs and addiction. For those interested in trying to affect actual drug policies, amongst other things, I strongly suggest you check out the Stop The Harm campaign.
For more information about where to go for to handle your addiction, and what treatment options there are available, I suggest you check this out, too: https://www.drugrehab.com/teens/